NEW ORLEANS — Sixteen horses that will march in this year's Mardi Gras parades will be up for adoption as part of an effort by three Louisiana organizations to save them from being resold at auctions or for slaughter.
The Humane Society of Louisiana, Cascade Stables in New Orleans and Barney's Farm Sanctuary in Washington Parish are working together to find new owners for the 16 parade horses after Mardi Gras, news outlets reported.
Cascade Stables at New Orleans' Audubon Park has rented their horses for years to krewes, which are social organizations that put on Carnival celebrations. Cascade had to start buying more than a dozen horses to fulfill the growing demand and would have more than it could care for when Mardi Gras ended.
Horses that were not adopted would be sold back to brokers, who could auction them and some would end up being taken for slaughter. A formal adoption program for the horses was created to prevent those transactions. The 2019 carnival season will be its third year.
Humane Society of Louisiana director Jeff Dorson said that since the effort began in 2017, 32 horses have been adopted and saved from uncertain futures and none has been resold for slaughter.
"It's necessary and fair that we provide them with safe harborage and care after they have provided us with weeks of entertainment and frivolity," Dorson said.
A group of volunteers maintains a Facebook page that profiles the horses available for adoption. All fees associated with the program are donated to Cascade Stables.