How it began

Our Story

HIP #407

I've been riding since I was 6. To me, that's a lifetime. I've been around animals my entire life! My parents, and then single mom, owned and operated a grooming salon and small breed specific puppy boutique where we placed 'special' small breeds with perfect families. On occasion we would help rehome disabled, unwanted and overbred from puppy mills. My Louis Lou, a teeny tiny maltese was one of these. he suffered several cases of hypoglycemia shock and weighed only 3 pounds. He's on our FB & Insta pages. For years, I've done work-to-ride and lease programs at various barns in numerous counties but never actually owned my own horse. It was always a dream...

...That changed August 2020, when Furvivors truly began without any intention. We decided it was time to add another member to our small family. After months, and months, and months of looking near and far to adopt a horse of my own with no luck, my mom suggested going to an auction. I highly doubted it would result in finding what I wanted but CoVid had crept into the equation of life and I needed something, someone to help me through. It took weeks to build up courage to face the dreaded conditions I wanted to avoid mostly from the horror stories I've read and heard about through the years. I had to accept that I might see something I disliked at an auction, or want to take every single horse home with me. I knew I couldn’t save them all, but at least I could make a difference for one life, should he be there, when I finally managed the courage to go.

I was absolutely not prepared for the horrible things I witnessed that day. The sad, neglected, lonely, old, and young, teeny tiny, and sick horses stood in rows waiting to face their fate. Big and small. Mini and even mini-er. Mama's with babies. Yes! with babies. Mama's expecting babies. I passed through them all, in a whirl. I had my headphones on with music blasting so I couldn't hear the sounds, the cries. I immediately headed to the room with the draft horses in hopes of finding my sound heart horse, my dream. Of course I adored them all, and fell in love with a big black (filthy) Percheron standing in between two Belgians. I felt a strong connection to him. It wasn't hard to see that he was severely underweight; about 600 pounds with slight evidence of lameness; later to find a severe case of canker and an old stifle injury. We then realized he was probably doused with auction 'candy' to hide the pain he was in. Neither here nor there, you will come to find in our journey that hip #407 was our first save and the inspiration of FURvivors Wonderland. I named him Caravaggio. Gio.

Several months later I acquired my second project horse, an OTTB gelding who had been through so much, mentally and physically. He is a descent of Northern Dancer. After much research and persistence, I found that he raced for 5 years in California, NJ and NY, then I traced him to have had an amazing show career as a fabulous jumper, then he went onto barrel racing, which bewilders me because they are so very opposite. When I pulled him, he was a very tense, scared, highly wound up fella'. He was headed to auction, where I am sure he would have been on 'that' truck based on his stressed behavior as we quickly realized he tends to have claustrophobia; doesn't enjoy being stalled, in wash bays or in a trailer for long periods, especially w/out a buddy. Thankfully, I stepped in to keep him out of the pipeline. Now, he is enjoying his best life, as a Furvivor. Rescue. Rehab. Rise. You can see more of him, Cassimo, aka MoMo, on our TikTok & Insta.

Sadly though, the reality is that my stomach knots up every morning when I think of all the auction horses who won’t have a humane ending. Auctions continue every day, nationwide. I have talked about ways to help these animals with my friends and family for months and came to the conclusion to form my own rescue. Together we do what we can, rather than just sit by and watch all the disheartening online media posts.

Animals cannot speak for themselves, we have to be their voice.

I can attest that my Furvivor Family has an unsurpassable amount of love and affection. With that and the help of other like minded people, like YOU, we can, and WILL make the world a better place, one small hoof print at a time. #doitforthem

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