Horse Rescue Policy

Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses is a horse rescue and sanctuary. The horses we take in come primarily from extreme cases where animal services and law enforcement agencies request our assistance. While we would love to help every horse that needs it, we do not ordinarily accept horses from the public-at-large simply because we do not have the resources.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our income is entirely dependent on the generosity of donors and occasional grants. We do not have any other source of income.

If you or someone you know needs assistance placing unwanted horses, we recommend that you contact a horse rescue organization in your community that has the ability to take unwanted horses. If you have or know of a situation where neglect or abuse exists, please contact animal services or law enforcement in your community.

Investigation, Seizure and Surrender Policy

Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses’ (DDRSFH) policy is to work with law enforcement agencies to seize (remove) horses or other animals from neglectful or abusive owners. It is the policy of DDRSFH to provide respectful and compassionate communication with owners during any investigation of neglect, and to allow law enforcement to handle the legal aspect.

DDRSFH’s role in a neglect/abuse investigation, seizure or surrender is to provide care and keeping for the horses, and to encourage owners to surrender the animal to DDRSFH to avoid a long period of uncertainty for them, and to allow placement into suitable homes on an expedited timeline.

DDRSFH has no legal standing to investigate or seize horses from owners. However, DDRSFH will assist individuals in the proper procedures for reporting abuse or neglect to the legal authorities. All suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to the local authorities by an eyewitness to the abuse or neglect.

Upon request by law enforcement, DDRSFH volunteers will assist in the investigation, seizure of neglected or abused horses pending trial as needed. This assistance includes, but is not limited to…

  • Physically visiting the property with law enforcement to assess the situation and provide expertise;
  • Agreeing to supervise and educate the owners so they can improve the condition of the equines;
  • Assisting during seizure, including but not limited to catching/penning horses, cataloging and documenting the condition of the horses on seizure, loading and trailering the horses, working with vets and farriers on site, and media;
  • Assist in taking possession and caring for the equines until the court date. Law Enforcement and DDRSFH will work together to find a short‐term holding area if space is not
    available at a DDRSFH location or in the foster home network;
  • Assisting with fundraising efforts to provide care for the seized equines, provide medical care and assist in providing veterinary services as needed;
  • Maintain written documentation of care provided and changes in the condition of the equine;
  • Providing testimony through affidavits or attendance in court of the circumstances and conditions leading up to seizure, and the care of the equines post‐seizure DDRSFH will maintain an itemized account of all costs incurred and donations received while assisting with the investigation of a neglect or abuse report, during the seizure, while holding the equines, and while preparing for court.

Minimum Costs for Seizure, Care and Keeping

  • Catching/loading/trailering — $50 per horse
  • Board — $10/day or actual cost incurred if paid to a third party
  • Fuel or mileage — $.56/mile
  • Halter and Lead Rope — $25/horse
  • Farrier — $40/trim or actual cost incurred

All other costs including supplies for seizure, medical supplies, parasite control, professional services (veterinarians, farriers, expert testimony), shall be documented and reimbursed at the actual cost incurred.

If the court remands custody of the animals to DDRSFH or if custody is remanded to animal control authorities who turn custody of the animals over to DDRSFH or if the animals’ owners surrender them to DDRSFH, then DDRSFH agrees to…

  • Waive all fees incurred by DDRSFH on behalf of the horses to date unless the courts decide to order the horses’ owners to pay restitution as provided by the law.
  • Assume all financial support of the horses from that date forward.
  • Rehabilitate the animals and/or place them into approved adoptive homes that are capable of providing rehabilitation.
  • Place the horses in approved adoptive home.
  • Provide follow up to insure that the horses have been placed into homes that provide proper care.

If the horses are awarded to another non‐profit organization, sent to auction, given back to the owners, or ordered euthanized, the county will pay all costs associated with the seizure and care of the horses within 60 days of the final disposition of the equines.

Effective Date: 11/1/2012
Last Modified: 06/01/2017

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