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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 1w ago

With February as Responsible Pet Owners Month, it’s a perfect opportunity to salute responsible pet owners. Most of us remember the euphoria of getting our first pet and the thrill of every pet thereafter.

At RVR Horse Rescue, our success is dependent on finding loving adoptive homes for our rehabilitated horses. Every adoptive family allows us to rescue another horse in need.

But what happens after the thrill of adoption wanes?
Senior horse Sally

As humans, our lives are ever-changing. How a pet fits into our lifestyle sometimes becomes challenged.

The lifelong commitment to a dog or cat is a lengthy 8-20 year commitment. That’s significant enough, but the commitment to horse ownership is even greater. The horses’ potential 35-40 year lifespan cannot be taken lightly. As pet owners, we need to seriously consider the long-term ramifications of any pet, but especially the long-lasting equines.

Advantage of Senior Horses

One excellent way to make a shorter-term commitment while still enjoying horse ownership is to adopt a senior horse. Twenty year-old equines are considered seniors, but most still have many years of good life left. Many seniors are more mellow and tolerant than their younger counterparts.

RVR Horse Rescue’s “Save our Seniors” program promotes the adoption of senior horses as pasture pals or as barn buddies for training novices on grooming and other horse handling.

Whatever your choice of pet, make an informed choice.  Doesn’t every animal deserve a lifelong commitment?

Senior horse Dusty's adoption
Coming Soon! SAVE OUR SENIORS! Stay Tuned!
About RVR Horse Rescue: 

RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview, Florida is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating any horses (and the occasional donkey) in need, but is most recognized for taking in the worst cases of abuse and neglect.

Their life-saving work is only possible through a dedicated volunteer staff, grants, and donations of caring people, like you.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to RVR Horse Rescue as of November 27, 2017.

RVR is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is consistently ranked among top non-profits at https://greatnonprofits.org/Learn more at http://rvrhorserescue.org/ and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RVRHorseRescue/

Featured photo: Marji Lexton of Kindheart Photography

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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 3w ago
What does it mean to Sponsor a Rescue Horse?

With the high cost of hay and feed, along with medical, dental and farrier expenses, sponsoring a horse helps us continue to care for our horses in need. It costs about $10 per day to feed a horse and RVR Horse Rescue is home to approximately 27 animals.

There are many people who contribute to the recovery and care of our horses. Each has a distinct and critical role.

Our dedicated volunteers provide the daily food and water. They muck the stalls and pastures, while providing a dose of TLC. Beyond that, each horse is assigned a Barn Buddy. This person devotes a few hours each week to the physical care of the horses. They bathe and groom and provide basic care. A Barn Buddy is a little like owning a horse without the financial responsibility. 

Sponsorship makes it financially possible for RVR to provide for these horses and keep them safe. Our sponsors make a monthly contribution to the care of a specific horse. These donations go directly toward the expenses for that particular animal. Sponsorships put a dent in the care and feed costs for each horse, and one of our goals is to secure a sponsor for each horse we care for at RVR Horse Rescue.

Local sponsors are welcome to come on site to establish a relationship with their sponsored animal, but this isn’t a requirement. Therefore, sponsorship is one excellent way for people not near the rescue to get involved.

We are always in need of sponsors for our incoming rescues and the recurring donation amount can be any amount you choose.

Why Sponsor a Horse?

Sponsors help free up funds to help rescue and rehabilitate more horses.

You get the joys of having a horse without the commitment. Our Sponsor program is a month to month donation so you can stop at any time.

We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit, so your sponsorship is considered a donation and is tax deductible.

You get to create a bond with a horse that needs you!

If you're interested in sponsoring a horse CLICK HERE to be directed to our donation page where you can sign up for your monthly sponsorship.

Horses Currently in Need of Sponsors

We are always in need of sponsors for our newest rescues, like beautiful Ashley, who is pictured above.

Visit our Facebook page to see more horses in need of sponsors.

Click on Photos, then Albums. Then All Albums. The title of the album will note if we are looking for a sponsor. 

 

As you will see, Ashley, Indy, Ginger, and Angel are currently in need of sponsors.

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The post Sponsor a Rescue Horse appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 3w ago
Humane Lobby Day 2018 January 24, 2018

It’s easy to scroll past social media posts and ignore news broadcasts about animal abuse and neglect. This brutal reality is hard to see and easy to ignore. But we humans are the only voice these animals have and it’s actually easy to step up to make a difference.

Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) and takes place in states across the country. On January 24, 2018, scheduled events give animal advocates, like you, an opportunity to talk to your state legislators about passing laws that protect animals.

At RVR Horse Rescue, we fight a constant battle against the atrocities we see daily in regards to equine abuse and neglect. Too many times our hands are tied legally until the horses are beyond help.

Grandé

One recent case is a tragic example. By the time we could fight through the legal requirements to rescue Grandé, he was literally skin on bone. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many horses in his condition before and we knew his recovery was possible, if only he had the will to keep fighting.

Our amazing team rallied around our newest member and poured as much love and affection on him as we had. Our dedicated vet, Dr. Richard Gold, worked well into the night to try to tend to Grandé’s worsening condition. Volunteers nursed Grandé around the clock and hoisted him in a sling when he was too weak to stand.

And then Grandé couldn’t do it anymore. We lost him within a few days of his arrival.

An animal doesn’t get to Grandé’s condition overnight. Cases like his are lengthy, ongoing neglect. There is plenty of time to help animals who are on this troublesome path, but we need laws to allow good Samaritans, rescue groups, and law enforcement to step in sooner. We need laws to prevent animal abusers from getting more animals.

As we say at RVR Horse Rescue: We will be their voice.

Stand up and be their voice by showing your support of tightening and enforcement of animal cruelty and abuse laws across the country. Humane Lobby Day is one perfect opportunity to step up and start fighting.

Go to http://www.humanesociety.org/about/events/humane-lobby-days.html to find ways to help.

Take a small step by sharing this message! Thank you!

About RVR Horse Rescue: 

RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview, Florida is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating any horses (and the occasional donkey) in need, but is most recognized for taking in the worst cases of abuse and neglect.

Their life-saving work is only possible through a dedicated volunteer staff, grants, and donations of caring people, like you.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to RVR Horse Rescue as of November 27, 2017.

RVR is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is consistently ranked among top non-profits at https://greatnonprofits.org/Learn more at http://rvrhorserescue.org/ and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RVRHorseRescue/

Photo credits: Karen Pack and Marji Lexton of Kindheart Photography

The post Humane Lobby Day 2018 appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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RVR Horse Rescue of Riverview, Florida is Verified by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

November 27, 2017, (Riverview, FL) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to RVR Horse Rescue as of November 27, 2017.

Verification means that RVR Horse Rescue meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles. The verification status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors and grantors to recognize RVR Horse Rescue as an exceptional organization.

“We are proud to announce the Verification of RVR Horse Rescue,” said Valerie Taylor, GFAS Program Director-Equine. “The dedication of this organization to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of equines-in-need in Florida is tremendously commendable, especially as all their work is carried out solely by an all-volunteer personnel base. In addition, the work being done by RVR to bring educational opportunities regarding equine issues to the community is helping to increase awareness of equine needs.”

“We are honored to earn our verification status from such an amazing organization,” said Shawn Jayroe, Executive Director of RVR Horse Rescue. “We are extremely proud of our volunteers and community supporters, and the countless hours of preparation they put into making this possible.”

The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by a generous grant from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® and the Kenneth Scott Charitable Trust.

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. www.sanctuaryfederation.org.

About RVR Horse Rescue
RVR Horse Rescue is an all-volunteer organization that provides rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing to horses and donkeys in need. From its beginning as a rescue serving the Tampa Bay area, RVR is now recognized and called upon by law enforcement agencies and other rescues throughout the state of Florida. RVR has earned a reputation for stepping in when no one else can. RVR’s medical partners and volunteers have the dedication and expertise to handle the worst cases of starvation, injury and abuse. RVR functions as a hospital, with the ability to provide 24-hour critical care when necessary. RVR recognizes that it is not only abused horses that need a second chance. In 2016, RVR became accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and we now use our expertise to rehabilitate injured racehorses, providing them a quality post-racing life. To diminish the number of horses needing rescue, RVR provides support to horse owners in the form of gelding (neuter) vouchers as well as feed and hay support in times of need. Adoption into a loving home is RVR’s goal for every equine that enters our gates. 176 horses have found homes since 2011. There are no deadlines or expiration dates for horses whose adoptability has been lessened by age, health issues, or emotional challenges. RVR will continue to provide them with food, shelter and medical care, along with a hefty dose of loving attention from volunteers. RVR is committed to the enrichment of the Tampa Bay community through our love of horses. We offer educational programs for children, visiting schools and senior communities and hosting events at the rescue for Scout troops and other groups. We currently have three miniature horses training for certification as therapy animals so we can expand our presence to hospitals and nursing homes. We are keenly aware that by fostering engagement between humans and horses, we will simultaneously spread joy and knowledge, and increase awareness of equine needs. For more information, visit http://rvrhorserescue.org/ or call 813-280-9299.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

The post RVR Horse Rescue is Verified by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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Campaign to attain truck is successful!

