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Starting a horse non-profit to help re-home horses?

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  • Starting a horse non-profit to help re-home horses?

    First off, I’m a longtime member of the board, but posting under an alter b/c I’m sure everyone knows that you have to have a strict CYA policy on asking questions.

    I was really inspired by the SpecialHorses story. I’ve always planned to start my own horse non-profit when I had some land and could help foster, rehome, all that fun stuff. My husband and I agreed very early on that once our lives were in order, we were married, and I didn’t have to work, that I’d devote my time to an animal nonprofit.

    Recently, I started looking for a personal horse. After putting my name out for only FIVE days, I’ve been gifted not one, but two great geldings that with a little time and effort could be placed into show homes. They’re younger, full of potential, sound, and were completely FREE. I have a great place to put them, made friends with a pastor that has a field and charges me pretty much nothing to have some horses in the yard to look at.

    It got me thinking though- these horses were free because their owner didn’t want to take any time to try and find these guys homes, and didn’t have the contacts. I have a LOT of time at work, and the contacts too, and I’m always helping people through word-of-mouth to find new horses.

    How much success do you think a group to place unwanted/free/giveaway/adoptable horses with deserving, knowledgeable people would have right now? I picture our “buyers” being people who can afford a horse, but want to A- take advantage of the multitude of “diamonds in the rough” being given away currently, and pick up a good prospect or B-find a trail buddy/pasture pet/kids horse/what have you.

    I wouldn’t be fostering or homing any of these horses unless 100% scary necessary, but instead operating what I picture to be an expanded, regulated, and managed version of COTH’s giveaway board. I wouldn’t ask for adoption fees for the (B) type horses, and only after I got 5013c status would I ask an UNDER $1k adoption fee for the (A) type horses.

    This is happening sooner than I expected, but I see this as a great way to donate my time, energy, webmistress skills, and contacts to helping horses and owners affected by the current economy, and to maybe make an already terrible situation of having to give your horse away just a little bit easier.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?

  • #2
    I think I'd try and drop the money part out of it and worry about the free to good home fire sale types--as that is the majority of what I'm seeing here. People who actually have the time to try and sell don't *seem* to need the help like those who literally have days to rehome else euth.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #3
      A friend of mine with her friend just started a non profit horse rescue/re-home, etc in the Summer. Their goal is to help people keep their horses with a hay bank (3+ tons donated), gelding clinics but also provide euthanasia clinics when needed; UC Davis Vet students doing the procedures under direction of Vets. Sometimes people just need a little help with feed for a few months to keep their horses but if they cannot the rescue will provide a safe home until the horse is re-homed. They do keep an eye on the listings for free horses and call to offer assistance. The website http://www.backinthesaddleproject.com/ You might contact them for tips and networking, etc.
      Last edited by FancyASB; Dec. 8, 2009, 08:50 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly it doesn't sound like it would be that different from, say, the CANTER rehoming program (not the trainer listings but the adoptables).

        Basically, it's a great idea and I think there's a place/need for it. But you have to be prepared for horses to not move, even if they're very nice

        All I'd say is make sure your funding does not depend on rehoming - have another source, and start small, a few horses at a time. It can be really overwhelming, especially right now, because there are horses all over the place whose owners are desperate to move them.

        And be prepared to deal with craziness beyond what you ever thought possible. I think people looking for horses at "Rescues" (which is how you'll be perceived even if you're not pulling horses from kill pens and desperate situations) add another dimension to the usual horse shopper nuttiness. So be prepared.

        Not really qualified to offer any other advice, really
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.

        Comment


        • #5
          Quite honestly I think you could do the most good without ever actually touching a horse.

          You noted you want to put your web skills to work, why not just create a website that effectively markets horses in need? It could work similar to Donatemyhorse.com.

          You could charge $5 or a free section to list a horse, have a newsletter with success stories, and use the income generated to help support rescues that are already out there taking horses. I really believe that the best way to help is to keep the horses from getting to rescue in the first place!

          Become a national database of potential fosters, preferably those already approved by reputable rescues.

          Work with rescues to help them list their adoptables

          See where I am going with this? I am hopped up on colds meds so clear though and how it is typed might not be one and the same

          ETA!

          Why not join us at Special Horses and help us get our listings up and ready? You could get your feet wet, get a feel for it and gosh only knows we could use the help
          I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

          Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by equineartworks View Post

            Why not join us at Special Horses and help us get our listings up and ready? You could get your feet wet, get a feel for it and gosh only knows we could use the help
            YES YES YES!!!

            PM me, e mail me, whatever!!! We have already started a wee bit helping transition horses into therapy-type homes, but we can only do so much! This would be absolutely wonderful - it is all about the networking!!
            www.specialhorses.org
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

            Comment


            • #7
              hmmm,

              you also might want to stay in front of the mirror and start practicing to say 'No'


              as in 'the boat is full'

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                Quite honestly I think you could do the most good without ever actually touching a horse.

