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The Rescues

Saved from slaughter! The horsemeat trade is one of the most brutal and horrific fates a horse, pony or mule can find themselves in. Astonishingly - the meat trade is fed by Amish workhorses, discarded thoroughbreds no longer able to race,  wild mustangs and beloved family pets that owners can no longer care for. These are the stories of our rescues. 

The *Lady* that started it all.... 

The reason we started this journey! 


Meet Lady! At 23 years old - She was our very first rescue from an auction that we had to bid against kill buyers.


She came with papers and we discovered that she was a cow herder her whole life!


Now she is very arthritic and is on a low dose pain pill everyday. She will live out the rest of her precious life here at Painted Horse Rescue. 

The Wild Woman - Shelby

Shelby is a registered Silver King from Nevada - born in the wild! 


She was rounded up in 2018 as a foal, estimated to have been born in 2017. Shelby still carries the branding number on her neck from this. 


In order to obtain a wild mustangs title, they have to be placed in a safe and secure home, be approved by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and be required to provide vet and farrier records and frequent visits from her assigned BLM officer. Before us, sadly, Shelby had not stayed at one place long enough to get a title.


In May of 2022 when we went to pick her up to bring her home, we could not even get close to her. She had reverted back to her wild ways. Since then, Shelby has made so much progress with constant love and attention. She now loves to be brushed and loved on and loves her back and booty scratches!! 


The first picture was taken when we picked her up in May 2021. You can see the difference in her coat and color. It’s amazing what a good diet and nutrition can do!! She has completely changed colors from a mustard colored horse to a healthy rich brown coat!!!


Shelby is one beautiful girl and I’d have to say that she is extremely happy here with her herd.

Drifter - Silly Baby 

We met Drifter in March of 2021 - He was just a yearling, tiny, weak and ill. We will never know the full story on how he arrived in a Kill Pen - but, we were so grateful to get him out of there!


Drifter was so sick with strangles when we arrived to pick him up he had to be quarantined onsite for an additional 30-days while a vet treated him. 

He finally made it home to the rescue in Florida in April of 2021. 

Today he loves laying in the sun, sneaking treats from our volunteers and running with the herd of "teenagers." 

Queen Penelope  and Princess Willow 

Mama was the horse that introduced us to the awful world of Horse Slaughter and Kill Pens. 

Mama was sent to slaughter with baby Willow by her side. We were told she was also pregnant at the time. My goal was to save all 3 heartbeats. 

We never know the full story as to how a horse ends up in the slaughter pipeline. We can never know how scared she must have been with her baby by her side. 

Mama arrived with baby Willow in April 2021. Willow quickly learned that humans have treats and love - Mama has never recovered from her mistrust of humans- but we work with her every day trying to build trust. 

Willow enjoys playing with her "rescue brother" Drifter. 


Texas came from HART Rescue as a 14 year old in 2020. 

Texas was an owner surrender, and was rehomed here at Painted Horse Rescue. 

From what we know of his history, he was a dressage horse and is well.

Texas enjoys attention from our volunteers and loves exploring the trails. 


Penney arrived in April 2021, roughly the same time as Drifter. She was 9 at the time of arrival and another rescue from the Kill Pen. 

She was a parade horse that suffered an injury which led to her unfortunate fate. To this day she is wary of being ridden at all. 

As a young horse - she enjoys playing with the baby horses - like a big sister. 


Timmy arrived in July 2022 after being seized by the barn owner where he was being boarded. Timmy was suffering from extreme neglect. 

He was skinny, starving and weak. His skin was peeling from his body and his hooves were an absolute mess. 

He was treated daily with a compound to clear his skin, and high calorie meals to help him regain body mass. 

Today, he is a healthy boy - with hearts in his eyes for Lady. 


Not all horses have abusive pasts, some just have some bad experiences.


Sonata was a much loved horse at one time. Her owner was no longer able to care for her. Hoping to give her the best care possible, Sonata was placed in a boarding facility where she was later deemed abandoned after her owner was no longer able to make decisions and visit her, and the family was unwilling to take her. 

While working through the legal process towards adoption, she suffered an injury at the boarding facility that required her eye to be removed. She also began exhibiting signs of "sweet itch" and her skin began to have infections. She was a mess! 

Sonata arrived depressed, skinny and itchy! With lots of love and care she has flourished, at the rescue. She's made friends with the other senior horses and enjoys getting her mane braided by volunteers. 

Darby and Stormy 

Darby and Stormy came to rescue in August 2023. Mama Darby had just had sweet baby Stormy - and were living on a property that was flooded and the founders were in need of rehoming them. 

Mama Darby had been in the kill circuit at the same time as Drifter - and we think they were "friends" while waiting for rescue. They were pulled from the kill pen at the same time, but sent to different rescue facilities. This reunion at Painted Horse Rescue has allowed Drifter to be the goofy big brother to little Stormy, and we love watching them play together! Drifter is healing his "childhood trauma" by making sure Stormy has the best toddlerhood possible! 


Ruby was an owner surrender. She was well loved and cared for - she was actually overweight when she arrived. 

Her owner lost his property and Ruby and her pasture mate were in desperate need of a new home. Jill agreed to take Ruby, and her pasture mate went to live with another great rescue. 

With a little change of diet and a good exercise regime running with the baby horses - she's slimmed into a healthy, happy jewel here at the rescue. 


"The Mayor" Major arrived in July of 2023 with his companion Odie. 

Major and Odie were owner surrenders and had good lives. 

Major is a much loved addition to the Rescue,, acting as "big brother" to baby Stormy and also providing a warm welcome to all who visit. 

His calm demeanor makes him a favorite among volunteers. 


Wiley is horse royalty. 

She is one of the last Florida Cracker Horses. 

Her original owner had a herd on his property. They were feral and cohabitated with cattle. When he passed away, his whole herd went to auction. 

Wiley was born at a cattle ranch - under the stars. She needed a home and Princess Willow needed a friend! The two hit it off and are now best friends. 


Odie arrived with Major as an owner surrender. 

He was a much loved horse, both by his previous owner and all those who met him at Painted Horse Rescue. 

Unfortunately, Odie suffered from Cushings Disease, and other auto immune diseases that created many health issues for him. 

Odie was released from pain in May of 2024, surrounded by volunteers that loved him. 


Chonks arrived in December 2023 as an owner surrender. Due to no fault of his own. He arrived with skin problems. 

With love, treats and brushing from our volunteers, he's looking great and shiny! 

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