Riverview, FL - When their truck was no longer reliable to rescue abused and neglected horses, RVR Horse Rescue began borrowing trucks of generous neighbors, but quickly realized a dependable vehicle of their own was a necessity.

A $10K grant from the ASPCA was the catalyst that sparked the full-fledged campaign to their supporters. When those donations were tallied and added to the grant funds, there was a sizable pot to purchase the vehicle needed.

RVR Horse Rescue set the next challenge before the local truck dealerships... Who would provide the best vehicle for the value?

Without hesitation, Bartow Ford stepped up with a beautiful truck, suitable for towing the precious cargo.

The purchase of the vehicle was an amazing effort between the ASPCA, RVR donors, and Bartow Ford.

This truck is just one more example of how people can change the world when they work together.

For more information, please visit RVRHorseRescue.org.

About RVR Horse Rescue

RVR was founded in 2004 by Shawn Jayroe and received 501c3 status in 2011. RVR specializes in taking in the worst cases of abuse and neglect. Over 180 horses have come through RVR’s gates suffering from starvation and physical wounds of abuse. At RVR they are rehabilitated and re-homed with loving families. Horses whose age and health status make them less adoptable remain at RVR in the loving care of rescue volunteers. Horses that arrive at RVR too late to be saved or who are terminally ill are comforted by the volunteers during their remaining time. RVR is an entirely volunteer run organization.

To find out more, please visit www.rvrhorserescue.org or www.facebook.com/rvrhorserescue.

The post RVR Horse Rescue is Back on the Road! appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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RVR Horse Rescue is one of only twelve grant recipients!

Riverview, Florida— The ASPCA has awarded RVR Horse Rescue a $10,000 grant to help eliminate a significant obstacle in their their rescue efforts.

“Our lifesaving work has been hampered by the lack of a reliable truck,” said RVR Horse Rescue Spokesperson, Kelly Ford. “The ASPCA grant funds will support the purchase of a truck and will positively impact every aspect of the work RVR does. It will allow us to more easily transport horses needing rescue or medical treatment. We will be able to make feed and hay deliveries for the Angels safety net program, our LAR (Large Animal Rescue) team will be able to haul equipment and a trailer for rescue missions, and our CLEAR educational outreach program will be able to bring equine education to the public.”

“It is such an honor to receive recognition from the ASPCA for the work that we do,” said RVR Horse Rescue Founder, Shawn Jayroe. “We have not only benefited from their grant programs, but also from their guidance and partnership. We appreciate that they believe in us. However, the grant was only possible due to the support of our incredible volunteers and donors, who contributed to a successful Help a Horse Day event, one of the key elements that led to the award.”

But their goal of purchasing a desperately needed truck is only partially met with the grant funds. The balance will need to come from generous donors and future fundraising efforts. Tax deductible donations may be made through their website.

For more information, please visit RVRHorseRescue.org.

About RVR Horse Rescue

RVR was founded in 2004 by Shawn Jayroe and received 501c3 status in 2011. RVR specializes in taking in the worst cases of abuse and neglect. Over 180 horses have come through RVR’s gates suffering from starvation and physical wounds of abuse. At RVR they are rehabilitated and re-homed with loving families. Horses whose age and health status make them less adoptable remain at RVR in the loving care of rescue volunteers. Horses that arrive at RVR too late to be saved or who are terminally ill are comforted by the volunteers during their remaining time. RVR is an entirely volunteer run organization.

To find out more, please visit www.rvrhorserescue.org or www.facebook.com/rvrhorserescue.

The post RVR Horse Rescue Earns ASPCA Grant appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 3w ago

Let’s face it, the average family looking to adopt a horse (or any animal) doesn’t have the financial means, medical know-how, or time to rehabilitate an injured one. There are many other healthy choices that don’t come with the extra baggage.

Sadly, injured thoroughbreds are no longer useful to their owners, once they can no longer race, but their injuries also make them unadoptable. These ex-racers are too often left in a black hole.

