By: Christian Senger, Founder Holy City Sinner
This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit H.O.P.E (Helping Our Precious Equines) Acres Rescue in Summerville and spent most of my time chatting with Tracey Sawyer, the president and co-founder of the nonprofit, and longtime volunteer Michael Johnson. The duo provided Holy City Sinner (HCS) with plenty of insight into the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has provided state-wide equine rescue assistance since 2010.
The purpose of H.O.P.E. Acres Rescue is to rescue, rehabilitate, and provide a safe haven for equines in need. The nonprofit helps the horses live out a healthy, happy, and peaceful lives through public education, county and state alliances, adoptions, donations, and caring and dedicated volunteers.
Sawyer told HCS that every horse they have ever taken in has lived on the Summerville farm until they are rehabilitated and adopted to an approved family. Currently, the property has less than 20 horses in their care (there are also a few cats, pigs, and goats on site) that have varying medical issues. Sawyer said the organization works with local authorities and organizations, including animal control and area humane societies, to identify horses that may need H.O.P.E.'s services.
Some of the horse's onsite are perfectly healthy, but wound up at the farm due to owner surrender. Some owners experience financial hardships and can't afford to appropriately care for their horse(s), so they end up at H.O.P.E. Acres.
Regardless of how and why they end up at the nonprofit, the horses are cared for by a dedicated team that is onsite every single day. In fact, the entire staff and board is comprised of volunteers, so more money can go directly to the animals' care. H.O.P.E. is always open to volunteers of all ages and in some instances, no experience is necessary. Click here for more information about volunteering.
H.O.P.E. Acres can care for up to 24 horses on the farm at one time and their average length of stay is 1.5 years. On average the cost to care for one rescue is between $200 – $250 a month, assuming there is no extreme medical issues present. Community contributions may this rehabilitation possible. You can donate to the nonprofit via their webpage.
The organization will also raise money with their first HOPE Lope 5k Trail Run/Walk, which will be held at the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on February 15th. You can learn more about that event here.
For more information about H.O.P.E. Acres Rescue, visit their official website - www.hopeacresrescue.org. If you'd like to visit, the property is open to the public by appointment only.