Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Horse rescue farm receives grant to care for Arabber Ponies

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HorseNet Horse Rescue, which includes farms in Mount Airy, New Windsor and Westminster, received a $10,000 emergency relief grant from PetSmart Charities to provide medical and health-related support of 12 neglected Arabber ponies recently placed in its care.

Many of the ponies rescued by HorseNet suffer from a variety of health problems ranging from thrush, blindness, malnutrition and respiratory disorders. One mare is currently in foal. HorseNet will use the money to provide veterinary, rolfing, dental, nutritional and farrier services.

Arabber ponies were used to pull carts selling vegetables or produce throughout Baltimore streets. In August, the City of Baltimore condemned the stables where the ponies were maintained due to unsafe conditions. Following transfer to a series of temporary homes, HorseNet rescued 12 of these ponies.

‘‘These ponies suffer from many medical and emotional needs and their rehabilitation is expected to take many months,” said Ellen Williams, founder and executive director of HorseNet, in a press release. ‘‘PetSmart’s generous gift will go a long way to ensuring that these ponies receive the best possible care so that they may eventually be adopted by loving families.”

HorseNet is a volunteer 501(c)(3) charity. Its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for horses that have been abandoned, neglected, abused or are aged or unwanted. HorseNet currently houses more than 100 horses at its farms. Many of the horses suffer from physical, emotional or ‘‘special care” needs that prevent them from being adopted. These horses, including several that are blind, often remain under HorseNet’s permanent care.

For more information on HorseNet and the rescue of these Arabber ponies, contact Ellen Williams at 410-848-1334 or visit online.

Free tax preparation sites open Feb. 23

Low and middle-income taxpayers can receive free help with their taxes as part of a statewide campaign.

Special attention will be given to those age 60 and over.

Assistance will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 23 as part of the campaign’s kickoff at the following locations: Eldersburg Library, 6400 W. Hemlock Dr.; Mount Airy Library, 705 Ridge Ave.; and Westminster Library, 50 E. Main St. Appointments are not necessary.

The South Carroll Senior Center, 5745 Bartholow Road, Sykesville currently provides assistance from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through April 15 by appointment only. Call 410-549-1357.

The AARP Foundation campaign promotes awareness of the AARP Tax-Aide program, which offers free income tax assistance, including federal and state tax preparation, to low and middle-income Maryland taxpayers at 175 locations throughout the tax year.

‘‘Trained volunteers working at these free tax preparation sites will help ensure taxpayers receive all the deductions and credits they are due,” said Deborah L. Herman, Maryland State Coordinator for the AARP Tax-Aide program, in a press release. ‘‘We can alleviate some of the stress taxpayers face at tax time, and help many get a faster refund.”

The AARP Tax-Aide program is entering its 40th year and is the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service, according to the release. Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.

For more information or to locate other Maryland sites, visit⁄money⁄taxaide online.

Bee-keeping short course held in March

The Howard County Beekeepers Association will sponsor a bee-keeping short course Tuesdays, beginning March 4 and ending March 25, at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.

Classes run from 7 until 9:30 p.m. in the dining hall. A field day will include work with live colonies in early April.

The course is open to anyone with an interest in honeybees and will provide information on starting a colony for pollination, honey or educational experience.

Topics include: How To Get Started; Honeybee Biology; Bee-keeping Equipment; Colony Management; and Pollination and Dealing with Pests and Diseases.

The program costs $30 per family for a text and instructional materials and $10 annual dues for club member ship. For more information or to register, contact Allen Hayes at or 410-489-2835 or Wayne Esaias at or 301-854-3180.

Nonprofit organizations that would like to share news in Service Notes may send the information to The Gazette, 218 S. Main St., Mount Airy, MD 21771, e-mail to or fax to 301-829-9101.