Hope for Horses is unusual among horse rescues because because they take on horses with extreme medical problems and stay the course until they are fixed. They don't always succeed but as long as the horse is willing they keep trying. The value of the horse, the cost of treatment and the thousands of hours required do not deter them. They are healers. I started with them and a group they formed called Foal-Team where we supported a local vet hospital with teams of two people round the clock who sat in the stall with a baby and mother horse in trouble. We were there to keep the mare from stepping on the foal or help the foal get up when it needed to. The best times of my life. I have agreed to start documenting some of this and I hope soon to be able to contribute to their web site some of the many stories of just plain heroic work by their staff and volunteers.
Based on my experience, and that of several of my coleagues- this group seems to perpetuate a common thread of disturbing behavior, seemingly fueled by the root of all evil. By all outward appearances, they seem like a pretty normal outfit- until you jump off the boat, so to speak. I could think of a much better way to truly help the crisis our country is facing with unwanted horses- and donating to this organiazation is NOT one of them.
I have been involved with horses since I was 5 years old. Through 10 years of 4-H I was educated on many aspects of horse care and experienced to a wide variety of training methods. For the past 11 years I have owned and cared for my own horses. My orientation at Hope for Horses was shortly after they had gotten the 15 horses that were in such terrible condition from Pierce County. My first impression of this organization was how deeply all the members cared for the horses, and how passionate they were about making changes to prevent neglect and abuse from happening. In the year and a half that I have volunteered I have only witnessed excellent care of the horses. They are all on an appropriate feeding schedule, get groomed regularly, and have clean and dry living quarters. When horses are taken in they get necessary care from a veterinarian and farrier. My favorite part about this organization is their community outreach. I was impressed to learn that Hope for Horses works with local animal controls to educate them on how to handle equine cases. Hope for Horses also actively engages in discussions about changing legislation to prevent horse neglect and abuse, and hold offenders accountable for their actions.
I have personal experience with S.A.F.E, PHH, Pasado's and this one: Hope For Horses (HFH) (Seattle area rescues). Either as a Volunteer or multiple open house attendee. Only Hope for Horses has any active comments so I'll start here. First PHH and Pasado's are drowning in money. Both places actively solicited my money during my time there. SAFE and HFH were the opposite. They were glad to see me and never mentioned donating - I like that. But HFH and SAFE clearly need your money. Both are running very tight operations, no waste no fluff. Hope for Horses was the nicest of the 4 places. I really had a good time there, they made me feel comfortable and used my time in a worthwhile manner. I left feeling that I had contributed something worthwhile. I have never been around horses who were as well mannered and still affectionate before. Every horse ran to see me (a stranger), stopped, walked slowly up to me and stood waiting to be scratched or brushed. A wonderful experience (not the same at the other places) My other observations: All the horses were healthy and the fields were picked clean of poop. I easily give my highest recommendation to Hope for Horses and am now a donor.
Do your homework before donating to this group. There is some well documented evidence they have had some serious problems in the past.
What an interesting group Hope For Horses must be to generate such passionate feelings. No in between attitudes here. I only know what I have read and that makes me want more than ever to find out about them. I have always said that if everybody likes you you are not trying hard enough. Hope for Horses seems to be trying very hard, perhaps too hard. My general impression is of a very bold group that regularly steps on toes and alienates people. If that is true then I will support them. To me what matters is the state of the horses at this moment. Are they happy. Have they recovered, are they adoptable, is Hope For Horses actually adopting horses or are they just some sort of non-profit hoarder. In the end all that matters is the horses and they do not lie.