                You noted you want to put your web skills to work, why not just create a website that effectively markets horses in need? It could work similar to Donatemyhorse.com.

                You could charge $5 or a free section to list a horse, have a newsletter with success stories, and use the income generated to help support rescues that are already out there taking horses. I really believe that the best way to help is to keep the horses from getting to rescue in the first place!

                Become a national database of potential fosters, preferably those already approved by reputable rescues.

                Work with rescues to help them list their adoptables

                This is EXACTLY how I pictured helping. I can't physically take the horses, but I can still help!

                I'm emailing you now

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you're not assuming care of the horses and mostly relying on phone email contact to get them new homes, it's not clear what your costs would be and why this needs to be a non-profit? Why not just call yourself a broker who is focused on re-homing horses-in-need. Keep your fees low, as you've already said you plan to.
                  A salary to yourself and some gas mileage for trying out horses are reasonable biz expenses but if this is the majority of your expense list, it may look to the outsider that the non-profit status is a shield for personal gain. I am in NO WAY saying this is your motivation, just that you're opening yourself up to those kinds of questions. Unfortunately there are too many misguided and bad rescuers out there to not be a bit cynical.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                    hmmm,

                    you also might want to stay in front of the mirror and start practicing to say 'No'


                    as in 'the boat is full'
                    We have word association here in my house it goes like this:

                    Me:
                    "Honey, listen to this ad on CL..'

                    DH:
                    "No"

                    Me:
                    "But I could be talking about a free brand new tractor!"

                    DH:
                    "But we know you aren't so let's just nip it in the bud now before you go any further"

                    He is a VERY smart man.
                    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by want_to_help View Post
                      This is EXACTLY how I pictured helping. I can't physically take the horses, but I can still help!

                      I'm emailing you now
                      emailed you back
                      I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                      Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                        We have word association here in my house it goes like this:

                        Me:
                        "Honey, listen to this ad on CL..'

                        DH:
                        "No"

                        Me:
                        "But I could be talking about a free brand new tractor!"

                        DH:
                        "But we know you aren't so let's just nip it in the bud now before you go any further"

                        He is a VERY smart man.

                        LOL, if it only was a tractor!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am looking for rescues (and therapeutic riding centers) that would like to coordinate classes for me. It will help in several ways-the coordinator would take the class (equine massage therapy) for free and get several people to their faciltiy-use their horses for the class (free massages for the poor horses). continuing every 6 months to coordinate classes, I will use the coordinator (who took the class) to assist in classes (with more people in them)and will be paid for assisting in the class! Taking and working with the Rehab Class will help them to rehab their horses-as well as do rehab at their facility! Please contact me directly if you are interested!!
                          amassiacres@yahoo.com
                          Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
                          http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think a website with a comprehensive list of equine rescues, foster homes, fundraisers, news, events, grants available etc., for horses in need would be a fantastic resource. I learned about another chance 4 horses and the rescue board at alex brown racing on this forum, but that was only after hours of reading. I would love to be able to log into such a site and see where I could help at any given time (abr comes very close to this). It could really make a difference if it sufficiently galvanized the rescues and their followers. It would also be convenient for someone interested in adopting a horse in need to be able to see more than one rescue's listings at a time, horses that don't have time for petfinder, for example.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              eaw and I have tossed this around - we realized that the first step was building the network. Groups you know know other groups, and so much mobilization can be done. It's been a matter of time and hands! So this will be a wonderful start towards the very thing you are suggesting, TG!
                              www.specialhorses.org
                              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Dressage Geek, I've seen your site, and I think it's wonderful. Keep up the good work!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ah, but the kudos are due to equineartworks. When it comes to the site, I can only edit!
                                  www.specialhorses.org
                                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                                    We have word association here in my house it goes like this:

                                    Me:
                                    "Honey, listen to this ad on CL..'

                                    DH:
                                    "No"

                                    Me:
                                    "But I could be talking about a free brand new tractor!"

                                    DH:
                                    "But we know you aren't so let's just nip it in the bud now before you go any further"

                                    He is a VERY smart man.


                                    hmmmmm does YOUR hubby know MY hubby??? They sure sound alike!

                                    "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hopefully everyone is already aware - The Horse offers free listings for free horses of all breeds on their website. No need to re-invent that. But a regional-type listing of all non-profit equine groups might be a resource for donaters looking for ways to help locally.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ^^^

                                        So does equine.com. But anyone can post these listings! We are in the process of creating a database of Rescue/Nonprofit adoptables and private parties that are approved first. We don't want to just make a site where people can post their horses. We want to be proactive about creating a network that puts the owners of horses that need to find a knowledgeable, financially sound, and safe home for their 4-legged friends in touch with people who are providing those homes.

                                        This means actively updating our listings and reaching out to those who already do so much for these horses, like CANTER/FLTAP/AC4H and similar organizations, and using our resources to help them. Only through word of mouth will we get private horses, but I plan to actively market the site as soon as we're up and running!

                                        Comment

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