We held the Texas 1-Day Open Door Shelter on May 21st. The 1-Day Open Door Shelter for Horses is such a needed program and helping so many horses throughout the United States. We are so extremely thankful to The Right Horse Initiative for making this amazing opportunity possible. All of the equines surrendered at the 1-Day Open Door Shelter, with no cost to the owner, are evaluated by licensed veterinarians to determine their quality of life. There are many horses that are brought to our 1-Day Open Door Shelters that require humane euthanasia as they are suffering and their owners could not afford to have them humanely euthanized. Without this program many of these horses would continue suffering or would be sent to an auction where they could end up in the wrong hands. Adoptable horses are placed with adoption partners so they can find loving homes. To see the schedule of our 1-Day Open Door Shelters, or if you are interested in having us hold a shelter in your area, click here.
This 1-Day Open Door Shelter had a couple of people who were not happy about it. They did their best to try to stop the event, and disparage and slander us in every way they could on social media. One person spammed nearly every one of our reviews on Facebook with a copy/paste. One lady in particular posted all over social media, trying her best to keep people from making the right decision about their horses. She posted a review on our page stating we do not answer questions, but, she had never contacted us directly to ask a question. We cannot possibly answer all questions posted on social media, but if someone emails or calls us, we will answer.
We finally made contact with her and tried to answer all her questions, but none of the answers would make her happy. A lot of people started contacting us with questions about who we are and what we do, and we got a lot of new followers and fans from her negativity. When you are doing the right thing, even negative people can turn into something positive in the end.
One of this lady’s statements was ‘there is no transparency.’ We have always done our best to be as transparent as possible, in this blog we are also including vet receipts etc.
The day of the event started out wet and rainy. We were very thankful that the event was going to be held in a covered arena.
The rain finally let up and we all got busy putting up banners and getting ready for horses. The owner of the facility brought out a leaf blower to start blowing water away from the entrance.
There were two horses who had no way of coming to the shelter, and as part of the program, we do offer free transportation for those who have no other way to bring their horses. Melissa instructed Sara on details for the pickup.
Volunteers started arriving at the event, and some of them brought donations. Thank you so much! You know who you are, and we are so thankful for your generosity.
One person pulled up and genuinely seemed interested in the 1-Day Open Door Shelter. What we didn’t know at the time, is this is a friend of the lady who had been posting negativity all over social media. They were down the road getting ready to protest and try to turn people around who were planning on surrendering horses. Melissa and Tawnee explained the program in great detail, and in the end she said she agreed it was a good program. That didn’t stop her from continuing with the protest. One of the local volunteers recognized this lady because she is an employee at her husband’s business.
The first trailer pulled up and there were 3 horses inside.
When the man was surrendering the horses, he told us there were some crazy women down the road who stopped him on the road and told him not to bring his horses and that we are a horrible organization. Until then, we didn’t know there were protesters. We were saddened that people would rather turn horses away that need help, than see them surrendered at a safe place. The man said if we didn’t take the horses, they would have gone to auction, and we all know what happens to horses at auctions next to the Mexico border… The protesters were trying to send more horses to slaughter. So sad! He said he had a flyer he would give us that they handed him. The volunteer who recognized the lady who came to ask questions decided she was going to head down and see what was going on with the protesters.
One by one the horses were unloaded off of his trailer and intake photos were taken. This is Hank, a beautiful 10 year old TN Walking horse.
This is Grey, a 15 year old Arabian gelding. He is such a sweet boy.
This is Sebastian, an 8 year old Arabian gelding. He said that Sebastian was rescued from a feedlot. The 3 horse’s owner was no longer able to keep them, and had no other option other than the 1-Day Shelter or the auction yard, where they could have easily ended up in the wrong hands.
The volunteer came back from seeing the protesters, and said she didn’t see anyone other than her husband’s employee who was down the road “visiting a friend” in their car. We were puzzled as the man surrendering the horses was very emphatic that there were a couple ladies protesting. He explained that a lady in a white shirt had taken a sharpie and wrote “Stop Here” on her shirt. The other lady perfectly matched the description of the volunteer’s husband’s employee. The man gave us a couple flyers that the protesters handed him. The volunteer was absolutely outraged that her husband’s employee was protesting the event she was volunteering at, and she headed off to go set things straight. The volunteer came back shortly, and confirmed that the other lady was the one who had been the one posting so much negativity on Facebook, and that the protest was over and they had driven away.
The next trailer pulled in with a horse that was extremely weak and had fallen while being transported to the event. He was owned by a family who inherited them, and knew nothing about horses. They saw our sponsored ad on Instagram, and knew this was where they needed to take their horses to get help. They knew these horses needed help, but they didn’t know how to help them or where to begin, but they knew they didn’t want to take them to an auction.
There were two horses in the trailer. We unloaded the first one, Roanie, and kept him near the trailer so he could be close to his friend. We tried to get the other horse, Rojo, standing. He wasn’t able to stand, so we carefully and gently had to pull him out of the trailer by hand. The standby veterinarian was called and was immediately on her way.
