Welcome to...P. O. Box 6  |  Ochlocknee, GA   |  
dancingcloudfarm@gmail.com


                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. 
 

 


                                                                                                   "In God We Trust"

                            We are a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization (all donations are tax deductable)                   

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"Sundance"

On March 1, 2009, in a rare South Georgia sleet and snowstorm, DCFHR volunteers picked up a pitifully starved skeleton of a horse, “Sundance.”

Click here to read his story.


Work Day at DCFHR
June 8


Click here to 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 larger view)


Visit Hearts4Horses - Where our goal is to help create a world where every horse is in the care of a responsible owner.


"Sundance"


 

 


 

This 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 say.


Hands on Thomas County Volunteer Work Day

On June 10, 2014, 35 volunteers from Hands on Thomas County, a local volunteer group, arrived at Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue in a big ol’ yellow school bus and spent most of the day helping us catch up on chores.  These volunteers included middle and high school students who participated in a week of volunteer service called “Project Impact.”  Volunteers moved piles of old hay; helped haul away limbs to a burn pile as we cleaned up the pasture; painted gates, fences, and a hay ring; moved donated lumber and remnants of building projects into one organized pile; used their muscle to move heavy things to good storage locations; cleaned out the goat shelter; brushed and bathed ponies and horses.  Although the day was hot, none of the volunteers complained -- they were here to work and get stuff done, and we certainly appreciate their dedication, their willingness to get very dirty and sweaty to help us complete projects and check those aggravating chores off our To Do Lists!!  THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS of HANDS ON THOMAS COUNTY!


Update from Dancing Cloud Farm

 Six years ago, on July 10, 2008, thirteen starved horses, including several mares and very young foals, were relinquished by their owner and brought to Dancing Cloud Farm.  Concerned horse owners in our area used their own time, vehicles, trailers, and fuel to get the horses here where we could help them.  In the six years since that day, over 220 horses, ponies, minis, and donkeys have received help from Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.   Most found new homes; a few are long-term residents here; all received medical and farrier care; some had to be euthanized and are buried here at DCFHR.  We keep a list of potential adopters and what each new home is looking for; a few horses and ponies were able to go from one home to a new home without coming here because we could match up the horse with a new home.  (Read more about DCFHR on our About Us page).

One of the foals brought to DCFHR in that original rescue was named “Princess.”  Up until the time she was three years old, Princess was the ugly duckling of the pasture:  gangly legs, a roany-looking black filly who was a little bit of a hardhead, and was just a “regular-looking horse.”  Then, in the spring of her third year when she shed her winter coat, lo and behold:  Princess turned a beautiful dapple gray with black stockings.  In 2013, Jan from Griffin, Georgia, adopted Princess.  And here’s a picture of Princess and Jan taken July 5, 2014!  Thank you, Jan, for giving Princess a wonderful new home!  Another happy ending, and we love happy endings!

(Photo to come soon) 

We have worked with sheriff’s offices in several counties and with the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s equine division agents.  DCFHR has been asked to help with seizures of starved animals, and it has been an honor to work with professional law enforcement officers to get help for abused and starved horses. 

Over the past six years, we have seen many starved horses and have run the emotional roller coaster from absolute shock and disbelief that a human could starve a horse like that; we have been dismayed, heartsick, and sometimes so angry at a horse’s condition that we couldn’t speak.  Our blood has boiled when owners who should have been punished for neglecting and abusing a horse seem to get away with the crime of animal abuse. 

We have worked with several awesome veterinarians who have helped us tremendously, have patiently listened to our description of the problem we were seeing and have offered solutions, have come to the farm when we called for help, and have encouraged and guided us all the way.

In our travels either delivering a horse to its new home or picking up a horse, we have seen some beautiful countryside and have met some of the best people in the world who have helped us help horses.

In some instances, we have been able to either reunite stolen horses with their owners or to tell owners whose horse or pony had disappeared that yes, their horse/pony was here but has been adopted to a good home.  The joy in an owner’s face when the horse has been found is one of the best experiences we have had. 

With the joys come heartaches, as well.  One of the hardest things we have to do is euthanize a horse because of a terminal condition that makes it unadoptable or when the horse is suffering.  One of those horses came to us this spring.  Her name was “Capri,” and she was a beautiful 2-year-old paint mare.  Law enforcement required the owner to relinquish this horse, and on the day we picked up Capri, the owner overfed the little horse, rode it hard, and fed it more while the horse was out of breath from being ridden.  The food was aspirated into the horse’s lungs, which caused pneumonia and eventually, pleurisy.  For two weeks we fought to save Capri’s life; not a day went by that Capri didn’t have a temperature from 98.2 - 104.  A DCFHR supporter paid for Capri to be taken to the University of Florida veterinary school in one last ditch effort to save the horse’s life, but Capri was too sick and her entire body was filled with infection.  Capri was brought back to Dancing Cloud Farm, humanely euthanized, and buried here in a pasture.

   

Our adoption fees are kept low because our purpose is to find new, loving homes for our horses; fees usually barely cover the Coggins, vaccinations, and basic care, and donations -- not adoption fees -- provide for the care and feed of horses and ponies brought to DCFHR.  DCFHR’s adoption requirements include that no mare is to be used for breeding; that no DCFHR horse is to be sold at auction or to a new owner without our written consent; and that if, in the future, a new owner can no longer keep the horse he or she adopted from DCFHR, the horse is to be returned to DCFHR.  Unfortunately, we have experienced a few unscrupulous new owners who took advantage of this, adopted a very good horse from DCFHR with the intention of selling it immediately at a higher price, and we lost two horses this way in spite of legal paperwork.  One of our horses, “Tigger,” a registered paint gelding, was stolen from DCFHR that way.  Two years after his disappearance, DCFHR was notified that Tigger was listed on Craigslist.  The person listing Tigger for sale had only had him a week and didn’t realize that the horse came from a law enforcement seizure or belonged to DCFHR and immediately returned him to us.  It is honest people like that who help us in our mission.  (Tigger pictured left).

Also in 2014, DCFHR took in several starved horses and have seen them go from walking skeletons to beautiful animals with glistening coats, spark in their eyes, a bounce in their steps as they trot across the pasture, and we see them restored to health.  Here are two of our 2014 rescues, “Mandy” and “Shelby.”   

[Mandy’s photos to come soon]  Triple R Horse Rescue in Tallahassee, Florida, took over Mandy’s care, but for the first ten days after Mandy’s rescue, DCFHR took care of the horse because Mandy was seriously starved and would not have made the trailer ride well.  We have dealt with enough critically starved horses that the decision was made to bring Mandy here first for stabilization.  We are pleased to report that Mandy has made tremendous progress under Triple R’s care.

“Shelby” was brought to DCFHR by someone who saw her starved and standing alone in a cow pasture.  The owner had purchased this horse last summer, then moved to another state and left the horse in with a herd of cows.  Horses are herd animals and do best when kept with at least one other horse; in the horse’s mentality, to be alone and cut off from a herd means that the horse has been ostracized from the herd and left to die.  Shelby was not only alone, but pregnant and starved.  In December, someone went to check on the cows and found a starved and wobbly foal by Shelby’s side; the foal did not receive any care and soon died.  We don’t know how long Shelby stood over her foal.  When Shelby arrived at DCFHR, she was extremely depressed and although she was starved, refused to eat anything we offered.  We were losing hope when, one morning, Shelby snapped out of her depression, realized there were other horses around and that she had all the hay and good feed she needed, and now, seven months later, Shelby is a beautiful, big quarter horse mare who needs a forever home.

 

Not only have we helped horses, but local animal shelters and veterinarians have asked us to take in newborn kittens that were either left on the vet’s doorstep during the night, or dogs killed the mother cat, or someone picked up the kittens because they didn’t want cats under their utility shed, or the animal control officer was asked to “get rid of” the cats.  In the past year, DCFHR has raised 27 kittens, the youngest litter being only 24 hours old!  Raising kittens makes us keenly appreciative of the work a mama cat does to raise her young.  Almost every one of those kittens was adopted; many thanks to the vets and staff of Cairo Animal Hospital who took in the kittens and advertised them so that homes could be found.

