You can listen to our audio interview from radio station 105.5 The Dove WDUV lite favorites that includes Shawn Jayroe (owner, founder, and president) and Julie Dennis (vice president) who describe RVR Horse Rescue as being at full capacity and needing help to find horses good homes while we take in new cases.
Thank you to Fox13 News for helping us spread the word about the overwhelming number of horses who need rehoming. Between the post-Covid and economic situation, horse owners are finding it hard to give their horses the care they need. We’ve been at capacity and need to turn horses in need away.
Potential adopters can help free up space by giving a loving home to our horses who are currently ready for adoption!
You can see the full story here.
Our beautiful Charo needs a Sponsor! Charo’s one of our #Dream15 Paso Finos and she has come so far in her recovery. Can you help us defer the costs of her care while we wait for her forever family?
Sponsor a Rescue Horse
We can’t do what we do without Sponsors!
With the high cost of hay and feed, along with medical, dental and farrier expenses, sponsoring a horse helps us continue to care for our horses in need. It costs about $10 per day to feed a horse and RVR Horse Rescue is home to approximately 27 animals.
There are many people who contribute to the recovery and care of our horses. Each has a distinct and critical role.
Our dedicated volunteers provide daily food and water. They muck the stalls and pastures while providing a dose of TLC. Beyond that, each horse is assigned a Barn Buddy. This person devotes a few hours each week to the physical care of the horses. They bathe and groom and provide basic care.
What does it mean to Sponsor a Horse?
Sponsorship makes it financially possible for RVR to provide for these horses and keep them safe. Our sponsors make a monthly contribution to the care of a specific horse. These donations go directly toward the expenses for that particular animal. Sponsorships put a dent in the care and feed costs for each horse, and one of our goals is to secure a sponsor for each horse we care for at RVR Horse Rescue.
Sponsorship is one excellent way for people who can’t volunteer to get involved.
Why Sponsor a Horse?
- Make your heart feel good! Sponsorship is a vital contribution to our mission to rescue and rehabilitate horses. It allows people who want to help but are too far away or who are unable to volunteer a significant way to join our effort.
- Your sponsorship frees up funds to allow the rescue and rehabilitation of more horses who need help.
- The program is a month-to-month donation so you can stop at any time.
- Your sponsorship is a tax-deductible donation.
How Much Does Sponsorship Cost?
Sponsorship costs as much (or as little) as you’d like to pay each month! It’s a recurring payment, but you choose the amount that works for you.
The cost of food, hay, and basic care per horse is approximately $10 per day, or $300 per month. Dental care and any medical care are above and beyond that.
Our goal is to obtain sponsorships that total $300 per month for each horse in our care. Once we have reached sponsorships totaling $300 per month for a given horse, we stop accepting additional sponsorship for that horse.
How long is the commitment to Sponsor?
There is no commitment! You may cancel your sponsorship at any time. Simply click on the link in the email you receive in regards to your recurring donation. It will bring you to your account and you can change your payment options (or cancel) there. If you have any trouble, you can contact us through our Contact Us page.
Do you have questions about Sponsorship?
If you have any questions about Sponsorship or want to inquire about a particular horse, please send your question through our Contact Us page.
If you’re interested in sponsoring a horse CLICK HERE to be directed to our donation page where you can sign up for your monthly contribution. If you’d like to sponsor a specific horse, include the horse’s name in the comment box. If you don’t specify a name, we will assign your donation to a horse that needs a sponsor.
Thank you! From Shawn Jayroe and the RVR Horse Angels
Gunner’s ready for his home!
Gunner was foaled in 2009. He’s a sturdy, handsome pony at 13.3 hands high. Sometimes his attitude compensates for his small stature, but he just needs an owner who can handle his spunk.
Gunner has a best buddy!
Gunner and Halo are best buddies. It would be wonderful if they could stay together, although it’s not critical. Halo’s as sweet as they come and would be a lovely companion for Gunner. Below is a photo of our trainer, Sergio, riding her.
Gunner is ready for his forever human. He is available for adoption in central Florida. To learn more about Gunner or our adoptable horses, please complete an adoption questionnaire (at no cost and no obligation) and our adoption coordinator will contact you. You can find the adoption questionnaire HERE.
More Information about RVR Horse Rescue
Please follow RVR Horse Rescue on Facebook and share this post to help our rehabilitated horses find their forever homes.
Have you heard? RVR Horse Rescue is moving!
After over 13 years at the Riverview, Florida facility, we’re moving twenty-five miles north-east to Plant City. We’ve been showing the progress of the new barn on our Facebook page and we’re so excited that the day is finally coming.
We’d like to share the story behind our move with you for several reasons, one of which is the incredible difference that one person can make in our topsy-turvy world.
It’s all about the horses.
If you don’t have the honor of knowing the founder and owner of RVR Horse Rescue, let me assure you that Shawn Jayroe is a warrior and a worrier – and she hates the spotlight.
As a youngster from a horse community in Texas, Shawn was drawn into horse rescue after seeing abuse during her experiences at the rodeo. As an intermission performer with her horse, she witnessed inhumane treatment that stuck in her blood. Her desire to help horses in need followed her to Florida as a young adult and then into marriage, parenthood, and divorce.
