I have 12 rescue horses that I adore. These beautiful animals are a constant source of joy and I am fortunate that I was able to give them the home they richly deserve.

Horses, dogs and cats have been companion animals for more than 100 years. I can't image why we in the United States would now slaughter horses for food. What should we eat next -- the bald eagle?

I was appalled when I learned that the Obama administration chose not to renew a ban on funding federal inspectors at horse slaughter plants in the United States, even though a similar provision had been part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's spending bill since 2006. What this means is that gateways are open for hundreds of horses to be sent to slaughter and their meat sold as food in Canada and Europe.

Although I am a lifelong Democrat, my immediate response was that anyone who loves animals should say "No to O" this November. The Republican front-runner, Mitt Romney is no better. He strapped his dog Seamus to the top of his car and drove for miles when the poor creature was obviously sick.

Horses sent to slaughter are often used for food despite the fact that drugs given to these horses during their lifetime create an unacceptable and illegal public health threat under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The Front Range Rescue and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent former companion, working, competition and wild horses from being used as human food.

The USDA needs to immediately certify all horses and horse meat from American horses as "condemned" and unfit for human consumption. If this happens, fewer horses will be slaughtered because there will be no profit margin on horse meat.

I support a wonderful horse rescue organization called the SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary in Montgomery, N.Y. The owners regularly go to horse auctions to save horses from the slaughterhouses. But their resources are limited and they need your help.

Even a few dollars will help SquirrelWood save horses and give them a new life in a large pasture with plenty of food. If you want to adopt a horse for recreation or even as a polo poney, this is the place to go. Visit www.squirrelwoodequinesantuary.com, call them at 845-361-2316 or email them at LuvPolo@aol.com to find out how you can help.

Cathy Kangas is a member of the Humane Society of the United States' National Council.

Kangas, owner of PRAI Beauty Inc., started Beauty with a Cause, and commits a percentage of her company's profits to help animal welfare organizations around the world.

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