Over the years SWFHR has rescued horses that were considered a ‘throw-away’ in the eyes of the unkind and heartless individuals who owned them. The idea of rescuing actually began in 2009 when founders Tina Garrett (Founder) & Matt Venaleck (Founder) recognized the growing need to help ‘local horses’.
Over the years SWFHR has rescued horses that were considered a ‘throw-away’ in the eyes of the unkind and heartless individuals who owned them. The idea of rescuing actually began in 2009 when founders Tina Garrett (Founder) & Matt Venaleck (Founder) recognized the growing need to help ‘local horses’. At the time, Tina & Matt had owned (4) horses, (3) dogs on (5) acres of land and worked for FedEx Ground delivering packages all over Southwest Florida. Over the years they had taken in numerous abandoned and unwanted animals, both large and small. They also donated to many national-level charity organizations through the years in their attempt to “do our part”. Tina had written a letter to one of these charities stating “I don’t want the trinkets anymore please use my donation for the horses only”. The next month her check was cashed and she received refrigerator magnets. This disconnect from the donor was quite irritating, to say the least. When they thought about it donors truly saw what their donations really did. The thought was alarming especially when right out anyone’s back door there were horses in need. When you would search craigslist you would find horses in abundance with a selling line of “don’t want it no more”, “just come and get’em”, or just plainly “free”.
One day while on craigslist Tina came across a listing for “Help Needed”. It was an individual named Lisa who privately rescued horses and was looking for someone to help do the same. “We did not know, how much we did not know in our early days but believed we could make a difference even if it was small” so, they teamed up with Lisa with the intention of only rescuing (2) horses at a time. Their thoughts were simple, these horses did not ask to be put in these situations, they did not have a ‘choice’. The belief was that all animals should live happy, healthy lives and they were going to make sure that they could make that happen.