Blind horse finds way back home

By DON SERGENT | The Daily News | Mar 1, 2020

BOWLING GREEN — It might have been the most satisfying whinny Catherine Limkeman had ever heard from Declan, the horse she transported from Ozark, Ill., to Warren County’s Rainhill Equine Facility.

After she led Declan — a 12-year-old thoroughbred/quarter horse mix — on a muddy walk from the horse trailer he had ridden in for three hours, Limkeman watched as he settled into the Starfire stall of the Rainhill facility’s barn.

When the high-pitched whinnying started, Limkeman knew she had made the right choice in bringing Declan from the Camp Ondessonk youth retreat that had been his home for seven years and relocating him to the 185-acre facility in the Anna community.

Emelyn Herndon, Ondessonk’s assistant equestrian director, also accompanied Declan on his trip and explained that the increased liability of having a blind horse at the camp led Limkeman on a mostly futile search for a new home.

“We reached out to people within our (equestrian) community across four states,” Herndon said. “But they just don’t have the ability to take horses that are vision-impaired.”

As a result, “probably 85 percent” of such horses end up going to slaughter, according to Auburn resident and longtime Rainhill supporter Lisa Salmon.

Rainhill, started in 1984 by Karen Thurman as a for-profit business providing riding lessons and boarding horses, has since 2005 been a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter to abused and neglected horses.

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The woman who has saved 500 horses from slaughter

One of the 500 horses rescued by Freedom Reins.

Here’s How She Did It

by IHeartHorses.com

We live in a world where animals do not have a voice. It is our job to help them. Often times, we are their saviors from certain death. For one woman living in California, she wanted to do something for unwanted horses that were being sold for slaughter. It’s a scary fact, but in 2017 alone, around 80,000 American horses were shipped out of the country to be slaughtered.

Alicia Goetz couldn’t bear to know that horses were being sent to early graves. So she embarked on a mission to change that. How did she do it? Well, she decided she would do whatever it took to open her own sanctuary to save horses from slaughter. And we’re not talking about a few. She has nearly 500 now.

“This is what I have to do… I am a firm believer in that. It was what I was meant to do.” — Alicia Goetz

Quietly over six years ago, Goetz went to work building what is now known as Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary. In San Benito County just southeast of San Jose, she has 493 rescued equines living on the 4,000-acre property. And I rounded it up to 500 because she told the news channel last week that she had 10 more arriving this week!

Video

Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary 2018

Full article at IHeartHorses.com» Learn more about Freedom Reigns »

Deaths of rescued slaughter bound horses a painful reminder not much has changed

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HORSE SLAUGHTER (by Vivian Grant Farrell) — 2017 has been a tough year for many reasons. The toughest for me personally has been the deaths of two beloved horses.

Fourteen years ago, when Texans for Horses became the Fund for Horses I rescued four slaughter bound Quarter horses from a Texas feedlot. They had no papers. No one could or would tell us where they were from or how they had gotten in this hellish place.

Many of the horses in the feedlot had given up. They would not eat or drink, just crowded together for comfort staring vacantly ahead.

There were some however who still showed signs of hope crammed around the fence with terrified eyes beseeching someone anyone to help them. I picked four. It was all I could afford to transport home and care for. I named them after Texas cities — Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater.

Turning my back on the others and walking away from them knowing the horrific sufferings and deaths they were about to face haunts me to this day. And for what? So human beings can dine on their dead flesh.

I can feel the awful pain and anguish of that moment just as keenly now as I did that day, and I still hate that I did not find a way to help every pleading one of them.

Two of the four horses I rescued, the mares Houston and Sweetwater, passed away a few years ago. Austin died in February of this year and Amarillo died last month in November. Both geldings, they had made friends in that grisly pasture 14 years ago, ending up spending the rest of their lives together.

Their deaths seem to signal an end for me but of what I am not certain. At first I thought that it might be hope. Very little to nothing has changed. Slaughter continues to thrive on the horses it brutally preys on.

I wish I could say with the passing of those horses that I rescued that day and escaped slaughter, that slaughter had finally been outlawed and no longer threatened any horse.

God knows we have worked as smartly and diligently as we know how to ban horse slaughter as have many, many others. However, it still exists to satisfy the human appetite for horse flesh, and making the people who supply it for them very wealthy.

My Christmas wish this year is that you will do any or all of the following to bring an end to horse slaughter in honour of horses past, present and future.

Continue to work or take up the cause to bring an end to horse slaughter. It does not matter how or where or what. Please take every action you know and hear to bring it to an end.

Support those who rescue horses from slaughter. Adopt a rescued horse yourself or sponsor one. Pledge or make a monthly donation, any amount. Find your local horse rescue and ask them what is on their Wish List — many have one — and gift them something on their list, either individually or with family and friends. Deliver it to the rescue and meet and greet the horses you are benefiting. It will make you feel like a million dollars. I promise.

Make a pledge in your heart right now that this time next year horses will no longer be slaughtered where you live and take action inn support of that pledge every opportunity you get.

We can do this. You can be sure that Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater, and all horses like them, will be cheering you on.

Featured Image: AdobeStock_128452626.jpeg. Not for profit use.

Breeding kindness: No animal turned away at safe haven for horses in Elburn

HORSE RESCUE — David Sharos, freelance reporter for The Courier-News, writes:

St. Charles resident Kris Anderson doesn’t regard herself as a horse whisperer, but she does admit hanging around horses has made her a more sensitive human being.

“Being around them has given me more of a unity and connection with living things,” Anderson said.

The retired 4th grade teacher now serves as a board member and volunteer for Casey’s Safe Haven in Elburn, a non-profit equine rescue facility founded in 2011 that has been accepting cast off horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that are later adopted, boarded, or allowed to live out their natural lives.

Anderson said finding this new chapter of life at Casey’s was the result of “an angel guiding me in the right direction.”

Sister Darbie and Casey's Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.
Sister Darbie and Casey’s Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.

Casey founder Sue Balla of Elburn said she grew up in Downers Grove and that despite living in a horseless environment, they were always on her mind.

Changes in her life forced Balla to search for another outlet after the riding school closed. A friend suggested she lease a barn in Elburn and Casey’s Safe Haven was born, named after a horse purchased at an auction that became Balla’s friend for more than a quarter century.

Virtually no animal is turned away.

“Over the years, we’ve probably taken in about 50 animals and our mind set is to get them healthy and adopted,” Balla said. “On average, the animals need about two years to get healthy, but given that this is a sanctuary and rescue, some of them never leave.”

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Thank you Mr. Sharos for writing this story.

Featured Image: Casey’s Save Haven