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Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals

Mission: Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home, Inc. is a volunteer based, non-profit organization accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries that is dedicated to the welfare of horses. Our goal is to rescue abused, neglected, or distressed horses, bring these rescued horses back to optimal health and to find them loving homes. In some cases, due to age or disability, a horse will not be able to be adopted. For these horses, Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home, Inc. will provide a home where they can peacefully live out the rest of their life with love and dignity.

Target demographics: rescue abused, neglected, and distressed horses

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 30 horses

Geographic areas served: Northeast Texas

Programs: horse rescue, horse rehabilitation, horse owner education, and horse adoption.

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

shutterbug27

Client Served

Rating: 5

The people at Safe Haven are absolutely amazing. They tirelessly work to save as many horses as possible, nurse them back to health, and get them adopted out to loving families.

Previous Stories
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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home works tirelessly to rehabilitate horses that have been abused and neglected. Just recently they were involved in the seizure and rehabilitation of 159 horses from a single property, made arrangements to get medical care, rented a facility to house them all, and ensure the horses had adequate feed and water. They then worked with rescues across the country to secure extended care and adoption of those horses. Most amazingly, this nonprofit works completely on donations and on a voluntary basis. They have NO paid staff! Overwhelmingly, this rescue is committed to abused and neglected horses, donkeys, mules, and any other animal in need! I would recommend Safe Haven Equine Rescue to anyone wanting to adopt a horse or find a worthy cause to volunteer with or support by way of donations!

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Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is tireless in its work to help neglected and abused horses in our area. We've seen the walking, trotting, and galloping results of Safe Haven's efforts. All of our interactions with them have been positive, and the animals are well cared for.

Donor

Rating: 5

At Safe Haven the animals come first. They are always taken care of with well trained hands. Their every need is met both physically and mentally. The barn is very clean and well stocked. It is truly a "safe haven" for abused or neglected horses.
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The management and volunteers are to be commended for their time and patience they give all the horses, especially the ones that are sanctuary horses

Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement is a very special place.

Amber E.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Could not find a more caring and hard working program!!

grandkids1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We found Safe Haven by a chance meeting with the directors. Best friendship ever! I love horses but have never been able to own one. With the help of Safe Haven I have been able to learn to care for the horses. I now own 5 of their rescues! I admire the fact that they are ready to go anytime a horse is in need. They give health care, nourishment and a tone of LOVE!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

These people are great! They go out anytime called to rescue wounded, sick or stray horses. They take them in, nurse them back to health and put them up for adoption. If it were not for Safe Haven a lot of horses would have died. They also go out to assist people if their horse is down and cannot get them up on their own. This is where the training that these people do come in handy. They are a great place to learn to care for and love horses. We have adopted 5 horses from them. It is amazing the amount of love these horses have to give after being taken out of such dire situations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is a wonderful place. The dedication, love, and hard work put in to give Horses a life they deserve is amazing. Wonderful people and a wonderful place all around.

Jone' Jo Robinson H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SafeHaven is not only a great place that takes in horses, but it is also the type of place that gives back to the community and allows youth in the area to gain valuable volunteer hours. The people involved with this agency give with all their heart not only to animals but people in need too!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have never had a chance to visit or volunteer at Safe Haven, but we have tried to support them both by donations and sharing posts. I have never seen a rescue care so much for the animals that find their way there.
These people love the horses back to health. Yes, vet care and food make a life saving difference, but so does the love given to each and every horse and any other animal this rescue has saved. I love and appreciate Safe Haven, because that is exactly who and what they are.

Linda B.11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Very nice caring staff! Great help when in dire need! Thankful for all they do for the horses! Very knowledgeable .

Carla M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted two horses from Safe Haven. What makes them special is their ability to assist you after the horses are relocated on your property. Richard Fincher has also answered any feeding questions or help me solve other horse issues that I might have.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted three horses from Safe Haven. I have called them for behavior, imedical, and transport issues. Each time they have provided information or actually visited the horses to find solutions. They are truly in the business of finding ways to make the horses and owners successful and safe.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place for horses. Many of their residents are sanctuary horses and will live out their days in the gently rolling pastures and big warm barn. Well fed, with diets suited to their health conditions, clean, cool water. Groomed daily and loved on regularly. Many creatures brought to health have found forever homes from Safe Haven.

