The Pennsylvania Equine Rescue and Retirement Foundation (PERRF) is dedicated to saving, protecting and rehabilitating abused and neglected horses. We also work to protect horses through legislation and educate the humane treatment of horses everywhere.
Why horses? Horses are responsive animals with awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings, including people. They are powerful and create an environment to overcome fear. Horses are considered a valuable partner in physical and emotional healing to develop confidence. A relationship to a horse will build self-esteem and self-confidence...and give hope, love and acceptance.
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Community Outreach Program
Our Community Outreach program is targeted to new and prospective horse owners and provides information about equine care and the costs associated with ownership. We also provide valuable facts concerning unwanted horses so potential buyers understand the ramifications of purchasing an equine. We would like to expand this program to this information at fairs and farm shows.
Another valuable aspect to our Community Outreach program is offering emergency responders and firefighters education on helping save horses and other large animals in catastrophic situations (septic tank falls, overturned trailers, horses cast in their stalls, and barn fires. This is a hands-on program is conducted at our farm using one of our two highly trained equines. Large animal rescue is not widely understood in emergency services, so our goal is to reach out to law enforcement, K-9 units, emergency responders, firefighters, and veterinarian students to offer this educational program and provide education that will either begin or enhance large animal rescue programs in their area.
Military Outreach Program: Heroes and Horses
This equine-assisted project is the first outreach program the Pennsylvania Equine Rescue & Retirement Foundation will provide for Veterans and active duty personnel suffering from physical or mental issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In an effort to help them build trust, confidence and courage, this form of therapy will help individuals make peace with their past and ultimately replace devastating memories with positive ones.
We plan to address specific issues faced by wounded or traumatized military personnel. First, we will focus on socialization opportunities and incorporate horses into the healing process for veterans and active duty military. Veterans recruited for the program will learn lessons in the herd dynamics, prey animal instincts, and unconditional acceptance of horses through body language. Next, we teach grooming and practice ground skills such as leading and lunging (a method used to exercise a horse without a rider on its back).
There are many challenges for our veterans as they transition from military life to civilian life. Through PERRF for Heroes Program, veterans and their families will be offered a unique, positive, and encouraging community resource in a beautifully serene getaway for quiet refreshments and retreat – an environment where veterans and their families come together to facilitate healing and strengthening relationships through outdoor activities in a peaceful farm setting.
Our Micro-Rescue Program is designed to help individuals who are interested in rescuing horses from auctions, especially those in auction feedlots and killpens. If someone has the desire to rescue, adopt and provide a forever home for an at-risk horse, PERRF will provide funds to help them help a horse in need. Potential adopters are carefully screened and pre-approved before PERRF will act as representative and buyer at a horse auction. To become approved, contact us using the form on our Contact page.
PERRF is also a proud member of the Equine Rescue Network (ERN). The ERN is an online network of equine advocates that work together to help slaughter-bound, neglected, abandoned, and lost, stolen, or missing horses in the United States. Currently, there are over 160,000 unwanted horses in the United States and in 2015 alone, over 140,000 horses were shipped to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered. Rescue facilities in the USA only have the capacity to care for roughly 33,000 horses and it costs $2,485 per year (average) to care for a horse, so PERRF and the ERN use a network of online connections and social media sites to spread the word to help save horses at risk. We provide funds to help at-risk horses.
Personal Development Program
Our Personal Development program is aimed in helping young teenage girls reach their full potential. It incorporates skill and team-building techniques and activities relative to goal-setting, decision-making, healthy lifestyle practices, time management, and self-motivation. Equine assisted experiential learning is based on the premise that by removing someone from their comfort zone, they are able to grow and develop through experiencing another perspective on life. Horses are natural coaches and thus, they will help young girls explore fears, build trust in themselves and others, and develop overall leadership skills.
The Pennsylvania Equine Rescue and Retirement Foundation's Board of Directors and Advisory Council is comprised of a diverse make-up of experts that provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. Each member brings a wealth of sound business knowledge to our foundation by utilizing a wide range of experiences to ensure that PERRF’s mission is upheld at the highest standards of excellence. Members consider PERRF a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority so that PERRF can credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals. PERRF expects to have 100 percent of Board Members make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity.
Kimberly Cannon, Founding Director/President
Deanna Mizikar, Vice President
Joyce Steinel, Director of Events & Fundraisers
Chris Jones, Chris Jones Farrier Services
Dr. Eric Bruns
Sean McCarthy, McCarthy Equine Dentistry
Gregg Zegarelli, Esq., Technology & Entrepreneurial Ventures Law Group
Pennsylvania Equine Rescue and Retirement Foundation
1818 Polk Street, Aliquippa, PA 15001
133 Moffett Run Road, Aliquippa, PA 15001
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3),
tax-exempt charity. (EIN 25-2595048)
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