Every 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 Livestock & Equine Awareness & Rescue Network of South Carolina.
Livestock & Equine Awareness & Rescue Network, or LEARN Horse Rescue, is based in Ravenel, South Carolina. We spoke with Jane Higdon, the volunteer/adoption coordinator at LEARN Horse Rescue, to learn more about this organization.
HN: What is your mission statement and charity status?
L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue rescues and rehabilitates neglected and abused horses in need with the goal of placing them in responsible lifelong homes. We utilize the rehabilitation, general care, and retraining of abused and neglected horses as a learning tool to educate our youth, owners and prospective owners in responsible and compassionate animal stewardship. The ultimate goal being to reduce or eliminate the vast numbers of abused and neglected horses through education and awareness. We are a an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
HN: How did LEARN get started?
L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue was created from crisis and necessity. In the spring of 2009, South Carolina Animal Control executed the second largest animal seizure in the history of the state; forty-seven horses were removed from a local farm following complaints to authorities of the horses’ abuse and neglect. Elizabeth Steed, the founder of L.E.A.R.N., assumed the care of thirty-three of these horses, including the most physically critical cases. Mrs. Steed had engaged in private horse rescue in the Charleston, S.C. area for more than 20 years and served as Charleston County’s large animal consultant for ten years prior to this event. She recognized that the need for an officially designated equine rescue organization had become essential to the Low Country of South Carolina and so began the process of creating L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue. Since L.E.A.R.N.’s founding in 2009, we have successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed over 120 previously abused horses.
HN: Where do your horses come from?
The majority of our horses come to us through animal control agencies throughout South Carolina and the majority of these horses are neglect/starvation cases. Others come from owners who are unable to continue to care for them due to physical or financial difficulty.
HN: What’s your adoption policy?
We have an adoption application and check all references, as well as do a site visit for all horses being adopted. Our horses have been through so much in the past that we want to make sure their new homes will care for them forever and love and care for them as much as we do when in our care.
HN: How are you funded?
We are mainly funded through donations from individuals and companies who support our mission. We hold two large fundraisers a year and also apply for funding through grants. As an all volunteer organization all funds donated go straight to the care of our animals.
HN: What’s one thing you wish people knew about the work you do?
We aren’t striving to be the biggest horse rescue, but rather wish that we could no longer be needed. We hope through education we can end generational ignorance on horse care. In the meantime, we give the very best care to the horses we have at the rescue.
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.