JULY 2015

Denise Hawk with Pegasus rescue horse, Dolly
Wings Over Pegasus / Help a Horse Day

ASPCA "Help a Horse Day" Contest

We are thrilled to announce that The Pegasus Project is the recipient of a $10,000 grant awarded by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in connection with its "Help a Horse Day" contest. This annual, nationwide competition provides a platform for equine rescue groups to raise awareness about the work we do to save and care for at-risk horses.  

Over the weekend of April 24-26, Pegasus competed with more than 100 other equine rescue groups throughout 33 states. Contestants were judged on the creativity of their events, as well as success engaging their local communities. When the ASPCA said "the sky is the limit" for creativity, we took them seriously! We decided to merge our popular aviation extravaganza, Wings Over Pegasus, with "Help a Horse Day," and the results were out of this world! With more than 500 people in attendance, Pegasus soared to victory!

Thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers and the loyalty of our generous donors, we raised more than $30,000 during the month of April in connection with the "Help a Horse Day" celebration. But more importantly, we got the word out about Pegasus and elevated our profile to a national audience!

We are excited to share with you this 60-second video capturing the spirit of the Pegasus "Help a Horse Day" celebration! This video, along with the photos of Dolly above and Isaac below, were part of our winning submission. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Wings Over Pegasus / Help a Horse Day
Wings Over Pegasus / Help a Horse Day

~Isaac the Irresistible~
Isaac (appearing as his alter-ego "Pegasito")
Wings Over Pegasus - April 25, 2015
Meet Isaac, the adorable chocolate donkey who has stolen the hearts of Pegasus followers worldwide. Picked up as a stray by the Smith County Sheriff's Department in October 2012, Isaac went unclaimed and was headed to the sale barn, where his fate would surely be grim. We spotted him at the county holding pen, and Isaac's eyes pleaded with us not to leave him behind. He told us that he had big plans for his life, and we listened.

Isaac turned out to be a 6 year old stud (now gelding) with a heart of gold. Like most donkeys, Isaac loves people, especially children. We quickly realized that this funny little donkey with his gigantic personality had an important role to play. Pegasus founders, Mike and Allyson DeCanio, adopted Isaac themselves, and his transformation from discarded stray to Pegasus ambassador began. 

We had a special set of wings made for him, and "Pegasito" the winged-donkey was born! Isaac now makes regular, public appearances in his kissing booth as Pegasito. He proudly wears his wings and snuggles up to child after child, sharing kisses and secrets for hours on end. We can always count on him to be patient, tolerant and loving. Isaac has been responsible for the evolution of many people into confirmed donkey lovers. 

Isaac was a main attraction at Wings Over Pegasus, and most certainly one of the reasons we won the "Help a Horse Day" contest. This sweet donkey has many lessons to teach us. The primary lesson being that all lives matter. Isaac proves that what may appear to some to be a throw-away, is actually a gem just waiting to be discovered. We love our little chocolate diamond!!

A Star is Born

Tasha's plight was first reported to the SPCA of East Texas and the Smith County Sheriff's Department on July 1, 2013 by a motorist driving by her pasture. She was with another mare, a filly and a stallion. All of them were dehydrated and on the verge of starvation. On July 18, the four horses were finally seized, taken into sheriff's custody, and transported to the county facility to be given care and examined by a veterinarian.

The herd remained at the sheriff's facility for two weeks. The owners were identified but refused to pay for the horses' care, and so the SPCA of East Texas sought placement for them. Larry & Sandra James, who operate Winona Lakes Ranch, agreed to take in the four horses and restore them to health. Without the James family, the horses would have been taken to a sale barn, which would likely have meant the slaughterhouse for them.

After Tasha had regained her health and was at a proper weight, she was started with ground work and some initial saddle training. In 2013, Tasha spent two months in training with Clint Bailey. Tasha proved to be a forward horse who loved to ride the trails. Tasha was then returned to the James' ranch, where she spent a year just being a horse and roaming a large pasture with her friends.