RVR Horse Rescue has come to the aid of these horses in need. Through their association with Tampa Bay Downs, RVR has been rehabilitating and rehoming injured or retired racers for several years. In 2016, they received accreditation from the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), allowing them to help even more.

The thoroughbreds’ stunning looks and grand stature make them fan favorites at RVR. Silver Knight is one example of an ex-racer who recovered at RVR Horse Rescue and awaited a new life.

Chantel Miller’s teenage fantasy of owning a large dapple grey horse, named Lancelot, was inspired by the movie First Knight. It was a dream that stayed locked in her heart for years, until one day shortly before Christmas. She joked with her husband, saying “I sure would like Santa to bring me a horse next year.” To her surprise, he replied, “This summer I will build you a stall and we can get you a horse next Christmas.”

Later, after seeing horses for adoption at a local flea market, the dream sparked back to life. The older horses at the flea market weren’t a match for the young family, but Chantel realized she wanted to adopt a rescue horse, rather than purchase one.

After her friend referred her to RVR Horse Rescue, Chantel spoke with the adoption coordinator and learned Silver Knight had just become available for adoption. She rushed over to meet him and fell in love. Her knight in shining armor, Lancelot, had come to life in Silver Knight.

After the adoption, Silver settled in with his new farm family that includes an eclectic mixture of a dog, a cat, two alpacas, a mini donkey, a mini horse, and a comedic turkey. His human family loves their new addition, but the most special surprise is the instinctive and profound connection between Silver Knight and his new little brother. Seeing Silver enjoy a snooze while wrapped in the warm embrace of little, loving arms conveys a depth deeper than words can reach.

The incredible folks at RVR Horse Rescue have worked their magic yet again by giving Silver Knight a new chance at life. But these happy endings are only possible with the help of caring families, like the Miller’s, who open their hearts and homes to rescue horses who need a forever family.

Photos: Chantel Miller Photography

The post Into the Arms of Love appeared first on RVR Horse Rescue.

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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 3w ago

One of the most trying cases we’ve faced at RVR Horse Rescue was of tiny Warrior, one of four mini’s rescued in 2012. Warrior was starved by his owner, as we’ve unfortunately seen before, but his story went public and resulted in serious political backlash for RVR.

The case dumped an enormous amount of stress on our devoted team, but we overcame the adversity, banded together stronger than ever, and continue our relentless fight for equines in need.

Nearly four years later, Warrior's spirit is still alive to those he inspired in his final days.

Warrior's Namesake is Born

An RVR fan, Charles, proudly announced the recent birth of his new foal, named Warrior. Charles stated, “Name is in honor and memory of a precious foal in 2012. Shawn Jayroe, this is for you and RVR, horse angels.”

 

Our original Warrior was too far gone to be saved, but now his name will live on in another beautiful mini! 

New Warrior
The Original Warrior

The following excerpt from “A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue” describes the details of our original Warrior’s story.

 

"One of our most significant cases began when a local veterinarian was called to euthanize a horse in Plant City that had supposedly fallen off a porch. He immediately became suspicious about the claim when he arrived at the property. Of the four miniature horses there, all were in various stages of starvation and neglect, but two were far worse than the others. The vet refused to put down the horse, but called us instead.

Little Warrior hovered at death’s door. The horse that had supposedly “fallen off the porch” had actually been starved to the point of collapse. He simply lay motionless on the ground.

I’ve been rescuing horses for so long that I think I’ve seen it all, but sometimes the human capacity for evil still astounds me. Every case of clear neglect and abuse angers me, but I was enraged when I came on this horrific scene. Warrior had been tied on a patch of sand where he’d crumpled. No food, water, or even grass were within his reach. He was tiny. Miniature horses are normally fat little butterballs at 350 to 400 pounds. Warrior weighed half that. His dark drab coat draped over his bones, showing every contour. It was tragic.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many cases of this type of abuse. What made this one even more detestable was this baby was losing his life only steps away from the owner’s porch. She literally had a front-row seat to watch him waste away to a slow, cruel death.

Miniature horses don’t require much food to keep their compact bodies healthy. A measly cup of food a day, or about $10 a week, is all it takes. Knowing how long Warrior endured the starvation just infuriated me. I can’t understand or accept the mentality of someone who can treat a supposed pet that way.

We had to threaten the owner with a criminal investigation before she agreed to surrender all the minis. There was no way we were leaving with any of them still in her care.

It was out of the question for Warrior to walk to the trailer, but four of us were easily able to lift him using a sling. He barely budged with the movement. His head perked up out of curiosity, but he was otherwise a pile of dead weight. Fear and confusion clouded his eyes, although he settled into the back of the truck quickly.

