A WaterShed Moment
Since its barn doors first opened in June 2012, the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center has welcomed more than 700 abused and neglected horses and other equines that were removed from their owners by law enforcement. As we have pursued our goal of ending suffering and providing opportunities for new lives for these animals, the center has become nationally recognized for its equine rehabilitation, training and adoption programs.
Last fall, the Harmony Equine Center caught the attention of The WaterShed Animal Fund. As part of its mission, this private, independent, nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma City, Okla., funds innovative programs that improve the lives of companion animals and homeless horses. In January, The WaterShed Animal Fund awarded a $442,500 grant to the Harmony Equine Center, with the goal of increasing adoptions of horses in Colorado and assisting more positive outcomes for homeless horses across the country.
“We are deeply honored to receive this extremely generous grant from The WaterShed Animal Fund,” says Bob Rohde, Dumb Friends League president and CEO. “With their support over the next two years, we will develop and implement pilot programs designed to increase the placement of horses in our region, and WaterShed Animal Fund will share those programs and best practices with horse organizations across the country.”
With this grant, our goal is to complete 200 adoptions and outbound transfers each year at the Harmony Equine Center. To accomplish this, our facility will become a centralized hub for horses from humane societies in the Midwest and southwestern United States, as well as prequalified rescue groups wishing to transfer horses to us. Says Harmony Equine Center Director Garret Leonard, “We want to build relationships and become a valuable resource for groups that would benefit from some assistance with the horses in their care. We can help bring these animals back to health and train them, after which they will either be returned to the rescue for adoption or be adopted from Harmony.”
Adds Leonard, “This opportunity represents a big change and a big challenge for the Harmony Equine Center. It’s exciting to have such confidence and support behind us as we move toward our mutual goal of reducing the number of unwanted horses in our region and beyond.”
To learn more about the Harmony Equine Center, visit ddfl.org/equine.