In 1994 we were exposed to the cruel treatment of horses when we decided to seek out a horse for my husband. We made an appointment to go visit "Shilo", a recent rescue from a police seizure. We found her standing in mud, ice sicles hanging from 4" long hair, and about 400 pounds underweight. Her eyes were sunken - expressionless, her ribs like a washboard, gaunt with spine protruding; her hooves broken with no hoof wall to walk on.
We knew we had to take her home. Through ridicule of others taking home a "worthless rescue", we healed her. Shilo became a wonderful trail partner, show horse, and lesson horse. She took several riders, ages 3 to 60, from novice to competent riders. She was one in a million! She retired with us, succombing to neurologic disease and blindness in 2009. Shilo touched so many lives, we will miss you!
In 2008, I was requested to write veterinary reports for horses that had been starved literally to death, their owners covering their dead bodies with blankets in a pasture to pretend they were still alive to passers by. I continued reports while my emotions were drained trying to find reason for this severe of neglect, abuse, and inhumane treatment. There is no reason. In 2010, the United SPCA, our national non-profit 501(c)3 equine protection organization was founded.
Since that time, we have sheltered multiple animals including: horses, ponies, donkeys, pigs, and rabbits with law enforcement partnership, from abuse and neglect. We have grown significantly over the years with our very energetic and compassionate volunteers. We have done a great deal, but there is still much to be accomplished.
We shelter anywhere from 10 - 30 equines and other animals as need arises. That need is never planned as seizures come when law enforcement finds those horses and other animals in neglectful situations. Budgeting in these financial times is difficult to forecast, we never know when a seizure is coming, or how many or type of animals will be included. To help the general public understand our costs of care, our mission, and values we provide tours and education seminars upon request.
We welcome groups and individuals of all ages. Visitors come from many different parts of the country to learn about responsible horse ownership, humane horse handling, training techniques, equine issues and many other important subjects that affect the welfare of our equine friends. We always stress the importance of people taking responsibility for the equines under their care and that they ensure a safe and kind existence during their lives and a peaceful, dignified experience in death.
Our Humane Education Programs are continually expanding. We hold lectures, demonstrations, and also allow visitors, especially children to meet our more gentle horses while they rehabilitate at the shelter. The photo on the right is Biscuit with some members of a 4-H group.
We have participated in many investigations regarding cruelty and abuse in our State. We provide medical reports for law enforcement, testimony when requested, and sheltering. In our support of law enforcement we can make a difference by charging these careless owners with crimes, not just allowing them to walk away leaving their animals to suffer.
Please take the time to fully explore our website for a more complete understanding of who we are and why we are committed to the work that we feel so passionately about doing. If you are not yet a supporter of the United SPCA, we hope you will consider becoming one. There are many ways that you can contribute and make tax deductible donations. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions and/or if you are interested and want more information about any of our programs.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our site. We hope that you, too, will become pro-active in reporting incidents of equine abuse and neglect to your local authorities. For those of you who have the privilege of having a horse, being a kind and responsible owner and caretaker is one of the best things you can do.
Dr. Barbara Kahl, DVM