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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lifesavers Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Our mission is to prevent American mustangs and domestic horses from being abused, abandoned, neglected and ultimately sent to slaughter through rescue, adoption, sanctuary, education and horse inspired growth and healing programs.

Programs: SHARE is our motto: Sanctuary, Humanity, Adoption, Rescue, Education

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had heard of lifesavers from a friend and donated to their cause. I then had the opportunity to attend a women’s veteran retreat at the sanctuary, and was absolutely blown away by the wild mustangs! The staff and volunteers were nothing short amazing and genuinely invested in the cause. I can’t say enough good things

Marie-Michelle S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing work with veterans and horses. Truly a win - win approach for both. Special kudos for programs specifically for female veterans.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lifesavers is an organization that I can wholeheartedly say I believe in, trust and love!
Jill Starr, their driving force, founder and mastermind, is one of my most inspiring heroines, and has been the saviour of so many lost horses.
Jill with her team are responsible for a long list of phenomenal rescues in their 21 year history.

I must admit that I am a little biased since four of my 10 horse herd came direct from Lifesavers, and each one has become a unique and totally beloved family member at our California central coast ranch !!!

Plus, for a while now, the highlight of my year has been journeying out to Wild Horse Canyon in magical Sand Canyon, Ca to collaborate with the incredible team of trainers, coaches and retreat chefs to host the annual Women’s Wild Horse Empowerment Journey at Lifesavers over Labor Day weekend.
I love starting out days with grounding and centering yoga and meditation, set outside under the blue blue sky, steeped in the fragrance of juniper trees, and surrounded by the sounds of nature, before we eat a hearty breakfast and head down the canyon to get to know and work with the wild ones.

This year’s retreat is probably already fully booked, but don’t let that stop you from putting your name down on the waiting list, and also marking out Labor Day weekend next year for a life shifting experience facilitated by the beautiful wild mustangs of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue !

Jamie K.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Awesome place. Helped us out so much. They went above and beyond.

Danie C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lifesavers opened up my eyes to the world of wild horses and I am forever grateful to their incredible team. I fell head over boots in love with a nine month old filly when I was only 11 years old and their wonderful team of trainers helped the two of us become a successful pair (despite the unpopular outside opinions regarding young people and Mustangs). I cannot thank Lifesavers enough for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to find my heart horse and to deepen my passion for wild horses. Over 13 years later, there is still no greater place I recommend for a truly life changing experience.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member, however I have participated in the Women's Empowerment Journeys each year. To miss it would break my heart! I have watched the participants leave completely changed after a few days with the horses and the Lifesavers team. It is an experience unmatched by anything I have ever had in my life outside of my daughter's birth! LOL. The time that the weekend allows you to spend in nature, with the majestic, wild creatures,reflecting and focusing on healing growth should be mandatory :) I can't recommend it enough. It's funny to watch the ladies arrive to the rough and wild surroundings a little intimidated and then not want to leave when the time is up and go back to reality! The horses evolve, too, as the program allows for their gentling . Trust is exchanged between human and horse. It is a beautiful win-win situation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The people at Lifesavers Wildhorse Rescue are amazing! The ranch is in a beautiful canyon and the surrounding Hills are full of wildflowers and wildhorses. The horse trainers take you into the pen where you get to learn so much about yourself. It's really mind blowing and such a gentle way to learn about yourself. Meanwhile you are gentling horses so they can become adoptable. A win/win for all. I would encourage anyone to take this opportunity.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wanted to give a shout out to Lifesavers! I'm a disabled veteran due to PTSD/MST and struggle with anxiety but, having the opportunity to work with the wild horses gave me the chance to go head on at my symptoms. I learned that the horses based their mood on my ability to calm myself and progress in gaining their trust! It felt awesome to be able to be the leader that I am...thank you to Cheyanne, John and Karen for giving me such an amazing experience!
Trina McDonald

1 Christiane H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'd been looking for just the right mustang for my newest book project:
"Into the Essence of Love" - through the path of the wild horse.

