During the summer of 2002, Andy Durco and I continued our discussions of what it meant to "Take this horse, Sandy, and make a difference in somebody's life with it."
My interest, at the time, was limited to the accumulation of salvage horses. However, Andy's vision was far beyond. Andy saw regular visits by children in need of safety, stability, and acceptance. Andy saw graduation ceremonies for those children where their new skills and confidences were displayed for all to see. Andy saw the guest of Refuge Farms not
as a horse person, but as any person in need. And Andy, too, saw an accumulation of salvage horses.
The net result of our discussions and Andy's continued challenges was a document that we called the "Declaration of Purpose". That document remains untouched and still holds true for Refuge Farms and it's missions of healing.
Thank you, Andy, for your vision and your encouragement to this tentative and shortsighted woman.
Refuge Farms is being formed to serve two distinct and interrelated purposes:
Refuge Farms will be horses that are considered to be 'salvage' and have no other options for life. Each horse will be medically treated, as needed, and adopted in to the society already in place on THE FARM.
- It is intended that the horses living on
No horse will be refused due to condition, although the horse's best care and quality of life will always be considered. A primary consideration will be the ability to sustain a life without pain.
Horses will be retrieved from kill pens, stockyards, abuse situations, humane societies, and word of mouth. It is intended that the horses will be surrendered to Refuge Farms, although it is also possible that horses may be purchased.
In summary, Refuge Farms is a home for horses that others have discarded -
a home that allows these horses to live out their natural lives with quality care, and good treatment in a peaceful, safe environment and in the companionship of other horses.
Utilizing the horses living on Refuge Farms, it is intended that Human Beings be given the opportunity to routinely visit THE FARM and 'adopt' a horse of their choice. The enrollee then cares for this horse by brushing, combing, bathing, and feeding their pet whenever they are on THE FARM. It will be encouraged that regularly scheduled, frequent visits to THE FARM be a component of the program.
The targeted enrollee is a young adult who has experienced physical, sexual, emotional, and/or verbal abuse or is simply dealing with the pressures and stresses of growing up in today's society. Enrollees will be supervised to insure the safety of both the enrollee and the horse. Enrollees that exhibit violent behaviors will not be allowed to continue in the program. Human Beings of all abilities will be included as the barn and horses are all accessible.
This program is called "Horses Helping . . ." .
Accomplishment of the above purposes requires the solicitation and securing of financial donations as well as donations of volunteer time, equipment, and labor.
Declaration of Purpose