About the shelter
Run from founder Anne Young’s 200-acre property just outside the small Victorian town of Gordon (about 95 kilometres west of Melbourne), Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary (HSES) is heaven on earth for malnourished and maltreated horses that Anne and her passionate animal loving volunteers have rehabilitated and advocated for since 2014. The sanctuary was formed as a response to the increasing plight of horses and ponies that have been sold through saleyards and into knackeries, where they are savagely beaten, neglected, then slaughtered for pet food.
The name of the sanctuary was selected to pay homage to Greenpeace’s Sea Shepherd, reflecting the mission of providing a safe place for abused, neglected, and vulnerable horses. In 2016, HSES assisted in the largest RSPCA horse seizure in Australian history, seeing 113 horses arrive to the property from a farm at Warrak near Ararat, Victoria. Two months after this seizure saw HSES take in another 23 horses that were horribly neglected from a property in Bulla, just outside the outskirts of Melbourne.
HSES is committed to providing sustainable and ethical rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming services for horses and ponies. By improving the animals’ physical and psychological well-being as well as lobbying and advocating for the welfare of companion animals, HSES believes that these will help the public understand and know more about the plight of these unfortunate animals. The sanctuary ensures that each horse or pony that comes into their care has been “extensively vetted and handled,” with each animal receiving the sanctuary’s “gold standard” in care. This includes a commitment that is protected by a lifetime adoption agreement should the animal be rehomed.
Surviving horses and ponies of animal cruelty all live within the paddock of the HSES premises, where they are slowly nursed back to health. Some of them can be trained or re-trained to be rehomed. Since starting its operations, HSES has found new homes for more than half of the horses that have arrived at the sanctuary.
- Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary is committed to providing sustainable and ethical rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming for horses and ponies.
- The sanctuary and its volunteers believe in saving horses that are neglected, that need love, that are destined for the knackeries, that are injured or starving, and those that need a second chance at life.
How you can help
Can you help HSES provide for horses in need? HSES gladly accepts monetary donations. Their love for horses comes at a cost, with just the feeding bill amounting to about AUD 12,000 per month!
Horse sponsorships are also available for horses and ponies that have found themselves living permanently at the sanctuary. Sponsorships enable HSES to continue their rehabilitation efforts for horses in the sanctuary that cannot be rehomed.
Short on funds? Consider helping HSES create awareness by liking their Facebook Page, visiting their website, and talking about their organisation to your friends and family members.