BC B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love this place! It's a wonderful place to do volunteer work. My daughter started asking for a horse when she was about 8 years old. So we decided to start doing volunteer work with safe Haven so she can see what it takes to take care of horses. Great experience! We adopted our miniature donkey (Molly Jean) from there.

Terrye H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I Joined the Safe Haven Board in January of this year. I had no experience with horses or any large animals and my roll there was bookkeeper. In the past 10 months I have witnessed not only the physical healing of these majestic animals, but their mental healing as well. Witnessing them trust an outstretched hand again has been a blessing. I was one of those individual who thought "cruelty" to animals meant the mistreatment of cats and dogs. Now I know better. Thank goodness for Safe Haven.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a new board member for Safe Haven equine Rescue since January 2019, I have seen the hard work done by the staff at Safe Haven. They recently were in charge of a huge rescue that involved 150 horses that had been seized. I saw them work tirelessly, often close to 24 hours a day, to try and save as many of these animals as possible. The staff of Safe Haven sacrificed their time, sleep and families to care for these horses. Some could not be saved, but for those that survived every effort was made to find them new homes ( which they did) . It is my honor to serve on this board and continue to support the selfless work that they do.

lindy3753

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The great group at Safe Haven Equine rescue go above and beyond what anyone could ask for. They help animals in their area and respond far and wide when the situation requires it. They recently had to acquire enough room for over 150 equines who were abused by another rescue. It took a tremendous amount of effort from staff and volunteers to rehab these animals and get them placed. They respond to flood victims in need. I can not say enough about how much I admire them! I am blessed to have them as friends and neighbors!

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

Richard, Debbie and all the volunteers do a wonderful job with the rescue horses. It also makes me feel safer knowing they are just down the road should something happen to one of my horses. They have the equipment and training to rescue a horse in most any situation. They also do a good job to education and training with adults and kids. I just attended the help a horse day and saw the new improvements in their facilities. Their dedication and hard work is a blessing to the abused and neglected animals!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Great people who help horses and the community even to those out of state who may need their assistance. They came when had tornados in our state of Oklahoma to help those who needed it with asking for anything in exchange. They stepped up when most wouldn't in those type of circumstances.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Safe Haven has the most caring people. They truly love what they do, and put tons of work and effort into taking care of the animals.

1 Dustin M.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Safe Haven continues to surprise me in all of their effort to help out their community and beyond that even. Amazing group of people!

1 Jntte G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Safe Haven Rescue is a facility totally geared to rescue abused/unwanted horses and other equine species. Last winter they turned their garage into a mini horse habitat until cold weather passed. This summer they were instrumental in rescuing 150 horses from an abusive facility, many of the horses were in foal. They had a plan from court orders to pick up thru being able to rehoming, in between proper vet care and of course lots of feed. Fortunately they do have pastures but initially horses are not just “turned out to graze”. They are very appreciative of donations of volunteer time, financial and of course tons of feeds that are specifically produced to allow top nutrition and weight gaining ingredients, this is probably the biggest expense, getting and a length of time to feed the right feeds to meet the needs of malnutrition . Safe Haven is dedicated to their commitment each and every day.

1 Donna S.4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand the care and attention the horses receive at Safe Haven. Some of the horses they have rescued have needed such rehabilitation and when you see the transformation from the moment they arrive at Safe Haven and when they are ready to be adopted out to their forever family and home is absolutely amazing!

1 Karen Sauls W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They care about the forgotten and abandoned ❤️❤️❤️❤️!!!!!

1 Mackenzie A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is great place!! The people that work there are even greater!

