Emaciated, infested with parasites, jagged teeth, ulcers, painfully overgrown hooves...horses arrive starving to death. With your support, horses are rehabilitated and adopted. Tour 9am - 4pm.
Why do we exist?
The horse has played a role in American culture since the first Spanish settlers sailed to the New World with Paso Finos. Stories like the Black Stallion, or the ones told in spaghetti westerns describe fantastic tales about the bond formed between humans and equines. Like any other relationship, that of the horse-owner requires a lot of hard work, care, dedication, sensitivity and respect. Often times, however, idealized, romantic notions surrounding horses prevent people from exercising good judgement. Misunderstanding, along with ignorance or apathy have fostered an environment where abuse, neglect and cruelty towards these majestic creatures are surprisingly common. Days End Farm Horse Rescue was formed as a response to this disturbing trend.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc (DEFHR) is a non-profit, volunteer based animal welfare organization established in 1989 because of a horse named “Toby”. When Kathy and Allan Schwartz, co-founders, first saw Toby, he was a rack of bones and so severely emaciated and infested with parasites that even the veterinarian could scarcely believe he was alive. They decided to bring Toby into their family and spent nearly a year tending to his myriad medical needs until he was fully revived. Toby was able to recover and live happily as a pleasure riding horse despite the tremendous odds he had faced after suffering cruelly at the hands of his previous owner. The relief of Toby’s suffering brought such joy and fulfillment to Kathy and Allan, that a promise was made and an organization established to ensure that all horses, regardless of breed or stature would receive proper care and treatment.
This initial exposure to Toby along with subsequent research made Kathy and Allan aware that instances of abuse and neglect are common. Even more distressing was the realization that no entity existed to meet this humane need. Most county animal control agencies had neither the capability to care for nor facilities to house horses. Days End Farm meets this need by offering these majestic creatures rehabilitation, foster care, and adoption to qualified homes. It takes a body of over 150 hands-on volunteers of all ages and socioeconomic levels to assist in caring for and rehabilitating the 40 to 50 horses on-site at DEFHR at any given time. The ultimate goal is to adopt these majestic creatures to new loving homes.
What have you accomplished?
The process begins when Animal Control Officers seize one or more horses from an owner because of cruelty or neglect. Since it’s inception a decade ago, DEFHR has received impounded horses from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The incoming horses are immediately placed in our intensive care facility where they receive 24-hour monitoring and medical attention including veterinary visits, hoof care (farrier visits), medicines and vaccines, a specialized diet plan, grooming, and emergency surgical procedures (if necessary). On average, a horse requires 4 - 6 months of intensive care before they have stabilized – both mentally and physically - enough to be placed on a less strenuous recuperative regime. Once horses have graduated to an extended care and maintenance program, they are eligible for adoption to qualified homes. DEFHR tracks all adoptions annually to ensure each animal receives proper treatment and a safe home environment.
The state of newly admitted horses varies, but most suffer from one or more of the following: starvation (or malnutrition), hoof deformity/neglect, parasite infestation, lack of medical care, physical abuse, and painful or crippling ailments. Rehabilitation is the primary and most cost- and labor-intensive service that the Farm renders. A significant portion of the daily chores and routine care is provided by our strong foundation of over 360 volunteers. However, because of the nature of the medical attention needed for incoming, critical care horses, DEFHR has 5 highly experienced staff who provide expert care in conjunction with the veterinarian, farrier, dentist and equine nutrition expert. The “recovery cost” per horse varies according to its condition. The average expense per animal per month is $450 while in critical care and $250 during the extended care and maintenance period.
Collaboration has been, and will continue to be, quintessential in furthering DEFHR’s mission. In its first decade, Days End Farm Horse Rescue has earned the support of – and joined forces with- animal control agencies, humane organizations and professional animal care workers both locally and nationally. Our goal is not only to intervene and ameliorate disaster situations, but also to educate the public and equine community to avoid neglect as a result of ignorance. A portion of DEFHR’s humane education involves helping animal care professionals to better identify possible equine cruelty situations and successfully deal with investigations.