Mississippi One Day Open Door Shelter Report


On September 24 we were in Edwards, MS, conducting a One Day Open Door Shelter.  At these events we never know how many horses will come, it is an open door event and we will never turn any horse away in need.  The event started out slow, but at 12:30 the trucks and trailers started lining up and pulling in.

Jason manned the check-in desk.  Owners were handed clipboards with the surrender paperwork.

Horses were lined up outside waiting for their check-in.  Our check-in process went smoother than other events thanks to a new process, and we had collars with an ID tag on each collar as the horses were checked in.

Then each horse was photographed with their number held next to them.

As usual at these events, we saw horses with a number of different medical issues.  This horse was missing an eye, but he saw just fine out of the other one.

We saw horses with different lameness issues.  This horse had an issue with his hind leg, the veterinarian believed it could be rehabilitated, so he was placed with an adoption partner.

This horse had a severe case of ringbone that was causing her a lot of pain.  The family that brought her to our 1-Day Open Door Shelter inherited her from a deceased relative.  They didn’t want to take her to an auction because they knew what would happen to her.  She was humanely euthanized on the vet’s recommendation since there was nothing that could be done to relieve her suffering.

Another horse came in with a horrible injury that was causing a lot of pain and complications for her.  The amount of scar tissue above the hoof was tremendous, and her hoof was actually being destroyed by the long-term effects of the injury.  She belonged to a homeless man who would tie her out wherever he was that day, and no doubt the injury was caused by the rope tangling around her leg.

One by one horses continued to be checked in.  It kept all our staff very busy!

We got a call from a frantic owner that was bringing horses, telling us a horse was down in the trailer.  It was a horse that had never been handled, and she didn’t know what to do.  She was about 10 minutes away.  Tawnee told her there were 2 vets on staff and to come straight to the 1-Day Open Door Shelter.  When they arrived, there were 2 other horses in the trailer, and one of the vets unloaded them.

Thanks to the quick action of the two vets on our team, the mare was able to stand and was unloaded off the trailer safely.

While everyone else was working with the down horse in the trailer, Jason continued checking in horses up front.

Every horse that was surrendered was seen by the veterinarians.  It was so great to have a great team working with all the horses.

All the horses were checked for microchips, and those that didn’t have microchips were chipped on intake, giving them permanent identification.

After the horses were checked-in and put into pens, the veterinarians took a closer examination of them.  This poor mare was in her 30’s and her health was failing.

She barely had any teeth left, and from her teeth that were left, she may have been even in her 40’s.

All the equines that did not have Coggins had to have their blood drawn and have the Coggins test done.  There were a number of unhandled horses and donkeys that came to the event, and we were so thankful for the chutes in the back of the arena.

The two vets worked extremely hard on Sunday, and at the end of the day, they posed for a quick picture.  We are so thankful to Dr. Vice DVM and Dr. Polles, DVM for all their help.  These events are so needed, and there are so many horses and owners with no other safe options out there.

Even though we thought the day was over, more horses were on their way and arrived late.

Finally the last horse, #54 of the event, was checked in. This is our 3rd biggest 1-Day Open Door Shelter we have held.  At a California event there was 102 and in Wisconsin 56.  It was a very busy event, and we know there is a huge need in Mississippi.

All the horses that were surrendered made a lot of paperwork that had to be processed through the day and into the evening, Jason did a great job!

The next day the horses were all settled in and enjoying their breakfast.  These two are so friendly and eager for attention.


Kristen did evaluations to determine training levels of the horses. These evaluations really help the adoption partners learn about the horses before they take them into their programs.

We had another vet come out Monday to help do vet evaluations that didn’t get done on Sunday.

The event didn’t wrap up until Tuesday.  We had vets there every day of the event to help with all the horses.  Through all the evaluations it was found that 20 horses were suffering from chronic problems and needed humane euthanasia, which was the kindest option for them.  34 were placed in adoption programs between Mississippi Horse Rescue and our shelter in TN.

Mississippi Horse Rescue wrote an article about our event and the changes that need to come to the horse welfare industry, to read it click here.

We would like to thank The Right Horse Initiative for making this event possible, without their support we would not have been able to hold this 1-Day Open Door Shelter were so many horses found safety and the help they so desperately needed.

Scroll down to see photos of each of the equines surrendered at the event. If you are interested in adopting one of these equines please contact Mississippi Horse Rescue or Horse Plus Humane Society.