Our Sanctuary program ensures a safe home for equines as long as they have an acceptable quality of life.
Unfortunately, sanctuary programs are few and far between in the U.S. rescue world today. The current trend is to take in only horse that are "highly usable and adoptable" and either turn the rest away or take them in and have them euthanized.
How does an equine become labeled "Sanctuary"?
Physical Challenges. Some equines that come to us have physical problems that would make them challenging to adopt out. Examples of these problems are blindness, uviteis, navicular disease, Cushing's disease and chronic founder.
Age. Horses over the age of 25 have very little possibility of being adopted.
Behavioral or emotional issues due to neglect/abuse. Some of the horses we take in have been so damaged that it would be dangerous for them to be adopted. After much evaluation and work with an individual, it may become apparent that they have lasting issues. We need our adopted horses to be safe to be around and to handle farrier work and veterinary work without danger to the horse or the humans involved. Horses that startle easily and can react with bolting, striking, biting, kicking or rearing are deemed unsafe.
Can a sanctuary equine ever be adopted?
We don't like to say never. If a highly skilled individual that was a good match for a sanctuary equine, we would consider an adoption.
How does this policy affect us?
Because of our insistence on the value of EVERY equine life we have been excluded for consideration for many grants from national organizations. Rather than compromise our core mission, we rely more upon the generosity of our supporters than other organizations do.
Equines that have special needs are often expensive to feed and medicate. Because we make a committment to these horses for life, we might care for an individual for 20+ years.
Why do we do this?
We believe that true rescues value the life of every equine. It's not their fault if they are aged, or ill, or been abused. We don't believe an equine's value is in its "use". Every soul matters.
Our current sanctuary equines:
This lovely mare came to us in 2010. She was an unstarted 14 year old Mountain Pleasure mare. After she was passed over for adoption for ten years, we moved her to sanctuary due to age and special diet.
This handsome mule pony gelding was our VERY FIRST RESCUE! He had been badly abused (whipped) and his feet had been untrimmed for 5 years (see inset photo). He remains quite skittish and requires sedation for hoof trims.
This beautiful pony mare is the most frightened equine we've ever had. She has improved tremendously, but remains unpredicatble and will injure herself if she gets in a panic situation. She also is prone to choke and is on a special diet to prevent that from occurring.
This mule pony came to us as a four year old. He was harassing all the owner's other equines and causing general chaos. We thought he'd be a great friend for our mule pony, Tommy ~ and he was for a few years. Then evern Tommy tired of his antics. He's an extreme extrovert who challenges everyone and everything.
Hope is the most dangerous equine we've ever met. She was abused so badly that she was a nightmare combination of frightened and aggressive. She would flip from one to the other in a nano second. She's made much progress, but is still too unpredicable for us to feel safe adopting her out.