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  • Writer's pictureDale Rudin

Why we don't put our horses up for adoption

Updated: Feb 1

There's a difference between being a sanctuary versus a rescue. A rescue brings horses in to improve their health, possibly train them, then makes them available for adoption. A sanctuary gives horses in need a lifetime home.

Rescues are wonderful

Organizations that provide a safe home for horses who have been abandoned, neglected and abused are ending suffering and saving lives. It is difficult, exhausting, fulfilling, and heartbreaking work, but for those who have chosen to become involved in equine rescue, it probably doesn't feel like work at all.

When a horse is taken in by this type of organization, it may at some point be put up for adoption. Offering horses for adoption serves two very important purposes. It makes room for another horse in need and if there is an adoption fee, it gives the rescue much needed funds to feed and house the horses in their care.

What sets up apart

Pure Joy Horse Haven provides care and rehabilitation for horses who have become "untrainable", "unmanageable", dangerous or physically damaged in a way that has reduced their value as a useful animal. That makes me feel so sad to type those words, but a horse that can't or won't perform has more often than not, become so because of poor treatment, training, and/or care by the humans who deem them worthless.

Horses who have become this physically and emotionally damaged require very specific care, nutrition, rehabilitation in order to improve their quality of life. It takes a lot of time, expertise, and skill to give these horses what they need to heal and if all goes well, thrive.

the damage is done

So far, "knock on wood", even the most difficult horses we have had the privilege to help have improved so much they appear to be happy, confident, easy going animals that anyone would be proud to own. That is awesome and we are always happy to see them become comfortable and happy.

However, the emotional, and often physical, scars that they suffered in the past can never be erased. Unless they are continuously cared for in the same manner that allowed them to heal, they are highly likely to become reinjured or emotionally unstable.

in a perfect world

There are people, true angels, who are willing to build dry lots, buy all the right foods and supplements, mix buckets twice a day, take hoof boots on and off, deal with special needs, behavioral issues like fear, aggression, know how to handle these horses in a way that helps them feels safe and comfortable, and accept that these horses may never be ridden or worked. These people exist, but at this point in time, they are the minority. In general horse people get enjoyment out of horses who will obediently or happily work and perform for them.

When a horse comes to our sanctuary, they become part of our family for life. We give them everything they need to be happily and comfortably enjoy their lives.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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