Wisconsin One Day Open Door Shelter Report

October 22nd found our team in Neillsville, Wisconsin for a One Day Open Door Shelter. This was not our first time to Wisconsin we had been there a year prior. Doing a One Day Open Door Shelter where 56 horses were surrendered. If you missed that blog, click here.

We were expecting a lot of horses at this event, do to a lot of people had registered to surrender horses prior to the event. The first thing that needed to be done was Jason and Darin needed to unload the luggage so that they could start setting up.

We had rented three different barns for this event. The barns were beautiful and we were happy to see that everything was ready for us.

Everything that they packed into the suitcases started to be unpacked. It takes a lot of stuff to hold one of these events. Kimberly did an awesome job organizing and setting everything up.

Jason and Tawnee were busy setting up signs so that people knew where the event was. Darin was busy getting some of the signs taped together. Liability signs are too large to be printed on one sheet. Our local newspaper in Tennessee prints them out on multiple papers so they have to be taped together.

Jason and Tawnee got the banners all hung up in the intake area. It was a cloudy day and they were hoping that it would not rain. Thankfully it didn’t.

The veterinarians, veterinarian students, and volunteers arrived on time for a meeting before the event. Tawnee told everyone how the event was going to operate and answered questions. She made sure that everyone understood what the plans where for the day.

Two of the representatives from the ASPCA was there to collect data from our event with surveys.  They are gathering information to figure out why people are giving up their horses and hopefully find solutions to help so that horses can stay with their owners.

It wasn’t long and the first horse was being surrendered, we knew that he would be the first of many. We have switched to a paperless system so all the horse information and data was collected using iPads.

As the horses where surrendered, they were taken back to the veterinarians to be evaluated and have their blood drawn for the Coggins test.

Trucks and trailers were lining up waiting to surrender their horses. Which is common at our One Day Open Door Shelters. It’s sad how many owners are no longer able to keep their horses but we are happy that we are able to be a solution for them.

The veterinarian students helped in so many ways and were wonderful to have at the event.

Some of the horses that were surrendered wherein sad condition. This poor mare was completely blind, was underweight and had chronic diarrhea.

Other horse had severally neglected hooves.

A six-year-old mare was surrendered that had never been handled and one of her hooves was extremely long. Making every step that she took extremely difficult.

It is really sad to see such a young horse with such neglected hooves. Thankfully the vet said that she will be fine after rehab and was placed with an adoption partner.

Kristen was busy evaluating the horses after they passed the vet check. After their evaluation, they were put into the available barn.

Every horse that came into the event was scanned by our microchip scanner and if there was not one found they where microchipped.

One horse came out of the trailer and it caught Tawnee’s eye immediately. In the thousands of horses that have come through our organization, we have never had one of these…

It was a registered Norwegian Fjord! It was amazing to have such a rare breed being surrendered at our One Day Open Door Shelter.

Tawnee just had to take a selfie with this beautiful horse. The Fjord’s owner was no longer able to care for her and was so thankful that we were doing this event and could take her beloved horse.

The vets did her evaluation and gave her the a-okay to head to the available barn.


Some of the horses that came to the event had not been handled in a very long time. These horses owner had passed away and the owner’s family was bringing them to the event to surrender them.

By the end of the day, 49 equines had been surrendered. Here are their intake photos.

Tawnee made a video of day one of the event. You can watch it by clicking here

The next morning it started out sad as we had to say goodbye to the horses that needed humane euthanasia. The team of veterinarians had assessed all of the horses and there where some that needed relief from their chronic problems. These two horses were extremely bonded. One had heaves and the other one was completely blind. Darin held a bucket of grain for them as they were sedated together and gave them love as they got sleeper and sleeper and the final goodbye was said.

Adoption partners began arriving in the afternoon to take the horses that they would be taking into their adoption programs. Filling out digital forms was different then everyone was used to but it was quick and efficient.

Every adoption partner received an envelope that had the horses microchip and other information in it.

It was so wonderful having so many awesome horse welfare organizations come together to help all of these horses in transition.

Trailers where lined up everywhere as adoption partners where loading their horses.

The youngsters where a little confused as what was happening but their handlers assured them that everything would be okay.

The smiles on the adoption partners faces where priceless.

So many horses heading to their new futures and without this event they could end up in the wrong hands.

This horse took one last look as if to say thank you and goodbye as he was loading up with his adoption partner.

Everything that started out in the suitcases had to be organized back into the suitcases. Tawnee had a detailed list of what items belonged in what suitcases.

The last horse was loading up and Kimberly was zipping up the suitcases. It had been a long two days but so many horses now have a bright future because of this event.

Tawnee did a video showing the horses being placed with their adoption partners. To watch that video click here

We would like to send a huge thank you to the Right Horse Initiative for making this event possible. A big thank you goes to Dr. McKichan, Dr. Sholts of Dells Equine Veterinary Service, LLC and Dr. Lorenz of Capital Performance Veterinary Services! We would like to also thank all our adoption partners who stepped forward to take all the adoptable horses into their adoption programs. A big thank you to the adoption partners: Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc.Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc.Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary, and Beautiful Hearts Rescue. If you are interested in adopting a horse that was surrendered at this event please contact the adoption partners listed above. The Fjord was placed with Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc.  If you would like to help our mission of saving horses in jeopardy please make a donation.

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