Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sadie's Haven Horse Rescue & Sanctuary

Vicki Sims is the President and Founder of Sadie's Haven Horse Rescue & Sanctuary. Sadie's Haven provides safe sanctuary for elderly, ill or unsound horses, providing onsite sanctuary or foster home placement. Vicki’s goal is to re-home sound horses through her adoption screening program and to educate the public on the plight of less fortunate horses, the problem of overbreeding, and the horrors of horse slaughter. 
Welcome Vicki!

Where is Sadie's Haven Horse Rescue & Sanctuary?
Sadie’s Haven is located in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, California, USA.

What is your primary roll there?
I am here 7 days a week with few exceptions. I am the President and founder so I wear many hats (as they say). I feed every morning at 6:30am - I feed, clean, organize and work with volunteers, take care of medications or holistic treatments, make sure we have supplies and feed. Evaluate our horses; make sure our projects get done. I work with our board members to ensure we keep to our fundraising plans and goals. Find events that can help us get exposure and support for our horses. I do almost everything except our web site. I answer emails and return phone calls. Write thank you cards and letters. Just some of what goes on in a day or week.

How/where do the majority of your rescues arrive?
The majority of our horses are owner surrender, however we have taken some for other rescues and from people who have had them abandoned on their property.

What are your views of the current United States slaughter policies?
I am pro-horse and Anti-slaughter. We need to keep taking the actions that keep slaughter plants closed in the USA. WE need to support the SAFE Act with our representatives and the general public! We need to change several policies, including how the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is operated and managed.

How can we stop equine overbreeding in the United Sates? 
Our elected officials could have a "town meeting" with horse rescuers and advocates. We need to regulate breeding here in the USA and stop the transport of our horses to slaughter. We would save millions if we would come up with a plan for the regulation of breeding.

What is the procedure for screening new owners for re-homing a horse?

I meet with them in person. Listen to their reasons for surrendering their horse or horses. It also depends on available room. Sonoma County allows 2 horses per acre. I do take horses in on a first come, first served basis. My focus point is on saving and helping the horses and no as much to the owner’s tale of woe.
Do you have a favorite rescue anecdote to share?
I love each and every one of our rescue-sanctuary horses- past and present. They each have a special story. I don’t know whose is more compelling- Mimi or Arial and Artemis. Mimi was going to be on a trailer to die in 30 minutes when we said we would take her - she is Thoroughbred, former race horse; broken pelvis - healed and turned into a brood mare, baby after baby until she didn’t get pregnant last year. The racing owner deemed her useless and told the barn manager to put her on the trailer and have her put down…kinder than slaughter; however she is only 14 years old now. Thanks to a few caring people who contacted me, Mimi (also known as Meeting the General) was saved.

Arial and Artemis were used and abused in the Charro or Mexican rodeo. Arial cannot be haltered and very few are allowed close enough for a gentle stroke. I wish we had a video of the day they arrived, but it took 10 people, all of our vehicles and some ingenuity to get two un-haltered horses out of the trailer and into the pasture- especially when the truck and trailer were stuck in the mud! It was something, but we did it.

What has been your greatest success at the Rescue?
I think the above covers our greatest success….although I feel the greatest success is providing a loving, caring lifetime home to horses that no one wants anymore because they are old or have special needs. Our volunteers are wonderful and I have to add that because I work so closely with everyone, they see the dedication and care, and they stay. I am very proud of my volunteers - we keep growing and that is a wonderful success for the horses and for me. What I am most proud of at this moment in time:  I received a phone call from GFAS - Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries this morning. We have been going through their verification process. We have a few things to complete, however their committee met and have approved our verification pending completion of “punch” list. This is very exciting! Here is link so you understand the importance:

What does horsemanship mean to you?
Horsemanship means love, compassion, patience and understanding along with your knowledge and experience. You need all of these together to have horsemanship in my humble opinion. Horses are so willing to do what you ask, when you ask and don’t demand. We often tell them to do something completely against their nature- that is a huge mistake. I love them to be who they are - magnificent beings!

Connect with Sadies Haven Rescue…

Sadie’s Haven Horse Rescue & Sanctuary is an all-volunteer, nonprofit public charity 501 (c) (3) horse rescue and sanctuary operation.   


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