1 Cindy I.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has supported and worked with Safe Haven for many years. Horse rescue is not a glamorous project, but these people do it with heart, the proper attitude, hard work, perseverance, and, most importantly, for the right reasons - to help the horses. We've personally seen many horses lives transformed by the intervention, care, love and training that Safe Haven provides.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There are finishing up on a 159 horse rescue
Careful placing each horse to be sure they get a better chance of life
They are ready to respond to any disaster
With the equipment they have
The love and care for each horse is on the top of their list

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When horses, donkeys and even llamas need help, Safe Haven steps up to rescue. Natural disaster? Safe Haven jumps in to rescue. This organization works with other rescue groups to make sure the animals they have to pick up due to neglect or abuse get to the help they need. Richard and Debbie Fincher go above and beyond their duty. They don't hesitate to rescue animals far from their home base, responding to law enforcement on a moments notice. They keep volunteers trained and scheduled so these equines receive the care and attention they so badly need. A great organization. I adopted General Lee in 2010 from Safe Haven and love this horse.

Client Served

Rating: 5

These people are beyond wonderful. They went out of their way to help me when I tried to rescue a horse from a kill pen. Middle of the night they show up ready to help and spend hours on the phone with me over the next few days helping with questions.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing Rescue run by truly wonderful people! So much love, blood, sweat and tears they put into running this place and taking top notch care of all of the animals!! Volunteer if you can or donate to their truly wonderful cause!
Keep up the wonderful work y'all! :)

Angie T.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are amazing! They work hard to help all over Texas! They went down to Houston and surrounding areas in the dangerous aftermath of the hurricane last year to help rescue so many horses! Again AMAZING work and AMAZING people with this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for Safe Haven and totally love how hard they work to properly take care of the horses, as well as always learning by taking rescue classes. This is a great organization that I am thrilled to be associated with.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteers for Safe Haven and as learned a lot from the people there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank heavens for Safe Haven Equine Rescue! It's not an easy job, and if they didn't go rescue and care for those horses, WHO would do it? Me? You? I have two very nice horses they quite literally saved from dying. Thank you Safe Haven!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing place, very caring volunteers. I took my children here for a visit and they got a tour and was able to learn so much and see all the amazing animals that they have rescued.

Shannon128

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've adopted 3 horses from Safe Haven, and they are all wonderful and became important loved members of my family! Without Safe Haven, they wouldn't be here. Great folks, big hearts, and I love being a part of this great group of people!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is a wonderful group of people that pour their hearts and souls into the horses! Great rescue, great people, and I've personally seen horses go from near death to flourishing and becoming wonderful additions to lovely families, with these peoples' help. Can't say enough good things! So proud of this rescue!!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I absolutely love volunteering for Safe Haven. As Executive Director fir the last 13 years I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who love horses just as much as my wife and I. I wouldn't trade what I do for anything else.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at Safe Haven watching these horses come back alive after what they have been put thru is amazing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Safe Haven Equine Rescue is a wonderful group that really cares about horses. I've seen them take a starving, neglected horse and in a matter of weeks, turn it into an animal anyone would love to call their own. Great Christian group.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Safe Haven Equine Rescue is an awesome organization that truly cares about and gives back to the community. Not only do they rescue abused and neglected horses, they give classes on the proper care of these beautiful animals. It's all about the horses. They're awesome!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted five horses. Rebel, Rico, Bella, Sunshine, and Dancer.

Board Member

Rating: 5

All volunteers at Safe Haven are caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, and wear many different hats. They assist law enforcement in seizures of horses that have been neglected or abused, help catch and contain stray livestock, hold educational classes, and assist in disaster response. But, most importantly, they provide vet care, love, and a safe environment for horses in need.
Overall, Safe Haven Equine Rescue in Gilmer Texas is the number one place for horses in need.

MandBry W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is a wonderful rescue that not only rescues horses and rehabilitates them, they also educate the public on equine issues and care.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

I absolutely love Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement home! Alot of horses have been allowed a second chance at a new life thanks to Safe Haven. This is a great group of people with a lot of wonderful volunteers. All are working for the same goal!