Since the book is about trust, vulnerability, overcoming fear, accessing intuition to ultimately find deep, abiding love, I needed a very shy mustang that I could build an intimate relationship with.

Jill and her staff were of amazing support in all of this search. They went out of their way to help me find the perfect horse. We've since then started our bonding and yes, they have helped me to the perfect horse. See for yourself at www.WildHorseWisdom.com
Please support Lifesavers in any way you can. They save horses and people!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lifesavers is an outstanding nonprofit organization. I am a professional grant writer and have in-depth experience with nonprofits for over 20 years, including for organizations serving animals and people with disabilities. Lifesavers is doing an amazing job protecting the mustangs (and also with their other programs). I'm happy to recommend them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Lifesavers since 2000, as a client served, a donor, and for the last year, a board member. I can't say enough about this organization. In addition to having over 500 horses in its care, Lifesavers is now helping Wounded Warriors to heal through close interaction with the wild horses in weekend workshops. I can attest to the healing that takes place when a human is able to touch the heart and mind of a wild horse and be touched back, as I attended one of these workshops and was helped immeasurably by the horses. Organizations grow and thrive by being visionary, and continually striving to serve. This is not an easy thing to do, but Lifesavers continues to serve both horses and humans.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Lifesavers since 2000 - in 2006, I was thrown from my horse and had all sorts of injuries, not the least of which was psychological trauma. In 2007, I came to Lifesaver's Wild Horse Boot Camp because I felt I needed to upgrade my ground skills before I could ever think about riding again. Working with the wild horses and being able to approach them without eliciting a fear response was a really healing experience for me. In addition, I fell in love with a mare who had also been injured, and was able to spend time with her grooming her and talking to her. She was an awesome "therapist." I am committed to this fight against the special interests who are driving wild horses to extinction - I am now serving on the board, and am able to be more active as I approach retirement. There are lots of horse rescues out there - Lifesavers is really special. Currently I have three horses and ride dressage, and I do not think I would have ever been able to come back to riding without Lifesavers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board for over a year. I previously was a donor and volunteered my time to provide on-site operational assistance. I have been constantly overwhelmed by dedication of Lifesavers. They are not only saving horses...they are healing damaged people through their therapy programs.

I simply cannot put into words what an honor it is to be associated with Lifesavers.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported Lifesavers INC with small donations for a year. I like the work that Jill is doing in keeping wild horses from slaughter and in providing a safe and cared for life for them at her facility. I appreciate the gentling techniques Lifesavers uses with the horses that come there and her passion at advocating for preserving the lives of wild horses I think this non profit sets a good example of an organization that is committed to being good stewards of the land. All the best Lifesavers INC in all you do you have my vote.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue for over a decade, and a board member for over a year. The work Lifesavers has done for Wild Horses is amazing. Lifesavers has expanded and grown as the needs in the equine industry have changed. In addition to the trailblazing work done on behalf of Wild Horses, Lifesavers supports abandoned horses, whose numbers have increased due in large part to the economy. We have taken in many horses abandoned because there owners simply could not support them. We rehabilitate these horses and help them find new homes. Our most important work now are the healing programs geared to helping our returning Vets. The horses and Vets help each other heal and it is an amazing transition to be part of. I am proud of my association with Lifesavers, with the humans that are so passionate and committed to the causes, to the causes we support, and to the horse.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing charity. They do such great work. When an abused horse walks through the gates, they will leave behind past bad treatment and they are now protected by Lifesavers. I have a mare from there and she is amazing! While volunteering I learned so much about mustangs. They are such beautiful creatures! Thank you Lifesavers for all of the horses that you have saved! I only wish I could win the Lotto so I could donate more to save more mustangs...

Donor

Rating: 5

There are many horses who are alive and thriving thanks to Lifesavers. Thanks to the amazing Jill Starr, Lifesavers incorporates veterans into its programs and helps them to heal. I personally experienced several days at the Wild Horse Sanctuary and it was a tremendously gratifying experience. I will continue to support this outstanding organization.

