In my time as a volunteer with LEARN, I have been truly amazed at the physical transformation Elizabeth Steed is able to bring about in the horses that she takes into her facility. I have personally witnessed several of the most severe starvation cases as they first came to LEARN...it is difficult to adequately describe the condition these horses are in...they shouldn't be alive. They've suffered immeasurable abuse and shameful neglect at the hands of their owners. The painstaking, educated, deliberate "all-in" approach that Elizabeth takes in her effort to restore them to good health is nothing short of amazing.
L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue provides a vital service to the Charleston, SC community. At last count, there were over 160,000 unwanted horses in the United States....currently, the number of registered Equine Rescue organizations, like L.E.A.R.N., only have the capacity to care for 33,000 horses annually. Since 2009, L.E.A.R.N. has rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed over 75 horses who otherwise would have gone to slaughter, horse auction, or simply perished alone from starvation or neglect. Elizabeth Steed works tirelessly, with no monetary compensation whatsoever, for the benefit of the horses that come into L.E.A.R.N.'s care. She is a fierce advocate for establishing minimum standards of care for large animals in the state of SC, of which there are currently none, and for educating her community about the day to day responsibilities that come with horse ownership. L.E.A.R.N. is an all-volunteer organization. We do our best, but often fail, when it comes to being as attentive to our supporters inquiries as we are to the horses we are caring for. Days on the farm are long and phone calls unfortunately sometimes go unanswered. We are so very thankful for all of the support we receive from the Charleston community!! Thank you so much for helping us to continue to help horses in need!
This might be a great social group, but try contacting them for information or adoption statistics. Near impossible to get a response,. Voicemail to group consistently full and any posts to their facebook site that hint at criticism is met with attack by supporters. They may provide good care for the animals, but seem more interested in providing a sanctuary they want the public to fund rather than find homes for the rescues.
@SybM: It's unfortunate that you base your opinion on ONE story and nothing else. Your first exposure to this organization was in 2013, I'm assuming on May 18th? Which means you have no idea what you're talking about. If you had any knowledge whatsoever of LEARN, then you would know that any outcome other than a horse dying is what they are striving for. Have you ever seen a starving, dehydrated horse? Have you ever seen (or smelled) a chemically burned horse that had maggots eating at this wounds? My guess is no. It's unfortunate, but human beings are the one and only reason that there even has to be conversations like the one Elizabeth Steed had with the reporter. I don't deer hunt, but I don't condemn those that do. Why? Because starvation and dehydration are painful, horrific deaths. Please do your research before climbing on your bleeding heart soapbox to condemn someone you know nothing about. You definitely heard what you wanted to hear in that interview.
I find it troublesome that the rescue's leader, Elizabeth, supports horse slaughter over euthanasia, as she states in this article. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51894332/ns/local_news-charleston_sc/t/horse-slaughterhouses-could-affect-south-carolina-equine/#.UZb8z7_ko5x
To quote Steed: "The chemical that we use to put these horses to sleep never goes away, it stays in ground water and is poisoning the ecosystem," Steed said. "people understand recycling and if they could look at this process as recycling these animals instead of 'slaughter'... and use the byproduct of them for something... it would benefit the ecosystem.""
Horse slaughter is not a form of "recycling" and a 5013c non profit equine rescue should not be a proponent of horse slaughter. Steed is also the head of the S. C. Horsemen's Association, which appears very similar to the pro-slaughter organization United Horsemen's Association, founded by Sue Wallis, one of the most vocal proponents for the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. If anyone is unfamiliar with Wallis, just google her name.
No story - just familiar with this great rescue group for horses. They are truly missioned, dedicated, hands on, follow thru, take excellent care of any rescue they can take in and truly deserve total support from the community as they need financial support to continue being there for the many neglect and abuse horse cases they work so hard to handle and rescue.
As Presdient, Founder of a 34 year animal shelter in Chas SC (Pet Helpers) where all animals are kept until adoption - a private non profit adoption shelter, that, as well depends on community support, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to care for these animals.
I urge total support of LEARN.
HUG found out about LEARN through a Facebook request to our friends as to which nonprofit we should pull into our rotation for the end of the year 2011. I have been amazed at all they have been able to accomplish so far on their own. We are certainly looking forward to raising the visibility of this amazing non profit in the local Charleston SC area.
I found out about L.E.A.R.N. and met Elizabeth through her sister (a dear friend and former co-worker) Due to my current, crazy, schedule, I have not been able to participate in any volunteer work. However, I was able to attend one fund-raising event and it was during this event, that Elizabeth took us on a tour of the L.E.A.R.N. facilities. It brought tears to my eyes, knowing that the gorgeous, healthy-looking, happy animals were once painfully thing, full of parasites, mistreated, confused and scared. Through proper feeding, care and an abundance of love and grace, Elizabeth and her crew of compassionate volunteers have returned these amazing, intuitive animals to a vibrancy in health that may rival any level of health they have ever experienced before. People neglect their livestock for a number of reasons: bad economy, the old attitude of "an animal is just an animal," I also understand that investors see that a racehorse has outlived their original investment and is no longer bringing great returns, but I simply cannot fathom letting an otherwise perfectly healthy creature deteriorate and *suffer* to the point of starvation or selling a horse that once worked SO HARD for you off to the meat market's highest bidder. L.E.A.R.N. takes on horses, restores them to health and attempts to find them suitable homes. So much money and time is (rightfully) invested in saving dogs, cats and other small animals at the local animal shelters. However, livestock is much harder to place in a good home! Finding an appropriate home for an 1,100 pound baby is quite a feat!
Secondly, it is impossible to mention L.E.A.R.N. without pointing out how L.E.A.R.N. and Elizabeth contribute to the young people in our community. Elizabeth has a veritable ARMY of young women, passionate about the love and care of horses, and I believe their lives are being greatly enriched by their involvement with L.E.A.R.N. They are learning not only basic equestrian care and skills, but they are experiencing, first hand, kindness and care in one of it's largest capacities. This Nonprofit is most certainly worthy of any time or donations one can give.
I wanted to speak out on Learn's behalf because the organization helps not only the animals but people also. I've known about LEARN and Elizabeth since the 33 horses were put in LEARN's hand in 2009. If there was no one else to help Elizabeth feed, she did it into the night. She personally takes each and every horse and makes them her own- even if for a little while. She is overjoyed for the ones that get new homes and cries for the ones who don't make it.
LEARN as a group has helped me tremendously. While I was out feeding or grooming the horses, I felt joy and peace but no stress. I often think of those times and smile.
As the Chair of Palmetto Equine Awareness & Rescue League, I fully endorse L.E.A.R.N. from their rehabilitation program to their adoption program. This equine rescue understands every aspect of what a rescue is and what their limitations are.
Horses fortunate enough to be cared for by this rescue will have the highest standards of care possible. Ms. Steed, her Board, and volunteers do an excellent job and are the only rescue in South Carolina we fully endorse and work with.