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SafeHavenRescue 10/20/2015

Thanks Maranda.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Safe Haven since I was 9 years old. The different volunteers and board members have taught me a lot about horses and the right way to care for them. I absolutely love coming out here to help with chores. I clean stalls, groom horses, feed, turn out, work events, and so much more. This please is awesome.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is beyond amazing. Not only do they Rescue and rehab horses but they love to teach others about horses.

juju322

Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is a blessing to our four legged friends. They are the most hardworking, selfless people I have ever met. They not only have the home to run, but they are first responders when needed elsewhere. I can't be a volunteer so I am a donor when I can be and would be there if they needed extra help. This is a great non profit organization and East Texas is blessed to have such a home for abused and neglected animals.

Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is a wonderful organization that is truly invested in the well being of their horses, and is committed to doing all they can to rescue those in need. They have a dedicated staff and group of volunteers that work tirelessly to fulfill their mission.

Michelle Geter M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

You save horse that truly are in need of help and you do an amazing job of finding them a caring loving forever home. We love our Fonzie he is so amazing and my family and I are so great full you all helped us pic the perfect horse

Jill98

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been to visit them several times and help out. You can tell the are truly dedicated and love the animals they rescue. We ended up adopting two of them. We saw before and after pictures and were truly amazed. Phenomenal organization. ❤️

Rae_6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my two horses from Safe Haven Equine Rescue. Both had been mistreated and the gray horse felt he had to take care of the little Appaloosa mare. At first he didn't want to be separated from her but as time went on he got more confident that he didn't have to protect her anymore. He turned out to be a truly awesome horse. We suspected he was broke and could neck rein but he is so much more. Point him in a direction and he goes. Leader of the pack. We have since had the little mare broke and she's an in your pocket horse. She loves attention. The whole experience - I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Only thing that stops me now is that I'm out of pasture room! I filled out the application, Richard and Debbie came out and checked out my place and it was done. It's been two years now but if I remember correctly it wasn't long after the inspection that I went to pick them up and bring them home. By the way, my place isn't fantastic. I've got an average barn, 12 acres that is barbed wire but Richard said all I needed was fresh water and a good place for them to live. If you've ever considered rescuing a horse I highly recommend checking out the horses at Safe Haven.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopting a horse from this organization went so well. Richard is very helpful and really wants to match you up with a horse that will fit your need. On the other hand, I've seen the pain in Debbie's eyes when she talks about some of the rescues that couldn't be saved no matter how much effort they put into them. My experiences with Safe Haven have always been good; saving abused horses is what they are all about.

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

This group of horse lovers has gone overboard to save and protect abused and neglected horses. I have adopted 2 horses from Safe Haven. Richard and Debbie Fincher were more than helpful and a wealth of information in this process. The horses in their care may start out in horrible condition, but they certainly won't remain that way. The care and imprinting the horses receive to teach trust are exceptional. All this is done to show them not all humans are harmful. I really love all this group does.

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/15/2015

Thank you Generallee for the kind words.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Safe Haven volunteers are a special group of people that not only put their hearts & time into the horses they rescue, they also take time to train and learn about large animal rescues.

Michelle350

Donor

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is an amazing place to volunteer at OR donate to. We have donated numerous times to them and have complete faith in how they spend the money. Our daughter has had the privilege of volunteering and working with Richard and Debbie. She loved every minute of it. Safe Haven is dedicated to giving life back to those horses that have been neglected and abused. I am so thankful that they have dedicated their themselves to this cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This rescue is an amazing place to volunteer. The people there truly care about the horses the rescue. The are wonderful teachers and enjoy sharing what they know about horses with anyone wanting to learn.

Donor

Rating: 5

These kind hearted, caring folks go out of their ways to rescue and then rehab horses that have been abused and neglected by their owners. Some have such sad stories & need a great deal of medical care, in addition to food & love. They have staff & volunteers that go out to tend the animals and to make sure that they have a wonderful start on their NEW lives. It is amazing to see the changes that occur in the horses' personality during rehab. Safe Haven Equine Rescue is the best!

