SEDAN Blind horses Palomita and Nia were discarded when they could no longer become pregnant and produce hormones used in making medicine.
Sweet Pea was too thin for slaughter and set for sale with a sign reading, "take her out back and shoot her." That was before volunteers brought her to Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement Inc., in Sedan.
All three are among 42 horses, many of them rescued from neglect or eventual slaughter, that go up for adoption today at Rainbow Meadows.
The horses, rescued by David and Karen Everhart, founders of Rainbow Meadows, do not have a set price for adoption, but request donations to continue its efforts on the 240-acre ranch. The cost of care for each horse is more than $3,000 a year, mostly paid for out of donations and a few federal grants.
"I can't imagine that there's any good reason not to help and care for horses," Karen Everhart said.
Karen Everhart said she hopes those who attend today's adoption day will fall in love with one of the horses and adopt. Prospective owners' homes must be approved as safe before they can adopt.
"The more we can adopt out, the more we can save," Everhart said.
The rescue is over capacity at 42 horses, including eight of Everhart's. Rescue missions like the Everharts' are increasing after the closure of slaughterhouses in the United States in 2007; horse slaughterhouses still exist in Canada and Mexico.
The Everharts, who retired - Karen from health care and David from the military - to run the ranch, said they're in it for the long run. They started in 2005.
"We may only be able to make a difference for 25 or 30 horses at a given time," Karen Everhart said. "... But it makes a big difference to each one of those."