Second Chances Equine Rescue Inc is located in Hinesville, Georgia, less than 10 miles away from Ft. Steward Army Installation. Andrea L. Doolittle, founder of Second Chances, is an Air Force Veteran herself. She has seen how the healing power of horses can have a positive effect on the many members of the military who visit her rescue. Helping these rescue horses overcome their physical and mental injuries allows the military volunteers to find peace and friendship.
In a recent interview with Andrea, she said “we pair our volunteers with our horses (letting them choose) and let the horse heal the human and the human heal the horse.” Andrea says this special type of healing makes their organization unique. Their goal is to “save as many equine lives as possible, and hopefully save a few human lives along the way.”
Second Chances started in 2013, while Andrea was an active duty member of the Air Force, stationed in England. While looking through listings for the Camelot horse auction, she saw a picture of a horse named Spirit, and knew she had to save him from slaughter. Right before the auction was closing, Andrea bought Spirit, as well as Cinnamon, the last horse left, and saved them from a harsh, painful death.
Less than two months after that, Second Chances Equine Rescue was incorporated. Spirit, the horse that started it all, will live out the remainder of his days enjoying life at Second Chances. Second Chances accepts horses like Spirit and horses that are malnourished, abandoned, and abused. They work closely with the local animal services in Georgia to save and rehome horses that are in danger.
Once the horses arrive at Second Chances, they are quarantined and treated individually with veterinary care and nourished back to health. They use a variation of the UC Davis Refeeding Program to help the horse slowly and steadily gain weight. Once the horse is healthy, volunteers at Second Chances work to improve the horse’s mental health and manners, then they work on small training steps. Everything is at the horse’s pace so it can properly return to health and wellness.
As you can imagine, treating each horse with the special care that Second Chances provides is financially exhausting. Andrea says that their biggest need is financial support. Rescuing a horse is only the first step in a long process, and money is needed along the way. Donations directly help horses – Andrea says that “every penny of every donation goes directly to our herd.”
Your donations help horses like Cheyenne, who Andrea and Second Chances consider their greatest success. Cheyenne weighed only 250 pounds when Second Chances finally got her, after 6 months of negotiation. She had a tumor a foot long, but she had a fighting spirit and would not give up. After many treatments and alternative medications, the tumor started shrinking, and a year later, it was gone. Cheyenne is a happy horse that loves life and is now one of Second Chances’s ambassadors.
Second Chances Equine Rescue, Inc.
Location: Hinesville, GA
Donations: 7663 Hwy 196 W. Hinesville, GA 31313
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: