Today there was yet another news story about emaciated horses removed from the property of a
supposed horse rescue in Texas. Apparently, this was never a real horse rescue. They had a
501c3, but that was just a tax convenience. The woman operating this ‘rescue’ took horses from
local feedlots (aka Kill pens) and recruited people to raise money so that they could ‘save’ these
equines and then place them into ‘loving homes’. People that gave money to save a horse were
paying this person for 30 days of quarantine before having them shipped to new homes. Sadly,
the horses were not fed, nor given veterinary treatment. People looking through the news story
asked about horses they had paid to save. Twentyfive lucky ones are now in the care of the Polk
County Sheriff’s Department; most of the others are unaccounted for and may be in shallow
graves discovered throughout the property.
Long distance purchases of horses and donkeys from killpens and feedlots is a fairly recent
phenomenon, enabled by Facebook, Paypal, and Gofundme sites.
The prominence of social media brings opportunities and cautionary tales when it comes to
equine rescue. If you routinely follow horses that are at risk, you have no doubt seen posts saying
that a horse needs to be bailed out in 6 hours, or it goes on the ‘TRUCK TO HELL’. Likewise, you
have probably also seen 501c3 rescues asking for hay for the winter or money to cover the cost of
gelding so a stallion can become a good, marketable equine partner.
Horses Without Homes is exclusively focused on raising the profile of qualified, well run 501c3
equine rescues. We do not support the practice of playing on the sympathies of horse lovers that
see one in a feedlot photo, and urge them to send cash so they can save it. As if money alone will
save a horse.
The qualified rescues we support take in at risk horses from any number of avenues – people
facing change of life circumstances; horses saved from auctions; horses seized from local law
enforcement agencies, etc…. They expend donor dollars obtaining veterinary care, dental care,
training, and groceries so the horses can move on to appropriate homes. They post updates of a
horse’s progress. They share milestones in training. They openly discuss veterinary treatments
their equines need. These are the rescues we wish everyone would support.
Horses Without Homes Magazine will strive to highlight the amazing equines that qualified
rescues have available for placement all over the country. We ask that you seek out a local
rescue near you. If we begin to live the motto “adopt don’t shop” when it comes to horses, we
might be able to make killpen brokers a thing of the past.
Please join us and connect with a qualified equine rescue near you. Horses Without Homes can
help you make that connection and the horses will be forever grateful.
(Janey H. is the Resource Editor of Horses Without Homes Magazine)