A Virtual Rescue Helps Morgan Horses Through a Network of Foster Homes Nationwide
Most of the horse rescues that we profile are started by groups of devoted horsemen who want to help animals in a specific region of the country. With Forever Morgans, they have foster homes, homes, volunteers, and Board members spread from coast to coast and are represented in almost every state. We spoke with Vice President Chris Pennington to learn more about how it all operates.
Chris shared, "Over ten years ago an online list was started to help Morgans that were in bad situations. When it became apparent that there were more Morgans needing help then a list could handle some members joined together and formed Forever Morgans Rescue.
"We help Morgans in all kinds of unhealthy situations. We rescue from auctions and private owners. Our horses span the ages from in-utero to very aged, from young and lively, to old and calm- and everything in between.
"Our focus is always what is best for the horse. Our extensive foster program allows our horses to find homes with exactly the type of environment they need. When a horse is sick or undernourished we seek a vet's advice as to rehab needs. Most often it involves a slow schedule of worming and vaccinations, as well as adjusting feed appropriate to their individual needs."
The heart of this organization is most definitely in the foster caretakers. Chris explained, "Our fosters are amazing people! They are willing to take the abused, lonely, unsure horses we send them and love on them until they are ready to retrain. The more difficult cases sometimes require the help of professional trainers or those who are experienced with horses who have given up on people. We try to provide what each horse needs."
Since Forever Morgans has no home base, it is important for the network to stay in touch and spread the word. Chris shared, "Our members are always spreading the word, we often have a presence at larger regional shows, our members post flyers for us, and social media gets the word out quickly and over a wide range. Fosters fill out a detailed application, all references are checked thoroughly, and then the Board makes a final decision to include them in our network. We are always in need of more fosters!
"Two of our biggest challenges are having enough money and volunteer foster homes to help every horse who needs us! Donations are the backbone of our all volunteer organization and when the economy started to weaken our donations did as well. Currently most of our foster homes are full and we are always looking for more.
"Another BIG challenge we have is getting the word out about what wonderful partners our rescued Morgans can make! Every horse we have in a foster home is waiting to find their special home and person! We promise each of them that we will find them the perfect place but some have waited too long for theirs.
"Each horse we rescue is a great success. Perhaps the greatest are those who are undernourished both emotionally and physically when we rescue them and then later become the most beautiful animals inside and out. It's proof that each horse is worthy of another chance. Another success is the outreach we've done with the Amish community and private owners where we offer another way to rehome besides auction."
Chris concluded, "We were the first Morgan specific rescue which made us unique from the very beginning. However our most unique quality is that we are a rescue without a home- we have hundreds of homes. Our ability to rescue from locations all over the United States is because of the amazing network of foster homes that we have!"
Donate: P.O. Box 156, West Monroe, NY 13167
Trailer: NOT NEEDED