New Center Matches Six Horses with Hopeful Adopters

by Pepper Ballard

Some horse lovers who turned out for the recent grand opening of the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Murchison, Texas, are hoping to lay adoptive claim to six rescued horses showcased during the opening ceremonies.

Applications are being reviewed from six families seeking to take home one of the innovative center’s first rehabilitated equines. Visitors to the center, which opened as part of Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, watched natural horsemanship trainers gently guide the center’s first resident horses through a series of basic obstacles, showcasing their recovery.

Some of the center’s first residents were rescued during a December 2010 Lindale, Texas, animal cruelty investigation; many of those horses were unapproachable at first, but are now gaining confidence in themselves, and in people. Anne Rathburn-Favre, director of the center, said that the application process will involve a home visit, education and follow-up care and training advice. The center maintains the right to rescind an adoption if staff discovers that the needs of the horse are not being met.

“We are excited that so many people felt inspired to adopt one of our rescued horses, and we are looking forward to seeing these deserving animals in the homes of loving families,” she said.

See all the adoptable horses »

Among the horses who visitors hope to adopt is Doris, a palomino horse named after the center’s platinum blond namesake. Trainers remarked that Doris had at first been unapproachable, but the proud mare easily followed her trainer’s guidance in the ring, and approached people who visited her in her contained stall.

Nearly 2,000 people turned out to watch Doris and a handful of other rehabilitated rescued horses show off their transformations during the grand opening on the grounds of Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary owned and operated by The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals.

The center takes in horses who have been starved, neglected or abused, and trains those horses to help them become highly adoptable equines. Using Parelli-based natural horsemanship training methods, Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center staff works with potential adoptees to understand their desired horses’ personality, and make matches between owner and horse based on the likelihood the pair will enjoy a lifelong companionship together. Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center staffers continue to work with horse and owner after a match has been made.

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