Growing up on a ranch in Texas, Shawn Jayroe is no stranger to horses. She began participating in shows and rodeos at a very young age. As an adult, the reality of horse abuse and neglect became her motivation to do something about it. She started out by finding emaciated and injured horses, boarding them, rehabilitating them and them adopting them out on her own. In 2011, she received her 501c3 status and became an official equine rescue where she could finally house the horses on her own land, which she named Riverview Ranch.
Her years of experience allow Shawn to take in the worst cases of abuse, neglect and injury. She doesn’t shy away from any horse in need, no matter the circumstances. RVR receives many horses that have been seized by law enforcement agencies due to neglect and abuse. “The majority of horses arrive at RVR suffering from extreme emaciation and injuries from abuse, or were abandoned to die,” says Kelly Ford, RVR Executive Board member.
RVR’s refeeding protocol and volunteer training program have resulted in an extremely high success rate. This level of success wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of their team. “Our level of expertise and large number of volunteers allow us to function around the clock when critical care is needed,” says Kelly. “RVR’s volunteers function as a well-oiled machine. Our family is diverse but is able to come together for the benefit of the horses, no matter what situation confronts us.”
RVR also provides a safe haven for Off-Track Thoroughbreds. “We utilize our skills to rehabilitate racing thoroughbreds that have retired due to injuries. They are brought back to health so they can be re-trained for post-racing life,” explains Kelly. RVR is working to become a place for all horses, regardless of background or degree of need.
Equine education is paramount at RVR and offers a wide variety of options at different levels. RVR’s C.L.E.A.R. program, which stands for Care, Learn, Act, Educate, Rescue, has visited with hundreds of area schools to teach students about equine care. This program also invites Boy and Girl Scout troops to the rescue for education and hosts Humane Society Summer Camps in an effort to reach more children within the community.
High school students can earn service hours by working with RVR’s Medical and Operations Directors to treat the horse’s hooves and skin conditions. “RVR also provides a learning lab for pre-veterinary students from the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa. Students are able to attend presentations and follow Dr. Richard Gold on rounds,” explains Kelly.
Above all, RVR is a place of healing for both the horses and the humans that spend time here. Healing that is possible because of the dedication of their supporters. Please use the information below to find out how you can contribute to the wonderful work that takes place here.
RVR 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: