Here at SAFE, we typically have 30 full sized horses in our care at any given time, plus our two resident mini horses. These horses reside either at our facility in Redmond, or in foster care. We usually have one or two horses offsite in full training as well.
SAFE acquires horses through two primary sources. First, we work in partnership with Animal Control agencies in several counties, and have contracts in place with King and Pierce Counties to provide care and rehabilitation services for horses that are seized or surrendered. Our goal in providing this care is to help Animal Control agencies be more effective in their ability to take action against people who abuse and neglect animals. Once these animals are rehabilitated, they are signed over to SAFE so that we can find permanent adoptive homes for them.
SAFE also takes horses that are surrendered directly to us by their owners. In the current economy, there are many horse owners who find themselves unable to care for their animals. SAFE receives requests on a daily basis to take horses that belong to people facing the loss of their jobs, their homes, or their health.
Because we are limited in the amount of space, funding, and manpower we have available, we can only help so many horses at one time. And when a spot does open up, we have to make a careful choice about which horse to take in next. We take the most desperate cases first — horses that are starving, or suffering from illness, injury, or severe neglect. These cases take the highest priority for our limited resources, simply because without our help, they are at risk of extreme suffering or death.
SAFE has the experience and resources to take these desperate animals, nurse them back to good health and weight, and start them on the road to a better future. We make a long term commitment to every horse we save, and it’s because of this commitment that we cannot and will not take on more horses that we are able to care for. Some horses spend a relatively short amount of time at our rescue, but others are with us for a long time…as long as it takes to find them the perfect new home.
With SAFE, it’s not just about the “save” — it’s everything that comes afterwards that we really take pride in. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s one we take on with great joy, knowing that we haven’t just saved a life, we’ve given a life back.
Does SAFE have room for my horse?
The short answer: probably not. We are nearly always at full capacity, and as soon as we are able to place a horse, there is typically another horse waiting to fill its spot. And our duty is to the horses in the worst situations — those seized by Animal Control or facing imminent starvation or neglect. We are a rescue, and we have to devote our resources to horses that are truly in need of rescue.
We’re truly sympathetic to people with horses that they can’t keep anymore, because we know first hand how much work is involved in finding safe and lasting new homes for them. But if we took every horse that we’re asked to take, we wouldn’t have room for the ones who desperately need our help. Every horse owner should have a plan in place in case a day comes when they can no longer care for their horse. There are options available, but most options take time and planning and not every option is right for every horse. And relying on a horse rescue to take your horse should only be an option in the worst possible scenarios.
If you are in a situation where you are concerned about the future welfare of your horse, we will try to help as much as we can. Please take a look at the suggestions offered in this article: Safe Options for Rehoming Your Horse. You are also welcome to send a message to our Outreach Coordinator, Nicole B. at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can advise you on possible solutions or suggestions for making responsible decisions for your horses.
If surrendering your horse is the only option available to you, please fill out and submit our Community Outreach application.