If you were a little one dreaming of having your own horse or pony, you can still fulfill that magic feeling of caring and love. Adopting a horse is tempting in so many ways; if you are the emotional type, you can save a life and open your heart to someone who needs you, if you are more simple, you can save money on the purchase price and if you are both kinds of enthusiasts, isn't adopting a great idea? Not so fast, you need to do your homework. Here is everything you need to know about adopting your dream horse.
Florida has the third-largest equine population in the country with over 500,000 horses, after Texas and California. That is why the South Florida Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SFSPCA), based in Miami-Dade County, has been a haven for rescued horses since 1992. The SFSPCA rescues and rehabilitates horses and other livestock in Miami-Dade County and safely re-homes them across the country. The SFSPCA operates a rescue ranch in Homestead. They are our local experts and heroes.
We talked about all the requirements and benefits of adopting a horse with Chris Septer, Executive Director of the SFSPCA. “Creating a relationship with a rescue horse can be one of the greatest gifts one could receive”. Although you can think of horses as symbolism for strength and personal freedom, knowing them individually is extremely rewarding. Owning a horse will encourage you to be physically active, as well as experiencing a heightened sense of love, responsibility, dedication, and commitment. Being a horse owner can help you build confidence, trust, and patience. The journey with a horse is a great way to learn how to foster trust in someone else as well. Horses are also great stress relievers, some say it can even help you avoid a few hours with a therapist.
Adopting a rescue horse is both incredibly challenging and rewarding. You need to have some experience and a big heart to deal with it. Understanding your motivation and goals for adopting a horse is key. A horse companion? Riding? You need to consider the horse's background and the possibility of dealing with something unknown. Often the full history of the horse is unknown so sometimes health or behavioral conditions need to be addressed and so the horse receives the special care it needs.
The SFSPCA has successfully placed hundreds of horses all over the country. One recent example is the story of Kyra and Glory. They represent the power of adoption. Glory was abandoned and starving in a field in Kendall when the SFSPCA rescued her in March of 2019. After a year of rehabilitation and training, in April of 2020 Glory was adopted. No one could have known the powerful bond that Kyra and Glory would experience. The love they share is the culmination of the work the SFSPCA does when rescuing a horse in need.
Right now the organization needs help from our community. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all of the SFSPCA fundraisers. However, requests for potential adopters, donors and volunteers are still needed to feed and care for over 50 horses at their ranch. “This is still an emergency situation for us,” said David Bialski, President of SFSPCA. “The coronavirus crisis hit in March and we believed we would have relief from the pandemic by now. Sadly, that is not the case.”
The South Florida SPCA can help you too by achieving that lifetime dream of having a horse or a pony. They have over 20 horses ready to be adopted waiting for you. If you would like to approach them to learn more about horse adoption possibilities or show your support, you can call them at 305-825-8826 or access their website or social media channels. Remember, you can rescue a horse but in the end that horse will rescue you.