Mission: Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue (Hope’s Legacy) is an all-breed rescue working to save equines from a variety of situations including, but not limited to: abuse, abandonment, neglect, slaughter or lack of care.
Community Need: Equines end up needing rescue for multiple reasons. Unlike cats and dogs, horses can live 25 to 30 years, sometimes outliving their owner. They require two acres of land to graze on and stay healthy. If the owner has that property, it’s hard physical work to maintain it. If they need to board the horse, it will cost $2,400 to $8,000 per year just to keep one animal at a facility. In addition, horses need regular vet and farrier care, medicine, feed and hay, which can cost another $2,500 per year. They need regular interaction with humans to maintain their training. For caretakers, a change in financial or marital status, health, or a death can change the person’s ability to take care of the animal. There are approximately 215,000 horses in Virginia and about 4,000, are unwanted.
Primary Activities: Hope’s Legacy provides rescue regardless of age or disability. These animals will be rehabilitated and placed in adoptive homes whenever possible. They also work with their future horse owner generation, teaching them responsible and proper horse care. Hope’s Legacy primary activity is their adoption program. They rehabilitate through food, supplements, training and human interaction. Then they adopt out to a carefully screened home. To help prevent future rescue situations they castrate intact males upon arrival; they state in their adoption contract that females will not be bred; and they educate children in schools groups on responsible horse care, and compassion and respect for animals.
Constituents Served: Hope’s Legacy accepts horses from Animal Control seizures and cruelty cases as well as owner surrenders from within the state of Virginia. In 2017, they took in 19 horses, 2 donkeys and a goat; mainly from private individuals who were longer able to care for them. Based on these numbers they directly affected over 20 Virginian families including seniors, adults and children.
Program Details: Hope’s Legacy now has a permanent home called Castle Rock Farm. With the exception of a tractor and the land financed at 0% interest, their goal is not to go into debt. They have $25,000 committed for 2018 and $25,000 for 2019. A permanent location for Hope’s Legacy will allow them to focus on their main mission of taking in, rehabilitating and adopting out equines. They will no longer worry about their rented property being sold, then finding a new location, and moving these large animals and their supplies. Through the build-out of Castle Rock Farm, they will be able to increase their capacity from 30 to 50 equines by 2022. In case of a future event like the Peaceable Farm seizure in 2015, where Hope’s Legacy assisted the sheriff’s department in taking 29 horses and donkeys at one time, this larger property will allow them to respond more effectively to those situations. It also allows them to develop programs that welcome a more diverse population to interact with the equines. They will continue to work with school groups on responsible horse care, but there are many people who would like to learn about, and interact with, equines. They are developing programs to have seniors and other groups use Castle Rock Farm as a learning resource, where they can interact with nature and the animals.
Amount Requested: $10,000
Operating Budget: $135,315