California Shelter: Lots of adoptions and more rain

A little introduction for all of our new blog readers.  My name is Melissa Reali, I am the shelter manager at our California shelter.  This has been my position for a year now, and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.  Prior to managing the Horse Plus Humane Society’s California shelter, I managed my own horse rescue, but didn’t have the financial resources to keep it going.  Horse Plus absorbed my rescue.  I love animals of all kinds, even if they end up sitting on me during a grooming session.

In December I was planning a free adoption day at our shelter.  The rain was relentless and I was so fearful that it would be pouring rain the day of the event.  Everything was so wet!  This is one of the streams flowing down the driveway to the shelter. This was also just two days before the event.


It’s always a big job in the winter taking care of the animals.  The rain just makes it harder.

We spent so much time mucking and trying to keep the horses out of the mud.  Most of the mare motel turned into a muddy mess.

I knew something had to be done for the muddy mess in the mare motel, so we purchased 12 yards of muckbuster.  It was a big job shoveling all of it into the stalls, but the horses were so happy to be out of the mud.

The free adoption day event turned out bright and sunny.  I was so happy it wasn’t pouring rain.
Jax was adopted! He is one of the wild bunch from the Shasta County Forestry Services. He has turned out to be one truly amazing pony sized horse. His growth was stunted and he has an awkward little frame from early malnutrition. He had the biggest will to overcome that we have ever seen. This 4 year old was truly thankful to be saved. His overall health is great now that he’s had months of good nutrition. His mindset is that of an old pro. He went from an unhandled scared stallion to a very willing and trusting rideable gelding in just the short time we’ve had him. His encounter with a young boy showed his true love of children. He lead like a lesson show pony for this young boy and took such good care of him. He was adopted by the young boy’s mother.

Shotgun was adopted.  Shotgun is such a pretty horse and his new mom was so thrilled to be adopting him.

Gogo was adopted, but I wasn’t able to get an adoption photo with her new family, so I pasted one together for you.

Willow was adopted too, and again I didn’t manage to get a photo with the adopters.  I’ll try to work on getting the happy photos in the future.  It’s so easy to get busy with the paperwork and congratulating the new family, and forget about the photo.

Tina, one of our board members, helped with the event then spent the night.  The next morning she got up to warm up her truck, then we sat near our fire pit waiting for the ice to clear from the windows. All of sudden the truck and trailer started rolling backwards with no driver. The parking brake had failed. The truck and trailer jack knifed on the hill crushing the frame of the cab area and broke out two of the windows. Tina was a very good sport about it.  I feel so terrible for her!

We had an equine dentist out to do some float jobs.  The resident horse and mule, Grey and Dennis, had their teeth floated.  Dennis was such a good boy for the dentist.

Popo need to have her teeth floated too. We’ve been noticing her weight dropping and sure enough she had some really sharp points.

Willow had been adopted but was waiting for her ride home. When we pulled Popo out to do her teeth she had to leave a little of her breakfast behind. Willow spared no time finding a way to eat Popo’s leftovers.  Silly Willow!

Gray was a good boy for his float.  Now his teeth are in tip-top shape.

Some roosters were surrendered while teeth were being floated. A college student saw a plea for help on a vegan board from a lady in Southern California looking to transport the roosters to our facility. The student made arrangements with the lady during his Christmas break. This young man took his well deserved time off to keep these roosters safe.

Popo was adopted!  She was totally unhandled when we rescued her, but with some training she’s a well behaved young lady. She is already started under saddle.  We are so happy for her and her new family.

Another storm blew in and the rain started pouring.  This was more rain than we have seen in years.  The gravel road leading to the shelter office washed out and was not accessible.

We had a lake in the middle of the horse pasture.  Walking through it, it almost went above my knees.  I’m happy that the property is sloped so the horses can stay out of the water.

The round pen turned into a pond with an island in the middle.  I joked with myself that maybe we should rescue some fish now.

Then the wind hit!  It completely destroyed a lot of the roofs on our shelters.  We did a fundraiser on Facebook and thanks to you, all the needed funds were raised to replace the roofs.

We know Grey and Sierra are ready for the winds and heavy rain to stop. Just as soon as this storm passes we will start rebuilding the shelters.

I would like to thank our great volunteer, Anthony, for coming out and helping clean up after the storm.  Everything is so muddy!

Thank you so much for your continued support. We are all so blessed to have such wonderful people in our corner.
~Melissa Reali
California Shelter Manager.