Pennsylvania 1 Day Open Door Shelter for Horses Report

The 1-Day Open Door Shelter in Pennsylvania was June 4.  The day started bright and early getting the signs and banners put up so people would know where to go.

Horses started showing up before the local host brought the keys to unlock the buildings.  Thankfully she got there right before the event was supposed to start and we were able to get everything set up before more horses arrived.

After everything was set up, Tawnee and Melissa R. talked to the volunteers about what they could expect during the day.  The co-host, Melissa Harper of Horses of New Holland. Before ~ Now ~ After did an excellent job recruiting volunteers and adoption partners for the event. Thank You – Melissa Harper!

Trailers started pulling in with people wanting to surrender horses.  Kristen helped people fill out their paperwork to surrender their horses.

One by one horses stood in front of the intake photo area to have their photos taken.  This horse was completely blind but extremely well trained and was placed with an adoption  partner.

Outside the building trailers were lined up everywhere.  These 1-Day Open Door Shelters are so vitally important and needed across the United States.  Horse owners who have horses they can no longer keep need a safe place to surrender them.

Three members of the ASPCA, including the director Matt Stern, were on hand to watch the shelter and interview people surrendering horses.  The ASPCA is doing a nationwide survey on why people are unable to keep their horses any longer, and our 1-Day Open Door Shelters are a great place to collect data.  The ASPCA is a fellow partner with us in the Right Horse Initiative.

Some folks donated hay and grain, which was greatly appreciated.

The 1-Day Open Door Shelters can get extremely busy as trailers line up and horse after horse has to be signed over, photos taken, evaluated, and on and on.


Some horses that are surrendered at these events are heart wrenching to look at.  This young Arabian mare was definitely in very poor condition.  We are so happy that she found her way to our 1-Day Shelter.  Tawnee did several live videos of the event, you can watch them here: video 1 – Click Here, 2 video – Click Here.

We had some awesome equine professional volunteers.  We would like to thank Katelyn Duncan EqDT of Duncan Equine Dental Services
 for making sure the horses all had good teeth.  She and her team worked tirelessly floating horses teeth and working with the vet to make sure the horses were as comfortable as possible and didn’t have any teeth problems.  Please take a moment and like her Facebook page and thank her for her hard work and volunteering, she’s amazing!  Click here.

Dr Kathryn Papp DVM, of Hillcrest Meadow Equine also volunteered her services.  She was absolutely amazing and worked tirelessly to evaluate each and every horse.  She had her digital xray machine and her ultrasound machine there, and was able to make some in-depth diagnosis.  She worked with with the farrier a lot on Sunday to help fix up the horses hooves.  Please like her Facebook page and give her a thank you for donating thousands of dollars worth of services.  Click here.

Shannon May Equine Services was volunteering to do farrier work to the horses that needed it, Shannon came all the way from Maryland to help.  She did so much hard work, and we really appreciate it.  So many times horses come into these events with horrible hoof problems from years of neglect, and Shannon was able to get them on their way back to perfect.  Take a moment to visit Shannon’s Facebook page and thank her too: click here.

One of the volunteers went and got pizza for everyone.  It was so thoughtful, thank you so much!

Right outside the fair ground where the 1-Day Shelter was being held, there was a horrible Amish buggy accident.  To read that blog, click here.

At the end of Sunday, Dr Holt DVM, of Brandywine Veterinary Services came out to do the coggins for all the horses surrendered that didn’t already have them.  Dr Holt has a special lab were coggins can be processed in a few hours.  We would like to thank Dr Holt for processing the coggins at cost and not charging a farm call.  We really appreciate it!

Monday didn’t go as smooth as Sunday did.  Adoption partners were supposed to arrive and load up from 9:00 – 10:00 am, but by 8:00 pm they were still drifting through.  This put a lot of unnecessary stress and a very long day for our staff and the veterinarian.  The last horse left at 2:30 am on Tuesday!  This is a pilot program and we are learning how to make it run smoother.   There was a terrible accident where the veterinarians assistant’s thumb was bitten off.  We sent out a blog asking for help for Mike, if you missed that blog click here and please consider helping him in this trying time.

We would like to thank all of our adoption partners for coming out and opening their shelters and rescues to these horses in transition.

There were a total of 37 horses surrendered at this event.  12 horses were humanely euthanized due to medical conditions which were causing quality of life issues from this event and the rest were placed with adoption partners.   It was very successful!  Our local adoption partners for the Pennsylvania 1-Day Open Door Shelter were: PA Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation, & Rescue, Timberlake Horse Haven, Rocky’s Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation, Large Animal Protection Society, Royce’s Rescue, Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue, Coast to Coast Draft Horse Connection, Central PA Horse Rescue.  If you are interested in adopting a horse from this event, please contact one of the adoption partners above.

Thank you all for your support!  Our team is gearing up for the Colorado 1-Day Open Door Shelter.  This one will be in Colorado City on June 18th.  Please consider making a donation to help our rescuing and sheltering efforts: click here.