The years of doing this has taught me more compassion for people than ever did my ho-hum life prior. Sometimes folks appreciate this in the rescue world, sometimes they do not. I often feel some want to see more anger from me than I can muster. I just do not have it as often as one may think.

How could I help if I am busy climbing up and perching on a personal high horse, anyway?

Sometimes folks seem to like to hear continual owner bashing in these cases, but things are sometimes not as cut and dry as they seem on the outside.

Someone rarely keeps a pair of horses for 14 years to just decided, one day, to no longer give optimal care. This lady was seemingly doing without to be able to just give them hay until she can find a place for them to go where she could know they will be safe. . . because she meant to do right by them. As we loaded them, she mentioned her hope they could stay together.

The local sheriff’s office contacted us about this pair a few days ago. The owner said she needed to find them placement. I wasn’t initially sure if this was a neglect case or just a surrender. It was, in the end, a surrender case.

Once we got there, her emotions got the better of her, at first, and through tears, she explained she didn’t want to let them go.

She knew she needed to, the more we talked.

Circumstances made it impossible to care for them, anymore. She was trying as best she could. . .this is an impoverish county. One of the most poor counties in the United States, actually. She wasn’t able to let them out in a little field anymore. The little building she used for stalls on the hillside was decorated for them with name plates and horse shoes, if entirely dilapidated. But safe turn out wasn’t possible anymore due to violent neighbors. She bore the proof of that, as she had an eye that was obviously severely damaged from the neighbor shooting into her house the month prior, the deputies explain to me, and the glass that broke from the bullet coming in had made it deeply into her right eye. The horses now had no way to be out, and conditions had declined rapidly.

Equine rescue, indeed animal rescue of all kinds, is not only about saving the animal in need. . . but about helping people, too.

Least I ever forget, as it has helped save me from so many things. I know there is true intentional cruelty and intended neglect out there. I see plenty of that, too, and I do not hold with excuses. . . but I hope to always look past the initial assumptions to find the truth.

And I thank the owner of these two geldings for doing the right thing today and letting them go, though I know it was hard for her.

If you can donate to their care, please visit

or Mail a Donation Check to:
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC
PO box 81 Shoals, WV 25562

Donations are always tax deductible.

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