The Last Best Hope


You may have seen the screaming ALL CAPS statements about horses needing to be saved from kill pens, or horses about to load onto a trailer for a ride across the border to slaughter.  And there are many great non-profit rescues that responsibly rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome equines. But there is another group of ‘rescues’ – they play an equally important role in saving equines from neglect, abuse, and death. I am speaking of equine sanctuaries.


You probably won’t see them posting ALL CAPS pleas, nor will you see them pressuring people to send money in order to save a horse by noon on Monday. Rather, they quietly and humbly take in equines  that have physical or emotional handicaps that make their adoption possibilities almost nil. It is much harder for them to create and sustain funding streams because they are not offering horses for adoption. They can’t talk about post-adoption success stories, and many times the equines they care for have disabilities – missing an eye; a crooked leg; founder; swaybacked; aged.

Without these dedicated organizations, equines not fit to ship to slaughter would be left to wither away, or callously dispatched with a gunshot at the feedlot.

There are two very high-profile sanctuaries in the U.S. – Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, operated by the Fund for Animals; and the Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon, supported by the Humane Society of the United States. But the vast majority of equine sanctuaries do not enjoy the stable funding that comes with being affiliated with multi-million dollar charities. Rather, they operate on very tight budgets, and rely on the kindness of people who value their efforts to provide these animals with care  and compassion.

Among the standout sanctuaries Horses Without Homes admires are The Golden Carrot in Anza, California;

RosemaryFarm in New York; and Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary in Arizona.

Please take a minute and check them out on their Facebook pages. And perhaps you will consider sponsoring one of their lifetime residents.


(Janey H. is the Resource Editor of Horses Without Homes Magazine)

(Photo credit: Ray Heiser)