All of the horses that we save go to 4 separate quarantine farms, totaling 1400 acres. They were split into smaller groups and will stay in smaller groups of 8-15 (depending on paddock size) as they travel through our process.
That process looks a little something like this…
*RESCUE (from auction, kill pen or private surrender)
*Quarantine (60-90 days or longer)
*Vet intake exam (Adoption, Sanctuary or Peaceful Passing is decided by a licensed veterinarian)
*Second vet exam if needed (to confirm diagnosis)
*Possible treatment for any issues
*Strangles and contagious disease testing (2x negative testing, treatment if positive— many are positive so repeat testing necessary)
*Travel to a secondary quarantine facility to ensure shipping does not cause any flare of illness.
*Final strangles test.
*Training for adoption (minimal 30 days with one of our 12 trainers) or sanctuary begins.
This process is fluid and can change as a horse may need to go to an emergency hospital, require more in depth training for behavior issues etc. It’s very organic on a per horse basis. ill help us to continue our mission of supporting our community. Every dollar counts and will make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
There are two veterinarians out at all our major quarantines and our home base in Charlottesville every single day. They are strangles testing, intaking, or caring for ongoing injuries or illnesses.
CCR intakes every single horse we rescue INTO the rescue. We never ever place horses with other organizations immediately post rescue. Instead we quarantine and evaluate via our vet FULLY before any adoption or transfer can even be discussed. This means strangles testing must be completed, the horse must receive all vaccinations, current coggins, microchip (that stays linked to the rescue forever), dental work and a training evaluation if a riding horse before they can be adopted. All horses go with a signed contract, reference checks, photos of where they will be living and we require a monthly photo update. They can come back to the rescue at any point no questions asked! We track our horses for life!
There are several members of staff caring for these horses at every single farm. Nearly 100+ people are either working for or with the organization to care for the horses in our care. That’s a LOT of hands on attention. We keep 1/1 on attention for every horse every day. Joe just went through a major hiring spree and so did Marlin. Please congratulate Marlin on acquiring a second and third farm for QT!
Every single horse is checked DAILY by a member of staff. Eyes, ears, heart, nose, temperature, soundness, hooves, etc. They receive a grooming and a wellness check every! Single! Day! This even includes fly spray and hoof picking or thrush treatment. A farrier (we have 15 farriers now) is out 4x per week trimming hooves at each location to ensure each horse is done every 6 weeks and a vet sees every resident weekly or more depending on the case.
CCR requires two veterinarians to sign off on any non emergent euthanasia. Non emergent euthanasia is defined as a horse who is well managed but may not stay that way on analgesics and currently free from continuous excruciating pain and is not considered a danger to themselves or others. This can be old badly healed injuries, severe navicular or ringbone, EPM in 25+ year old seniors that has progressed to the point of no return, severe DSLD and so on. If we can give them a week to several months of pain-free respite we absolutely will and it’s the VETS making that call, not CCR. We will expand upon this further later on, scroll down for more information on humane euthanasia.CCR requires two veterinarians to sign off on any non emergent euthanasia. Non emergent euthanasia is defined as a horse who is well managed but may not stay that way on analgesics and currently free from continuous excruciating pain and is not considered a danger to themselves or others. This can be old badly healed injuries, severe navicular or ringbone, EPM in 25+ year old seniors that has progressed to the point of no return, severe DSLD and so on. If we can give them a week to several months of painfree respite we absolutely will and it’s the VETS making that call, not CCR. We will expand upon this further later on, scroll down for more information on humane euthanasia.
