Rescuing Horses in the Nation’s Capital
Travel just a few miles out of our bustling nation’s capital and you will quickly stumble into the peaceful countryside surrounding Germantown, MD. This is where you will find the Lost and Found Horse Rescue started by Robert and Mary Truland in 1999. The 120 acre farm is a registered Maryland charitable organization dedicated to helping horses, mules, and donkeys in central Maryland.
We spoke with the resident vet, Ashley Young, to learn more about how things work for the LFHR. Ashley explained, “Most of our horses are rescued from kill pens in the surrounding area. Some of our horses are from owner surrenders or ‘strays’ and abused cases that the Montgomery County animal shelter has found.”
New horses are immediately given veterinary care by Ashley and her staff. “Most importantly, time is spent calmly teaching the horse, mule or donkey that they are safe and are no longer going to be mistreated.” Horses are trained “from the ground up” with ground training, under saddle work, and eventually participation in regional shows.
As for how they spread the word about their rescue, “Word of mouth is huge in this area currently over saturated with equines.” Their website, Facebook page, and sites like PetFinder also help funnel potential volunteers and adopters onto the farm.
LFHR was originally located in York, Pa but was relocated to Maryland due to financial hardship. This remains a challenge for the organization. They are without a full-time barn manager and staffing. “Funding is always needed, as well as volunteers that are horse savvy.”
Despite these obstacles, the people at LFHR are not ready to give up. Ashley cited the following as their greatest successes: “Watching an abused animal go to a new home with patient owners. An animal terrified of being touched has pictures taken of them at their new home with children and the entire family petting them.” Hopefully, Lost and Found Horse Rescue will continue to help animals escape hardship and find loving homes far into the future.