Once we got Rojo out of the trailer, he laid their exhausted. He was 33 years old, and was so weak.
Volunteers brought a bucket of water and tried to comfort Rojo.
His owner’s who brought him in were so sad that he had fallen in the trailer. She sat next to him for a long time, petting him and trying to comfort him. She kept saying how grateful she is that we were there to help, and they were at their wits end. They did have a vet out to see these horses, and they were both on special pelleted feed, but Rojo’s body was just shutting down and they didn’t know what to do.
Finally Rojo was able to sit up a little bit, and drink some water. Tawnee sprayed him down with fly spray to try and make him as comfortable as possible.
His owner’s brought 3 bags of the special feed he was on, and a bucket of mash was prepared for him so he would have something to eat while waiting for the vet.
It’s terribly hard to see a horse in this condition and not judge the owners harshly, but horses get old, their organs start shutting down, and the kindest thing to do is humanely euthanize them. Waiting until horses are in this condition is not ok, but these folks were doing everything the vet told them to do. We were so thankful that the protesters had went home, it would have been devastating to Rojo to head back home to die a long, lingering death in the pasture. Humane euthanasia is the kindest option for end of life for horses.
By this time Sara had returned with the two horses that she headed out to pick up earlier. This is an older Thoroughbred who was in a lot of pain.
As you can see, it was extremely painful for her to stand. It’s always sad to see a horse in this condition.
The other horse was an older Appy gelding in his 30’s. He was suffering from arthritis in his hips.
The vet arrived and started caring for Rojo. This whole time we had kept Roanie next to Rojo as they were very bonded. The veterinarian humanely euthanized Rojo and also humanely euthanized Roanie. It is always nicer for horses who have been bonded for so many years to be euthanized together so they never know the anxiety or stress of separation. Roanie, in his late 20’s, had health problems which were affecting his quality of life, and the vet recommended euthanasia for him.
The veterinarian also examined the old Thoroughbred mare who was in a lot of pain, and she was euthanized to relieve her continuous suffering. Euthanasia is almost never done on day 1 of the 1 Day Open Door Shelter, day 2 of the event is when the veterinarian evaluates the horses and determines quality of life for each one, but in this case, the horses condition made it where making them wait until day 2 would be cruel.
Here is a photo of the veterinarian’s bill for the 1st day.
Another horse was being surrendered as the veterinarian left. This mare was 26 years old and her owner’s requested humane euthanasia for her. Many people cannot afford the high cost of euthanasia and disposal, and they were so thankful that we were offering a 1-Day shelter in their area. They did make a donation of what they could to help cover the cost.
Sara started evaluating the horses that were potentially adoptable. Hank, the TN Walker, was such a good boy during his evaluation.
Grey was also evaluated and he did very well too. He has such a sweet personality and just wants to be loved.
A very elderly sway back palomino gelding was surrendered. He was also suffering from arthritis in one of his knees. We see so many horses like him dumped at auction, and we are so thankful that his owner brought him to the event to surrender him, where she knew he would be treated with respect and dignity.
A 2 year old gelding was surrendered. He is such an adorable little guy!
The next morning, evaluations continued and the black Arab gelding was evaluated.
After his evaluation it was determined that he could go into an adoption program. He is so gorgeous!
The veterinarian did her evaluation and agreed that an adoption program is the right place for him as she was doing his Coggins.
Hank and Grey were going to be placed with Shepherd Mountain Horse Rescue in Arkansas. They both needed Coggins and health certificates done.
One thing the person on the internet was very emphatic about was we don’t get health certificates and Coggins, but she is wrong: we do. Many labs are able to process Coggins tests the same day, and with a negative Coggins, a health certificate can be done and they can be legally moved across state lines.
The veterinarian performed 3 more euthanasia’s for the palomino, buckskin and the old appy gelding. They all had quality of life issues. Each horse received lots of yummy peppermint horse candies while they were sedated and we said goodbye. This is never easy, but it’s so important to give horse’s a compassionate end to their magnificent lives. Without this event, these horses would still be suffering from their quality of life issues.
This is the 2nd veterinarian bill for day 2 of the event.
There are 9 more horses and donkeys that were going to be brought to the Texas 1-Day Open Door Shelter, but they would almost have to travel as far to get to Texas as to our shelter in TN, where they would have the best opportunity to be adopted, so they are going to go directly to our TN Shelter. Their owner did come to the event and signed the surrender papers.
We would like to thank the Right Horse Initiative for making this event possible, and to all of you for your support of our mission of mercy. If anyone has questions about what we do, please contact us via email or telephone and we will do our best to answer your questions. This is a pilot program and we know there are a lot of questions about it, but as you can see from this blog, it is extremely needed and is helping a lot of horses.
If you are interested in adopting Winston, the 2 year old Quarter horse, or Sebastian, the 8 year old Arabian, contact Hoof and Souls Horse Rescue.
If you are interested in adopting Hank, the 12 year old TN Walking gelding, or Grey, the 15 year old Arab, contact Shepherd Mountain Horse Rescue.