On March 1, 2009, in a rare South Georgia sleet and snowstorm, DCFHR
volunteers picked up a pitifully starved skeleton of a horse,
Click here to read his story.
Work Day at DCFHR
become a member of Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue
Apache puts up with a lot of "loving" from Fee Shang. Horses aren't the
only creatures rescued by Dancing Cloud Farm. Our hearts are open to
many animals who come here. (click on the picture for a
Hearts4Horses - Where our
goal is to help create a world where every horse is in the care of a
pony foal and his mother were brought to Dancing Cloud Farm in November
2011. For the first two weeks that the foal was at DCFHR, we feared the
little fellow wouldn’t make it. His mother was starved, wasn't
producing milk. Sixteen days
after their rescue, the little foal flew around the barn in a full out
gallop, full of life and spirit. That’s our paycheck! And
that is a better “thank you” to our supporters than our words could ever
DCFHR extends a great big
to our faithful supporter, JEFFERS EQUINE who continues to provide much-needed assistance in our
efforts to care for the tremendous needs of the many horses at DCFHR.
What a story this horse has
to tell! Five years ago Gus was a high-level competition show horse in
Los Angeles, California. The teenaged girl who leased him outgrew Gus’
capabilities and returned him to his owners in Sacramento, who didn’t
want him because of his age. Gus was destined for the slaughter house.
One of the trainers at the Sacramento barn who had ridden and shown Gus
and worked with him for years was absolutely horrified that this
perfectly-trained, well-behaved, beautiful horse with so much to offer
was being cast off because he was in his teens and no longer profitable
for the owners, and she asked the owners if she could have him. They
said yes, but he had to be out of their barn. This trainer had already
accepted a job in South Carolina, had already loaded her truck and horse
trailer for the move; she went home, unloaded furniture, gave away
“stuff,” and made a small space in the back of her horse trailer for
Gus. He rode cross-country, crammed in the back of that trailer, but it
was his ride to life. When they arrived in South Carolina, the trainer
found a boarding facility for Gus, but her job was much more demanding
and required much more travel than she anticipated. Because she couldn’t
give Gus the care he needed, the trainer called us and asked if we would
take Gus. After work that day, she drove eight hours to bring Gus to
DCFHR. One of our volunteers, Elizabeth, took Gus as her special
project and not only brought him back to health and restored his good
looks but also mentioned him to Kim, who works at Jeffers Vet Supply in
Dothan, Alabama. Kim came to see Gus, fell in love, and Gus has his
forever home in Alabama with Kim. He is the star of the show both in
Kim’s heart and the front cover model on this Jeffer’s catalog!
a great gift for a friend, yourself or DCFHR!
Visit any of the following
links to purchase:
be assured that all donations are kept confidential and that
your email addresses and personal information will
never be shared or sold to any organization or business
Dr. Mary Rogers
"Thank you!" to Dr.
Mary Rogers of Red Hills Equine Services 81 Fox Meadow Lane,
Thomasville, GA 31757, who has gone above and beyond
the call of duty in providing much-needed care for the animals
Donkey is sporting her new fly mask. Believe me, this looks
a whole lot different at 10:00 at night when we go out to check
everything one last time for the night and Freckles quietly tiptoes up
behind us and we turn around and see THIS.
love to take dirt baths, so
here they have dug out their own "wallow" next to a ditch bank.
Buck! Look at him
now! (photos taken September 2)
came to Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., not only starved
but dehydrated, in colic, and going into organ failure. Veterinarians
rate horses on a Body Condition Score of 1-9, with a "9" being obese, a
4-5 is usually the best, and a 1.0 is critically starved. Buck was a BCS
Of all the starved
horses that have been treated here at the farm, Buck was absolutely the
most labor-intensive, round-the-clock critical care patient we have ever
dealt with. What nearly killed him is that on the morning that law
enforcement officers seized this horse, the former owner fed Buck
approximately 20 pounds of horse feed. The officers were not aware of
that when the horse was put on the trailer for transport to Dancing
On his first night at
DCFHR, Buck went down and stayed down four days. During that time,
volunteers tended to Buck round the clock, taking shifts through the
nights, cat-napping in the corners of the Crittercal Care Unit, jumping
to assist Buck when he sat up. Volunteers bathed his pressure point
sores, made sure he had water, moved him (quite an ordeal!) like a
person would be moved if they were in a hospital bed; we cleaned IV
lines, kept the stall floor clean, and provided 24-hour intensive care.
At no time did Buck
ever give up or tell us he was too tired and we should just let him go.
That horse fought for life, fought to get up on his feet, cooperated
with all of us. He is completely used to humans being around him, on
him, thumping him, poking him, rolling him over, pulling him on a pad.
