Adopted horses returned as hay prices climb

Last year, Lucas the horse had a happy life ahead; he was adopted by a loving family.

Tuesday, he was returned to the Voice for Horses Rescue Network.

"This year they lost their jobs and their home went into foreclosure, so she had to make a decision to bring the horses back," said Voice for Horses Rescue Network president and founder, Diana Murphy.

Lucas is one of over a dozen horses returned to the organization just this year. Part of the return rate is thanks to skyrocketing hay prices and a major hay shortage.

"This year, we had no rain. So nothing was growing. And then what they did get, it was sold out," said Murphy.

Murphy says her sources sold out in June, and the cost of buying hay bales has since more than tripled. The drought reduced supplies in the Midwest by as much as 30%, forcing families to turn over their beloved friends.

"It's pretty sad because the families are so attached to them, and they genuinely love these horses," said Murphy.

The shortage has hit Voice for Horses hard, too. Their resources and supplies are running dry, especially as they take in more returned horses.

"It's tough because we'll have two or three more than we were expecting and be a little over in our stalls," said Murphy. "We're way over budget because of the expensive hay that we bought. We're going to be in the hole probably a good $5,000 or more because of this."

If you would like to help Voice for Horses Rescue Network, call (419) 247-0025, or log onto, where you can make a donation, look for adoptable horses, or purchase a calander or horse hair bracelet to support the organization.