Central Virginia Horse Rescue founder Cindy Smith had fostered a lifelong dream of saving equines from the traumatic reality of slaughter. When she was offered an old bony work mule that had been turned away from slaughter in 2009, she knew it was time to move forward with her dream. Rosebud, that bony mule, came to be the first of many equines saved by Cindy and the CVHR. Since its small beginnings, they have now rescued over 400 horses and have no plans of slowing down.
The mission at CVHR was created to cover every step of a horse’s journey from start to finish. “To save, protect, and rehabilitate equines in need. We rescue unwanted, abused, neglected, or abandoned equines; provide them with care and rehabilitation; and finally find them a compatible, loving home. We believe that education is the long-term solution to improving the lives of equines,” says Cindy.
CVHR understands that every horses needs are unique and important, which is why they ensure the veterinarian is always on-call at CVHR. This has proven once and again to be of paramount importance, as it was in the case of Ruby. This two year old filly came to CVHR with cellulitis in both hind legs. “The skin on her legs just fell of when I went to clean her legs the first day,” remembers Cindy. The staff at CVHR spent six months wrapping and medicating her legs daily, while constantly monitoring the fluid leaking from her joints. Their hard work, along with Ruby’s perseverance paid off. She now loves jumping and running in the pastures with the rest of the herd.
This dedication and passion extends to every breed and age of equine from any situation. “We take in every kind of horse, donkey and mule from every possible situation,” Cindy states. CVHR takes in horses from animal control, owner surrenders, auction and feedlots. They have also worked with law enforcement on some the largest seizures in Virginia.
Each horse that finds it’s forever home is a success for CVHR. They know first-hand the positive impact a horse can have on a family. When Doug arrived at CVHR the vet said she had never seen a horse so thin, but he had an unwavering will to live. When he was well enough, he was fostered by a therapeutic riding school in North Carolina. “At the school, a nine year old girl who had been sexually abused fell in love with him, and would talk and talk to him. Her parents said it was the first time she had ever talked about her experience,” recounts Cindy. The bond that formed between the girl and Doug was something her parents couldn’t bear for her to live without. Doug became a part of their family that very same Christmas.
The staff at CVHR puts their hearts and souls into the work that they do, but none of it is possible without their dedicated supporters. Please use the information below to learn more about CVHR and the ways that you can help them continue making their dream come true.
Central Virginia Horse Rescue
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: