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1-Day Open Door Shelter | Colorado

On June 18 we held our 1-Day Open Door Shelter in Colorado.  We have been so busy this year doing 1-Day Open Door Shelters, since we started doing these 1-Day Shelters we have had nearly 300 horses come through this program in the last year and a half.  It is amazing and so needed across the United States.  The local coordinator for the Colorado event was the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.  They did a great job, and they put up a $100 buyout for the first 30 horses surrendered.  They wanted to encourage folks who would rather take their horse to an auction to bring it to the shelter instead.  We found that most people were not interested in the buyout, and wouldn’t take the money.  Sunday morning we got set up and ready for the event.

The Colorado Horse Rescue Network had done a gelding clinic at the fairgrounds the day before, and a local newspaper printed the wrong day for the 1-Day Shelter, so some horses were already surrendered into the program when our staff arrived Sunday morning.

Trailers were lined up waiting for the event to start.  Some people had arrived early to make sure they got their $100 for their horse.  We had to do a bit of a different process at this event as each horse had to be cleared by the Brand Inspector before it could be signed over into our program.  This made the lines longer than normal.


Tawnee did a live video of the event, to watch it, click here.  Each one of these events have been quite different in their own way, and it’s neat to get a feel for the Colorado event by watching the video.

The ASPCA was there to do their surveys.  It’s really interesting as we hold events across the United States the different situations we run in to.  In Colorado we didn’t have any emaciated horses surrendered, they were all on the heavy side, and there were a lot of horses suffering from founder.  Over feeding can be just as devastating as lack of nutrition.

Every horse that came in was evaluated.  Kirsten and Allyssa assisted the vet with evaluations while a reporter was interviewing the lady from the ASPCA.

The vet at this event did a great job doing all the evaluations on Sunday and donated all of her services that day!  We can’t thank her enough.

She did take a minute to talk to the reporter.  It was a hot and windy day, so taking a minute in the shade was a nice break.

Kirsten used the arena to do behavioral and riding ability evaluations on the horses.  It really takes a team of people to conduct one of these events, and we are so thankful we have such a great team.

At every event we see numerous different health complications on the horses.  This mare had extreme arthritis on both of her front knees, which made getting around very difficult for her.  You could tell she was very uncomfortable.

This horse had been bitten by a poisonous snake as a yearling, and when the infected area began to heal, her chestnut spread into the infected area with the scare tissue, the vet said.  It was very interesting case, the good news was, it wasn’t affecting her at all and she is fine.

This was one of the horses with founder from overfeeding.  Her front hooves were in horrible condition, and her back hooves were a complete mess.  You can’t trim the back hooves if it hurts too much to pick up the front hooves.

This gelding was also suffering from extreme arthritis in his knees.  It’s so sad, but we are thankful we were able to help the horses, even in some cases simply to relieve their chronic suffering.

There is always lots of paperwork involved with all of these events, and Melissa did a great job keeping it all organized.  One of the horses surrendered enjoyed watching the paperwork process.  It kept him entertained, and he got some cookies too!

He was a very handsome boy and he became everyone’s favorite as he hung out next to the makeshift office.

35 horses were surrendered at the Colorado 1-Day Open Door Shelter, only 8 of which needed humane euthanasia to relieve their conditions.  We are so happy that 35 horses found safety at our event, and their owners had a safe option for their horse they could no longer keep.

The Gazette did a great story about the event, you can read it by clicking here.

Monday morning, more paperwork was being done as the adoptable horses were being signed over to the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.

The Harmony Equine Center was where most of the horses were going to be moved to.  The Harmony Center is a partner in the Right Horse Initiative.  Even though the horses were signed over to the Colorado Horse Rescue Network, the horses went to the Harmony Center for further evaluation and training.

One by one the horses were led out to the trailers and loaded.  There were so many beautiful, fat horses surrendered at this event.

It took two trips by the Harmony Center and one trip by the Colorado Horse Rescue Network to get all the horses moved off of the fairgrounds.  We followed the last group of trailers to the Harmony Center.

The Harmony Equine Center is one of the most beautiful horse welfare facilities in the world.  They do such amazing work and have a great training program where rescues in Colorado can send horses to be trained, and then the horse goes back for adoption.

If you are interested in adopting any of the horses, or following their progress, please visit the Colorado Horse Rescue Network, or the Harmony Equine Center’s website: click here, available horses are at the end of the page.


We would like to send a huge “Thank you!” to the Right Horse Initiative, and for their support, which allows us to hold these 1-Day Shelters across the United States.  To visit the Right Horse, click here.

Thank you for your support as we help horses in need across the United States.

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.