California 1-Day Open Door Shelter | 85 Equines Surrendered!

Our team was excited at the airport waiting to fly to California for the 1-Day Open Door Shelter.  We would like to thank the Right Horse Initiative for making this wonderful event possible.  Without their support, there is no way we could have taken this program nationwide and helped so many hundreds of horses.  We are nearing the end of the 1-Day Open Door Shelter grant funds.  We are planning another 1-Day Open Door Shelter in Kentucky, but don’t know if there will be funds beyond that.

Thanks to the Right Horse Initiative we have held thirteen 1-Day Open Door Shelters in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Mississippi, and Arizona.  We knew from past experience that the California 1-Day Open Door Shelter would be extremely busy.  The previous California event we held in March 2017 had 102 horses surrendered.

One of our partners, Payton Christian, was going to be volunteering at the event.  The fairgrounds did not have any water buckets for the stalls, so she headed everywhere to get water buckets.  She got a lot and we are so appreciative of her time and effort.

Sunday morning our team arrived at the Amador County Fairgrounds bright and early.  There is so much preparation and work that goes into a 1-Day Open Door Shelter.  Sarah had packed all the suitcases and had everything where it needed to be so it could be set up quickly.

We knew with the number of horses that were pre-registered we would have to do a new system to keep the check-in process flowing quickly.  At the front gate we gave people the release of liability and a surrender form for each horse they had to surrender.  While they waited in line to surrender their horse(s) they were able to fill out their paperwork.  At the surrender station the intake staff were able to quickly transfer the forms to our electronic system.  This process worked very beautifully and over 50 horses were surrendered in two and a half hours.

Despite our rapid intake process, trucks and trailer still lined up waiting to surrender horses.  So many people unable to keep their horses, so many people thankful they had a safe option for their horse.

The trailers stretched out past the front gate, and at one point were lining up on the main road.  We were so thankful we had gotten the intake process working so well.

The surrender station was very busy.  We had a great team of staff and volunteers working.  It took 3 staff and 3 volunteers to run it smoothly and at full capacity.

Each horse was photographed on each side with their number clearly shown on a clipboard.  They were given ID tags and collars then scanned for microchips.

After the horses were checked in, they were put in waiting stalls.  Volunteers who were horse handlers then moved the horses over to the veterinarian examination station.

The veterinarians looked at each horse that was surrendered.  They were evaluated for quality of life, health, temperament, and any other medical problems.

After the horses were fully examined by the participating veterinarians, Dr Jim Garfinkel and Dr Amanda Hedges they were moved to another barn by volunteer horse handlers where they would have their training evaluation done.

We had scheduled 3 trainers at this event, but unfortunately one of them was sick and the other couldn’t stay.  Our shelter trainer from Tennessee, Kristen, did a fabulous job evaluating horses and got all of the medically cleared horses evaluated on Sunday, even though she had to work after sunset.

Kristen said that she didn’t mind evaluating all the horses because she had so much fun riding so many different horses.  She wishes we could have taken them all back to TN for adoption.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers for their hard work and dedication at this event.  Jason and Tawnee really enjoyed being able to work with some of our volunteers who have worked with us for many years from when we had a facility in California.  Payton did a video of the event, and you can really get a good idea of what a 1-Day Open Door Shelter is like by watching her video –  click here.


We had two professional photographers volunteer to photograph the event.  Their photos are so spectacular and we so appreciate their hard work.  One of the photographers was from Bionic Cowgirl Designs, a photography and design business.  To see the pictures, click here.

A total of 85 horses were surrendered at this 1-Day Open Door Shelter.  There are many horses that were surrendered at this event that were suffering, and the veterinarians recommended euthanasia to relieve their chronic pain.  One poor mare was suffering so bad she couldn’t even walk, even after one of the vets blocked the nerves in both front legs.  We are so thankful for this event that was able to give the Last Act of Kindness for horses that were suffering, and help so many other great horses get to adoption partners where they can find their new homes.  If you are interested in adopting a horse from this event, adoption partners are listed below the pictures.




Interested in adopting your #RightHorse? Contact our adoption partners for this event: A Grazing Grace Horse Rescue and Equine Therapy
The SPCA for Monterey County, Animal Rescue of Lathrop, Inc. At AT Ranch.  Learn about The Right Horse Initiative at their website: www.RightHorse.org

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