He warmly accepted the love and compassion we showered on him. I guessed that the attention and affection he received in those minutes once he was in our care were the most he’d seen in years.

We carted his buddies Spirit, Sandy, and Sandy’s colt, Lily back to RVR for their recovery as well, although none were as desolate as Warrior.

At the ranch, we dove right into Warrior’s treatment. His neglected hoofs had overgrown to the point of being ridiculous. They’d grown four inches longer than they should have been, making it nearly impossible for him to stand until the farrier clipped them.

He gobbled up the bits of hay we offered during his exam—probably the first food he’d eaten in a very long time. Our compassionate volunteers rubbed his back, kissed his nose, ran fingers through his black mane, and willed him to live.

His dim eyes were glazed over and he could barely move, but Warrior licked our outstretched hands and nudged them with his nose. He accepted the love we gave and reciprocated in kind. His previous owner had nearly killed him, but Warrior still continued to love.

The pathetic little guy was barely present. His abuse had gone so far beyond tolerable that he mostly just laid still. We worked in shifts, turning Warrior over manually every couple of hours. It took several of us to hoist him up and steady him on his feet. He could stand for only fifteen minutes at a time before he’d collapse from exhaustion.

After two days, we found another horse rescue, Beauty’s Haven, near Ocala, who had a sling small enough for Warrior. The sling would allow us to suspend him, but it meant we’d have to commute nearly two hours to maintain his care. But, as I’ve always seen, people stepped up to the challenge. After we transported Warrior to Beauty’s Haven, we spent another two days nursing him in his new upright position.

But it wasn’t enough. Fourteen-year-old Warrior lost his remaining shred of life only four days after his rescue. We had given our all despite the towering odds stacked against the poor boy."

Shawn holding Warrior's head

Click here to read more about A Healing Haven - Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue.

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Thanks to Shawn Jayroe and her incredible group of volunteer Horse Angels at RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview, Florida, hundreds of equines have been saved from abuse and neglect. Not every animal can be restored to good health, but any horse willing to fight for a fresh chance at life is fully supported by a dedicated team.

Following are five of the most amazing recoveries.

 

1 – GINGER

Ginger is a recent rescue who arrived at RVR in May 2016 with her friend, Sugar. Ginger was literally skin draped over bone. Her condition was rated worse than “extreme starvation” on the Henneke scale that categorizes the horses’ physique.   Our dentist corrected problems with Ginger’s teeth, then a body clip and mane and forelock shave helped resolve her lice infestation.  Next was good food on a strict regimen, and lots of love.

Three short months later, Ginger is a stunning beauty. Her healthy glow and full belly are just the way it should be.

 

2 – ROMEO

Romeo was rescued in August 2013. His body score was pathetically low, like Ginger’s was, but his condition was so dire that his recovery seemed beyond hope. In addition to dental infections and many serious injuries, his anus drooped open and was oozing pus.

With the care of his horse angels at RVR and against all odds, Romeo recovered and flourished in the following months, becoming known as The Miracle Boy. His astounding transformation was featured on the front cover of RVR’s novel, A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue.

 

3 – GRACIE

Gracie came to RVR in March 2013. The poor mare was brutalized for two years by a stallion in her pasture. He also ran her off the food, leading to her malnourishment. The injuries she sustained from the abuse went untreated and by the time she arrived at RVR, gaping wounds filled with broken bones covered her withers. The unchecked infected injuries dripped vile pus and the horrific holes were packed with her mane hair.

Teams of caregivers at RVR Horse Rescue nursed Gracie’s injuries and they tweezed as many bone fragments from her wounds as possible. Still, it wasn’t enough and Gracie would lose her fight without more extensive help.

Local veterinary angels from Brandon Equine Medical Center stepped in and performed several surgeries that finally resolved the root of the infection.

Gracie’s amazing recovery was only possible due to an incredible team effort and Gracie’s remarkable determination.

 

4 – MONA LISA

Mona Lisa arrived at RVR in November 2014. Her story is especially touching because her original rescuer was a fifteen-year-old Good Samaritan who risked his own life to save hers.

When the boy met Mona Lisa, her owner had his gun ready to end the mare’s life. Her legs were severely injured, supposedly from entanglement in barbed wire, and the man said her recovery was beyond hope.

