Your contribution gives us support for the animals and to continue our mission of helping those in need. We are very grateful for your generosity and for supporting us when times are tough for everyone.
By sponsoring an animal you could help pay for their feed, veterinary care, shelter, maintenance, and overall husbandry. Whether it be a monetary donation in the animal's name or a bag of feed, everything counts and matters. We appreciate anything and everything and thank you for your support of our animals and our cause. We do all the hard work so you can watch them thrive and help others.
``Trooper AKA Down The Road Again is a New Jersey-bred thoroughbred. He had a successful racing career and was sent off to find his next post in life after he retired. Trooper was given a year out to pasture and then went to the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption facility in Lexington Kentucky. Trooper was evaluated and started under saddle considered “green broke” and put up for adoption. Many OTTB’s (Off The Track Thoroughbreds) have a hard time adjusting to normal life as a horse. Similar to a soldier who has been deployed, OOTBs can have difficulty adjusting to civilian life. Trooper was no exception to this and did not take well to life as a “regular” horse. While most horses enjoy being out to pasture, Trooper did not. Oftentimes he would take a turn or two around the field then come back to the gate and start to weave, which is a behavior normally developed as a result of anxiety. The issue with weaving aside from being an annoyance is that it creates a caloric deficit due to the increased expenditure of energy leading to weight loss. In addition to his weaving, if Troop wasn’t brought back to his stall he would begin to call or scream until you went to get him. During his time in Kentucky, he would be turned out only for short periods and then be returned to the “comfort” of his stall. It’s important to know this about him as you continue to read his story. Trooper was approved for adoption to a young girl in Pennsylvania in 2013. She was vetted through New Vocations and cleared for adoption. At the time of her application, this young lady had submitted documentation stating that Trooper would be boarded at a training facility in which she would be working with him alongside a trainer. His living conditions were to be a 12x12 stall in a traditional barn with a private turnout which would increase incrementally until he could be turned out with the other horses. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. Trooper did ship from Lexington to PA and he was stabled at that facility, but only for the first two months, the girl had him in her care. She fell upon hard times and lost her income while trying to pay for school and her basic needs along with Troopers board. As a result, she moved Trooper to another location which was considered “rough board” and would be less expensive. Rough board is essentially renting a piece of property and a stall for your horse where you are responsible for all of his/her care. Trooper is a high energy OTTB with special needs and for a young girl with little to no experience and no trainer, she quickly became overwhelmed by his needs. This new location consisted of a pasture and that’s it. Trooper was turned out in a field with no shelter and left there. Over the next several weeks, the girl attempted to go see him a handful of times but found him to be unmanageable so she would just leave. She filled his water when she went and nothing else; he was not fed, groomed, maintained, or even given shelter from inclement weather. Trooper, who already had a heightened sensitivity from his racing past, was now, as a herd animal, also facing issues due to being left alone in disgusting conditions. Thankfully, a neighbor to the property where Trooper was would drive by daily on her way to work at night and hear him calling. One day, she decided to stop and found his condition to be deteriorating; his coat was matted as was his mane; he was anxious, underweight, and thoroughly neglected. All Thoroughbreds are identifiable by a tattoo that is placed on their upper lip; by tracing this tattoo, the neighbor was able to find out that Trooper had been adopted out from New Vocations. Thankfully, they responded immediately and came to pick him up. Trooper’s experience left him with increased anxiety and a stomach ulcer. New Vocations gave him the appropriate vet care and started him on a medication regimen to help heal the ulcer. After several months they started to see some improvement and began to work him under saddle again. His turnout issues were severely intensified by his time in rough boarding and unfortunately only time and patience would prevail if the issue was to improve. With the ulcer under control and the new work under saddle, it was time for Troop to find his forever home. Angel and I were looking to rescue a horse for our riding program in late summer 2014. I had wanted to get a horse on the farm I could get to know and bond with before the next season. When I saw Trooper’s picture, and videos he was tall, dark, and handsome. Standing at 16.2hh, he had kind and gentle eyes and I adopted him without even meeting him. He arrived home to us on Labor Day 2014. Trooper was even more beautiful in person than he was in his films and photos. I immediately had