About the Horse Rescue

Dedicated to abandoned and unwanted horses

We have always been animal lovers and over the years have taken in numerous abandoned and unwanted animals, both large and small. Over the years we have rescued horses that were considered a ‘throw away’ in the eyes of the unkind and heartless individuals who owned them.  We have given to many animal rescues and charity organizations through the years in our attempt to “do our part”.

   In 2009 we recognized the growing need to help ‘local horses’ in our area and teamed up with a local couple who ‘privately’ rescued horses… that was our new beginning and the reason we now call ourselves South West Florida Horse Rescue or SWFHR for short.
Donation are very important to our operation… maybe you could help our local horses with a donation?

 
How We Got Started

How We Got Started

We have given to many animal rescues and charity organizations through the years in our attempt to “do our part”. In 2009 we recognized the growing need to help ‘local horses’ in our area and teamed up with a local couple who ‘privately’ rescued horses… that was our new beginning and the reason we now call ourselves South West Florida Horse Rescue or SWFHR for short.

Bottom line is, we made it happen. Our thoughts were simple, these horses did not ask to be put in these situations, they did not have a ‘choice’… we believe all animals should live happy, healthy lives and we were going to make sure we could make that happen.

Accomodations for More Horses

Accomodations for More Horses

We built an additional barn and fenced off 3 sections of pasture to accommodate only three horses at a time. This quickly changed and we were taking in multiple horses at a time. We put up temporary holding areas and round pen paddocks for these horses just to get them out of the horrible living conditions they were in and move them on the path to a better tomorrow. We saved and rescued over 20 horses in 2011 alone; this was all done out of our own pockets and with help of many of our friends volunteering their time. We never wavered from our mission to save as many as we could and we never turned our back on or refused to take in or assist any horse who needed us. When the paddocks and barns were full, we simply built on and extended things. If we were “full” we would call in some of our horse friends to foster the rescues.

Fund Raising Events

Fund Raising Events

As time went on we realized we needed help to continue rescuing, we asked local folks for donations, not monetary, just to simply clean out their garages, attic, closets, barn, etc. and donate any unwanted items to us. We put together a large group of volunteers to help us with this, either by donating their time, picking up donations or passing out flyers. Our very 1st “Barn Sale” was a tremendous success and we found that there are many people out there who may not have the means to own horses, rescue horses, or care for horses but they did have a strong desire to “do their part” and that was to make us, as a horse rescue, stronger and bigger, day by day. We have met some awesome people and made some lifelong friends over the years. We have taken a horse who may have had only weeks to live and made some young girls dreams come true. We have a special bond with our rescues and we keep in contact with them.

The Founders

  • Tina Garrett Co-Founder / President & VP / Director / Staff (Fundraising & PR Manager)
  • Matt Venaleck Co-Founder / Director / Treasure / Staff (Volunteer & Facility Manager)

The Directors

  • Tina Garrett Co-Founder / President & VP / Director / Staff (Fundraising & PR Manager)
  • Matt Venaleck Co-Founder / Director / Treasure / Staff (Volunteer & Facility Manager)
  • Susan Swink Volunteer / Director / Staff (Public Relations)

The Staff

Featured Testimonies from those who’ve had the pleasure of interacting with the rescue.

  • "Great people with big hearts to help these beautiful creatures Thank you Thank you"

    Karen Perdicho Hoven (Facebook - August 21, 2014)
  • Absolutely amazing how the horses are cared for! I've seen the differences from when some of them first came to The South West Florida Horse Rescue and and where they are at today .. So much healthier and happy!!

    Tiffany Lynne (Facebook - October 2, 2015)
  • Wow, I can't believe how much meticulous care goes into the horses and their home conditions. And they are loved on and are sweet and trusting animals. Every aspect of their care is carefully managed. These are really fortunate babies and they know it. But, it takes so much to make it happen.

    Beth Anne Algie (Facebook - November 3, 2015)
  • "This place is tidy and well kept! You can tell owners, Tina & Matt, put their hearts and souls into it. The horses are well cared for. I would encourage anyone to go visit and make a donation."

    Marilyn Ireland (Facebook - January 26, 2016)
  • Went to visit with intentions to become a volunteer. Heard the history of SWFHR and got to meet the residents. Great place. Can't wait to start.

    Elke Ramos (Facebook - October 25, 2016)
  • The kindness, care and concern that Tina and Matt show for these rescues is out the top. They, along with their volunteers are totally dedicated. Praying that God will continue to bless them and enrich them in all ways.

    Bobbi Harrison (Facebook - November 5, 2016)
  • Tina and Matt care about the horses,miniatures,donkeys they take in. They care for their immediate needs until they find good homes. But sometimes these animals stay for quite sometime at their facility. Funds are needed to continue their great efforts to give wholeheartedly to these abused and homeless critters of God. So please give.

    Debbie Revell (Facebook - November 8, 2016)
  • This is an organization that deserves everyone's support. Everything accomplished at this facility is for the betterment and placement of loving horses looking for a forever home! Please consider them for your up coming annual charity!

    Jim Mason (Facebook - November 9, 2016)
  • This Rescue has HEART! We moved to Cape Coral, Fla in July of 2016. I found out about SWFHR in the late fall...and I was so happy, because my husband, Rich, loves to work with rescue horses. When we got here, I was impressed by how clean it was, and how much room there was for each horse to graze, and just be a horse. And then, Tina introduced Rich to Blackie, a pregnant mini horse. Almost love at first sight. Actually, love on 3rd visit. Grooming sessions plus carrots cemented that connection. Now, when Rich shows up, Blackie nickers at him, and waddles over. She waddles because she is due pretty much at any time, and has a big baby mini inside her. Rich kisses her on the snout, and she holds up her face for that kiss. SWFHR not only rescues horses, big and small, but creates opportunities for non horse owners to volunteer there, and to interact with horses. And friendly? My husband is somewhat shy, but he feels right at home there. Tina, and Matt and Darcey, are so easy to be with. They are truly confident Rescuers. They can pretty much evaluate a new volunteer's capabilities. If they see the volunteer is competent, they show their trust by being available, but they don't hover. It is such a relaxed environment, that is just perfect for the horses AND the volunteers. It is a little piece of Heaven. (Even for me..I have bad arthritis..I can barely walk. But just sitting in my car, watching all the horses, makes me happy, too!)

    Nancy Walters (Facebook - January 2, 2017)
  • A wonderful equine rescue! I am so thankful they are here in our area to take on horses in need.

    Andrea Rothwell Jones (Facebook - January 14, 2017)

Want to have your words seen?

Add your own testimony to our list here







“We chose to be a voice for their well-being.  You can choose to help.  We may not be able to save the world, but for the ones we save it means the world to them.”

TINA GARRETT, FOUNDER – SWFHR

Help feed a rescued equine today!

with a  Sponsorship or Donation of Only

$2.00

per day

$2.OO a day is equal to the grain cost per day for (1) horse

FL State Solicitation Disclaimer

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. – (REG#CH40783)
VISIT WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION.

(SWFHR) is a Florida not for profit corporation created pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This means that donors can contribute sums to the organization and deduct those contributions from their income taxes.

CONTACT US

SWFHR
14811 State Road 31
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Phone: (239) 567-4111
Email: info@swfhr.org

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For our benefactors.. the SWFHR EIN is 46-2031584

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