If you’ve visited SAFE Harbor Stables in the past few days, you may have noticed there’s another new horse in our herd. Her black and white coat is glossy, her eyes are bright, and she is definitely well fed. If she looks a bit familiar, it’s because she is a former SAFE horse named Savannah that was adopted to a new home about two years ago. 

386767_171513502939376_1616776248_nSavannah is a lovely mare who has been through a lot in her short life. In March 2010, Skagit County Animal Control seized this starving mare, and turned over to a now-defunct local horse rescue. She was rehabbed and placed into a new home. Unfortunately, conditions in her new home deteriorated, and once again, Savannah was seized by Animal Control, this time in Pierce County. PCAC turned her over to SAFE in October 2011. Fortunately this time she had been seized before her condition became too dire, and we were able to adopt her to someone who had been part of her initial rescue who promised her a safe home for life. Savannah’s story finally had its happy ending, or so we thought.

But our attempts to contact Savannah’s adopter for a follow up visit earlier this year were unsuccessful, and it soon became obvious to us that Savananh had been rehomed…without our knowledge. If you’re not familiar with SAFE’s adoption policies, our adopters sign a contract agreeing to notify us if they are unable to keep their SAFE horses. (We also ask them to take responsibility for carefully rehoming their horse, and to have the new owner sign our contract so we can continue to monitor the horse’s well-being.)

By networking on Facebook, we were able to track Savannah down fairly quickly and soon we were in contact with her new owner. Turns out Savannah’s adopter had given her away to a teenager and her father who had spent time with her at her boarding barn. The two did not have much in the way of horse experience, but they made up for it with deep and genuine love and devotion to this beautiful mare. When we contacted Savannah’s new owner, she was struggling with the demands of school and work and lack of transportation, and was finding it difficult to spend enough time with her beloved horse. She and her father had agreed that selling Savannah was probably the best solution for everyone, but the process of trying to sell her horse to a stranger was causing her great anxiety, worry, and grief. So when we connected, she still had Savannah but needed to sell her.

SAFE did have one spot open…and we decided that it would be best to offer that spot to Savannah. We felt we owed it to her to see that her next home was stable and permanent, and that she would have the protection of our adoption contract. When we proposed this to Savannah’s owner, her response was heartfelt relief and gratitude. And although it broke her heart to say goodbye, she was very clear that she knew she was making the right decision for Savannah. She acted with great maturity and grace, and we are so grateful to her for being there for Savannah, for taking excellent care of her, and for allowing us to step in and help her when she needed us to.

So Savannah came to SAFE Harbor on Saturday. We are in the process of evaluating her and will have more to report on her physical condition and her level of training/rideability after we’ve had a chance to get reacquainted. She is a lovely mare and we know she has a bright future ahead of her. She’s been through a lot…but she has also known what it’s like to be loved and cared for. And for that she is a lucky girl.

Thank you to everyone who helped us reconnect with Savannah. Your devotion to this mare has not gone unnoticed and we are very grateful to each of you.