Photo Essay: Helping Horses

Abused horses find their permanent home

For horses who have been neglected, abused or whose owners simply can’t afford to care for them any longer, the Oregon Horse Rescue, located in Eugene, Oregon, is an organization that provides “forever homes.” Founded in 2012 by locals Jane and David Kelly, they’ve taken in over 40 horses on their 70-acre piece of land, complete with open space, food, water, shelter and personal care. The Kellys decided to devote their lives to rescuing horses after responding to a Craigslist ad for a horse adoption and found the animal to be severely neglected and unhealthy.

The horses at the rescue have a diverse set of personalities because of their unique backgrounds. Some horses are friendly and want to stick their nose in other people’s business until you pet them, while others are too timid to even make eye contact, revealing signs of their abusive past. The horses who seem to suffer the most are those who have lost their eyesight.

Katie, the barn manager, says that those who didn’t take well to losing their sight “see monsters,” and have a hard time trusting others, or even trusting themselves. She says that one-on-one attention is what these horses need most. The organization hopes to attract volunteers that will visit with the horses and show them much needed affection. The future of the OHR is bright. With more awareness, funding, and volunteers, the program will continue to thrive and help horses in need.

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