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.
Dakota Noble Mount is a 5 year old registered quarter horse gelding. We have 6 months of training into him. He has more whoa than go and would be suitable for an intermediate child or as a husband horse. He is UTD on everything. Stands for the farrier, leads, ties, bathes and loads. His adoption fee will go up as we put more training into this good boy. So call now, if interested.
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.
At only 9 months old, Baby Blue Eyes landed on a kill lot in Texas. Passed around from auction to auction, he came to us wormy and gangly in December 2019. But, boy does this little guy have spunk and heart. He will mature to around 38" high. UTD on everything. Our volunteers have been working on gentling him and teaching him the ropes on how to be a good companion mini. He is too small to ride, so please do not contact us about baby if you want to use him as a kid's riding horse. He is
Yes... we sometimes even get a cow in at Castlewood. Bertha was owner surrendered to us when she outgrew her pen. They did not want her slaughtered, so we took her in until we could find her a forever home. She likes to challenge fences, so barbed wire will be necessary to hold this girl in. Unfortunately, horses and barbed wired don't mix... so we hope we find YOU soon! (Update: Bertha found her happy ending at a local Ranch living with 20 other cows just 5 minutes away. Whew! She was an
These animals have recently arrived, have not been fully evaluated, or are in foal. Come meet them. They will be adoptable soon.
Calendar year 2019 was a busy year saving pregnant mares, minis and donkeys. White Walker came in in December 2019 out of Elkhart Texas. He is a 2 year old 31" gelding with pretty blue eyes. He is a bit difficult to catch, but once caught, he leads, ties and stands for the farrier. Help us find White Walker his forever home. Spread the word, we have a little mini available.
Kitty Hawk came to us from the Houston Humane Society. She was an owner surrender during the Texas floods. Kitty has been with us for 12 months in training and evaluation. She loads, ties, baths, and stands for the farrier. She has solid feet and goes barefoot. She does very good with a confident rider, but can balk if you are not comfortable under saddle. She is forward and will make a great trail horse for the right person. If you are interested in Kitty give us a call. She is ready t
Texas is a 15'2' Chestnut Roan Gelding, Tennessee Walker. He has also been with us for about 12 months in training. UTD on everything including a recent teeth float. He is confident and forward on the trails. He is best suited for a confident experienced horse rider. He gets his confidence from you! If you are timid, he will wonder what you are afraid of..... so he is best suited for a confident Intermediate to Experienced rider. Get ready for his lovely gait. Texas is smooth!
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.