On the fourth day we
were able to rent a sling from a veterinarian in Tallahassee, Florida.
And that night we wrote a whole new chapter in Horse Care at Dancing
Cloud Farm Horse Rescue.
It was do or die time
for Buck. Twenty volunteers arrived to help. Buck was rolled onto a
thick pad of old horse blankets and with everyone grabbing a corner or a
handful of blanket, we pulled Buck out of the CCU, then positioned the
sling around him, moved a tractor with a front end loader right over
him, attached the sling to the front end loader, and with many prayers
we all held our breaths as the front end loader bucket lifted Buck to
At first, there was
nothing but silence as Buck’s legs cleared the ground but remained
curled up under him. Then suddenly he realized that he was airborne.
He never fought or panicked; it was as if he realized he could
straighten his legs. He found the ground and although he was wobbly, he
stood on his own four feet. This hill was filled with cheers, hugs,
handshakes, pats on the back of Buck (who was VERY happy to be standing
again!) and yes, tears of joy and relief.
Buck went down four
more times before he was strong enough to be able to lie down and then
get up on his own. Our corps of volunteers got the “lift” process down
from a couple hours to about 12 minutes from the time we put the sling
on Buck until the time he was lifted to his feet. He knew we were
helping him and he knew the drill. It seemed as if he was telling us,
“Would you hurry up with this, people? I really want to get on my
Buck has been adopted
and recently was gelded. He is living at a foster home, enjoying grass
And once again we
thank all those who gave financially to help save this horse, who spent
hours working with us, and who helped save the life of this beautiful
On February 27, 2012, DCFHR
and GERL received photos of a starved horse in a nearby county. The
animal control officer had allegedly been out to the residence and saw
nothing to motivate him/her to take action. In a desperate effort to
find something to eat, the starved mare had gnawed on all the boards and
fence posts; her teeth were ground down to nubs because of this. Our
local GERL representative, Debora Hines, went immediately to check out
the situation and talk to the owners; many, many thanks to Debora for
going the second mile to help us out. We named this registered AQHA
mare “Shasta,” which is her granddam’s name.
For the first week,
Shasta stayed in our Crittercal Care Unit where she could be tended to
round the clock. This rescue was a close call: Her thigh muscles were
completely gone and her bodily functions had begun shutting down.
Shasta’s tail and back legs were covered in diarrhea. While she was in
the CCU, she was in the midst of all the action, was handled, brushed,
cared for hourly. Within a week, we could see slight improvements in
her physical condition and saw enormous improvements in her disposition
as she joined up with her caretakers. When horses are this starved,
their internal organs can be damaged beyond repair, but this is almost
impossible to observe at first.
Shasta has made the
most remarkable recovery of any horse ever brought to DCFHR at a BCS 1.0
or below; her recovery has been astonishing.
Shasta is now living
near Tallahassee, Florida.
to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can
show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now,
and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
William Penn (1644-1718)
Founder Of Pennsylvania, United States
An agonizing moment at DCFHR….
During a rescue, one
of the first horses led out from an almost pitch-black stall was this
older soul. People were shocked at his skeletal condition as he walked
into the sunlight, blinking at the sudden bright light after days in
that darkened barn. He stood and looked at all the activity – the
trailers lined up, all the people, he listened to the hushed tones, and
he stood quietly as we measured and photographed him. Then he willingly
stepped onto the first trailer leaving for DCFHR for his ride to
older horse was so far down that he couldn’t be saved. For twelve days
after his arrival at DCFHR, he received care, sunlight, fresh hay, good
feed, TLC, respect, a clean stall, kind words, loving touches. On
Saturday, March 3, he collapsed and could not get up. For three hours
DCFHR volunteers tried everything to get him up, but he was too weak
from starvation. The look in his eyes told us he was ready to let go,
that he was too tired. Tornado weather was approaching and the rains
poured down. It was an agonizing morning at DCFHR.
We know, and the vet
agreed, that the horse had been too starved for too long to recover.
Dr. Mary Rogers of Red Hills Equine Veterinary Services, drove through
the worst of the weather, in a tremendous thunderstorm, at 25 mph with
the flashers on to come to the farm to take care of this horse. It was
a terrible time for all of us because we were helpless and this horse
was so pitiful. He left us gently, but the day was much, much darker
and sadder. We were all angry that this horse had not been given the
senior care that he had needed to finish out his life in a healthy
We are posting the
photos of this horse’s final moments for one reason: that he did not
die in vain, that we will all be motivated to DO SOMETHING when we see
animals suffering. No animal, horse or otherwise, should ever be
neglected the way that this horse had been. We encourage everyone to
get help for animals in need, just like the concerned citizen did when
Shasta was discovered and brought to DCFHR. We were able to save
Shasta; our hearts broke when we couldn’t do the same for this horse.
