Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding

Today’s honoree: Days End Farm Horse Rescue.

Zodi, a Days End Farm Horse Rescue case. Photo courtesy of DEFHR.

Zodi, a Days End Farm Horse Rescue case. Photo courtesy of DEFHR.

Each Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing Days End Farm Horse Rescue, located in Woodbine, Maryland. We caught up with Days End Farm Horse Rescue development director Caroline Robertson to learn more.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue, or DEFHR, was founded “on accident” by Kathy Howe in the late 1980s when she noticed a malnourished horse at the self-care facility where she boarded her family’s pony. She managed to acquire the horse from his owner and taught herself how to rehabilitate a starving animal; she moved Toby home and then acquired several more horses. Eventually, a friend helped her acquire 501(c)3 nonprofit status and Days End Farm Horse Rescue was formally born.

Can you describe your mission statement and rescue goals?

DEFHR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to ensure quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education and outreach. We support animal protection officials in saving horses in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. After more than 26 years, we continue to be a well-run organization with an extraordinary depth of expertise and dedication provided by our staff and many volunteers.

  • Intervention: DEFHR is the only equine rescue in Maryland that rescues all breeds. We are a unique facility on the east coast in that we accept only horses that animal protection officers have determined to be abused or neglected. We assist in collecting evidence and preparing documentation so that we can testify in court on behalf of the horses, and we are experts in rehabilitating critically ill horses.
  • Education: Because we know that education is vital to preventing animal abuse and neglect, educating animal enthusiasts and the general public is at the heart of our mission. We offer many educational programs at our farm and off site. We work with community-based groups, such as schools, camps, scouts and churches, to educate the public on minimum standards of equine care, hands-on care, horse psychology and more. We also support the training of animal protection authorities and law enforcers in large animal rescue techniques and equine cruelty investigation.
  • Outreach: When needed, DEFHR deploys across the country and internationally to lend assistance during emergency situations such as post-disaster animal management and herd rescues.
  • Locally, we are proud to be a Horse Discovery Center certified by the Maryland Horse Industry Board. As such, we welcome visitors to tour our Howard County farm and facilities. As an “entry point” facility it is an opportunity for people who may otherwise never interact with horses to visit a farm, see the horses up close, and learn about healthy farm management and horse husbandry. We particularly focus on reaching young people so that they gain an appreciation and sense of compassion for animals at an early age.
Quest and Rio. Photo courtesy of DEFHR.

Quest and Rio. Photo courtesy of DEFHR.

Where do the horses at your rescue come from — surrender, seizure, etc?

We are an all-breed rescue facility. All horses come through animal control, law enforcement and/or humane agencies from across Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Some are given up voluntarily and turned over to DEFHR immediately; others are turned over only after their neglect and/or abuse case has been decided in court, which can take up to a year. 100% of new arrivals are starvation, neglect and abuse cases via law enforcement channels with an average rehabilitation cost of $1900-$2400 per horse each month, for the first 3-6 months. These horses almost always suffer from malnutrition, gross parasitic infestation, overgrown hooves and painfully sharp, overgrown teeth.

What is your funding situation? Do you receive grant money, or mostly donations and fundraisers?

We are a privately funded organization (we do not receive any government funding).  85% of our revenue comes from public support/direct contributions. The rest comes from special events, program service fees, and retail sales/other.

We solicit grants from a variety of granters, including EQUUS Foundation, MD Horse Industry Board, Brennan Equine Welfare Fund, Snyder Foundation for Animals and many others.

Quizzle. Photo courtesy of Days End Farm Horse Rescue.

Quizzle. Photo courtesy of DEFHR.

To learn more about Days End Farm Horse Rescue and the good work that the organization does for horses in the mid-Atlantic region, please visit the rescue’s website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

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.

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