Hope For Horses (WA) is an incredible group. With very limited resources and remarkable dedication they work not only directly in the care and rehabilitation of neglected and abused equines, they also educate the public and animal control officers, assist public agencies with pending prosecution of cruelty and abuse cases, and have started to delve into making positive changes to legislation. I have been at least a weekly volunteer with them since January 2007 and have never doubted the integrity, purpose, degree of care, and dedication of Jenny and John. Plus, they are just wonderful people. I have witnessed the miraculous recoveries and tremendous efforts that go into rehabilitating starved or abused horses. I have never had reason to give pause to anything going on at the barn or the office. Everyone involved puts 110% in. They are a wonderful organization that uses their dollars wisely, knows how much they can handle on their plate (they're pretty small), have made big strides with local animal control offices, and are tireless in their passion for assisting horses in need. I wish all charities worked on the level HFH does.
I took part in a large fundraiser for this organization. It was very successful and netted a significant amount of money. I was responsible for the accounting of the money, and my job was to advise the executive director how the money should be handled as far as the designation and placement of the funds. My recommendations were not followed, and it became quite "muddled" as to the final destination of where the funds actually ended up. The director became quite defensive when a accounting of this quite large sum of money became an issue. I no longer participate as a volunteer for them.
Jenny Edwards 07/05/2009
The fundraiser Pat is referring to was our first attempt at doing an auction - about five years ago. We made lots of mistakes! We over-estimated the number of people who would attend, and wildly underestimated the cost of putting on such an event. We also used Auction-Pay for the first time that night (what a disaster!), and had several items stolen or not paid for. Although the funds raised were not significant, it was a great learning experience, and since that time we have hosted several larger and more successful events. That would not have been possible without going through the growing pains! Thank you for your comments. We welcome input from all our volunteers.
I have been a volunteer for HFH for 3 mos. now. Since the first day I started, John and Jenny made me feel like I was part of the family. When I first started, I knew absolutely nothing about mucking stalls, feeding, saddling-up or the health maintenance of these beautiful animals, only the fun part of riding. By watching and listening to veteran volunteers, John and Jenny, my respect for these amazing animals increased tremendiously. I did not realize how much maintenace is involved with horses. I can see why John and Jenny teache the police and animal control officers about their health care. They are a team totally committed to the welfare of these animals and want to be sure they receive the proper care. I wish every organization was as dedicated,caring and concerned about the needs of horses as HFH. If a person who knew nothing about this organization came to HFH, they would never know these animal were ever abused. These animals are thriving under John and Jenny's care. They are happy, spirited and loving animals, who are not afraid of human contact any longer. In regards to the organization - Jenny is extremly well organized and runs HFH with great care and pride. John and Jenny face many challenges when it comes to caring for these abused horses, yet always seem to rise above them. Their whole life is committed in the care and love of these horses. Their horses come in abused and neglected and hesitant of human contact. I have witnessed over the past few months that these wonderful yet traumatized animals come to love and trust John and Jenny and their devoted volunteers. I continue to recruit my friends and family to help in any way they can at HFH (even donating feed helps tremendously). If I had any concerns about the way this organization was run, I would quit volunteering. I am happy to say, this is not the case. This is the most inspiring, well-run organization that I have ever volunteered for and I will keep on volunteering for John and Jenny as long as I am able. Coming here every weekend is my therapy. The horses and people lift my spirits to a high that lasts the whole week. I look forward to every weekend knowing that I will be in the company of great people and some of the most spirited creatures God created. Thank you John and Jenny for this amazing experience, I am truly grateful. Always your friend JA.
Hope For Horses was a very fun a grat place to volunteer at. You could tell that they really loved and cared for all the animals they had there, they were constantly trying to make there barn and property better for the horses. When I was there I didn't feel like they were forcing me to do anything. It was totally casual. I asked what they needed me to do and they would tell me but they didn't force it upon me. They were grateful for our help weather it was 1 hour or 5. Jenny and John are very nice people and fun to be around. They brough pizza for everyone and drinks. I was worried about going there and meeting them because I didn't want to do something wrong or have that akward feeling that they are judging your every move. That wasn't how it was at all. I felt totally comfortable there and if I had a question they were more than happy to answer. They were all around nice and fun people and there is no doubt that I won't be back. I would love to help there again.