Thank you for stopping by our site! West Wind Stables Equine Rescue & Rehab, Inc. is a non-profit, ALL BREED horse rescue facility in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Owned & operated by Mike & Suzie Holycross, we've been going strong for over 8 years, with over 200 horses accepted into our facility or posted for others. We purchased a neighboring farm in May 06, adding much needed barn space and acreage.
We used to have our 501(c)3 tax exempt designation, but we have dropped that status. If we had the time and resources to plan and conduct fundraising activities, it would have been very helpful. As it is, with both of us working full time, it just added more work (in the way of meetings and paperwork) to our already hectic schedules. We have always paid the vast majority of expenses from our salaries, so the extra effort involved to keep the nfederal status was just not worth the time. After requirements changed (without any notice) we decided to carry on as a private non-profit rescue.
I got a "Breaking News" email from the Columbus Dispatch 5-14-2010. The headline was regarding 501(c)3 Non-profits needing to file tax returns and/or other documents by 5-17-10 to retain their non-profit status. To date, charities earning less than $25,000 per yr were not required to file a return. We have never come NEAR that amount, we are usually in the red. This was designed to weed out obsolete charities, but will affect thousands of small non-profits. No communication was sent by the IRS on this. At this time, we decided to let our exempt status expire. With my current job/school commitments, we don't have time to take advantage of the status by grant/fundraising. We will operate as usual, but as a private rescue as we began.
Many people mistakenly believed that being non-profit meant we got government funding. That was not the case, being non-profit allows people to donate items or money and write that donation off on their taxes. While we had our non profit designation, we didn't see any large increase in donations. We pay all expenses out of our salaries. We are committed to helping any horse we can, but the expenses & workload can be overwhelming. We have not charged adoption fees for horses for several years. The pruiority is finding them good, permanent homes.
Our goal at West Wind Stables is to prevent horses from going to auction or slaughter by placing them in permanent adoptive homes. We try to keep adoption fees low ($0-$600), just enough to help cover purchase price (if any), vet expenses/vaccination costs. Some horses adopt at higher fees if we've had to buy them at auction or we've sent them for professional training. There is an adoption agreement to be signed, and we do follow up on horses we've placed.
Most horses sold for slaughter in the United States are not used for dog food as many people believe. Horse meat is used for human consumption overseas. Conditions at slaughter houses are nothing less than disgusting. WARNING: The following link contains graphic images of slaughterhouse practices from the Equine Protection Network.
12-21-14 Officially winter, even though we have been in winter mode for over a month. All horses are stalled at night once the weather gets cold, and we start feeding grain again in addition to pasture and hay. We have 3 adoptable horses that are started under saddle, all need more consistent work. Several retirees and a couple of pasture pets. Still over 20 on the farm, We are trying to scale back on the number of horses on site, and work more with networking to find horses homes. Feed, bedding and general expenses are through the roof, and our insurance company wants to move us to a "business" type policy. We certainly can't afford that when we pay all expenses out of our paychecks, and don't charge adoption fees. Feel free to call with questions, I don't update this site as often as I should. 937-935-2887
I do make updates on our Facebook page more often.(West Wind Stables Equine Rescue & Rehab)
Below is a horse pictured in our Anderson Sling. Last we heard, we are still the only ones in the state with this particular piece of equipment. We hope we don't have to use it, buit nice to have when we do!