A WaterShed Moment

Since its barn doors first opened in June 2012, the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center has welcomed more than 700 abused and neglected horses and other equines that were removed from their owners by law enforcement. As we have pursued our goal of ending suffering and providing opportunities for new lives for these animals, the center has become nationally recognized for its equine rehabilitation, training and adoption programs.

Last fall, the Harmony Equine Center caught the attention of WaterShed Animal Fund. As part of its mission, this private family foundation based in Oklahoma City, Okla., funds innovative programs that improve the lives of companion animals and homeless horses. In January, WaterShed Animal Fund awarded a $442,500 grant to the Harmony Equine Center, with the goal of increasing adoptions of horses in Colorado and assisting in more positive outcomes for homeless horses across the country.

“We are deeply honored to receive this extremely generous grant from WaterShed Animal Fund,” says Bob Rohde, Dumb Friends League president and CEO. “With their support over the next two years, we will develop and implement pilot programs designed to increase the placement of horses in our region, and WaterShed Animal Fund will share those programs and best practices with horse organizations across the country.”

With the grant, our goal is to complete 200 adoptions and outbound transfers each year at the Harmony Equine Center. To accomplish this, our facility will become a centralized hub for horses from humane societies in the Midwest and southwestern United States, as well as prequalified rescue groups wishing to transfer horses to us. Says Harmony Equine Center Director Garret Leonard, “We want to build relationships and become a valuable resource for groups that would benefit from some assistance with the horses in their care. We can help bring these animals back to health and train them, after which they will either be returned to the rescue for adoption or be adopted from Harmony.”

The Harmony Equine Center will continue to be a resource for law enforcement, and impounded equines will remain our first priority. Staff will determine how many horses will be accepted and when they will be admitted so we can match our capacity with the need for our training services. Says Leonard, “This new opportunity represents a big change and a big challenge. It’s exciting to have such confidence and support behind us as we move toward our mutual goal of reducing the number of unwanted horses in our region and beyond.”

Learn more about the Harmony Equine Center.