A bale of hay can cost you around sixteen dollars. Significantly higher than many years in the past.
"This last year, with the wildfires, with the extreme drought, there's just not a whole lot of hay being produced out there and so the hay prices have gone way up," says Aaron Vannoy of the Abilene Animal Shelter.
And so has the need. Now, many people just can't maintain or afford to keep their livestock.
Vannoy says, "Over the last year, we've seen an increase in animals. We've probably had 50 to 70 livestock animals that have come through our facility here."
However, the ASPCA granted 250 thousand dollars to 24 organizations around Oklahoma and Texas to provide hay for livestock. The City of Abilene Animal Services was one of them.
"It is a short-term solution for folks that own equines that can't afford hay right now. Instead of turning those animals over, we're able to keep those animals with the owners until hay prices come down," says Vannoy.
A bale of hay could last anywhere from three to five days per animal which isn't much, especially if you have more than one. Fifty bales can cost around eight hundred dollars.
Vannoy says, "We're getting 50 bales a week. We certainly don't use all that here in our shelter and so we're able to pass that out to folks that do need that out in the county as well as here in town to those who may have horses, mules or donkeys."
The "Bale Out" program is available to anyone in the area who shows a need. To see if you qualify, you can contact the Abilene Animal Shelter or the Taylor County Sheriffs Office.