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or via our webpage, you will be interested in updates on Nick, Tucker, and Daisy.  (See more on our Success Stories page)

Once again, we here at Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., want to thank YOU for supporting us.  We cannot do this work without your donations, and we thank you for your faithfulness in providing feed, hay, veterinary and farrier care to these horses through your donations.  When we care for a horse, you are as much a part of the work as we are.  Thank you so much.


Horse Carriage Transport of Lake City, Florida, picked up “Nick” and “Daisy,” two of the rescues DCFHR received in November 2013, and took them to their new homes in Tennessee. 

Here she is, DCFHR’s newest patient.  Two things for sure:  (1) She arrived not a moment too soon; (2) she’s in the right place now.

Last summer she was beautiful, we've been told.  Someone bought her from a backyard breeder who had kept the mare with a stud.  The new owner soon moved to another state for work and left this mare with his cows.  She starved.  In December, someone who was checking up on the cows saw a weak foal trying to stand by the mare's side.  Because of the mare's starved condition, the foal was born starved and died shortly after.  With no other horses around and no food, this mare continued to decline.  She was probably depressed in addition to starved.  But, thanks to our supporters we were able to say “yes” when asked if we could help.  The mare is here now, and life is going to immediately improve for her.  We've named the horse "Shelby" after the character on Steel Magnolias.

Take a good look at our (your!) newest rescue.  The work has begun.

     


Through the years at DCFHR!


We at Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., want to thank everyone who has supported us over the past five and a half years.  Because of you, we have been able to save the lives of over 200 horses, ponies, and donkeys that have come through our pastures, many of those in desperate need of help.  We wish you could be with us from start to finish when a horse arrives – from seeing the hopelessness and fear in the eyes of a starved, neglected horse change to hope and health and beauty, and then when that horse steps off the trailer at its new home, and the smiles and happiness seen on the faces of the new owners.  It’s an amazing and rewarding experience.

DCFHR, Inc., began in July 2008, when thirteen starved horses (read Miracle’s story HERE) were brought to DCFHR.  We remember each of the horses that arrived here, and in going back through our photographs, came across “Sundance.”  His story has been repeated so many times in the lives of other horses brought to DCFHR, but Sundance has a special place in our hearts because he was the first of many desperately starved horses that we have rescued.  We were shocked at his condition, scared he wasn’t going to make it, had many people tell us we were crazy to even attempt saving this horse’s life.  Now, five years later, we are experienced at saving a starved horse’s life.  We aren’t perfect, and we are far from being veterinary experts, but we have confidence that has come from experience; we have a strong supportive help backing us; we know what it takes to get the job done; we know the steps; we know what to watch for; and we have inner strength and knowledge that we didn’t have when Sundance came to us.

It is important that we tell Sundance’s story again simply because he became a textbook lesson in How to Rescue a Starved Horse:

March 1, 2009:  As we have found many times, when someone calls us about a horse “in bad shape,” that can mean anything from a little bit skinny to barely alive.  The day that one of DCFHR’s volunteers went to look at this horse we named “Sundance,” our area of southwest Georgia was having dangerous thunderstorms as an arctic front moved in.  The volunteer picked her way through a junkyard where the horse “lived” and called back to say: NO TIME TO LOSE -- WE MUST GET THIS HORSE NOW. 

The temperature seemed to drop by the minute as late winter rains turned to heavy sleet.  As we arrived at the place where the horse was, big snowflakes were swirling in the icy wind.  From the truck we could see the pitifully thin hindquarters of a horse sticking out from under a partial shed where it was trying to find shelter; one of the volunteers asked, in shock, “Is that a horse?” 

