- To rescue horses and other hooved animals in distress, treating each animal with compassion and respect while acting in the animal’s best interest; and
- To educate the public on the welfare of hooved animals.
Horses are Pets, Too
Since 1994, the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman, Minnesota, has been rescuing, rehabilitating, retraining and re-homing horses and other animals in distress. Just as dozens of humane societies offer dogs and cats a second chance at a loving home, our foundation finds permanent, caring adoptive homes for horses and other animals. Some of our horses and other animals are young and sound. Others are injured, ill due to extreme neglect, starved, or simply very old.
It’s Not Hard to Find Horses in Need
While many of our horses and other animals come to us directly from humane cases in which they have been seized by law enforcement officials due to neglect and abuse by owners, some have simply been abandoned, and others have been donated or surrendered by owners who simply can’t keep them due to personal, financial or medical hardships. Over the years we at MHARF have built strong connections with law enforcement officials, humane investigators, and Minnesota veterinarians. We often work together with local police to follow up on humane complaints or serve warrants where necessary to rescue neglected and/or abused horses. When we find horses in need of serious medical attention or near death, we immediately contact one of our participating veterinary clinics, where they are admitted and receive the care they need.
Doing What’s Best for the Horse
Sometimes we take extreme measures to save a horse. Why take the time to bring back a severely starved and dehydrated yearling colt with a mouth injury so severe he had not been able to eat or drink for weeks? Ask Edgar. When he came to us in late October of 2014, he was so weak he could barely stand. With proper veterinary care he was soon eating and drinking on his own. By the summer of 2016 he was a beautiful, healthy 2-year-old, and by 2018 he was in a new adoptive home! Many people who adopt a rescued horse say they are the friendliest, most willing horses they have ever had.
But we also have to be realistic. We know that some of the horses come to us in great pain or are injured to the point that they will never be comfortable again. For those horses we have our “Death with Dignity” program. At the hands of a caring veterinarian, these horses are humanely, painlessly euthanized.
A Chance to Heal
When a horse first arrives, we place it in our quarantine barn and paddocks until a veterinarian can examine the animal and provide vaccinations. Since many of the horses we take in are injured or sick, the veterinarian also makes an assessment of what treatment the horse might need. Blood is drawn for Coggins and other testing and the horses are dewormed.
Cuts and other injuries are treated. If the horse is malnourished, we decide on appropriate feed to safely bring the animal’s weight back to a healthy level. Farriers trim the horses’ hooves – a must for so many neglected horses whose hooves have been allowed to grow so long they may cause serious injury. Any lameness issues are diagnosed and addressed. If surgery and other forms of treatment can correct a problem, we work with veterinarians and specialists across the state to do the necessary medical work.
How You Can Help
Each year, we rescue as many horses as we possibly can. But for every horse we help, there are dozens we must pass up because the cost of caring for abused and neglected horses is so high.
You can help. Since our foundation is a non-profit (501C-3) corporation, donations made are tax deductible. We can also accept gifts-in-kind. You may also make a stock gift to the foundation and get a full deduction – along with avoiding capital gains taxes.
For information on the many ways you can donate to the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation please visit our Donate page. Thank you!