The boy pleaded with the man to let him help the mare and with assistance from his family, the young man took the wounded girl from her abusers. He treated her gaping injuries with biozene gel and wonderdust, but her care proved to be too much for him to handle. He finally called RVR in desperation.

When Mona Lisa arrived at RVR, teams of volunteers took over her care, scraping her proud flesh wound and tending to the others. Their hard work paid off and Mona Lisa made a full recovery, followed by a visit from her teenage rescuer.

 

5 – LUCA

Gypsy and her two-week old colt, Luca, were rescued in September 2015. The pair was living in an open field, without proper shelter or shade, during an especially rainy period. Between the relentless Florida sun and the particularly soggy weather, the baby developed a severe case of rain rot and sunburn.

A concerned neighbor called a local vet, who contacted RVR after speaking with the horses’ owner. Thankfully, the owner relinquished the horses willingly.

Pathetic Luca stole the hearts of anyone who saw him. The horse angels at RVR worked in shifts around the clock to tube-feed him every two hours until his momma recovered enough to feed him herself. With excellent care, Luca’s skin condition healed and he grew into a spunky little character in a few short weeks.  Make sure to read to the end to see his video. It will melt your heart!

The need for horse rescue is real, as these heartbreaking and heartwarming stories show. Follow the example of the Good Samaritans and speak out if you see a horse in need.

Join RVR Horse Rescue on Facebook to follow the current horses in recovery or visit rvrhorserescue.org to see the many ways you can help. Their inspiring novel, A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue includes stories of Romeo, Gracie, Mona Lisa, and many more.

 

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RVR Horse Rescue by Shirley Alarie - 3w ago

This photo of River Rose and our recently rescued colt, Moon, has adorable charm but is like a million other cute animal shots. Except the story behind the photo is anything but ordinary. The life lesson that Rose is demonstrating is, in fact, quite extraordinary.

Rose’s story was featured in our book, “A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue”. The following excerpt describes the plight of our precious girl...

“The South Florida SPCA needed to place twelve horses saved from slaughter. We agreed to take two Thoroughbred mares, River Rose and Flattering Irene. The day after their arrival we learned that River Rose had a three-year-old son, Fury, who had been delivered directly from the slaughterhouse to an adoptive home in Ocala.

 

Rose upon arrival at RVR Horse Rescue

 

After the separation from her son, Rose showed signs of distress. Her anxiety presented itself as cribbing, a typical compulsive behavior whereby the horse grabs a solid surface with its upper teeth and pulls backward while sucking in air. Our fence railings throughout the ranch show tattletale signs of this common vice, but Rose rocked and cribbed more than I’ve ever seen before. Tears streamed down her face. Her extreme stress would prevent Rose’s recovery, so we needed to act quickly before she lost her will to live.

Rose cribbing on fence

 

We decided to call the SPCA to see if Rose’s son, Fury, was still available. They contacted Fury’s adoptive parents and, once they explained Rose’s circumstances, the family was happy to oblige and relinquish Fury to us.

We broadcasted our need for help with Fury’s transportation and donations covered the cost to retrieve him. Our hope was that Rose would fight harder for her recovery with Fury at her side. Four volunteers picked up the boy and he was reunited with his mom that evening. The improvement in Rose was nearly immediate. She became calmer and showed more interest in food.

Shawn reuniting Rose with her son, Fury

 

Fury lived up to his name in temperament, although Fabio would have been a more suitable name to describe his luxurious, flowing mane. Having Fury by her side helped Rose, but her emotional recovery would be no easy feat. Only time would tell how far she could make it, but she filled our hearts with hope when she slowly began to emerge from her neurotic shell.”

 

Since her rescue, Rose has proven to be a sweet girl, yet remains an introverted wallflower. After her physical recovery was complete, she rode like a dream for our horse trainer, Sergio.

Rose and Sergio

 

Yet, the demons of her past seemed to keep an invisible shell around this special gal.

And then, Moon came.

The sickly, scrawny, little man grabbed the attention of River Rose.

Check out the short clip of Rose reaching out to her new buddy. If you didn’t know Rose’s history, the video might look like just a cute interaction. But knowing the history of our beautiful girl… Her trauma. Her bumps and bruises, inside and out. Indeed, this precious brief encounter is a visual reminder about life.

It doesn’t matter how broken we were yesterday, or the day before. Each day is a new opportunity to move forward toward a better, stronger, kinder, more wonderful you.

Rose is proof that it’s never too late to start over - to create the future we desire, no matter what trauma our past holds.

Thank you, Rose.

Click here for video

 

 

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