And now, thanks to The Pegasus Project, Tasha will have a chance to find her forever home. Sandra James reached out to us to put training on this beautiful, deserving horse so that she can have a person of her own. This 10 year old Saddlebred mare loves attention, she loves to ride, and she is gorgeous. Tasha has so much to offer her new owner. She has come a long way from the bag of bones she was two years ago. With daily attention, Tasha will make someone a very beautiful and happy partner.

To view Tasha's full photo album, click here: TASHA

If you are interested in adopting Tasha, we would love to hear from you. Start by reviewing our adoption process by clicking Adopt, and submit your application today!

A Note from Allyson

A Drug Made of Cruelty

Premarin is a hormone replacement therapy drug used by many women going through menopause. The main ingredient, as few of its users know, is urine from pregnant mares. The suffering experienced by the mares and their foals exploited by this industry is unbelievable.

Premarin is manufactured by American pharmaceutical giant Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. In order to collet the urine, there are several "PMU" (Pregnant Mares' Urine) farms in Canada and America. Within the last few years, the industry has expanded with new farms emerging in China, Kazakhstan and Poland.

Most horses are kept in narrow stalls with their heads tied, with a partial harness holding a container to collect urine. This makes it impossible to lie down or move more than a step or two in any direction. The mares are kept in the stalls from October through foaling in the spring. They are bred again over the summer, have their foals taken from them prematurely, and go back to the tie stalls during the following October. They have little or no regular exercise. This is the miserable life of a PMU mare.

In addition to the terrible treatment of most PMU mares, there is the inevitable fact that each one of these mares gives birth every spring. Young foals are of no use to the industry, with the exception of a few females they may keep until they are mature enough to be bred and join their mothers in the tie stalls. As a result, almost all of the PMU foals are separated from their mothers after only 3-4 months. They are sent to open feedlots until they obtain a desirable weight. They are then shipped to slaughterhouses and killed. Once the mares have been used up, having spent their lives in misery, many are also sent to slaughter. Tens of thousands of mares and foals meet this fate every year.

Following the disclosure in 2002 that Premarin increases the risk of cancer, heart attacks and strokes for women, demand for the drug diminished. Unfortunately, unknowing women continue to buy a growing number of PMU products including Premarin, Prempro, and Premphase. A new PMU drug, Duavee, has arrived on the scene and is being marketed to menopausal women and people of both sexes who suffer from osteoporosis.  

American women can put an end to PMU farms by asking doctors not to prescribe them drugs made with "conjugated equine estrogen." Women in this country still make up 90 percent of the market. Other medications and treatments are available, and all doctors should be open to discussing alternatives with their patients.

I chose to address this topic because I realize that the vast majority of people I encounter are completely unaware of the origins of Premarin. I've never met a woman who kept taking PMU drugs once she understood the cruelty involved. 

Please share this information with your friends and family, and let's all play our part in shutting down this cruel industry built on a horrible cycle of equine abuse.

Allyson DeCanio
President, The Pegasus Project

Send inquiries to: allyson@MyPegasusProject.org


Thursday, July 16th 
5:30 pm
The Forge
Ben Wheeler, TX

Monthly, fun, information-packed meetings for Pegasus supporters at various locations throughout the year. All Pegasus Partners at the $25/month level and higher are Happy Hour members. Membership includes a car decal, a Pegasus hat or t-shirt, a Pegasus logo wine glass and an open invitation to every meeting! Discuss the latest Pegasus news and connect with other like-minded horse fans. (Your wine glass is free, but the wine isn't! We know how much you drink!)

 Click here to join:  







Did you know Pegasus relies entirely on private donations? Our regular monthly donors, known as Pegasus Partners, are our most treasured asset. For as little as $10/month you can help provide us with a predictable source of income at a much lower cost than any other fundraising method.

While we are very appreciative of one-time donations, the monthly donations of our

Pegasus Partners allow us to plan ahead.


Our ability to save these helpless horses, donkeys and mules depends on YOUR donations!


We cannot do this without you! Please consider making a monthly donation so we may continue to rescue horses that have no future without us.


Click here to join:

Pegasus Partner


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