Summer heat, minimal shade bring new challenges for Hoofprints of the Heart

2014-06-05T00:00:00Z Summer heat, minimal shade bring new challenges for Hoofprints of the HeartBy Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Marana resident Deana Boudrieau has an unusual summer wish list. It includes shade cloth, poles, fly spray, de-wormer, alfalfa and hay.

Boudrieau, along with her husband, James, operates Hoofprints of the Heart, a Marana-based equine-rescue organization that has been in existence for nearly five years.

With summer on its way and temperatures on the rise, the financially strapped organization is presented with new challenges including a hefty water bill and the need for shade in its stalls.

The Boudrieaus are currently caring for 23 rescued horses on their property, 12207 W. Swanson St., and an additional 13 are in foster care.

Most of the 25 pens on the property are partially shaded by trees or shade cloth, but several have no shade at all, Boudrieau said.

“We’re in need of shade cloth, and the ideal size would be like 20 feet by 20 feet and 10-foot poles to put up on the shade cloth,” Boudrieau said.

The couple operate the nonprofit rescue organization using their own money and donations.

Boudrieau said her husband, a retired welder, had to go back to work as a truck driver to earn money to help keep the effort afloat.

She said donations have been down this year, but the need for their services has remained steady, so her husband is frequently on the road.

We chatted with her about the organization and her experiences.

Q: Are you still seeing a huge influx of horses coming in to the organization?

A: There’s still a huge, huge need. This year so far I’ve put approximately 40 horses in homes since January and there’s constantly horses coming in, there’s always a waiting list for them to get in.

Q: How many horses are on the waiting list?

A: That’s my husband’s department … I know we have 12 minis that are waiting to come in and two mares that are on their way here. That’s the ones I know of.

Q: Where do they come from?

A: They come from all over. We pretty much try to keep it within the state, but we do get calls out of state, so we pretty much have an open-door policy. We don’t really turn anybody away, which is why we have such a long waiting list.

Q: What condition are the horses in when they come to your organization?

A: They actually come in pretty much all conditions. We just had one, about three months ago, come in with a body score of 1½, maybe 2, which is extremely, extremely emaciated.

Q: What things do you need to do to make sure they’re healthy again?

A: When they come in emaciated it’s lots of food, love and vet care. They all have to go through a vet check and then we work with the vet to get them in line, health wise. So it’s a lot of work, vet bills, and it entails quite a bit, really.

Q: Why are horses brought to the organization?

A: Most people are like, “I can’t afford them anymore.” We have some that come in from law enforcement, that have been seized. There’s always a situation where the husband and wife divorce and whoever won the horse doesn’t want them anymore or they just surrender them or they can’t afford them ‘cause now they’re a single-income family. Most of it derives from the financial hardships.

Q: Do you have any estimates on your monthly feed or vet bills?

A: Probably about $3,000 a month on just feed. And our vet bills fluctuate so much ... I have one mare going in next Monday for X-rays and another one going in to get preg checked because the people failed to tell me she might be pregnant, so the vet bills really fluctuate. Every vet bill is different.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or 573-4224.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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