In 2007, the slaughter of horses on US soil came to an end when a court ruling upheld a Texas law banning horse slaughter, and similar legislation was passed in Illinois. However, failure by the US Congress to pass legislation banning horse slaughter means that American horses are still being slaughtered for human consumption abroad. Tens of thousands are shipped to Mexico and Canada annually, where they are killed under barbaric conditions so their meat can continue to satisfy the palates of overseas diners in countries such as Italy, France, Belgium and Japan.
While a handful of horses are purposely sold into slaughter by irresponsible owners, most arrive at the slaughterhouse via livestock auction, where unsuspecting owners sell the animals to slaughterhouse middlemen known as “kill buyers.” Despite the fact that the US plants are no longer in operation, kill buyers continue to purchase and haul as many horses as possible from livestock auctions around the country to the slaughterhouses that have now relocated to Mexico and Canada.
Wild horses are also slaughtered since a 2004 backdoor Congressional rider gutted the protections afforded by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Now, the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for protecting wild horses, must sell “excess” horses (those 10 years of age or older, or not adopted after three tries) at auction. As a result, wild horses are being removed from their range at an alarming rate with some being sold for slaughter.
Castlewood Ranch Foundations, Inc. helps equines at risk of slaughter. While we will occasionally rescue barn cats, ranch dogs, and other farm animals in need, our primary focus is to pull equines and donkeys of all sexes, sizes, and sometimes pregnant from kill lots located in Texas where the boarder is just a quick haul away from Mexican Slaughter Houses. Once here,
we provide the necessary vet and hoof care, evaluation, and the sometimes needed training process begins. Once a rescue has been assessed and determined ready for adoption, we actively seek out a home. It is our goal to find the perfect fit for every animal and every family.
Are you interested in adopting a rescued horse, donkey or mini from Castlewood Ranch Foundation? You can find our latest rescues available for adoption on our FB page by following the link below.
These animals have been evaluated. They are UTD on worming and shots. They are ready for their "furever" homes.
Cruffy is an 11 year old recently gelded miniature who stands 34". He came in as a distressed owner surrender. He is dirty blonde in the Winter and grows out to be a handsome dappled grey in the Summer. He is as sweet as can be. Leads, ties, trailers, bathes, stands for the farrier and is UTD on everything. He even has papers! Help us find Cruffy his forever home.
Gypsy is a standard 4 year old chocolate jenny donkey with long white socks. She is very sweet and needs to find her forever home that will train her to drive carts, ride, pack or just be loved as a pasture pet. She stands around 12'2 so she is suited for a pony cart. Another young life saved from slaughter. If you are interested in meeting Gypsy, call us to make an appointment.
Little Man Marley is a 5 year old 32" miniature john mule. Saved from slaughter in November 2018, he has been at the Ranch learning to trust people again. He needs a home that will be patient with him. You must have another mini or goat to adopt Marley. Once caught he leads and ties. But, he can be tricky with new people. Marley is UTD on his shots, but does have locking rear patellas. He is not in pain, nor is surgery required; however, the Ranch will help fund raise 50% of the surgery for a qualified forever home, if the home desires.
These animals have recently arrived, have not been fully evaluated, or are in foal. Come meet them. They will be adoptable soon.
January 2019 has been a busy month saving pregnant mares and donkeys. Sterling Silver is a stunning gaited Paso Fino. She was pulled from a kill lot in Texas and is heavily bred. She has the sweetest personality and loves people. Standing 14' 2, she is a perfect sized gaited horse for riders who prefer to be closer to the ground. She is broke to ride, halters, ties, bathes and trailers. She will be UTD when she comes up for adoption. We expect her to foal sometime in early March. She must be adopted with her foal as a forever pair, or we will wait until her foal is 6 months old and weaned before we adopt Sterling out.
Dakota, a running quarter horse, and her unborn foal were rescued from slaughter in January 2019. She was so underweight you could physically see her foal moving with several months still to go. She is slowly gaining weight and we have a pending foal date for mid March to early April. Once Dakota has foaled, she will be adoptable as a bonded life-long pair with her foal, or will be adopted out solo after the baby has been weaned at 6 months old. Dakota is broke to ride, stands for the farrier, trailers, bathes and is UTD on shots. If you are interested in Dakota, let us know and follow her progress on FB.
Dixie, is a 42" miniature donkey. She, too, was rescued from the brink of slaughter in January. And, she too, was pregnant! Just three weeks after arriving at Castlewood, the stress of being on a slaughter lot caused her to foal out almost 6 weeks early. Little Chickpea, her baby jenn,y, will need a few months to build her bone mass. Chickpea is very sweet and bonded to humans. Her mom, Dixie is not so trusting. Our volunteers are working with Dixie to build back her trust in humans. Our little "Dixie Chicks" will only be available as a bonded pair to a forever home that agrees to never separate them. You can follow their progress on FB.
How Does Castlewood Ready Animals for Adoption?
After receiving a ranch animal we take a couple months evaluating their personality, training level, and any health concerns. Once we feel we know the animal well enough to properly place them, we promote them on our FB page and with our rescue partners.
How Does The Adoption Process Work?
Once someone has contacted us about an animal, we invite them out for a meet-and-greet. If there’s a horse, donkey or mini they would like to pursue adopting, we have them fill out an application and discuss the home environment. We encourage potential adopters to visit the animal on site several times before finalizing any adoption. All adoptive families must sign an adoption agreement that include re-homing and breeding restrictions.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt?
Adoption fees vary based on costs incurred during the rescue process, and any offsetting donations toward any one particular rescue. We also factor the level of training and the amount of time the ranch placed in the animal to achieve that training. We only discuss adoption fees in person after an animal has bee selected for possible adoption. Our goal is to provide all the care needed, and to find good homes . We are a not-for-profit operation. Adoption fees are reasonable and usually significantly lower than purchasing a similarly trained horse or animal on the open market.
What Is the Typical Health Condition?
It varies with each animal. All equines receive shots and are wormed. If they are underweight, they will not be adopted out until they have resumed normal weight. Some have medical issues that are treatable. Others may have chronic issues. But most equines and ranch animals come to us in reasonably good with only minor issues such as untrimmed hooves -which the Ranch remedies. If there is a known medical condition, it will be disclosed as part of the adoption process.
Contact us about sponsoring a rescued equine today. Your monthly ongoing donation toward one ranch animal helps with feed, farrier and ongoing vet costs while in our care.
Sponsors can visit their sponsored animal, and in some cases may be permitted to ride. General sponsorships start at $50 per month. Riding sponsorships start at $100. Enjoy the rewards of helping and interacting with a ranch animal pending adoption without the true cost of ownership.