Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester announced on Friday, April 2, that Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. (DEFHR) was approved for $500,000 as part of a Legislative Bond Initiative. Days End Farm Horse Rescue is located in Woodbine, MD, and is the only center in the State of Maryland and one of only a handful in the country working to rescue horses that have endured abuse and mistreatment. DEFHR will acquire the adjacent firehouse property in Lisbon, MD, and repurpose it to expand its operations including construction of an educational welcome center.
The mission of DEFHR is not only to rescue and rehabilitate suffering horses but to prevent abuse and neglect through education and community outreach. Renovations of the firehouse property include exterior updates, an educational welcome center with interactive displays to support its nationally-recognized humane/environmental education programming, banquet hall to classroom conversion, bunkhouse conversion to administrative offices, and outbuilding conversion to equine rehabilitation medical suite.
Maryland State Senator Douglas J.J. Peters, Chair of the Capital Committee, said, "I am honored to support organizations and people, especially those in Maryland, who dedicate themselves to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals.” Senator Peters also added, “Days End Farm serves as a benefit to the entire State of Maryland, which is why their continued work is so important. This landmark project will serve to broaden awareness of how vital a role Days End Farm serves for the entire horse industry.”
“Days End Farm Horse Rescue is an invaluable member of our community, and the work that they do for the State of Maryland and the equine industry cannot be overstated,” said Senator Hester. “The Legislative Bond Initiative will support their amazing work, implementing state policies for the benefit of horses that have been mistreated in some of the worst ways imaginable. I encourage everyone who loves horses to come visit the rescue, meet the horses, and ‘adopt one’ to support if you can!”
DEFHR Chief Executive Officer, Erin Clemm Ochoa, stated, “I cannot express how honored we are to receive this endorsement and support from the state. The core of our work has always been to serve as a resource for county agencies and the community. To have 30-plus years of work recognized as a value for the State of Maryland and worth investing in is incredibly humbling. We are so grateful and excited to further enhance our contributions to equine welfare.”
Education is at the forefront of DEFHR's mission and propelled the decision to expand its operations. This increased space will allow the organization to host more field trips and educational events for all levels of education across the State of Maryland. In addition, DEFHR trains individuals to assess cases of abuse and enforce the policies that are set at the state level for the humane treatment of equines. The bond initiative will expand its training capacity and will make the enforcement of state policy in this area more efficient and effective.