This life of rescue is a gift, yes it comes with challenges and heartache, yet as I sit down today to write this the pain and sadness falls away and is replaced by emotion that it is hard to put into words, but gratefulness, peacefulness and kindness stand out.
This year we lost our beloved Ivanessa “Nessa”. She came to us in most unimaginably horrid condition, also in foal which we were unable to save. In the years since she arrived she blossomed with the love, care are attention we showered her with. She truly was that special, her loss is felt deeply but we will cherish her memory.
As I reflect on all of the blessings and life lessons Sunkissed Acres experienced in 2018, I sit in awe of what we’ve accomplished despite the continued challenges all rescues face. As I write this, we’ve been given the task of assisting with six horses from a neglectful situation. We were able to rehome two of them right away, and one of the horses, a 37 year old, was humanely euthanized due to it rapidly declining condition.
Meet Cisco, he’s a senior horse who has been severely malnourished and one of the six. He remains under constant observation here at the farm and his condition is guarded.
Sunkissed Acres has twenty seven horses in our sanctuary, most are the horses you’ve come to love over the years they’ve been here. We were able to take in eight horses in 2018, two of which were given the peace of humane euthanasia surrounded by love and care. Four horses were adopted, including Beauty and Tango who are now beloved therapy horses sharing their life changing gifts to individuals with special needs.
Helping Horses and Humans in Need
Where we made the most impact was in our community, helping 48 families keep their beloved horses at home. The economy, the weather, and increased costs have made horse ownership a challenge, but finding good homes for horses is even more difficult. In most cases a horse owner who finds themselves facing hard times needs only a short term handup to help. This help could be as simple as few bales of hay, some grain, or assistance with farrier or veterinary care. A small amount of help to ensure a loved and cared for horse can remain safe. This help also becomes a lifeline to us if the situation changes and finding a home for the horse becomes necessary. This community outreach does come at a cost to the rescue, and we would not have been able to serve the numbers we have without a generous grant from the ASPCA. For many years the ASPCA has come to our aid, and 2018 was no exception, and we are so grateful.
Working in the community brings us in contact with situations that we cannot ignore, and those situations are usually the human kind, not just horses. Our area struggles with crippling poverty, and good people with kind hearts find themselves in the worst way. Throughout 2018 our network of amazing supporters helped provide food, clothing, shelter and heat for a family with extreme need, as well as care for the two horses they owned. After the elder family member had peacefully passed on, we found homes for the horses to lessen the burden on the family, and continue to look out for them as they get back on their feet.
There is so much more that I want to share, but this is short and heartfelt note from me to you...I’ll save the novel length letters for future reading!
Before I go, I need to say this:
Our network of friends, family, colleagues and community have been simply unbelievable in their support of our efforts, rescue and sanctuary. From the donations to volunteering, to kind words, thoughts and prayers, for the hours helping make our efforts at the Georgia Steeplechase and our amazing Halloween event, I just can’t thank you all enough! We certainly could not continue to keep rescuing horses in need if it weren't for the tremendous support we receive from you all.
Friends, as you reflect on your own blessings and life lessons this time of year as well, I hope you know how much you mean to me, this organization and to the horses and humans we’ve cared for. We wish you the most beautiful holiday season, and best of luck and promise as welcome in 2019!
With much love and gratitude,
Lori Rosser Yonts
Founder and President
Sunkissed Acres Equine Rescue