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Thursday, October 03 2019


 Photo Provided. Meet Baby.

By: M.C. Reyes

Winter Haven - Last month, we had the honor of visiting one of the most compassionate organizations we have ever visited before... the Hope Equine Rescue located in Winter Haven. While we were there, we met an amazing little girl named Baby.

   Baby is a miniature donkey who came into the rescue after the family who was caring for her couldn't do so anymore.

   Those who know Baby can tell how amazing she is. She is a sweet little girl but she can also be a firecracker when she wants to. "We needed to build a special tall gate just for her. Baby likes her treats and this has made her a bit of a handful. She's unhappy that we are not allowing her treats during her retraining," said Kara Huebsch, the community outreach representative for the organization when we asked her to describe Baby.

   While we were visiting, Baby threw a couple of temper tantrums because she was unhappy that her trainer wasn't allowing her to get any treats during her retraining. Due to her stubbornness, she had to be retrained, but her progress is coming along quickly. "She is a smart little donkey, and her trainer, Leigh Ann is confident she will overcome her difficulties quickly," said Kara.

   For those of you who have never heard of the Hope Equine Rescue, let me introduce you to them. Hope Equine Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 2008. In June 2018, the rescue was able to relocate to a larger facility due to a generous donation.

   The rescue was founded by Dani Horton and the Horton family when they took in their first rescue that they named Hope. Hope was tied to a tree with a dog chain and left to starve in a neighborhood where neighbors drove by her every day and never did anything to help. Hope Equine Rescue is comprised of people who are active in the horse world and are animal lovers.

   According to their website, Hope Equine Rescue is dedicated to providing rehabilitation and adoption services for abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted horses. Caring for horses can be financially taxing and they are always in need of funding for feed, medical, farrier care, supplies, services, and facility improvements.

   Hope Equine Rescue is funded by private donations and fundraisers. They could not exist nor function without the support of amazing donors and volunteers. Hope Equine Rescue’s adoption service strives to find caring homes for horses sheltered at the rescue. Potential adopters are screened and an effort is made to match a horse with a compatible new owner.

   Like any non-profit organization, the rescue relies enormously on the help of volunteers to help them achieve their mission of caring for the many animals that they currently have under their care. According to their website, with an operation of this scale and size, it’s important to have volunteers who love the cause just as much as the founder does. Volunteers are used to working events, fundraisers and clinics, clean stalls, groom horses and, occasionally, go out on rescue calls. They welcome any and all help, ages 10 years and up, but require everyone to fill out Volunteer paperwork and sign a release.

   When asked what she would tell someone who is thinking about volunteering, but who haven't decided to do so yet, this is what Kara had to say... "The benefits of personal growth are huge. A volunteer at Hope Equine is part of a team that takes pride in helping these animals and finding matches for successful forever home placements. We are a large family of volunteers and have a great time serving the community together. We pitch in and get the work done."

For more information about their great mission, you can visit their website at

Posted by: Content Coordinator AT 10:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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