By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
Members of the local equestrian community staunchly support Dr. Paula Dupuy and her Wind Dancer Pony Rescue Foundation. However, a new corporate campaign has been launched in the hopes that corporations will start to pony up.
Dupuy, pony mascot Wind Dancer and a team of six Mohawk College public relations students hosted their first corporate event yesterday at Southcote 53 Tap and Grill.
“Most people don’t realize how vulnerable to abuse and neglect ponies are,” said Dupuy.
Since its inception three years ago, the Wind Dancer Pony Rescue has aided 18 ponies, nine on site at the Sheffield facility and nine in foster homes.
“They appear so hardy, and many people think they make cute pets for their children,” said Dupuy, an equine and companion animal veterinarian. “What they sometimes forget is that long after the child has grown up or lost interest, the pony still needs love and care.”
Dupuy founded Wind Dancer Pony Rescue Foundation after the death of her daughter, Isabel. The 11-year-old left a strong legacy in her dreams and determination to help ponies and make the world a better place.
Dupuy said the foundation has grown in leaps and bounds since it was established, and the corporate event is the start of a campaign to get more people involved.
“We have over 100 volunteers, but we are trying to get corporations and businesses involved in sponsoring a rescue,” said Dupuy.
The Mohawk College students are helping to raise awareness of the foundation as part of their required work towards completing their post-graduate public relations program.
The Pony Up! event featured free door prizes, complementary snacks, opportunities to take “pelfies” (pony selfies) with Wind Dancer and presentations about the organization’s work. For more information, visit www.winddancerponies.org.