CCR has multiple trainers working with our horses both on property and off. After the horses complete our extensive and state of the art quarantine process, they are now traveling to their selected trainers and those trainers once ready are listing horses for adoption and completing the process (with our help) within their own businesses as they are getting to know these horses and are invested in them and where they go. CCR handles all of the follow up, but a lot of CCR horses are being marketed by their trainers. This page and our website is now not the only source to snag a CCR horse. We think this is a wonderful thing as more help allows us to continue to grow and help more horses. We currently have 30+ horses out with professional trainers and 30+ at our home farm with consistent adoptions now averaging 2+ a day. That’s 70 horses a month getting forever homes with LIFETIME contracts requiring photo check ins. Don’t believe us? Ask an adopter— we follow up!CCR has multiple trainers working with our horses both on property and off. After the horses complete our extensive and state of the art quarantine process, they are now traveling to their selected trainers and those trainers once ready are listing horses for adoption and completing the process (with our help) within their own businesses as they are getting to know these horses and are invested in them and where they go. CCR handles all of the follow up, but a lot of CCR horses are being marketed by their trainers. This page and our website is now not the only source to snag a CCR horse. We think this is a wonderful thing as more help allows us to continue to grow and help more horses. We currently have 30+ horses out with professional trainers and 30+ at our home farm with consistent adoptions now averaging 2+ a day. That’s 70 horses a month getting forever homes with LIFETIME contracts requiring photo check ins. Don’t believe us? Ask an adopter— we follow up!
CCR commits to spending MOST, if not all, of our funding on the HORSES. We do not believe in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on things unrelated to their daily care, training and upkeep. Our fundraising overhead costs are nearly zero and we keep our office overhead down as well. We believe “salaries” should NEVER be the predominant expense as it is a sign of a bloated organization whose lost its way. We’re happy to report this is reflected in our financials and will soon be releasing our 2022 990s this fall. We believe an organization should make a point to share this information to increase transparency.
CCR has 300+ acres (and looking to add another 170) of sanctuary farms. This is what is allowing us to care for non adoptable horses without immediate euthanasia. These horses receive daily care and daily checks. They see the farrier every six weeks, and the vets as needed. Although this is a revolving door as many of these horses are in hospice treatment and may only have a few weeks or months left to live— we have about 50 horses in sanctuary at one time. We are happy to allow you to speak to many of our sanctuary caretakers. Sanctuary doesn’t just mean old and hospice, we also have many young babies like Taylor Swift, Apollo, Hummus, many mini moms and babies, etc turned out and growing up naturally and healthily with their mothers. We believe in natural weaning and will not adopt either out until a foal is safely weaned. This is better for their health, growth and development.
WE FIRMLY BELIEVE CCR IS REVOLUTIONIZING RESCUE AND SHOWING IT CAN BE DONE ON A LARGE SCALE BETTER OR EQUAL TO A SMALL ONE!
The following euthanasia techniques are deemed acceptable by properly trained personnel:
* Lethal dose of barbiturates (intravenous)
* Lidocaine hydrochloride 2% (intrathecal) with the horse in a surgical plane of general anesthesia
* A concentrated solution of either potassium chloride (intravenous) or magnesium sulfate (intravenous) with the horse in a surgical plane of general anesthesia
* Alternative methods may be necessary in special circumstances under the discretion of the veterinarian.
Our horses are given a mild sedative so they do not feel pain or fear in their last moments. All euthanasias by our rescue are done by a licensed veterinarian with Euthasol. We do not use any other methods as part of our first line protocols. We do not train our non vet staff for this purpose as we feel only a licensed veterinarian should be performing ANY type of euthanasia. All of our facilities, both satellite and our home farm, is within 15 minutes of a major equine vet clinic— meaning we can have a vet onsite very quickly in emergency situations.
For the horses euthanized at Colby’s Crew, it was decided by and performed by a licensed veterinarian.
EVERY horse at Colby’s Crew receives a medical exam and if humane euthanasia is determined to be the best option by the examining veterinarian, and the situation is not urgent (e.g. fractured limbs, septic, 35+ year old horses that are colicking, horse down and unable to rise) we do have a second opinion from another veterinarian to CONFIRM the diagnosis. Often times the vets will discuss with each other treatment plans and diagnostics. Our vets work incredibly well together as a TEAM despite being from different clinics. We love and cherish every horse that comes into Colby’s Crew and want to treat them with respect, dignity and ensuring we do our due diligence in exploring ALL treatment options.