One person can make a huge difference.
Shawn went on to build a booming hair salon business, working countless hours to support her young daughters and to rehabilitate horses in need that she found at boarding facilities.
As a successful businesswoman, Shawn knew it didn’t make sense to keep paying boarding fees for the horses she was rehabilitating, so she purchased a dilapidated property and gradually grew it into what RVR Horse Rescue is today.
We are a successful 501 (c)(3) organization with an all-volunteer team (including Shawn) and a reputation for successfully rehabilitating the worst of the worst cases. We’re proud that 100% of donations go directly to the care and rehabilitation of the horses – and not toward the move, by the way.
Riverview has been good to us, but the booming housing market forced us into an unsustainable situation. The encroaching mega communities have dramatically changed the local landscape, resulting in worsening flooding that’s both harmful to the horses and extremely expensive when we’ve had to move them off-site as a result. In addition, we’ve been blessed with wonderful volunteers who break their backs to manage through the floods, mud, and heat, but the patchwork facility can’t be managed by a few.
Creating a sustainable legacy.
And, equally important, life happens. Shawn Jayroe has continued to work full time to support the ranch. As her time to retire approaches, Shawn faced the dreadful dilemma of how to make her legacy sustainable for the future.
As our fearless leader does, she kicked into full-blown warrior mode and capitalized on her initial investment of the Riverview property and was able to find a beautiful site in rural Plant City where she’s building the new ranch.
Plans for an efficient operation.
The new facility has been designed with ease of operation and efficiency in mind, as well as being a safe and luscious spot for the recovering horses. Longer-term operations will be possible with less back-breaking effort and the new design will simplify the daily work immensely. And best of all, the new site will sustain Shawn’s legacy far into the future. And we can’t wait until she has more time to spend with her true loves – the horses.
Thank You for your support!
The entire RVR Horse Rescue organization is very grateful for the amazing support we’ve received over the years. It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come since the first horse Shawn nursed back to good health. We truly cannot do the work we do without your support and that will continue to be the case going forward.
We’ve always counted on the generosity of Horse Sponsors to help subsidize the cost of the horses’ daily care and we will continue to do so. You’ll see some social media posts about sponsorship over the coming months. Our Amazon Wish List shows the items we need to run the ranch and we’ll update it once we see what items we’ll need at the new facility. There are many ways you can help us, including volunteering.
Any support you provide helps us help more horses.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page to get the latest updates, including our grand opening. Let’s keep RVR Strong well into the future!
In case you missed it…
Our #Dream15 Paso Finos are rehabilitated and looking for their forever homes! Here’s beautiful Diva.
We’re very pleased to announce the expansion of our children’s outreach program to include a picture book about our special mini horses, Gilbert and Boots.
A New Friend for Gilbert is now available as softcover and ebook on Amazon.com, along with free coloring pages. The book is based on the true story of how our little ‘boys’ became friends after getting off on the wrong hoof.
The book is a perfect complement to the role that both horses play in educating local children about proper horse care and animal advocacy.
The timely ‘bullying’ element is striking a chord with our reviewers and the real-life story and photos at the end of the book are a huge hit. After all, who couldn’t love Gilbert and Boots?
Reviews on Amazon.com have been great, such as this one from Tyra:
I shared this lovely book with my family and a mental health group I moderate and it was not only engaging but enjoyed by all. It discusses important topics we are currently dealing with in our society (ie bullying, finding commonality among our differences and the importance of friendship). The story is adorable, easy to read and to understand for all ages. The illustrations are just precious. I especially enjoyed seeing the real people and animals at the end of the book that this story is based upon. Another special part of the book is the discussion topics provided for talking about the ideas brought forth in the story. I believe this to be especially helpful to parents and/or teachers. I highly recommend this book for your personal or professional library.
If you’d like to learn more, click the links below. Please share with early childhood educators (Pre-K to Grade 2) and parents of young children (3-7) who might benefit from topics of horses, bullying, disability/ability, and friendship.
As always, we thank you for your continued support of our important mission. We cannot do the work we do with you.
Shawn Jayroe and the RVR Horse Rescue Team
Thankfully, as a society, we’re becoming less tolerant of animal abuse and better animal advocates. As such, animal rescue organizations have become popular places for financial donors. And the “Adopt Don’t Shop!” movement has led to more adoptions from rescue organizations.
But not all animal rescue organizations are created equally. Just because people call themselves animal rescuers, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re legitimate in terms of how they actually treat animals and whether they’re worthy of your financial support.
So how can you determine whether a rescue organization is worthy of your donation or where you should adopt your next animal?
While there’s no hard and fast rule, there are many indicators you can use to help make the best decision. And while the process will vary depending on the type of animal (horses versus cats, for example), the key factors remain the same: Does the organization have the animals’ interest in mind and are they vetting potential adopters to ensure their animals are placed in suitable homes?
Following are 8 ways you can check things out.
1. Nonprofit Organization:
Ensure the organization is a valid nonprofit. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are classified by the Internal Revenue Service. Anyone claiming to be an animal rescue should have this status. – Tiny or brand-new rescues might not have the official status, but most reputable nonprofits do.
