Written by Jen Straub
Nestled in the beautiful Green Mountains in East Dorset, Vermont, the rescue began in 2012 when I acquired my first two rescue horses. Although I had been a horse owner for many years prior, it wasn’t until I adopted my two mini horses, “Daisy” and “Duke”, that I realized the severity of the situation that so many of these majestic animals face.
Our organization gets contacted almost daily by people who wish to surrender their horses to us for many different reasons. In some cases, there has been loss of a job, serious illness, divorce, loss of interest or death of the owner. We are happy when we can help not only the horses in these tough situation, but also the folks who have fallen on hard times and have no other options for their horses. Occasionally we receive horses through law enforcement who had to seize animals because of a severe neglect or abuse situation. By intervening, we prevent the horses from ending up in a worse situation or going to auction which would put them at a high risk of shipping to slaughter.
When we have room, we also pull horses from auctions and kill pens to protect them from ending up on a slaughter truck bound for Mexico or Canada. Often these animals arrive at the slaughterhouse seriously injured from transport due to extreme overstocking of trailers. It’s common for them to be extremely dehydrated, having had nothing to drink or eat for days. It is an exceptionally long and grueling trip for them. Horses have played a major role in building our country and deserve better.
Each incoming horse goes through a 30-day quarantine to protect the current horses already on the farm from possible contamination of contagious illnesses. We provide all necessary care for them and make sure the transition into their new herd is as stress free as possible so that they can start to thrive. When each horse is ready, they slowly start a training program. The Dorset Equine Rescue has a full-time trainer who evaluates each horse’s abilities and physical condition. We make sure that we get to know our horses very well and continue their training for as long as they are with us. We want to assure the best possible home for them, so the better we know what they are capable of, the better we can match them with their future adopter.
We require every new home to provide a certain level of care including shelter, a good sized turn out area, and basic vaccinations. Once a horse comes through our rescue, we do everything in our power to keep it forever safe from falling on hard times again. We strive to make sure each horse and adopter is compatible so they both have the best chance of developing a lifelong and successful relationship.
The Dorset Equine Rescue runs completely on donations which is made possible only by the generosity of people like you. If you believe in what we do, please consider a tax deductible donation so that we can continue to help these amazing animals.
Dorset Equine Rescue
East Dorset, Vermont
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: