Have you ever heard the phrase “…and a little child shall lead them”? It is sometimes said by adults after a young person does something surprisingly remarkable. In their youthful innocence, they may not realize that something is very difficult to do, or maybe even impossible. They just go for it and in the process, they change lives for the better. Such is the scenario of how the Beech Brook Equine Rescue started.
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A pre-teen girl named Ariel Kent encouraged her mom, Deborah Finco, to help her start an equine rescue. Back in 2007, Ariel and her mom were horse lovers and owners. Deborah remembers it this way: “My 12-year-old daughter Ariel approached me about the plight of horses going to slaughter in the USA. Ariel and I each owned a horse and she was concerned that over 100,000 USA horses were shipped to slaughter annually.
She first asked if we could foster for another rescue, and then she pushed me to start our own rescue. She contacted a local newspaper and got them to do an article on our newly formed rescue. This led to volunteers and donations and helped us ‘take off’. Ariel also early on helped ride the rescued horses and helped me gentle them and care of them.”
Since then the “Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue”, a non-profit organization, has rescued a mix of 155 horses, donkeys, mules and miniature horses. They’ve also placed 131 of them in adoptive homes. Ariel’s youthful dream to save horses from sure death, with the support of her mother, founded an incredible organization. For those of us in the southeastern part of Connecticut and southwestern part of Rhode Island, this rescue is a mark of pride for our communities. Currently, Beech Brook is rescuing 10 to sometimes more than 20 horses, donkeys, mini-horses, and mules per year.
Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue is in North Stonington just off of Rt. 184. It is housed on a beautiful and serene piece of land. The organization is run entirely by a handful of faithful volunteers and a small board of directors who work hard to help the animals heal, become retrained, regain confidence, and get adopted into caring hands.
Deborah said they also work hard at educating people about “horse welfare and care”. Another part of their mission is to enlist public support and funding to rescue horses from abuse, slaughter and neglect alone, or in cooperation with local, state or federal agencies or with other nonprofit organizations and to provide horse-interactive experiences to enrich the lives of humans.
Perhaps some of our readers would be interested in becoming involved in this worthy cause? Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue needs volunteers and a few more members on their Board of Directors. Monetary donations are always needed because there are hungry horses to feed, veterinary bills to be paid, and other practical needs around the farm.
Volunteers don’t need to have prior experience with horses. There is also plenty of upkeep for the property that needs to be done so if any of our WesterlyLife.com readers are handy, love outdoor work, have some free time and big hearts to volunteer, please contact them. If outside work is not your cup of tea, there are also practical needs for volunteers in the areas of business, accounting, legal, planning educational programs and public relations.
Helping these precious and stately animals is not a cheap venture, but it is worth it. It generally costs more than $500 to rescue a horse and more than $200 each additional month that the horse is on the farm. In addition to monetary donations, the farm also welcomes schools and organizations to make an appointment for a visit and a tour, or businesses who might offer a day for their staff to volunteer on site. Material donations such as wheelbarrows, muck forks, shavings, tools, grain, and other items are welcome. Contact Beech Brook Farm if you’d like to donate.
Most of the horses they save are scheduled to go to slaughter, but they also take those who have been abused, neglected, or surrendered by owners. All in all, this is a very special work of the heart that Ariel and Deborah are doing, and they welcome your participation and support.
To contact this valuable horse rescue organization, visit their website at.