I'm just finishing my 8th year as a volunteer and board member at the Horse Protection Society of NC. When I first began at HPS, we housed our herd of 29 horses in a dilapidated 100-year-old barn and numerous out buildings along the property. Through sound business practices, HPS now has transformed into a beautiful facility comprised of new barns that house up to 50 horses, vinyl fencing, a covered hay feeder that allows horses to enjoy hay out of inclement weather and an indoor riding arena in which to safely place horses back under saddle after their recovery and rehabilitation period is competed. All this has been accomplished while remaining debt free and without compromise to the feeding and care of the horses.
In response to slanderous allegations made by marenmind on Oct 5, 2010 that the horses at HPS do not receive proper care, that the people who run are "terrible, hateful, people" and do not appreciate donors and volunteers.
HPS cares for approximately 45 horses each month. These horses are fed twice a day and every horse is check from checked and treated for any medical problem from the tiniest scratch to the most serious disease. This care is documented daily by the volunteers and with 30-40 people helping to care for these horses on a monthly basis. All horses receive yearly dental care, are up to date on vaccinations, receive hoof care every 6-7 week, unless foundered and then receive hoof care every 3-4 weeks and annual digital radiographs,and are wormed every 6-7 weeks. Additionally, we request volunteers to each take a horse and give it personal attention each week.
Most horses need about a year to completely recover from starvation and begin to ride again. All horses are treated by a chiropractor before being saddled and are brought back slowly and carefully. This may mean that the horse is only walked without a rider the first day, then sat on the second time, then ridden at a walk for about 5 minutes the third time. Strict attention is paid to ensure that the horse is not over exerted and injured as it returns to a saddle career.
Barns are cleaned a minimum of 4 times a week. I clean them at least once a week myself and have been doing so for the past 7 years.
Volunteers are our most important asset. Most come to the sanctuary with absolutely no horse experience but are welcomed to come share the experience of rehabilitating these magnificent creatures. The only stipulations are that volunteers/members pitch in and carry their share of the load, follow policy, and treat others at the sanctuary with respect.
I convey my personal appreciation to volunteers for almost every task they perform on a daily basis. As does our Executive Director, who also buys a Christmas gift for every volunteer/feeder from her own pocket. Every donor receives a personally written thank you note for every single donation they make.
For many years, Joan Benson did much of the physical labor, at the sanctuary herself despite already being in her 60's. In 2005, a change was made to allow her to properly fulfill her role as a true Executive Director and since then the sanctuary has flourished with the addition of a covered hay feeder, improved fencing, 2 large barns and 4 smaller ones totalling 50 stalls. We are happy to say that this was accomplished without the sanctuary incurring any debt. We are now on our way to adding a covered riding arena and would like to obtain special medical equipment such as a sling.
I understand that this organization is not for everyone. We cannot let you or your children ride the horses because there is too great a liability issue. The work is difficult and we are often short-handed so we need everyone to pitch in. There are many rules but they are to keep the volunteers safe, the euipment operating, and the horses healthy.
Sometimes people cannot understand those few simple facts and they leave in anger. I do not understand why people such as marenmind then try to harm the horses and the organization they once professed to love.
I'm proud to represent this organization and will not hide behind a fictitious name as marenmind has done.
The Horse Protection Society of NC is a godsend to the horses of North Carolina. My son and I have been members and volunteers for 3 years. It has changed our lives.
I can attest that it is truly inspirational to be involved with this organization and to watch the horses recover and live without the fear of hunger, neglect and abuse. I am proud to be a member of HPS.
The horses are well cared for and each volunteer/donor is appreciated. Every decision made is considered and executed with the horses best interests at heart.
HPS has grown to become the dream sanctuary that is today because of the determination, dedication and care of Executive Director Joanie Benson and President Deborah Baker. HPS is flourishing with the help of donors and the loyal, caring philanthropy of the hard working volunteers.
Rescuing horses from near death and rehabilitating them is not an easy task. A team of devoted people are required and without them it would not be possible to have this magnificent place for the horses to recover.
Hps, beyond doubt, is the epitome of what a non-profit rescue should be. Every penny earned is used solely for the advantage of the horses. The people involved deeply care and the animals benefit from the loving care they receive; the people benefit from education they receive and the satisfaction gained from KNOWING that you have accomplished something miraculous in saving lives.
I implore anyone who reads this post to look deep into your heart and become involved to help us save the horses.
Every aspect of my life has changed due to the influence of this amazing place!
Review from Guidestar