"We Will Not Go Down Without a Fight"
The Triple L Horse Rescue is located in Hilliard, Florida where they work daily to help save the lives of horses who are desperately in need of love and care. We spoke with Sherry Perry and Bernel Miller who are two of the folks in charge of keeping daily operations going at the farm. Below you will find a description of the rescue in their own words...
“Triple L Horse Rescue started as a dream. The vision was always there to save them from abuse, starvation, neglect and slaughter. In 2005 that dream became a reality, in 2006 we became a 501c3. We are on our 10th year, it is still an everyday struggle to find the funds for feed, hay, farrier and vet but we believe in what we do so we continue to fight. We are their voice and we will not go down without a fight – We Do It For Them.
“We take in the abused, neglected and starved horses. We have one that was an AC seizure, one that had a spinal cord injury as a foal after being kicked by a cow, he is a sanctuary horse, two mares that were abused severely in their prior homes, a two year old that was born here as the result of an accidental breeding, and our newest arrival is an Arabian mare that was starved and neglected, after we picked her up we were advised that she ‘might’ be pregnant. WELL she is pregnant so we are on constant foal watch with her due to an abundance of melanomas in and around her vaginal area. She is a sweet mare and after the foal is born, we will pursue some sort of treatment for the melanomas and pray it works.
“Our rehabilitation program is slow, but successful. Alfalfa hay for the first few days, depending on the severity of the starvation and slow introduction to feed; abused horses are taken slowly due to the trust issues many of them have; we retrain at their pace and ability. Sick horses are immediately seen by our veterinarian and the protocol he advises is followed to the letter.
“Our retraining program is pretty simple, assess where the horse is at in his abilities, in other words, what has been taught in the past. Some things have to be retaught of course, but horses do have retention of what they have learned good and bad, so we have to assess each individually and go from there. Usually start with ground work, if they don’t have ground manners, they probably don’t have anything else and then we start from scratch with Natural Horsemanship techniques.
“Potential adopters have to fill out our adoption application; we do a sight check of where the horse will be living; if that horse is going out of state, we will contact a fellow rescue in that area and have them check the facility. We require them to provide references, such as their vet(s), friends, we run a search of court records in the surrounding counties to see if there are any abuse charges. We will also do drop in visits whenever possible. It’s always hard to see them go, but we try our hardest to make sure they are going to the right forever home and that they will never be back in the same situation that got them to us. We love them all and only want the best for them.
“Our biggest challenges and needs are day to day! Funds to keep going are always an issue. We are currently leasing the property and would like to move to a facility that is larger, closer to town, but we just don’t have the funds to provide that type of facility as yet. We struggle every day to keep them healthy, happy and free from harm.
“Every horse that is saved is a success, every one of them are special in their own way. We have had some that we brought in from neglected homes just so we could love on them and then let them go. Some are so bad they can’t be saved, but when they come to TLHR they at least know love and kindness and have full bellies before they cross the Rainbow Bridge. Sometimes success isn’t measured totally by the ones that are saved, sometimes success is measured in knowing you were there for that soul that had no one until you were there for it and helped it cross on from this world to greener pastures. That too, is success.
“We believe in order to do this work you have to love it and you have to love the animals. If you don’t, you wouldn’t be doing it. It’s hard work, back breaking at times, heart breaking at times, and sometimes you just don’t eat yourself so that they will have food. If that sets us apart, then so be it, but I know there are many rescues out there that do the same for their animals. It’s a passion and I think if you are in rescue you have to have it. We take them all, regardless of the situation; we are here to help those that we can. We just wish we could help them all, we can’t, but for the ones we can…it matters.
“We go forward every day, through thick and thin, sometimes lots of both. We do it for them, because they have no voice, we are their voice. We love what we do and we hope to be able to continue on with our work until we just can’t do it anymore.”
We salute the Triple L Horse rescue and wish them all the best as they continue their valuable work. If you would like to learn more about this organization, visit their website or Facebook page.