July 7, 2013--Drought, hay prices putting pressure on horse owners (Denver Post)

The drought that has scorched the state is sending hay prices skyward and forcing horse owners to make painful decisions. Many owners, who struggled to keep their horses through the economic downturn, are giving up their animals — either selling them for a pittance, euthanizing them or sending them to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. "The drought has really decreased the amount of hay," said Scot Dutcher, chief of Colorado's Bureau of Animal Protection. "It is basically simple economic rules of supply and demand. When the supply is high, the price goes down. But when the supply is low, obviously the price goes up — and it went way up." The price of hay in Colorado, which once was $120 a ton, now ranges from $250 to $350 a ton, Dutcher said.