a bond with him. Through this bond, I could already feel his exhaustion and fear without even knowing of his previous circumstances yet. I knew he had been through great trauma and pain and I swore to him he would never again be left behind. Over the next two years, we had some very trying times. I faced many challenges with his turnout due to his previous experience and his ulcer flared several times. I had been riding most of my life but was always taught to start on the ground. When I began with Trooper he could never calm himself to partner with me. A short walk from the barn to the round pen would be a dangerous task with him bucking and rearing on the lead attempting to drag me or bolt off. No matter how hard I tried, nothing was working; he just was too afraid to trust. While I came from a family of horsemen, when it came to Trooper I felt as if I had to look outside the box. My mother, who is my mentor, agreed with me. She felt that despite our combined experience it would be best for Troop to work with someone who would work with us together. Trooper was finally going to get the trainer he was promised. I consulted with several trainers and spent a considerable amount of money with various ones who told me repeatedly that Trooper was beyond help. I was told multiple times that he was dangerous and would kill me or someone else and for the safety and well being of myself and the horse, he should be euthanized. They instilled a fear in me that I had never known. I found this to be utterly disparaging. I had him for almost two years, through four trainers, yet not one had ever ridden him. I had such a bond with this horse and I planned on keeping my promise that he would never be abandoned again. Even if he were to remain a pasture pet for the rest of his life, he would never have any harm done to him. I groomed him daily, worked him in the round pen, spent time just sitting in his stall, and just let him be a horse. One day in late fall we had rescued another horse and when he was delivered the man who brought him seemed to have a way with the horses that were different. I asked him if he worked on-site with training issues, I wouldn’t let Trooper leave the property, and he said he did. I made an appointment for Eugene to come back to the farm the following week, but before he left he asked me for some background information on the horse he was to work with. When I finished my story he asked me to bring Trooper out of his stall. He walked to his truck, grabbed his saddle, tacked him up, and rode off into the woods as quiet as a church mouse. The following week, with Eugene’s assistance, I began riding Trooper several times a week. He started to open up, to fold, and to bend beautifully. To this day he remains the figurehead of our farm. He has proven to be incredibly loyal, loving, willing, and as committed to us as we are to him. While he still has quite a stubborn streak, continued intermittent flares of his ulcer, separation anxiety, as well as turnout anxiety, he is content. And I like to believe happy knowing he is safe and loved. Trooper was a lot of work, but he was worth every penny and every second, we love Trooper with all our hearts and ask you to see his beauty despite his issues and his past. Please consider sponsoring Trooper today. He requires daily supplements for his ulcers and recurrent hoof issues.
In 2016 our Angel and Jules family suffered too much loss. In late March the first horse Angel and I had ever rescued, Marrakech Sunset aka Bud, had to be euthanized after being with us for 13 years. He was 18. He was a Secretariat grandson and like his grandsire had terrible hoof issues. We lost him when his coffin bone in both front hooves rotated severely. When we lost him, Angel felt that we should honor his memory by saving another. There is another non-profit we work with in Pennsylvania that had a black Percheron. He was beautiful and so kind-hearted, like a gentle giant. His name was Arthur, like King Arthur, and he ended up at Last Chance Ranch after he was disposed of by the Amish. He was nearly emaciated at auction and to be sent to slaughter due to his age. We rescued Arthur and completely fell in love. I could put a baby on him and he would be so gentle and protective. 14 weeks after coming home, Arthur was doing well-gaining weight slowly and nicely filling out, but his system had sustained too much damage from the near starving condition he was taken from. On that day, his intestines seized and we lost him within hours; we were all devastated.
The following morning I called Jaquie at Last Chance Ranch to let her know what happened. She was devastated, but she was also exhausted. They had been up all night rescuing an abandoned lot of horses from a seizure in Pennsylvania. There were stallions and mares together, there were dead horses on the property just deteriorating; the conditions were deplorable. One of the mares they had brought back to the ranch went into labor that morning. Jaquie told me that it was a sign; Arthur had left us and there was a brand new life that needed saving. My mom and I traveled all the way out to PA it was about a four-hour drive where we met Rebel only hours after his birth. One of the volunteers at the rescue had wanted to name him Rebel because despite his situation and his arrival into this world he was a little fighter; a Rebel for sure!
We visited Rebel weekly so he would bond to us and he took the trailer ride to NJ when he was 5 months old. I have made sure that despite his situation and how he came to be that Rebel will know nothing but love and kindness in his lifetime. Rebel has no medical conditions. Currently, we are preparing to castrate him and funding the cost of training to break him to saddle so he can become a member of our riding program. Rebel is very loving and attentive; he constantly seeks your attention and would stand with you for hours. He portrays out what we have put in, love and kindness.
Gus (right) and Spirit (left) are our two resident mules or I should say, mischief-makers! They were left at a property in southwest NJ that had multiple mules. The two were living in unkempt conditions because the property owner had moved, but was unable to take the mules to the new property. The property owner would go every few days to drop some hay and fill waters, but nothing was being cleaned or kept up with. We agreed to take two mules when we were notified of their situation. They were two babies, approximately 4 months old. Our original plan was to take one for each farm, but we weren’t ready at the other farm yet so we sent both to our Colts Neck location. We figured it was only temporary and we would move one within a few days. Well, Gus and Spirit had their own ideas and from the very first day they came home, they were inseparable! They literally do everything together. They eat out of the same bowl at the same time, they drink together, they walk together in perfect unison, and they play together. We felt it would be cruel to separate them with the bond they share. Gus and Spirit add character to our little farm and we are beyond happy to have them. Currently, we are working to schedule their castration procedures.
Stirling is one of our two resident cattle on the farm. She was bred for use as a rodeo animal. When we purchased Stirling at 3 months old, we were required to pay for her by the pound. Stirling is Scottish Highlander named after Stirling castle in Scotland. Highland Cattle are one of the oldest known breeds in the world. Stirling is very affectionate with a gentle yet playful disposition. Stirling has a large set of horns and the long distinctive coat of a highlander. We try to take extra precautions to limit pests such as stable flies and horn flies as well as take measures to help Stirling keep cool in the summer. While a long thick coat was great to get them through brutal winters in their native country, here in NJ they tend to get quite hot. Our cattle are not turned out on large pasture at this time so we feed high-quality hay free choice. They generally eat 2 bales of hay per day in addition to grain and occasional supplementation. We are hoping to get a pool for them this summer.
Amaretto is our other resident cow on the farm. As a Black Angus cow, she was bred for beef, but we acquired her when she was 3 months old before she could see the processing plant. She is very large and quite beautiful. You will sometimes catch her standing in the most perfect position and hear me joke that she looks like an ad for Angus Beef. Luckily for Amaretto, she will never end up on a dinner table! Angus, like Highland Cattle, originated in Scotland and were imported to the United States mostly the midwest region in the mid to late 1800s. Amaretto has a much shorter coat than Stirling yet she also runs very hot in the summer. You will often find her swimming in her water tub especially right after it’s been cleaned or napping in the shade under a tree. Our cattle are not turned out on large pasture at this time so we feed high-quality hay free choice. They generally eat 2 bales of hay per day in addition to grain and occasional supplementation. We are hoping to get a pool for them this summer.
Lucy and Ricky were the first two goats I had ever owned. We got them 2 years ago this July when they were just 16 weeks old. Lucy and Ricky were brother and sister. They are Nigerian Dwarfs and are pint-sized perfection.
Nigerian Dwarfs are well known for their capacity for milk production and their sweet disposition they are wonderful with children and adults alike. They often get into less mischief than some other breeds and are more adaptable to different environments. Nigerian Dwarfs also require less space. Females stand no more than 22 inches tall and males no more than 23 inches tall.
Lucy and Ricky were the results of backyard breeding. Their “breeder” had owned goats for a year prior to breeding. They wanted to start breeding frequently to supplement their farm. They had little to no experience yet they continued and had 3 kids born. The first doe sold as a bottle baby. Lucy and Ricky were not selling and while it was their intention to earn an income from this breeding they would not allow them to remain on their farm. It was decided if they weren’t sold by the weekend they would be sold for meat.
