Our story began almost six years ago when the founder and Executive Director, Georgianna Fox, of Bodega Meadows Horse Sanctuary, rescued two draft cross mares from a kill pen in Fallon, Nevada. One of the mares, Olive, turned out to be heavy in foal and four months later gave birth to a colt named Kolo.
It wasn’t until, the founder of the sanctuary purchased a 14.5-acre property in the beautiful countryside of West Sonoma County, California, in the little town of Bodega, that the sanctuary went from a dream to reality. In May of 2020, the sanctuary became a legal non-profit 501c3. To date, the sanctuary has rescued ten horses and is expecting at least one foal to deliver anytime between now and the spring of 2021.
Our mission began with the hopes of rescuing as many horses as the sanctuary could afford to take care of indefinitely. Although it would be ideal to adopt-out rescued horses, the sanctuary’s focus is to provide love, care, rehabilitation, training, and a forever home. Many of our rescues are not suitable for re-homing, due to either the abuse they endured in their previous life, their age, or their physical status.
We have had a good first calendar year here at the sanctuary. We have some lovely volunteers who enjoy pampering the horses and cleaning up after them. Donations have begun to funnel in which is a great help in keeping all of the horse’s bellies full and getting necessary veterinarian and hoof care. The founder has created more shelter so that each horse has a clean, dry place to eat and hang out in when not roaming the pastures. The sanctuary has developed a relationship with a very talented horse trainer, Leanne Wildman, who is helping to make some of our horses safer to handle and others able to be ridden.
We are kick-starting the New Year with our brand new membership program. This program will help us to provide rescued horses with rehabilitation, veterinary care, feed, farrier services, and training.
The sanctuary needs advertising/marketing, grant writers, website designers, equipment, fencing repair, tree trimming, horse training, veterinarian care, hoof trimmings, etc., etc. We are also in need of more board members, specifically, members who can help the sanctuary thrive.
Our dream is to educate the public about the horrific practices of horse slaughter and help put an end to the role Americans play, by making it illegal to slaughter horses in the U.S. and the transport of horses abroad for this purpose.
Americans have never raised horses for human consumption, but that has not stopped U.S. horses from being sold to other countries for their meat. Until 2007, thousands of horses were inhumanely slaughtered here on U.S. soil by foreign-owned slaughter plants and then shipped to Europe and Asia. The state of Texas banned horse slaughter in 2007 and the state of Illinois followed suit. Although horse slaughter was no longer taking place in U.S, that did not stop foreign countries from purchasing our horses and shipping them to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered and served in high-end restaurants in countries like Japan, France, Italy, and Belgium.
Presently there is no federal law prohibiting slaughter plants from opening in the U.S in states where there is no ban. In 2008, attempts were made in places like South Dakota and Illinois. Currently, there is a bill, written in 2019, tilted, Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 961), which would make it illegal to slaughter horses in the U.S. and export abroad for this purpose.
Every year over 80,000 American horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for consumption. Horses are purchased by middlemen known as “kill buyers” at livestock auctions across the U.S. from unsuspecting owners needing to sell their animal. Kill buyers often outbid other buyers looking to buy a sound horse. Unfortunately, some horses are purposefully sold into slaughter by irresponsible owners who are looking to downsize their stock due to over breeding.
When American horses are purchased from a kill buyer, they are sent to a holding facility such as a feedlot, where they are then shipped off to Canada and Mexico. Transportation for these horses is awful. They are packed into overcrowded trailers, where their journey is often over 24 hours long and they are deprived of food and water.
If that is not horrific enough, when the horses arrive at the slaughterhouse, the suffering continues unabated. Often, they are left in trailers for long periods of time in the sweltering heat or the freezing cold. When a horse falls in a trailer they are unable to get back up and then are crushed by the other frightened horses. The horses are regularly offloaded with excessive force.
Once off the trailers, the horses are herded through the slaughter plant where heartless workers use rods made from fiberglass to poke and trounce their faces, necks, legs, and backs as the frightened horses are pushed through the facility and into a kill box. There is footage that shows horses being repeatedly stabbed in the neck with knives before being slaughtered. This cruel practice paralyzes the horse all the while it remains fully conscious at the start of the slaughter process. The animal is then hung by a hind leg, its throat sliced and body butchered.
Bodega Meadows Horse Sanctuary is a small nonprofit 501(c)(3) (federal tax i.d. #85-1432128) located in Bodega, California. We are dedicated to saving horses from slaughter. We provide love, care, safety, rehabilitation, adoption and a forever home where our horses can live among herd groups in rolling meadows.
While we cannot save all horses from slaughter, we can have a significant impact on the future of American horses. Our goal is to rescue as many as we can care for and re home. We strive to bring awareness to the public through education. Our goal is to pass the bill, Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R.961), and ban horse slaughter and export abroad for that purpose. Say something interesting about your business here.