Each week, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing Journey’s End at Birch Hill Farm, a sanctuary based in West Virgina.
Journey’s End at Birch Hill Farm offers a place of refuge in protecting the quality of life and improving the well-being of abused, neglected, unwanted, or displaced farm animals through education, intervention, and lifetime care where they will live out their lives with dignity, love, and respect. The sanctuary, run by Dan and Kim Kwiatkowski and located in West Virginia, is a 501 (c) (3) organization in good standing.
How did you get started at Journey’s End?
We have always been involved in rescue on a smaller scale (primarily fostering and adopting) but after purchasing this farm in West Virginia and learning about the countless animals that needed a safe place to land we decided to form our own 501 (c) 3 organization and dedicate our lives to helping those that needed us the most. We are the sanctuary of last resort and although we do have a few horses that are available for adoption, most will spend their lives here.
Do you own your own facility and property?
We own our property and donate its use to the sanctuary. We have 20 fenced acres and lease 60 additional adjacent acres for grazing.
Where do your rescued animals come from?
JEBHF pulls horses from auctions, the slaughter pipeline, owner surrenders and seizure cases. We work with several reputable rescues and offer assistance to them in placing animals that are Sanctuary-appropriate (blind, missing eyes, older or special needs).
Do you have volunteer help?
Due to the remote location of our sanctuary, we do not have regular volunteers. Most of our volunteer base helps with promoting fundraisers and awareness.
Where does your funding come from? Any upcoming fundraisers?
All of our funding comes from the general public through donations, sponsorships for horses, and specific planned events. We also both continue to work to support the mission we so strongly believe in. We are holding our 2nd Annual Benefit on August 20, 2016 entitled “Hearts of Heroes” (Hero is a recent pull from the slaughter pen that others passed over due to his missing eye). Hero got a second chance and is now our mascot. Our fundraiser information will be updated on our Facebook and website.
Any other information or stories we should hear?
We absolutely love helping these animals; we appreciate the wonderful supporters we’ve met in the process and strive to make our little portion of the world a better place. Most of the animals that come to us have been let down by the people that once owned them. We work hard to make whatever time they have left with us a positive and loving experience. We’ve had newborns arrive here and sat with 40-year-old ponies as they prepare to cross the rainbow bridge. We’ve dealt with the scared, the hopeless and confused animals that have been dumped due to their inability to get along with others.
At our sanctuary, many species co-habitate peacefully. Some are provided with jobs that facilitate their adoption while others get the benefit of a much-deserved retirement. We see to not only their medical needs but their emotional needs as well. I guess you could say that we love the underdogs … the ones other pass over. To us, their lives matter too.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.