Cheyenne gave birth to little "Lincoln" just
five days after her rescue. Notice her body condition. This photo was
taken 7 days after her rescue; she had been eating well for 7 days.
Pictures from the latest rescue effort
A little history:
Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., (DCFHR)
, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established
in July, 2008 when thirteen starved and neglected horses were rescued
and brought to our farm. Before this rescue, we had taken in eight
previous rescues, brought to us by owners who could no longer afford to
keep their horses or by people who rescued the horses themselves but had
no place to keep them. With our world's economy in trouble and
with the number of home foreclosures, horses and other animals are being
abandoned in great numbers; we saw the need for a horse rescue and
sanctuary in South Georgia and committed ourselves to using our farm to
help horses. A group of horse lovers joined together to create
Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. We are funded totally by
donations of feed, hay, and finances.
Since Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., began, FORTY-SEVEN horses
have come through DCFHR. Of those, thirty-five have found new homes; we
have several who are still waiting for homes; and one (Lil’ Richard, aka
General Lee) is now a lifetime member of the Old Geezers Club at DCFHR
where he will live out his days as a retiree. In addition, three horses
and one donkey went from “old owner to new owner” without having to come
to DCFHR because we were able to match them through our database files.
Five horses had to be put down because of health conditions.
adoption: Please read the information contained in the
"The basics on adopting a rescued horse
from Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc." DCFHR requires that anyone interested in adopting
a horse will need these items: two reference letters, preferably from
your large animal vet and your farrier, stating that you are a
responsible animal owner and can afford to take care of the horse;
potential adopter must fill out the
Foster/Adoption Form. DCFHR will make a site visit and
interview the person/family interested in the horse; each horse has an
adoption fee that pays DCFHR back for much of the expenses we have
invested in that horse.
After searching for weeks for a walking horse, a
friend of ours contacted an Alabama horse trader who arrived with six
horses for us to look at crammed in a stock trailer. The first three
horses he unloaded were “already sold,” he explained, but he wanted us
to look at horses #4 and #6. But when he unloaded horse #5, we were
shocked to the innermost. A frightened, emaciated skeleton of a walking
horse stepped off the trailer, its beauty, dignity, and majestic step
intact. While the other horses stood tied to the trailer, heads down,
eyes lifeless, and the horse trader spoke about the qualities of horses
#4 and #6, our eyes were locked on that poor horse #5 and he stared at
us. Something in his eyes locked into something deep within us, pleading
with us for help. We don’t even remember what the horse trader said
about the other horses; we just stared in disbelief that anyone could
abuse and neglect a horse like they had horse #5. It wasn’t the horse
trader’s fault -- he had just picked up the horse that morning and was
taking it to auction to sell for dog food. To the total surprise and
dismay of the horse trader, we bought that skeleton of a walking horse
and never regretted that decision. We named the horse “Sir Lancelot,”
giving him a knight’s name befitting his courage and spirit. “Lance”
came to us with thick, heavy walking shoes and scars on his legs where
chains had rubbed him raw; every rib showed; his chest was maybe 10
inches wide; every vertebrae showed. It took months of feeding and care
to get even a little weight on him, and it took two years to restore him
to the sleek black majestic animal he should have been all along. Sir
Lancelot served us faithfully, patiently teaching adults and children
how to ride. Our hearts broke the day seven years later he had to be put
down because of colic. Because of his courage, his faithfulness, and the
many hours of service he gave to us, Sir Lancelot stands as the standard
of what a horse rescue is all about. Rest in peace, our good and
faithful friend, and thank you for showing us the way.
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With your help, we can make a positive difference in our world.
One morning after everyone
had been fed, Jewel the pony disappeared. We looked all over for her.
And this is where we found her -- deep in the fig tree, enjoying every
ripe fig within her reach.
Visit us on
FACEBOOK and join our page:
I Saved Your Horse
Click the picture to
view our location
Just a note: We are frequently asked what the name “Ochlocknee” means
as people stumble over its pronunciation. Ochlocknee (oh-clock-knee) is
the Creek Indian word for “crooked waters.” The Ochlocknee River begins
near Albany, Georgia, and winds its way through South Georgia and North
Florida on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. It provided a major trading
route for Indians of this area. So now you know!
Horse in a Cage
Click here to read this story
One mouthful of this plant can kill your horse.
Read our article.
Click on the icon below to
see how DCFHR has gone green!
Click the picture above to see
Gus enjoying his new home.
Need a laugh?Click
here for an unbelievable horse video
(horse is not from DCFHR)
Hero is coming home!
Read his amazing story!
Click here to read
Click here to see more
pictures of this amazing little horse.
Golden Brothers Feed
For excellent equine care, click
here to visit
Hodges Veterinary Hospital & Pet Motel