Matt and Sophia with Ruby

There are moments that make our hearts overflow…and announcing the adoption of a SAFE horse is definitely one of those moments! We are delighted to tell you that our sweet Ruby found her forever home! Just one year from the anniversary of her rescue and intake, Ruby headed off to her join her new family, Sophia and Matt, on their 20-acre farm in Arlington.

Ruby made a miraculous transformation during her time with SAFE, from a starving pregnant 3 year old filly into a beautiful, healthy, and vibrant mare. Early in her rehabilitation, we prayed that she would have the strength to recover from the horrible neglect she’d faced. At that point, she could barely stand on her own. She spent most of the first weeks resting and conserving her energy. Watching her recovery has been an amazing experience for so many of us here at SAFE. In a sense, Ruby is the reason we work so hard and try each day to do the best for the horses in our care.

When Sophia’s adoption application for Ruby arrived, my first reaction was literally goose bumps! Something about the comments on the application gave me a feeling that this person could be the perfect match for Ruby. Sophia wrote “We are dedicated to the health and happiness of our land and our animals. My husband and I are mature people — in our 40s — responsible and realistic about what we can (and cannot) take on. We expect to grow with not only Buddy [their current horse] but also with our second horse. They will become part of our small agrarian based family: good people, beautiful land and fabulous animals.” I quickly called Sophia to conduct our phone interview. It only took a few minutes of conversation with her before I realized that she and her husband were “the real deal.” We started the adoption process by scheduling an opportunity for Sophia, Matt, and their trainer Valerie to meet Ruby. They all loved her. Sophia and Matt had a very well thought out plan for Ruby’s future education, allowing her the time she’ll need to settle into her new life and physically mature before beginning her training as a riding horse.

The adoption was resoundingly approved, and soon Ruby was loaded into a trailer and on her way to their farm. Those of us who gathered to say goodbye shed some tears, but they were tears of joy at such a happy ending. Ruby settled in nicely at her new home and became fast friends with Buddy, their 11 year old quarter horse gelding. The first reports from Sophia were glowing: “Ruby is doing so well!” she told us. “She had a day or two of bewilderment. That dissipated as soon as she & Buddy got to be face-to-face in the pasture (we took introductions step-by-step). He watches over her and she follows him around like a puppy in love! They have shared a pasture the last two days and I catch them rubbing noses and sharing hay. Ruby is creating an aura of domesticity in the stable. Buddy is has a job — in part to protect her. He is happy. Ruby certainly deserves that kind of care, don’t you think?!”

Ruby’s happy story is a direct result of many hands working to give her the love and time she needed to heal. Our special thanks to Debi Shatos, SAFE past President and current Herd Health Manager, for all the time and dedication she gave to Ruby’s medical and physical needs. Thank you for the healing work of Dr. Hannah Mueller and her staff at Cedarbrook Veterinary Hospital for bringing Ruby through those very critical early weeks and supporting and loving her through the loss of her foal, Grace. We are blessed and forever thankful for the generosity of our donors who helped raise money to cover Ruby and Grace’s medical bills and Ruby’s rehabilitation costs. And last but far from least, we are so grateful for the love and friendship of Ruby’s foster mom Jackie, who gave this beautiful filly the space and peace she needed to make a complete recovery.

There are a few times in this life that any of us get to be part of something as special as Ruby’s story and I know she has touched so many of our hearts. Her rescue and survival is a true testament to our community support and the hard work of SAFE’s volunteers. Ruby’s will to live was always strong and throughout her recovery she was always been a wise soul who freely showed her love and affection for those helping nurse her back to health. It is because of that love and generosity  that Ruby is thriving today.

I am honored to have known her and to announce that Ruby is finally HOME!


Here is a gallery of photos of Ruby on her last day at SAFE, and in her new home. Enjoy!