F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Florida Research Institute for Equine Nuturing, Development and Safety, began as the brainchild of Susan Young more than forty years ago. Susan’s goal was to save the lives of horses that carry Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) by providing an alternative to euthanasia. It is now the oldest and largest horse rescue in Florida.
As Debbie, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Director/Treasurer explains, “our priority is to prevent the needless destruction of horses.” To do this they follow a multi-fold mission statement:
- Provide a permanent safe haven for all horses.
- Acquire sustainable funding to provide these noble animals with the dignity of allowing them to live with their needs met, while providing the proper care and loving interaction they deserve.
- Advocate for and participate in ongoing research to find a cure, as well as to factually educate the public regarding EIA, thus allowing us to dispel the myths and misconceptions that lead owners to think the only legal alternative is to euthanize their horse.
- Continue to give back to the surrounding communities, in a worthwhile and enriching way, by maintaining and enhancing our many programs that benefit local families and organizations; thereby positively impacting the entire community.
By following these ideals, the facility is able to provide hope for horses and owners in both the present and the future.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. takes in all asymptomatic carriers of EIA in Florida, as well as any equine in need within Broward County and all surrounding areas. There are currently 47 equines residing at the facility, including Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Mustangs, and 10 Minis. Every horse that finds their way to the facility can rest easy knowing that they have found a lifetime sanctuary where they will always be cared for.
Upon arrival, each horse is examined by a veterinarian and an individualized feeding plan is established. Each horse also receives farrier and dental care to ensure that any issues are addressed. All horses are allowed the time they need to acclimate to their new home. Once they are comfortable, they spend their days working with volunteers and participating in the various programs at the facility.
Horses at F.R.I.E.N.D.S. are not available for adoption, however, they are available for sponsorship and remain at the facility. “This gives people a chance to figure out for themselves if horse ownership is something they are dedicated to and ready for, both financially and time-wise,” explains Debbie. This keeps horses from ending up in bad situations due to owners that aren’t truly prepared.
Please use the information below to learn more about the work and research being carried out by the dedicated individuals at F.R.I.E.N.D.S.. You can also donate to their incredible cause, or get involved as a volunteer or sponsor.
Southwest Ranches, Florida
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: