WATSONVILLE — Since Pregnant Mare Rescue was founded in 2006, the organization has saved hundreds of horses that were otherwise destined for slaughterhouses.
In addition, the organization hosts groups of young people who come for the therapeutic benefits horses offer, and tour groups from companies such as Air B&B.
Now, the organization on Larkin Valley Road is looking for a new location, a problem compounded by the high cost of land in California.
Founder Lynn Hummer said her passion for the creatures inspired her to launch the nonprofit, along with a desire to protect them.
“I love the horses and I think it’s a terrible injustice that the best humans can do is send them to slaughterhouses when they have no more use for them,” she said.
Because of the sheer volume of horses that need help, Hummer narrowed the scope of the organization’s mission to mothers and their babies, hence the name. She also frequently limits her adoptees to those in the local area.
Part of the organization’s credo is an umbrella policy, by which clients who adopt a horse can return it for any reason. That was a way for Hummer to assure that her horses would always have a place to go.
But that policy may have become the organization’s downfall.
Since the summer, clients have returned 20 horses, a number she said astounded her.
“It’s the biggest number we’ve had, ever,” she said.
With 28 horses — too many for the size of her property — Santa Cruz County officials gave Hummer 10 days to find new homes for them.
With the help of a volunteer adoption committee, that mission has been accomplished.
“I have put the word out and the response has been overwhelming,” she said.
Now Hummer is hoping to continue her work at a new facility, a move she said will also be a relief to neighbors who have put up with the added traffic along the shared narrow driveway leading to their properties.
“The problem is, what’s the plan moving forward for this organization,” Hummer said. “Obviously I can’t do it here anymore. We’ve gotten to be so well-received that we need more space.
“I would hate to see this organization shut down. A lot of people like the work we do and want to see us continue doing it.”
For information, or to make a donation, visit www.pregnantmarerescue.org, or call Lynn Hummer at (408) 540-8568.