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Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary

Mission: The mission of Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary (EMES) is to provide permanent, lifelong housing and care for miniature horses, donkeys, mules, and ponies.

Community Need: Ownership of small equine, such as miniature horses and donkeys, has become an animal fad.  Like other such fads owners soon realize the reality of caring for farm animals is much more difficult than envisioned.  Without knowledge, training, facilities and/or funds to care for these animals owners end up neglecting their equine companion. In Highland County, EMES is the only specialized rescue dedicated to the needs of smaller equine.  Although EMES has the land, they need shelter, such as run-in sheds that they can independently access. Highland often struggles for funds for student projects; therefore, EMES is partnering with the carpentry program of the Highland County High School (HCHS) to build the run-in sheds. EMES will pay for the building materials and students will gain hands-on experience building real structures. The equine residents will have shelter through this community project.

Primary Activities: EMES provides no-cost permanent, lifelong housing and care specifically for small equine for which other care options are not suitable or available due to disposition, injury, age, or illness.  Their care and facilities are designed for smaller equine and they work with individual owners and area animal assistance organizations to bring these equine into their custody and care.  All of the equine who have arrived to their facility have been victims of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. They are working towards creating awareness so that owners of small equine, who are no longer able to care for their animals, can place them in a safe, secure and loving home.  Regular farrier services are also provided.

Each equine resident is evaluated for medical and behavioral needs by an on-site veterinarian who performs basic tests and treatments and can monitor and manage any dietary needs.  Behavioral needs are evaluated and positive behavior supports are provided to ensure that each animal can be handled safely especially for basic care, medical treatments, and possible emergency procedures.  Pasture land and rest areas are available for all.  Directors of the EMES also provide educational programming and facility tours to promote proper care of companion animals, the responsibilities of equine owners, and highlight the ramifications of abuse and neglect.

Constituents Served: Any miniature horse, pony, donkey or mule who is shorter than 11 hands (44 inches, measured at their shoulder) who is experiencing neglect or abuse, has been taken into custody by a rescue organization, or whose owner is no longer able to care for them, is eligible for their program.  Last year they cared for: miniature horses (2); donkeys (3); and ponies (2) between 8 months to 10 years old.

Program Details:  They are proposing to have four run-in sheds designed for smaller equine built and placed in the available extra pasture space.  Although there is almost always someone on hand to move the equine residents to their stalls in the event of bad weather, there are times when the equine might need to take shelter from the weather or sun on their own.  They are partnering with the carpentry class at HCHS to build their run-in sheds.  They currently have $1,500 of the total amount needed.

Amount Requested: $3,000

Operating Budget: $10,050

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