$500K grant will fund expansion for Maryland horse rescue farm

Days End Farm Horse Rescue resident Loralei, Peruvian Paso Fino, who is looking for a retirement home.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue resident Loralei, a Peruvian Paso Fino, who is looking for a retirement home. © DEFHR

A horse rescue operation in Maryland is to receive $US500,000 in government funding that will go towards expanding its operations.

The grant to Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. (DEFHR) was announced as part of a Legislative Bond Initiative on April 2, Good Friday, by Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester.

A Legislative Bond Initiative (LBI) is a request for funding to support specific local or non-state-owned capital projects. These projects include various cultural, historic, health, educational, and economic development projects not funded by other state capital grant and loan projects.

Hester said the grant would support the work of DEFHR, was an invaluable member of the community: “The work that they do for the State of Maryland and the equine industry cannot be overstated.”

“The Legislative Bond Initiative will support their amazing work, implementing state policies for the benefit of horses that have been mistreated in some of the worst ways imaginable. I encourage everyone who loves horses to come visit the rescue, meet the horses, and ‘adopt one’ to support if you can,” Hester said.

DEFHR in Woodbine is the only center in the state of Maryland and one of only a handful in the US working to rescue horses that have endured abuse and mistreatment. As well as rescuing and rehabilitating suffering horses, education to prevent abuse and neglect is at the forefront of DEFHR’s mission, which propelled the decision to expand operations.

It will acquire the adjacent firehouse property in Lisbon, Maryland, and repurpose it to expand its operations. Renovations of the firehouse will property include exterior updates, an educational welcome center with interactive displays to support its nationally recognized humane/environmental education programming, banquet hall to classroom conversion, bunkhouse conversion to administrative offices, and outbuilding conversion to equine rehabilitation medical suite.

This increased space will allow the organization to host more field trips and educational events for all levels of education across the state. In addition, DEFHR trains individuals to assess cases of abuse and enforce the policies that are set at the state level for the humane treatment of equines. The bond initiative will expand its training capacity and will make the enforcement of state policy in this area more efficient and effective.

Maryland State Senator Douglas J.J. Peters, Chair of the Capital Committee, said he was honored to support organizations and people, especially those in Maryland, who dedicate themselves to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals.

“Days End Farm serves as a benefit to the entire State of Maryland, which is why their continued work is so important. This landmark project will serve to broaden awareness of how vital a role Days End Farm serves for the entire horse industry.”

DEFHR Chief Executive Officer Erin Clemm Ochoa said the core of the group’s work has always been to serve as a resource for county agencies and the community. “To have 30-plus years of work recognized as a value for the State of Maryland and worth investing in is incredibly humbling. We are so grateful and excited to further enhance our contributions to equine welfare.”

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