By Renée Tillotson
Motivated by compassion, this marvelous non-profit organization located on the westside of Oahu gives sanctuary to unwanted horses in Hawaii who have been abused, injured or neglected. Equine 808 Horse Rescue provides emergency relief, medical treatment, rehab and adoption services.
As a 501c3 non-profit, Equine 808 Horse Rescue has been operating since 2008. With no government aid, the organization relies completely on volunteer labor, community financial support, and love.
Their education programs seek to enlighten community members on responsible care and ownership of horses – in a fun, outdoors setting where they meet resident horses and other farm animals.
Some children get their first exposure to a ranching lifestyle here. Many come to Horse Camp, for birthday parties, or on field trips with Boy or Girl Scouts, etc. The site also boards outside horses as space allows. Riding lessons teach adults and children horse care, riding management and the responsibility of owning a such an animal.
Volunteers carefully record each horse’s information on a clipboard – much like a hospital clipboard for each patient – so that they can track the horses’ recovery. The horses receive unique care according to their individual needs as they are rehabilitated, re-trained and prepared for adoption.
Michelle Blacconiere, Equine Behavioral Specialist, assumed her position as Site Manager about 5 months ago. As the owner of her own business, Honolulu Horse and Carriage, Michelle saw that although there are many dog and cat rescue organizations, Equine 808 is the only horse rescue facility on island. She therefore understands the importance of her role, guiding a team of about 35 volunteers. As she says, these horses cannot feed and care for themselves!
For those interested in assisting these animals, many more volunteer positions are available – working with the animals, in administration, on ranch maintenance, public awareness, and fundraising. There’s even a rebuild going on that could use helping hands. Volunteer orientations happen the first Saturday of each month at 10 am, the next orientation coming up October 6th.
94-1108 Kunia Road, Lot #21, Kunia, Hawaii