You will likely find the 501(c)(3) designation on their website, but you can validate the authenticity directly through the IRS at https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.
2. Charity Assessment Tools:
CharityNavigator.org is a handy and helpful tool for accessing the overall quality of very large nonprofit organizations. Their score includes several facets of the organization, including how prudently they spend money and what percentage of donations actually serve the cause, versus lining executives’ pockets.
CharityWatch.org is another organization that assesses larger nonprofits.
Most animal rescue organizations are too small to be included (including RVR Horse Rescue), but it’s a reasonable place to start your assessment.
Perhaps the rescue you’re assessing is listed in GreatNonprofits.org. This tool gives an overview of the organization and allows people familiar with the organizations to give reviews. They have a “Top Rated” status that highlights the organizations they consider the best of the best.
The organizations listed here do not undergo the same financial scrutiny as those in the large organization category, but it’s a good place to go to get an overall view of what people think of the organization and what their experiences there were.
Many online forums allow reviews. Remember that any reviews are subject to bias. Read through many reviews to cut through the bias and use your gut to decide what the real picture is. Look for trends. Don’t be turned off by a few sour grapes. There are always people who have negative things to say for one reason or another. But what’s the overall opinion people have of the organization? Are there many people giving great reviews or just a handful? What are the negative reviews about? Did someone who visited feel they were being rushed or did one of the old board members say the money is being mismanaged and animals are not being properly cared for?
5. Social media:
What are they posting on social media? Do their posts seem legitimate to what their cause is? What vibe are you getting? Are they in it for the animals?
If you live close enough and have the time, volunteer. Most organizations are always in need of help and there’s no better way to get a true picture than to get inside and see for yourself.
7. Word of Mouth:
Word of mouth is the next best thing to volunteering. A friend or a friend-of-a-friend isn’t going to sugar-coat their experience to you. Networking within your community or even using a community-based website, like Nextdoor.com, can give you some insight that you might not get otherwise.
8. Follow your gut:
Last, and maybe most importantly, is follow your gut.
What is their vetting process for new potential adopters? Do they care about your prior experience as an animal owner or if you’ve been convicted of prior animal abuse? Do they contact your veterinarian to ensure adequate care of your current animals? Are there requirements not to breed or to spay/neuter/geld? Do they ensure compatibility with your other animals? Do they have a contract to ensure your obligations? In regards to horses, do they ensure you have a safe boarding environment with adequate space and at least one companion?
When you’re ready to support an animal rescue facility or make a donation, do your homework. Not every reputable organization needs to do every one of these things, but make sure your gut feeling is that they have the animals’ interest in mind and are using donation dollars prudently.
There are many legitimate organizations doing wonderful work on behalf of animals. On behalf of them and RVR Horse Rescue, thank you for your support. Rescue work is hard and heartbreaking, but also extremely rewarding and life-changing. None of us can do this work without the generous support of donors like you.
The convenience of our disposable generation has come at a steep cost. Is anything but ‘shiny and new’ valued anymore?
Senior animals are often overlooked by potential adoptive families and it’s sad to say, but when horses are no longer useful, they’re often thrown away.
Too many old and broken ones are listed on craigslist or elsewhere for free. Sometimes people just stop caring for them when they are no longer useful. We’d rather see them euthanized than to have them end up in the slaughter pipeline or being worked all day every day for rental on a hack line at their ripe age.
Rescues hesitate to take them all, because nobody wants them. If we do, there is no room for younger adoptable horses.
But senior horses still have so much value.
Seniors have the most loving personalities.
They are appreciative and definitely understand that they have been rescued.
They are perfect for easy trail riding or simply companionship for another horse.
They can be therapy horses and be used to teach humans how to groom and tack.
Beyond having a ‘useful purpose’, senior horses make great pets just to love and appreciate for what they’ve done for us.
We’re always looking for special adoptive families like Ashley’s. When Ashley fell in love with senior horse Dusty, we were thrilled that one of our favorite old men finally found his forever home. Except Dusty’s adoption would have left his old girlfriend, Misty, without her best buddy.
When RVR Founder Shawn Jayroe explained Dusty and Misty’s circumstances to Ashley, Ashley immediately welcomed both equines into her family, keeping the senior friends together.
We always aim for a perfect adoption match (like Ashley, Dusty, and Misty) and we’re building a unique adoption model to facilitate a wonderful retirement for our senior horses.
Our Save Our Seniors Program is a collaborative effort between RVR Horse Rescue, subsidized boarding facilities, show barns, human senior communities, horse sponsors, and general horse lovers.
One beautiful aspect of our program is having children experience first-hand the value of senior horses. If we can raise more ambassadors for senior horses, like our little spokesperson in the following video, perhaps within one generation, we can change the dismal plight of senior horses for generations to come.
Will you take on a senior? Check your local equine rescues.
Our Save Our Seniors official program Kick-Off takes place
Saturday, April 28th
during our annual
ASPCA Help A Horse Day event.
Photo credit: Marji Lexton of Kindheart Photography