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NDSU Equine Center opening emergency horse shelter

FARGO - With spring flooding likely in the Red River Valley, the North Dakota State University Equine Center again will open an emergency shelter for horses.

FARGO - With spring flooding likely in the Red River Valley, the North Dakota State University Equine Center again will open an emergency shelter for horses.

"Horse owners are encouraged to prepare for the flood by developing an evacuation plan," says Carrie Hammer, NDSU Extension Service equine specialist. "This plan should include where and when the horses will be moved and who will move them when owners do not have access to a truck and/or trailer."

She also recommends owners make sure feed is moved away from low-lying areas because accessibility may become difficult once water levels rise.

Here are some guidelines for bringing your horses to the NDSU Emergency Horse Shelter:

* The Equine Center will accept horses once the threat of the Red River reaching 35 feet in Fargo becomes imminent. The center will not maintain a waiting list. Owners must call (701) 281-1138 before arrival to ensure space is available.

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* Horses will be housed in individual 10- by 10-foot stalls. No turnout space or outdoor housing is available.

* Owners will be charged an initial fee per horse upon arrival and then assessed a daily fee for the duration of the animals' stay.

* Owners should bring a minimum of seven days of feed for their horses. No grain or hay will be available for purchase from NDSU.

* The emergency shelter will close seven days after the Red River falls below 35 feet. A list of boarding facilities will be available for owners who are unable to return home with their horses at that time.

For more information about the Equine Center's emergency horse shelter, visit http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ars/equine_studies/ or contact Shannon Eck at shannon.eck@ndsu.edu or (701) 281-1138.

For general information on flood preparedness for horses, contact Hammer at carrie.hammer@ndsu.edu or (701) 231-5682 or visit NDSU's flood information Web site at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood .

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