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Habitat for Horses Located in Hitchcock, Texas

Contact Phone: 832-594-3498

Hours of Operation: 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri

Habitat for Horses
POB 213
Hitchcock, TX 77563

Located in: Galveston County

Group Background:

We have a board of directors that sets policy and procedures for our organization. Jerry Finch started the rescue back in 1998 when he saw a need in this region for a place for unwanted horses. Since that time we have merged with Lone Star Equine Rescue and then after Hurricane Katrina we merged with North Florida Horse Rescue. This has made us the largest equine rescue in the country and allows to help more horses than ever before.  To date we have helped over 1300 horses. We were active in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina with rescuing not only horses but dogs and cats. We were called into action soon after when East Texas and Louisiana were hit by Hurricane Rita. Then came the Texas Panhandle fires. We rescued and rehabbed not only horses but cows that were severely burned in the fires.

How are Horses Acquired?
The horses we get come mainly from local law enforcement seizures. We also get horses from private donations. We do have our own trained investigators that work with law enforcement. Nearly everyday a new horse comes into the rescue. Currently, we have over 250 horses in the rescue, some at the ranch in Hitchcock and the rest in foster homes throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

How the Horses Rehabilitated:
Nearly everyone horse that comes into the rescue requires some rehabilitiation of one kind or another. Most often they need weight but many times that have illness or injuries that need to be addressed. We go above and beyond to give each horse a chance to survive and then find them forever homes.  We have raised funds to cover expensive operations on several horses.  We put many of the untrained horses into training homes or with trainers to make them more adoptable. Each horse is current on vaccinations and coggins before they leave the rescue to an adoptive home. We also provide the adopter with an evaluation of any health issues or injuries that may require long term treatment and care. We have a large contingent of volunteers that help care for the horses at the ranch in Hitchcock. We also have around 100 foster homes to care for the remaining horses. We can always use more foster homes.

Group Specialties:
When someone adopts or fosters for us, they have access to a our membership through online groups. They can ask questions regarding training, feeding, behavior, illnesses and get the information they need to provide for their fostered or adopted horse. We also have a 1-866 number set up and they can reach us 24 hours a day.  We also perform a thorough evaluation of each horse so prior to adopting, each adopter will know everything we know about the horse good or bad.

Group Qualifications and Awards:
We have received a 501c3 non profit status from the IRS. From time to time we have been mentioned in the local and national media from our work with the horses.  Willie Nelson recently became very active in our organization.  He has adopted several horse and currently fostering several others.  We worked with the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) to define our minimum standards of care.  We are a founding member of the National Horse Protection Association.  Our founder, Jerry Finch, is a nationally certified equine cruelty investigator.

Typical Day at the Facility:
At the ranch, which houses only about 15-20% of the horses in the rescue, the day typically starts with the volunteers bringing each and every horse into their paddock for feeding.  While the horses are eating the volunteers clean up the general area so it is free of manure and old hay. The horses are then let out to graze and the volunteers then can focus on bathing and grooming some of the horses.  When possible we assign a volunteer to work exclusively with a horse that is skittish to help them overcome their fear of humans.

Horses Available:
We average about 20 adoptions per month.  About 100 horses are available for adoption at any given time.

Adoption Procedures:
To adopt one of our horses, one needs to complete an adoption application and become a member of HfH.  We verify references, run a background check and perform a property inspection.  We also talk with the applicant to gauge their experience level to make sure we are matching the right horse with the right adopter.  We wouldn't want to adopt an untrained horse to someone who has little or no horse experience.  As far as the property inspection, there are certain things we look for like adequate fencing, shelter and fresh water source.

How Past Adoptive Families Have Felt About Your Group's Services:
Most adopters appreciate the steps we take to ensure the horse go to the right home.  We don't just adopt out horses and send you on your way.  We stay intouch and for the first 2 years after the adoption we perform followup inspections.  This allows us to monitor the horse's current environment and gives the adopter a chance to ask any questions they may have about their adopted horse.  Our adopters typically become part of our extended family. Many return to adopt again and in many cases foster horses for us until we can get them into adoptive homes.

Donations & Local Volunteers:
We appreciate any minute that each volunteer gives us.  We understand that people have other commitments. If you can only spend a couple hours at the ranch, that's great.  If you have physical limitations but have a computer, then we can use that skill as well.  We always need help with fundraising, periodic mailings, volunteering at the ranch and helping with our Education and Outreach committee.  You need not have horse experience but we do require volunteers to complete a volunteer application first.  We take donations on line and donations can be sent to
P.O. Box 213
Hitchcock, TX  77563

Additional Horse Tips & Information:
Horses are expensive to maintain.  Feeding is only a small part of the cost.  You have to have a farrier trim their feet every 6-8 weeks (if you shoe that increases the costs), vaccinations every 6 months, and their teeth floated every 6- 12 months.  The average cost of maintaining a healthy horse is $200 per month.  This does not include boarding.  If your horse gets sick the cost jumps exponentially.  Be aware of the cost before you adopt.

If you see an animal being mistreated call 1-866-434-5737.
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