They follow the guidelines set by the AAEP. Here are the four major qualifications for humane euthanasia:
A horse should not have to endure the following:
* Continuous or unmanageable pain from a condition that is chronic and incurable.
* A medical condition or surgical procedure that has a poor prognosis for a good quality of life.
* Continuous analgesic medication and/or box stall confinement for the relief of pain for the rest of its life.
* An unmanageable medical or behavioral condition that renders it a hazard to itself or its handlers.
This is a case by case basis but in the majority of instances, no. We bring the horses to QT where they are fully evaluated by a licensed veterinarian and by our experienced quarantine providers. If a horse is stable but suffering from a chronic pain condition, irreversible disease or syndrome (neurological or DSLD), or has been determined a candidate for euthanasia we PREFER to give them a few weeks to a few months respite on pain medication IF their pain can be managed appropriately and they are not a danger to themselves or others.
They’ve just gone through the most horrible thing imaginable — a slaughter holding facility — so they deserve some time in green fields with nothing expected of them but to exist happily as pasture pets.
We have not yet had to euthanize a horse due to space. Our quarantine providers and sanctuary providers acreage totals up to 900. We could realistically support 800 horses in the rescue at one time (although we do not come anywhere near even half of that!). We are very fortunate to live in areas where land is very rural and plentiful. We are also very fortunate to have a fundraising platform that covers several months of the horses cost UPFRONT, therefore buying them time in our rescue to enjoy an honorable retirement and dignified ending. Did you know that our business plan allows us to keep running at current capacity for SIX months without needing additional funding? Ally has a degree in business management and it shows!
Its important to remember that we save from the REAL slaughter holding facility. Every horse that comes into our rescue was sentenced to certain death previously. They are the horses at auction that no private party or equine rescue bid on, and that they most likely have severe injuries or chronic pain / illnesses or syndromes. Their median age is 20+ and they are most likely coming out of the Amish after living a hard working life. We do not get a surplus of well trained and healthy 5-10 year olds as those horses do not sell for slaughter pricing even at auction. Our euthanasia rates will be higher than a smaller rescue who takes in less horses (e.g. they save 5 and put down 1, we save 50 and put down 10– the rates are equal but one SOUNDS like more if you don’t look at it that way) and they can pick and choose which ones to take on. We take them ALL which leads to us having a higher euthanasia numbers at no real fault of our own.
We patronize local farmers in the area and compost them. We also have buried some, and cremated a few special ones that Ally wants to take with us to our next farm (Asher, Symphony and Shane). These horses become special to our hearts like family members so their remains are treated respectfully and disposed of properly within the rights of state and local law.
*Ally or Olivia, the founders of Colby’s Crew. They will be able to sort your question to the best available party.
Some examples of those parties would be:
*Our medical director is Dr. Carly Mayer, a licensed veterinarian. She sits on our board of directors and she also helped develop our euthanasia guidelines and consults on most cases. She is now licensed in Maryland and will soon be licensed in Pennsylvania so that she can better oversee rescue operations and be available to assist our 7 other vet clinics we use in a leadership role. She is always available to answer questions about the medical side of our rescue.
*Our head of QT Veterinarian is Dr. Noel Henderson. He does MOST of the intakes of our kill pen pulls, and will now be on call while we are inside the pen going forward to assist in horses needing immediate triage, humane euthanasia and veterinary care AT the pen. This is a huge step forward as previously horses were having to be hauled offsite to New Bolton Center or Maryland for care. No longer will this be necessary! Dr. Noel is an incredible wealth of information and is licensed in VA, PA, WV and MD! He would be happy to answer questions about the medical side of our quarantine.
*Our quarantine providers: Joe Topper, Beth Walker, and Marlin Zimmerman. They see every single horse that comes into Colby’s Crew and would be happy to speak to our processes and how and why we do what we do.