What should have been a beautiful palomino stallion was instead a horse’s skeleton covered in wormy winter hair, standing in four inches of icy water that was running down the hillside and through the only piece of shelter he could find to protect himself from the wind and sleet.  He followed willingly as we led him out and was so light we could almost lift his skeletal body into the trailer; there, we covered him in a warm fleece stable blanket and layered over that a heavier blanket.  Although the blankets were the smallest we had, he was so starved that they hung to his knees and gaped at the chest, allowing cold air in.  He was so weak that he was wobbling as he stood; we weren’t sure he would make the trip to DCFHR without collapsing on the trailer floor.

    A starved horse needs protection from the weather and from other horses who will pick on him and ostracize him because he’s the weakest of the herd; in the natural horse world, this is the equivalent of a herd cutting out the sick and the lame for the wolves and mountain lions to attack.  Horses are herd animals; to them, to be alone means they are a dead horse.  For the first three days that Sundance was at DCFHR, he lived on the four-horse trailer which was parked next to a barn that blocked the bitterly cold north and west winds.  Being kept in the trailer protected Sundance from the icy winds; he had absolutely no body fat to protect him.    Sundance is a small horse, so when the trailer stall dividers were completely opened up, he had plenty of space to move.  He could hear and see other horses, so he knew he wasn’t alone.  For the first two days, we weren’t sure if he was going to survive.  Although he ate and drank, he showed very little life.  We fed him every two hours, about a cup at a time, to get his digestive system started again.  By Day Three, Sundance was showing life, strength, and an interest in what was going on.  We eased in a little more feed, a little more hay.  On Day Four, he met us at the trailer door with his head up, ears forward and a, “Get me outta here!” whinny!   

Sundance stayed with us a year, was trained, became a gelding, and was adopted.  He is now a beautiful little palomino trail horse and lives in Lee County, Georgia.

Here’s to you, Sundance, on the fifth anniversary of your rescue!  Many thanks for showing us that it can be done.  A piece of our heart will always be with you.

Click here to read more about Sundance



DCFHR extends a great big "Thank you!" 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 great gift for a friend, yourself or DCFHR!

Visit any of the following links to purchase:

www.JeffersPet.com

www.JeffersEquine.com

www.JeffersLivestock.com

 



Our Location: 

Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., is located in Thomas County, Georgia, and our range is the southwest corner of Georgia, near the Florida and Alabama state lines.  We are about an hour north of Tallahassee, Florida, and four hours south of Atlanta.

The farm is closed on Sundays.   If you would like to set an appointment for a visit, please email us at dancingcloudfarm@gmail.com.  Because our purpose is to rehabilitate horses, many of the horses that arrive at DCFHR have been through neglect and abuse which frequently makes the horse develop an extreme survival mindset.  This means that the horse can be hard to handle and small children don’t understand the danger.   For these reasons we ask that no one under the age of 16 visit the farm with the idea of being around the horses.   Volunteer work groups with students 12 years old and older are welcome; these students will not be working directly with the horses but will have other projects to complete that help DCFHR volunteers fulfill our mission.


 Please 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


“I expect 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 freedom.

Unfortunately, this 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 condition. 

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.  


&&

 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, over 200 horses have come through DCFHR. 

           


 

Requirements for 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. 


Sir Lancelot

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.


Visit our newest feature:  The Library 

In The Library you will find articles, essays, poetry, etc. that we believe you will enjoy.  You will also be able to submit comments about the featured article if you wish.                         


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:

Dancingcloudfarmhorse rescue, Inc.


I Saved Your Horse

 Adapted by
Amber Taylor


Our Location

 

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


Poison!


Crotalaria
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)


Our Hero is coming home!
Read his amazing story!
 

      

 

 

 

 



Click here to read
"Polly's" story


 

Click here to see more pictures of this amazing little horse.


Please visit Golden Brothers Feed in Thomasville, GA


For excellent equine care, click here to visit
Clanton Malphus
Hodges Veterinary Hospital & Pet Motel
229-226-1914




Site last modified:  April 10,  2014

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