NEAR OAKLAND, Ore. — Nearly 200 horses at the Duchess Sanctuary are getting a second chance at life and Saturday community members got a chance to meet the horses living at the sanctuary.
Herbie is just one of the horses that now calls the Duchess Sanctuary home. “He was rescued with feet that were about 14 inches too long all they way around, so we’ve been rehabbing his feet for two years,” said Jennifer Kunz, Duchess Sanctuary ranch manager.
Like Herbie, the nearly 200 other horses grazing in the pastures came here from places where they were neglected or abused. “We also have mustangs that have been rescued from Bureau of Land Management roundups. We have horses who have been rescued from feedlots, abandonment situations, neglect, abuse. All sorts of negative situations,” said Kunz.
On a normal day the sanctuary is staffed by four people and has about 40 volunteers who give their time to helping these hoofed animals. But Saturday, the grassy fields were filled with visitors from all over Oregon. “We’ve had people from Portland, north of Portland, south of Medford. So it’s a pretty wide audience that we’re drawing from,” said Kunz.
Some of the youngest visitors were shocked by the amount of horses prancing through the fields nearby. “I would think since they have more than 1000 acres they’d be everywhere, but now they’re right here,” said Kimbria Stone, Roseburg resident.
Although the horses enjoyed the attention Saturday, tomorrow brings the peace and quiet they’ve come to appreciate after such tough times. “The horses are just left to live their own lives. We don’t interfere with them unless it’s medically necessary,” said Kunz.