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thank you for the wonderful review. Everyone at Safe Haven Equine Rescue donates their time and energy for the love of the horses.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is the most AWESOME rescue home of horses known around East Texas!! They deserve EVERY penny, bale of hay, feed, volunteers that they get!! Please help them out!! They do what people like me can't!! God Bless Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home!!

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thanks for the kind words.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have not had any first hand experience but what I have seen on Facebook.they really care for these horse and take the best care they can. If it wasn't for safe haven I don't know what would happen to the horse they take in

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thank you for the review and support. Maybe you can come visit one day and see the horses and barn.

Jeri6

Donor

Rating: 5

My cousin adopted 2 horses from this rescue and I really love the care, love and help they give these animals, they are the best

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thanks for the review I hope your cousin continues to enjoy the horses for years to come. Ask your cousin to send us an update and pics. We love seeing and hearing about the horses even after they find their forever homes.

1 Brenda91

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful experience with Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home.

I adopted two horses from Safe Haven a couple of years ago.

I was very impressed with the care that the horses were given and the pride with which Richard took in showing me the facility. To see the before and after pictures of these animals is incredible. They go from skin and bones to beautiful healthy animals.

I felt very honored when I was asked to be a board member. The dedication to the health of all the horses entrusted to Safe Haven is enormous. I have seen board members sit around the clock with sick animals and grieve deeply when we could not save one.

I have recommended Safe Haven to my friends wanting to adopt horses and I will probably adopt another in the future.

Sincerely,
Brenda Sweeney

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thank you for the review Brenda.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this place! Heard about it from a friend. They are doing an amazing job loving, caring, and finding homes for these abused horses.

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thank you!

2 Troy5

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is the best in east Texas I'm so proud to be a part of an organization to help reabilitate and nurse them back to health that I couldn't see myself doing anything else.

Comments ( 1 )

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

Thanks for the review Troy!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Safe Haven is an amazing place. Two of my horses were adopted from there. They try to match you with the horse that is right for you. Both of my horses are very calm, gentle and will do anything you ask of them. They take very good care of their horses. They have horses of all ages. If you are looking for a new equine friend you should check out Safe Haven.

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SafeHavenRescue 10/22/2015

We are so glad you are enjoying your horses. Thank you for the wonderful review.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for 9 years. They have saved many horses from abuse and neglect. The organization is very transparent about it's operation and welcomes anyone to check out the facility if they have any questions or concerns. There is no paid staff and all donations go to the care of the horses. There is a lot of mistrust in donating to non profits due to high paid staff. Safe Haven is operated by volunteers only. That means we are here because we want to be not because we have to be!

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SafeHavenRescue 10/20/2015

Thank you for the review and yes we are here for the horses because we want to be :-)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We live in a city meaning we can't have horses but the people at Safe Haven make it so the volunteers feel like they are a part of the horses' family. Safe Haven has helped my daughter feed her love and compassion for horses. Thank you to everyone up there.

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SafeHavenRescue 10/20/2015

We truly enjoy sharing our knowledge with others. We hope your daughter continues to love and learn about these wonderful animals.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization, Atlas Roofing donates twice a year. The volunteers work hard at helping the rescued horses and they also keep you updated on there progress. It is fulfilling to watch them become healthy and find new families.

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SafeHavenRescue 10/20/2015

Thank you for the kind words and thoughts.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an adopter, I know Safe Haven Equine Rescue has saved the lives of many horses & given so many a new quality of life & beginning. I know this because my BFF was saved from starvation & is alive today because Safe Haven was there to make it happen. JM




















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SafeHavenRescue 10/20/2015

Thank you for the review. We hope you and your BFF have a long and happy life together.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping not only the horses but kids too. I have had my Girl Scout Troop out there for their annual GS Day the last 2 years and the girls come away with so much information and knowledge. They are better equipped to take care of their pets because of this event. I would say there had to be over 100 people there last year being educated in a fun and safe way. Thank you Safe Haven for all you do for horses and humans alike.

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SafeHavenRescue 10/16/2015

Thank you for the kind review. Hope to see you again this year for our Girl Scout Day event.