VICTORIA -- Victoria’s Tally-Ho Carriage Tours has launched a fundraising campaign to help care for the company’s horses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The carriage company suspended operations on March 19 due to the novel coronavirus and is expecting to face a full year of closure as the tours only operate during the summer season.

Tally-Ho is now looking for donations to help keep its 18 horses healthy over the next 12 months.

“Our goal is to keep them (the horses) at home with us and their herd-mates, where they will continue to receive top-notch care,” reads the company’s GoFundMe campaign.

“But after laying off all staff and cutting all non-essential costs, our small, family-run business is still facing a significant shortfall of over $120,000 to maintain quality horse care over the expected course of COVID.”

Tally-Ho says that all donations will go towards caring for the animals and providing necessities for the horses, like veterinarian and farrier services, shelter and feed.

The company says it is preparing to suspend operations for an entire year, but is hoping that the health crisis will come to a close earlier than that. 

If provincial health orders are lifted earlier than Tally-Ho is expecting, all unused donations will go towards equine charities in B.C.

“Our hearts are with everyone during this very stressful time,” said the company. “Please keep safe, stay healthy and take care of your loved ones!”

Donations can be made to Tally-Ho's GoFundMe campaign online here

As of 1 p.m., April 16, the fundraiser had raised more than $19,000.