Linda281

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to this group for many years. I love the work they do, but others do a similar thing. They are great about keeping us informed of what's going on so I always feel like I matter. If they run in to trouble they contact us. Sometimes they call on the phone. I always try to help when they need some hay or water (like now) because I feel a special connection to them.

Eric65

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first ran into Lifesavers years ago when I lived in California. I worked for another non profit and utilized Lifesavers heavily. I then moved to New Mexico and worked with a few of the Tribal Nations there and we still heavily used Lifesavers. I am now Currently working in Colorado and plan on taking some folks down there! That is how much Lifesavers means to me and the people that are a part of it, absolutely amazing, worthwhile, beneficial and honoring!
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's all about the horses!!! Thank you Lifesavers for making a difference :)

Margaret50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great rescue organization. The facilities are fantastic, and the people know what they're doing. They operate true to their mission - helping mustangs (and people too).

Candise B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit Lifesavers a few months ago and was very impressed by their facilities, land, and knowledge about the horses. They have around 200 horses! I am so thankful for organizations like Lifesavers who care for these horses that would otherwise be sent to slaughter houses, or abused in some way or other.

Patti30

Client Served

Rating: 5

At the end of 2010, I came across Jills' Lifesavers Website as I was researching the Wild Mustang. Jill has a wealth of information she shares as well as her detailed efforts to help these magnificent creatures overcome the injustices done to them by many. She had just rescued over 100 baby mustangs that were headed to slaughter and was asking for adopters from across the US. Just so happened several were being shipped to Florida which was not too far from my home. Jill was very helpful, posting all the little ones photos online, coggins pulled on all, tagged. And then arranged for transport. My young colt arrived in great shape and is now 3 plus and my soul mate. I can never Thank Jill enough , for my Reno and all the hard work she does saving the Wild Mustang!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Just learning about this organization however, if they save horses they have my vote.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lifesavers is such a great organization for the horses and the people. They've given both my sister and I so much more confidence around horses and such a great foundation when it comes to gentling and starting horses. Their trainers and staff are great and supportive. They are dedicated not only to the horses they save, but those still in need. The also look to help our veterans through equine therapy and the effects on our military, especially those who suffer from injury, is amazing.

Please check them out, visit the ranch, donate, and/or adopt or sponsor a horse. It's a great organization doing what it can to preserve a National Treasure in both our military and our horses.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lifesavers is one of the most amazing rescue organizations I've seen. They do amazing work and take these horses as far as they can. They're dedicated and passionate about their work and don't regret any second spending time with the horses. I adopted my horse from there. I originally wanted a different horse, but she wasn't the one for me. They knew how badly I needed this horse and they found my perfect match. They worked with me for hours making sure I knew how to continue his training, learning their ways, and learning his. It was the greatest experience I've ever had and am thankful for it. They do a lot of work for these horses, and I really appreciate it and hope they continue to do more good work. I love to see the stories they post. Especially the ones that are emaciated horses, and they bring them to a good healthy horse that's ready to go. It warms my heart up!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The people at Lifesavers do amazing work. They are dedicated and passionate in their service to horses who would have little to no chance of even a decent life without them. I have seen the work that the trainers there do with the horses and it's inspiring to watch. They are intuitive, creative and firm but kind. They take horses who have little or no handling and turn them into great partners for adopters. And they strive to find the right match for adopters and horses to ensure that it's a forever home.

Rose C.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lifesavers is extremely dedicated to the preservation of wild horses and other horses in need. They post the stories of horses that need help on Facebook and keep people informed of what is happening with them. They are a group of very dedicated volunteers, out in all kinds of weather to rescue and care for these deserving horses. I have been very impressed with number of rescues they take in.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the only charity I give to because they really do help horses, and it is so awful what is happening to our wild horses and now with so many people out of work they are helping backyard horses that are being left at thier door step. The best thing is they help our soldiers with pts, children with handicaps, our should I say the lifesavers inc lets the horses help people, great bunch of people, doing good things for horses and people. I plan on going there to see all of the horses, and meet all these wonderful people.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lifesavers integrity, dedication, vision, and untiring commitment to their mission is what drew me to this organization. Under Jill Starr's leadership, their work has greatly exceeded any expectations I may have originally held. I very carefully choose which groups to support financially, and my only regret here is that I don't have mass quantities of dollars and/or thousands of acres of good land to donate to this amazingly deserving group. They have wonderful programs with the horses like Wild Horse Warriors for our hero veterans, Red Horse Nation, Happy Horse Academy, and the list goes on - just more really great work that I believe has a profound ripple effect. These people, their friends, and associates are a group of humans beings I'm very proud to stand with FOR THE HORSES!

