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Maine Equine Welfare Alliance

Published: 3/16/2010
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The Maine Equine Welfare Alliance is growing! Come to the October Meeting & Potluck, October 19. Check out the Events page.
Over the summer, MEWA held a series of fund-raisers. The fledgling non-profit organization is now better positioned to help horses in need and is bracing for assistant requests as winter comes to Maine.
As it grows, the board has been able to hone its mission.
Consider two hypothetical requests:
  • You’ve just lost your job and can no longer care for your horse.
MEWA may help you to find a new home and may help you with hay assistance temporarily.
  • You want to hold onto your horse forever even though you can’t affort her.
MEWA will not provide long-term assistance, but it may suggest you reconsider ownership for a horse you cannot afford to keep in good health.

MEWA is actively seeking homes for several horses, including a middle-aged paint mare who’d make a good lesson horse, according to Chair Michelle Melaragno.

Reminder: Annual dues are due! It's just $10 per year to help support MEWA.


Maine Equine Welfare Alliance is on the move!!  We are refining our committee structure, celebrating our first birthday, and building membership and Facebook fans.
It has become critical to develop a MEWA logo to create easy recognition in the horse community. 
The Education, Public, and Political Awareness (EPPA) Committee is challenging one and all to put on your creative thinking caps and submit your ideas for a MEWA logo. 
The logo will be used on all MEWA forms, brochures, posters, and any fundraiser items such as ball caps, tote bags, T-shirts etc.  It should be printer/silk-screen/embroidery friendly.  The work submitted must be original and free from all copyrights.  The designer must be willing to relinquish all rights to publication of the logo if it is chosen.

All logo suggestions should be emailed to by June 5.

If you have an idea, but feel you lack the talent to draw it well, please take a shot at sketching it and submit it anyway!  If the concept is chosen, we will find someone who can polish it. This is not a contest in that there is no tangible award for the chosen logo author/artist.   There will be recognition on the MEWA web site and Facebook page, and the satisfaction of knowing that your effort will help solidify recognition of MEWA, its goals, and its efforts to help Maine equids.


We hope to receive many great proposals and thank each contributor for their efforts!

UPDATE from July meeting:

MEWA members paid their annual dues and voted in temporary subcommittee chairs. These chairpersons will meet soon with their subcommittee members and start planning their own agendas. Members will have the ability to keep these temporary chairs or nominate someone else.
Please welcome these new leaders (subcommittee name in parentheses):
  • Melinda Langmeyer (Education & Public Awareness)
  • Michelle Melaragno (Hay Bank)
  • Donna Hughes (Resources)
  • Jim & Jan Marconi (Temporary Foster & Rescue Home)
  • Janelle Tirrelle (Veterinary and Farrier Assistance)
  • Melissa Libby (Legal & Political Action)

MEWC is now MEWA!

The Maine Equine Welfare Coalition is now the Maine Equine Welfare Alliance!
That subtle name change was one of many elements fine-tuned at Wednesday’s meeting at the Maine Farm Bureau offices in Augusta.
Most significantly, Michelle Melaragno was nominated and voted in as its first chair. Melaragno is well-known in the Maine horse community. She is Director of Operations for HEART equine ambulance, is a founding member of the Androscoggin County Animal Response Team, and an assistant instructor for Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue.

NickerNews will post minutes soon, but for more immediate information, check out MEWA on our links page.
MEWA is on facebook! Click here for link and help spread the word.

I know there are a lot of naysayers and handsitters out there, ready to predict MEWA’s demise before it has even left the barn. To them, I say: Stop being negative, y’all.
On the flip side, there are LOTS of folks ready for change:
Change within the horse community.
Change at Animal Welfare.
Change to help struggling horse owners.
Change to help suffering horses.
If you’d like to make change happen, get involved.
If you don’t want to get involved, quit your bitchin’ when yet another horse falls through the cracks.
Or as my mother would say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Read below for previously posted notes as the group was in its initial formation this spring...

Can’t attend the meeting?
There are a limited number of spots available for teleconferencing the meeting.
Donna Coffin, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in Dover-Foxcroft, has arranged for the teleconference. If you would like more information on the meeting OR the teleconference, please contact Katie Lisnik at or 756-2570.
Down the road, video conferencing may become a reality. How cool would that be here in the sticks of Maine!

Read below for meeting information. Hope to see you there!

Based on recommendations from the Legislative Task Force on Equine Welfare (Resolve from LD 458) horse enthusiasts from across Maine are invited to join the Maine Equine Welfare Coalition (MEWC). 

This alliance will be an ad hoc group of concerned horse people from throughout Maine dedicated to helping horse owners struggling to provide for their animals, and saving as many horses as possible from abuse, abandonment and neglect.

The group aims to be comprised of individuals from rescue organizations, equine professionals/business owners, breed groups, veterinarians, state officials, law enforcement agencies, equine media, and concerned citizens.
Though diverse in perspectives and background, we will all shed our differences and unite on a regular basis to address the problems confronting the equine community in our state.

  MEWA will be divided into several teams dedicated to identifying different aspects of the problem, including hay and feed assistance, temporary foster home network, veterinary assistance, emergency response and education.
Participants will be able to focus on areas that are of particular interest to them- and the team format will help us all share the load.

We invite anyone with ideas and energy to come to the inaugural meeting and participate in our efforts.  Please spread the word to your horse loving colleagues, friends and family and join us on Wednesday, March 31st at 6pm at the Farm Bureau Office. The Farm Bureau is located on Gabriel Drive in Augusta, as you head away from Augusta on Civic Center Drive.

In order to determine adequate room space, please RSVP to Katie Lisnik at or 207-756-2570 and/or Don Marean at

The Maine Equine Welfare Alliance is aiming to follow the Oregon Horse Welfare Coalition Model:

Check out their efforts online!
Mission: The Oregon Horse Welfare Council is formed to help people needing assistance to provide for their equines, and to save as many equines as possible through direct assistance, foster care, emergency assistance, and public education.
We do not engage in controversial dialogue over issues that divide us. Divisiveness, blame, and pointless conflict are discouraged. Rather, we remain focused on ideas and solutions.

View Reader Comments:

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3/17/2010 Katie Lisnik
Maddy- thank you for posting this- and for all you do to help horses in Maine. So many of your readers also do incredible work for horses and I hope many of you will get involved with this Coalition. Sometimes it feels like we are spinning our wheels, but I think if we bring our positive thoughts and energy we will be able to accomplish quite a bit!
4/1/2010 Estelle
Really sorry I missed it, but it was unavoidable..did anyone take good notes they could send me? I can probably be on a committee if I know what they involve...
5/12/2010 Elaine
Can anyone tell me what's up with this coalition? Is there a next meeting?

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." - Winston Churchill