is a healthy part of civic & community strength.
South West Florida Horse Rescue
... is a volunteer-run organization, and volunteer support is necessary for its sucess.
Volunteers are the engine that keeps things running.
Horse knowledge, no knowledge, young, or older it doesn't matter there is always something to do around the facility.
We value everyone and their own abilities.
We need volunteers of all kinds. Horse related and non-horse related.


The Volunteer Program at SWFHR is always in need of well-mannered, caring, and responsible people within our community.  We do offer credit hours by way of community service hours for students, either high school or college, provide proper institution paperwork is provided by that individual.

We have the ability to offer credit hours for workers’ compensation programs.  Compensation organizations must contact us first before any volunteer commitments.

While we have small and large projects to everyday common tasks, no one volunteer is required for any demanded length of time or day.  Basically come when you want (within reason… i.e. time of day), leave when you need to.  As stated by our dedicated volunteer Gary D. “South West Florida Horse Rescue doesn’t just save horses but they also save people, by providing them a way to give back while enjoying their individual time.”

We have many volunteers with all sorts of skill sets and would love to have more.  We could not exist as we do without the tireless giving and tremendous efforts of our equine-loving friends.  If you are ready to join our team and start your journey, we ask that you tour our facility first to know what you’d be getting into, then we will go from there.

Normal Volunteer Hours are 8 am to Sundown daily. In special circumstances, volunteers may start earlier than 8 am.

We have a multitude of needs, and we can likely find something for everyone. Click below to view typical volunteer tasks.

  • Horse Keep: Feeding, cleaning stalls & paddocks, filling & cleaning water troughs, and other tasks that need to be completed daily
  • Handlers & Groomers: Grooming, hoof care, and socialization.
  • Equine ER: In severe cases, those who are approved may tend to non-common medical needs for any equines.
  • Facility Maintenance: Barn maintenance, fence checks, fence building and repairs, weed control, tree maintenance, hazard watch, general maintenance and repairs, and other typical activities);
  • Fundraising: Event help & organization, outreach, special projects, and independent event-ing.
  • Grant Research and Writing: Specialized volunteers only (experience is highly needed)
  • Administration: Data entry, website maintenance, call processing, exploratory and investigative follow-ups.
  • Management & Coordinators: organization policy & procedure control including daily business, coordinating volunteers & events, processing adoption applications, checking references, performing site inspections & follow-ups, and trailering & transportation & delivery assistance or control.
  • Equine Training: We reserve horse training and development (halter training, groundwork, saddle training, exercising, and other related activities) for training professionals however, we do exercise equine–human socialization beyond paddock environments. We welcome those with training experience but in order to perform coordinated training, you must be approved by the board and trainers first.

If you are not sure where you fit in, we can discuss your capabilities to find out where your skills are best suited.

Volunteers value their experience at our facility. There is a lot of liberty for volunteers to chart their own paths. Without ruining our family of cause-connected friends, we still must have policy rules that apply to our volunteers. Read the list of Volunteer Rules below.

  • The minimum age expectation for volunteers is 18 without guardians. Under legal guardian consent 16 and anyone under 16, an adult guardian must be present. No ages under 12, unless approved by SWFHR representatives, exceptions made for organizational groups such as 4-H and Girl Scouts.
  • Do not bringing pets of any kind as this may cause unexpected problems with the equines at the Rescue.
  • No feeding of equines of any foreign items unless pre-approved by Coordinators.
  • Do Not enter any fenced area unless you’ve been approved to do so.
  • Always close gates to include the main gates behind you and use the chain clasps.
  • Pick up all trash behind you and any you may find while at the Rescue.
  • Personal items are the Volunteers’ responsibility. SWFHR is not responsible for any loss of personal property, yet if any items are found that don’t belong to the Volunteer it is requested that they turn them into a Coordinator. SWFHR will mark it and date it so as to hopefully return the item to the owner.
  • Visitors may accompany a Volunteer only after visitors fill out a ‘Liability Release Wavier’ before any activity to include showing them around.
  • Children may accompany you as long as someone watches them at all times and they remain orderly. Absolutely no children under 16 in any fenced-in area containing equines allowed unsupervised by Coordinators.
  • Do Not go any further into the house at the Rescue than the volunteer room.
  • No climbing through wires to access any fenced area. Most of the fencing is electric.