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband & I have been donating to Lifesavers for about a year and finally got a chance to visit them a few months ago.

Their facility is so impressive; they have a lot of wild horses in their care (200+) and you can see they are treated so well, given a lot of space, care and respect. It was an awesome sight to see. (They also have sanctuaries off-site for horses that will stay wild and not be up for adoption). My husband and I want to go back out and visit again soon.

We got a chance to talk with some of the staff while we were there. It would literally break your heart to know what dire situations they've rescued horses from. What's happening to wild mustangs is so tragic and I'm so grateful that a rescue group like this exists, the staff is so committed to their work.

I imagine it couldn't have been easy to build this facility and organization to where it is today (especially as a woman in this field). Jill (the president) has always taken the time to personally reach out and connect when we've donated which speaks a lot to who she is and her character. Wish there were more people like her. Keep up the incredible work to everyone at Lifesavers.

Terri27

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that does what it says it is going to. It rescues horses. Whenever I can I try to donate as much as I can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely love Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. I could tell from the 1st clinic that this place is special. From the wild horses to the people that make up Lifesavers I have had nothing but great, wonderful and fun experiences and have learned so much. love love love this place! If you haven't visited or taken their clinics you should consider it, you won't regret it.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am currently a board member of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. I take pride in knowing that my time goes to an organization that really lives up to their mission statement. They have been actively saving horses from slaughter since 1997 and have introduced some amazing programs that compliment the rescue. I am really proud of the "humanity" programs that use the rescued horses to provide therapy to at-risk youth and veterans.

Donor

Rating: 3

its great to hear comments from people who actualy visit an organization. With so many organizations its hard to know which ones are legit. Thank You!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've known of this ranch for over three years and have learned about their work from various sources in the rescue world as well as on a personal level. It takes great tenacity and perseverance to keep fighting a tough battle to give these horses a life they'd otherwise never have. I applaud Jill and Karen and all the volunteers who save even one horse and I am grateful they've made it their life's work because the horses need humans willing to do what it takes. And they do it well.

1

Donor

Rating: 3

I would like to see more transparency in regards to LIFESAVERS financial and privacy policies. As a donor I receive numerous requests for donations to various equine charities and I do not have the luxury of a personal visit to the ranch. With a little work I am sure LIFESAVERS could improve their standing with CharityNavigator. Many of us will continue to support Jill's efforts.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

HEY CHARITYNAVIGATOR, BEFORE AWARDING LIFESAVERS 1 STAR HOW ABOUT VISITING THE RANCH AS I DID RECENTLY ?? MAYBE THEN YOU COULD PERSONALLY SEE WHAT A COMMITTED AND ADMIRABLE HUMAN BEING JILL STARR IS AND HOW DEDICATED SHE IS TO SAVING THESE POOR UNFORTUNATE CREATURES AND RECEIVES A VERY REASONABLE COMPENSATION FOR HER LIFE'S WORK. I HAVE BEEN A MONTHLY DONATOR FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND WILL CONTINUE TO HELP LIFESAVERS MONTHLY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, HOPEFULLY I WILL BE ABLE TO INCREASE MY MONTHLY DONATIONS IN THE FUTURE. BECAUSE OF YOUR RATING HERE I WILL NO LONGER FULLY TRUST CHARITYNAVIGATOR IN GIVING TRUE RATINGS AS I USED TO.

Review from CharityNavigator