When I met Lucy and Ricky I fell completely in love with these sweet little creatures. I was thrilled to have them come home to our farm. They were the sweetest most loving beings I had ever encountered and I was in awe. I remember driving Angel crazy for their first few months on the farm as I would go out to the barn at all hours of the night to check on them. This was my first experience with goats so I made sure to do as much research as possible to give them the best possible care. I was still very nervous and wanted to make sure they were safe. My biggest concern was predators so I was thankful to have Spirit and Gus on property.
I inquired about castration procedures for Ricky and was told that he was “banded”. Banding is a non-surgical form of castration which Ricky’s breeder opted for as they were able to perform the procedure without a vet’s supervision, thereby incurring no additional cost, or so they thought. While Lucy, whom I often refer to as my soul goat, is ever-present on the farm. We tragically lost Ricky in January of this year. Ricky began to display buck-like behavior and for Lucy’s safety, we were advised he needed to be castrated. To my great confusion, I had explained he had been banded at 8 weeks of age so I couldn’t understand how he could need to be castrated now. Unfortunately, Ricky’s breeder lacked the experience to perform the banding procedure correctly, as a result, a testicle remained which was shriveled in size. My beautiful, loving, strong, proud goat, lost his life to a surgical complication resulting from an inexperienced backyard breeder trying to cut costs. Every day when I go out to see Lucy my heart hurts over his loss. But, every day with her is a blessing and I am truly grateful for the peace she brings to my aching heart when she greets me with such enthusiasm any time she sees me. She charms absolutely everyone she meets and I will do all in my power to make sure she is always safe and protected. We are currently looking to get a hay feeder for her and the other girls, Milk and Sugar.
Milk (bottom) and Sugar, our two Pygmy goats, are our newest goats and they came to the farm in June 2019 when they were just three months old. A friend of my mom has a farm in Central NJ and we went to visit her to see what new animals she had. Jaimie is an animal lover through and through; she will always go out of her way to help an animal in need, but there were so many more goats than she had ever had before.
Jaimie has a fairly large farm with many different animals who are properly fed and cared for. She has small pens set up for her rescue work with; the idea of getting them out of a bad situation and keeping them on a short term basis while she searches for a suitable home. We asked her what had happened and how she came to have so many goats: several were dropped at auction for meat of those were a few that were older and just being thrown away like trash and worse than that was several females being sent to slaughter pregnant. There were so many precious kids happily frolicking the thought of them being slaughtered made me ill.
As we walked the farm, I came across a tiny little pen with two piglets and two tiny little goats, they were so adorable. There were a couple of dog houses in the pen and they would run out and peak at me then quickly scurry back inside and hide. One was black and white and looked like a tiny little dairy cow with her markings. The other reminded me of dulce de leche ice cream. They had been put in a cardboard box that was taped shut and abandoned in a parking lot.
Thankfully Jaimie’s husband had found them and brought them to the farm, to safety. We loved Lucy and Ricky so much we wanted to add more goats to our program and thought these two little loves would be perfect. We worked out the details with Jaimie and picked them up two days later. When we went to get them the little black and white one was petrified. Eugene came to transport them for us and he had to chase them for almost 25 minutes before catching her. When he did, he handed her to me and she was shaking violently and screaming her little lungs out. My heart broke at how scared she was and the other was not much different.
We brought the girls home and got them settled. We decided that the black and white one would be named Milk and the other would be Sugar. We learned very quickly how different these two girls were from Lucy and Ricky. Going through their ordeal and having very little human contact left them very skittish and afraid. After almost a year on the farm, they still don’t seek human touch, but they are growing more curious. They are more playful and certainly like to follow you around. They are more comfortable with our presence and they have a lot to say, especially at feeding time. Little by little, I feel they will be able to trust more and more. Sugar will come up and take a treat from me, while Milk is still too fearful to do so. We love these girls so much they fill our hearts with joy every day when we see them happily playing and lounging about. They have their forever home here on the farm with Lucy and all of our other residents! We are currently looking to fund a hay feeder for the girls and Lucy.