A note about Volunteer Apparel & Belongings. Due to the nature of the general area/habitat and working with horses, for volunteer safety, SWFHR requires that all volunteers wear proper foot protection (no open-toed shoes). Jeans are suggested to be worn but not required. SWFHR also suggests gloves, a hat, and sun/safety glasses, when and where appropriate. Additionally, due to the inherent risk associated with horse-related activities, SWFHR suggests volunteers have a valid health insurance policy before participating in volunteer activities. Volunteers will receive an SWFHR Volunteer t-shirt, when available, and the t-shirt should be worn (but not required) while participating at SWFHR Facility but at any SWFHR event, some representing shirts must be worn.

Understand SWFHR is not liable for missing or damaged belongings brought to the facility. If an item is of value, please secure it in your vehicle. We have an open to all refrigerator inside the volunteer room that has beverages available to the volunteers. If you’ve brought something for yourself, please label it.

The first step to becoming a volunteer is to schedule a volunteering tour with us. 


The Volunteer Information Sheet will give us all the pertinent information we need to get things started.

The Release of Liability Form is standard policy for all individuals that enter the facility. This form is annually updated and required to be signed on the date of update. The signature portions for your Release of Liability Form is to be signed on your orientation date.

You may email us your completed packet or bring it in person on our orientation days.

We would appreciate a notification either via phone or email of what day you intend to be out for orientation. When you do make it out for your orientation. Please come through the main gates and close them behind you. Drive down the road way to the “Feed Barn” where you will see the other vehicles parked. Depending on which manager you’ve talked with, one of them will be around to explain things to you. You may start volunteering on your orientation day if you so choose. We get very muddy and wet so proper attire is highly requested for orientation.

Mid day summer can be brutal and most volunteers are not at the facility during this time. Mornings and Evenings are more active times. All volunteers MUST sign in when arriving on one of the 2 Volunteer Hour Logs before doing anything. We like to team new volunteers up with senior volunteers for at least a few visits in order to assure safety and general knowledge of daily activities. Once confirmed you understand things you are released to independently doing tasks.

Before you leave for the day we need all volunteers to clean all tools, brushes, rakes, buckets, etc. that were use and put them a way where they belong. Also volunteers Must sign out of the volunteer hour log.

Credit/Service hours earned by volunteers can help, especially in school environments, for graduation. For your help through volunteering to a local charitable organization such as SWFHR, we can in turn help with your credit hours. The most critical part to all of this is your Volunteer hour log times. Initially you should notify the volunteer manger of your intentions/ needs for credit hours. Your creditor/ institution (school) should have a form or process to accept credit hours. No one institution is the same as the next… they are all different. You need to be clear with us about the process or provide us the forms so we may properly track your hours. It is advisable that you track your own hours to avoid discrepancies.

We will create a special file for each credit hour volunteers. In that file is our in house Service Hours Form for official documentation. You will be presented a copy of this form initially for keeping track of your hours on your own. Should you need another SWFHR Service Hours Form you can ask the Volunteer Manger for one or pull one from the information box in the Volunteer Room. Overall your official hours are tracked through the volunteer hours log which all volunteers must sign when at the facility.

For hours earned by things done away from the facility, such as running a bake sale, you must first be authorize to do so by the volunteer/staff manager. The process for volunteer hours logged in this case, will be similar to the facility with one exception. You must note what was done on each day pre and post project included.

Organizations such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or even academic groups (i.e. Fraternities or Sororities) are more than welcome to aid in our community effort.  The manner in which any group helps SWFHR is entirely based on the group and in fact, is called a “Group Volunteer Activity” (GVA).  Some examples of helping are General Volunteer duties, Fundraising coordination, and Specific project efforts.  No matter the situation we can make something work. Setting up and arrange a GVA request you must make contact with us about your groups needs if your not sure how to choose.  Next, we will need you to fill out our GVA Request, Roster & Statement of Understanding Form.  Going forward the group point of contact (POC) will have to touch base with our volunteer director and confirmed the date, time, and the number of people associated with the GVA request. For GVA requests that have the group doing site activities… there will be a mandatory safety brief before any activity is done.

Group Volunteer Activity request

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