Duchess Sanctuary


A Decade of Duchess Sanctuary

May 11, 2018


It has been ten years since the gates opened at Duchess Sanctuary, and over that decade the center has transformed from an uninhabited, barb-wire laden piece of property to a beautiful, lifetime safe haven for rescued horses and donkeys.

Over the years, the population has ranged from 180 to199. The sanctuary is currently home to 196 equine – 188 horses, 5 donkeys, and 3 ponies. Our oldest residents are in their 30’s, considered elderly in horse years, and our graduated care program follows each animal through all the stages of their life.

Regardless of the abuse, neglect, or other trauma our equines may have suffered in the past, from the day of their arrival until the end of their life, they won’t ever experience it again. They will never be hungry, or scared, or lonely; instead, they will be well-fed, deeply loved, and able to socialize in a natural environment.

Some startling numbers accompany caring for this many equine daily and developing the property over ten years:

• A total of 4,395 tons of hay fed to date

• Over 17 miles of horse-safe fence built

• More than 12,000 volunteer hours contributed to date

Since mid-2008, significant property improvements have been completed, including miles of fencing to create pastures and paddocks, a new water system, upgraded and new roads, shelters in every enclosure, a Hospital Barn for the treatment and care of special needs horses, and much more. The work is never done, we continue to refine and improve facilities, thanks to the support of our donors.

Full-time staff has increased from two to five to meet the increasing demands of an aging population, and the volunteer program continues to grow.

Wildlife is abundant on the 1,120 acre property, with deer, elk, bears, coyotes, an array of birds, and many other species making the sanctuary home.

All of this is made possible by the generosity of our donors, and we are immensely grateful every day for their support.

Please join Duchess in celebrating our first ten years – and our beautiful residents - by attending one of our scheduled 2018 Open House events.

FFA and the HSUS are merging.

For more than 15 years, the Humane Society of the United States has supported and worked side-by-side with the Fund for Animals to provide lifesaving care for the animals in greatest need. We are now deepening our relationship. Over the coming months, we intend to merge the two organizations, fully integrating the Fund for Animals into the Humane Society of the United States. The Fund for Animals (which operates Black Beauty Ranch, Duchess Sanctuary and Rural Area Veterinary Services) has been an affiliate of the HSUS and part of its family of organizations since 2005.

This merger will make us even more effective in providing care for animals in crisis. All the work for animals at Black Beauty Ranch, Duchess Sanctuary and Rural Area Veterinary Services will continue at the Humane Society of the United States—and your support will continue to be essential.