GENTLE GIANTS DRAFT HORSE RESCUE SOCIETY LTD

Rating: 4.52 stars   61 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 17250 Old Frederick Road Mount Airy MD 21771 USA

Mission: Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue was formed to facilitate the rescue of Draft and Draft Cross horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect.
Results: Thanks to the support of our generous donors, Gentle Giants has expanded and can now house 60 horses!
Target demographics: save draft and draft cross horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect
Direct beneficiaries per year: 150 horses
Geographic areas served: the United States
Programs: rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, and re-homing.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 2 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Today I received two donation-seeking letters, both from horse rescue groups. The return envelope for both had almost an identical address, a post office box in Hagerstown, Md. Clearly this organization is using a professional, for-profit, fund raising company to send out begging letters. My name was sold to this company by another group to which I donated. When I find out which organization sold me out, they won't get another penny and will get a scathing review. It will be easy enough to identify them, as there is an error in the spelling of my name.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Stop paying someone to fund raise. How much do you pay them to do this for you and how much of the donated money do you actually see? Not to mention they are targeting people who have no interest in your group. I support animal rescue groups in my own community.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

We adopted a wonderful horse from Gentle Giants. Christine was excellent to help match us with the horse that would best fit our family. The barns were really clean and the volunteers were knowledgeable and very gentle with the horses. I was really impressed with the farm. The fields were well maintained and the horses were very well taken care of.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 3 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I volunteered here a while back and was originally impressed by the way things looked. Horses seemes happy and healthy, but then I would notice little things here and there that added up. Many of the Clydesdales on the farm have a disease on their ankles called scratches and it is never properly treated for lack of funds. Many horses have tendon, back or other supposed soft tissue injuries that were "palpated" but never ultra sounded by a vet for lack of funds. The owner also favors a specific breed of draft horse and seeks that particular breed more than any other when going to the auction to rescue some horses. There has been a problem with some of the horses over time being morbidly overweight, which is just as unhealthy as a starving horse. They are taught to prefer the horses on the fatter side, but there is a difference between muscular and obese. They also don't have enough people to work with the horses to bring majority of them past the level of competent trail horses.

However, the volunteers are all very kind and love being there. The horses are naturally slower moving and safer to be around. It's a good place to get away from the city ho-hum. Just have caution crom the flirtatious barn manager. He won't think of anything short of flirting with your teenage daughter.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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It should be countered that this review is offered by a previous volunteer who was asked to please terminate her voluntarism with the organization. All horses at Gentle Giants receive unlimited medical care, the condition the write speaks of is fungal in nature and notoriously tenacious to treat to full resolution. Perhaps expectations were not based in reality. Additionally, our horses weights are monitored by our Veterinarian who is out a minimum of once weekly. Any concern for obesity or thinness would be promptly addressed.

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Ollie320, does it really make a difference what caused the horse's eye injury as far as supporting the efforts of this organization? This horse was abandoned, or put for adoption, or for whatever reason ended up in in the hands of charitable people when it well needed it. For me this is enough. I will send them a contribution.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

It is unfortunate that ollie320 focused on the graphic photo of the horse with the eye injury rather than researching whether Gentle Giants is a reputable rescue. It is a fact that the “captive bolt” can result in shredding eye sockets and the skull. The letter I received does not say that the eye condition of the horse pictured was a result of “captive bolt.” Even though it wasn’t, the picture implies the animal is in extreme pain due to his condition that came on naturally. It helps one imagine the same pain, but due to infliction of torture rather than nature. In any event, I cannot understand how anyone would refuse to support this cause based upon a photo. I make my decision to donate to animal rights charities based upon the written content of their request --- the facts they share with me about the issues. The letter I received from Gentle Giants was very compelling and informative. After reading it carefully, to understand their message, for extra measure I contacted the Humane Society of the U.S. which verified this is a very reputable rescue, that does things right and works hard to help and protect the animals. Therefore, I gladly sent a donation, and contacted my Senators, Representative, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the President urging them to oppose the Slaughter.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I just received a donation request from Gentle Giants Draft Horse rescue. In their brochure is a picture of a horse with it's left eye horribly mangled and dangling. Very, very upsetting!! Decided to look into who would do this type of thing to a beautiful animal only to discover the truth about this here. This horse has cancer and the eye is a result of the disease NOT from Canada's 'captive bolt' as GGDHR leads you to believe. The thing is I would have donated without the graphics but now, knowing they mis-lead me intentionlly. I will donate to more truthful charities. Unforgivable!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Based on my initial review, I received a message from the director of this rescue. They claim that they file their tax returns in a timely manner, but as of 9/11/2012, there is still no record of a 2011 Form 990 per Guidestar!!! Is that being timely????? I think not!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This rescue cries for money, but spends over $700,000 on property!!!! We want to see the 2011 Form 990 to see more of the true story behind this overzealous rescue!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

Yes, after saving for 5 years, Gentle Giants was very excited to finally able to purchase it's own farm in the rescue's name. Gentle Giants purchased a 51 acre farm that was a turn-key equine operation, and the monthly cost is approximately a $3,000/month savings from our leased location. Additionally, we are no longer slave to a landlord who can raise rent and change terms, or end a lease with little notice. With 60 horses in residence, it would be difficult to relocate with short notice. All of Gentle Giants financial information is posted on www.Guidestar.org in a very timely manner for the public to see. Our annual independent audit is also available, and our monthly Board of Directors meetings are open to the public if you wish to attend or have any specific questions. If you are not local, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about our funding and how it's used. You can email me at info@gentlegiantsdrafthorserescue, or even call me at 443-285-3835. Thank you! Christine Hajek, President

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have long watched Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue from the other side of the county wishing I was closer to be able to support their monumental efforts! When I had the chance to visit the facility I was impressed with the quality and attention to detail that the entire volunteer crew exhibited. I have yet to see any other of the numerous rescues in the greater Baltimore area spend as much time getting to know the individual horses as GG does. Each horse is thoroughly vetted and cared for to whatever degree it needs from basic nutrition all the way to surgical procedures. Then each horse is evaluated to determine the extent of their skills, and then improved upon - they are trained to ride, drive, and are put to work trail riding and even showing. Not many rescues spend the time to put quality hours in with the horses. When you adopt from GG you are getting a horse that has been actively doing things rather than simply standing in a field waiting for someone to fall in love with their looks.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Their activeness in the greater community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be involved myself! Distance prevents me from supporting more than monetarily. I would love to be hands on with the big guys!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

Online search many years ago

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