HAPPENED BY CHANCE HORSES, INC.
Here is a horse rescue that demonstrates what one determined woman can do to help stop the suffering of so many equines. This is a very impressive rescue led by a very impressive lady!
Her name is Linda Nemec and she is the President and Founder of Happened By Chance Horses, Inc., from New Braunfels, Texas. As the name of her horse rescue clearly states, her life focus of rescuing horses from abuse and neglect happened by chance. But, not the usual meaning of ‘chance’ as in terms of serendipity. No, her path towards becoming an outstanding horse rescuer happened by Chance, her special needs son!
Linda began this rescue in honor of her special needs son, Chance. He is now 24. Linda knows that he absolutely loves horses and has seen how “horses have a distinct way with people with special needs.”
Linda Nemec and a horse she rescued named Belle, now all restored to full health!
Belle was saved from a kill pen. She came to the rescue emaciated and had a wire totally encapsulated in her ankle. Thankfully, the wire was successfully surgically removed.
Beautiful Belle post surgery and fully recovered and thriving!
The mission of this devoted rescue is to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome abused, neglected, and abandoned horses. They work closely with the Sheriff Departments (mostly in Texas and especially within 3-5 hours of New Braunfels, Texas) but they have also rescued horses from as far away as Colorado and Kentucky. Together with law enforcement, they have been successful in removing horses from abusive and neglectful owners. Most of the horses they receive into their care are “emaciated, nearly starved to death, or come in with significant injuries and wounds,” Linda notes. They have also worked with several national horse organizations throughout the years, saving and rehabilitating off-the-track Thoroughbreds.
Linda discovered, while allowing a horse to be boarded on her property, that her son, Chance, truly benefitted from the presence of the horse. So, she decided to buy a horse for both of her sons. She bought two horses, Katie and Grande, who while they needed a little TLC, were in relatively good shape compared to most of the horses that have subsequently come to the rescue. Chance fell in love with Katie! Then, in the process of looking for some horse tack on Craigs List, she came across an advertisement for an emaciated gelding for sale with the offer to come “ride” the horse. She was so appalled at the horse’s plight that she bought this horse for $250.00 in February 2014. Needless to say, Linda restored this gelding, Red, to full health and he was successfully adopted by a wonderful horse lover. That was the beginning of her life-long devotion and love for rescuing horses from very desperate circumstances, as she realized there was a most definite need to help horses like Red.
Red at the time he was rescued.
Red, glowing with health just before his adoption!
Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. became a 510 (c) (3) organization in July 2014 and has been continuing to save horses now for 7 years! They have rescued over 200 horses and have adopted out roughly 140 horses during this time.
As Linda emphasizes, “You will find that that is a relatively low number [of horses] compared to some other rescues. I like to attribute that to the cases we take in, the time we spend making sure the horse is fully rehabbed and a reintroduction to training has been started, and that we don't "flip" a horse right back out and many are with us for 6 months to a year before I ever place them.”
What is very impressive, too, is that Linda works a full-time job as well as taking care of the horses at the rescue. She is up early before sunrise feeding horses between 5 and 6 a.m. and then after work she also participates in feeding the horses and tending to their medical needs.
Because of all the medical needs of the suffering horses that come to her rescue, she has been trained to do essential horse healthcare procedures for the horses herself, such as drawing blood samples and administering IV medications and vaccinations. Over the years, Linda and her team have delivered the daily care for many serious equine injuries that some of the horses have acquired before arriving at the rescue. They do work with a veterinarian closely, but the day-to-day management of wounds and their medical care falls on their shoulders and they are highly skilled at helping these horses heal.
One of the reasons the horses do so well at Happened By Chance Horses is because Linda and her team of volunteers shower these once abused, neglected animals with as much love and attention as possible! They have ‘spa days’ for each horse, which is when the horse receives its medical care along with lots of pampering! They really know how to make a horse feel loved and cared for! 😊
Boss E Brit (Brit) is an off-the-track thoroughbred that was starved near to death, then dumped at a kill pen.
Now, here is Boss E Brit glowing with health!
Her team of volunteers includes her 82-years-young Mom, Roselyn (aka as Grammy!), who is also the Vice-President of Happened By Chance, Inc. and “Do-er of all the things”! Happened By Chance Horses is blessed with quite a few stalwart volunteers who are indeed super special horse lovers. They are:
Doris - helps Roselyn with hay, water troughs, stall mucking
Lee - Secretary and grounds maintenance, builder of things, and emergency response
Patti - Treasurer, back barn feeder
Suzanne - Trainer and medical needs assistant
Jeanna - Trainer and medical needs assistant
Dorothy - Pony barn feeder
Donna - Pony barn feeder
Vianney - Back barn feeder
Bubba - transport, grounds maintenance, builder of things and emergency response
Oreta - assistant transport and emergency response
Chance - daily inspiration to never give up
What a fantastic group of devoted horse lovers!
In addition to the volunteers who work at the rescue, they have ‘farrier days’, which is when the horses get their hooves trimmed. They have had neglected horses arrive at the rescue with severely overgrown hooves (some to the point of needing sedation in order to use saws to begin to get the hooves back to a normal length). On these occasions, this rescue is blessed with a generous group of people who sponsor the horses’ hoof trim to pay the farrier.
As you can see, this special rescue is comprised of a devoted community of people who all work together to help the future of these horses. Yet Linda is the lady who has the vision and keeps the vision alive and moving forward so that as many horses as possible can be saved from their suffering.
Domino was a seizure case from a county sheriff’s office for neglect.
Here is Domino healing well at Happened By Chance Horses, Inc.!
At Happened By Chance Horses, Inc., any horse that is adopted out is actually still legally owned by this horse rescue. This is an intelligent, proactive approach to protecting the horses once they are adopted. This way, when a person who has adopted a horse from this rescue comes to the unfortunate conclusion that they can no longer keep the horse, the horse will automatically be returned to the rescue. As Linda says, “this provides a safety net for horses [she] has already saved, but [also] a safety net to the owners so they know the horse will ALWAYS have a place to come back to if their life situation changes. It has worked many times.” Her goal here is to avoid the tragedy of an overwhelmed horse owner sending their horse to an auction or kill pen because they feel they have no other choice. This is a huge blessing for the horse and the person!
As is readily apparent, Linda is a very caring individual. While she used to have arrangements for foster homes to care for some of the horses, she found it best to discontinue this because she needs to see the horses twice per day to make sure they are getting the care they need and that they are all right. And, she found that when emergencies arose, it was too stressful to leave the horses who are staying at the rescue to evaluate a horse at a foster home. So, all the horses who come to Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. live on the rescue property.
Ella at the time she was rescued.
Now look at amazing Ella glowing with health! :)
Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. loves to get out into the community and show off their fantastic horses and the great work that they do. They love to participate in parades and other social events. They dress their horses up and make a wonderful contribution to an event while also increasing awareness of the needs of these horses so that more people will hopefully donate, volunteer, and/or adopt one of the deserving equines.
Unfortunately, last year they were not able to have their 5th Annual Benefit due to COVID. But this year they are making up for it with a combined 5th/6th Annual Benefit which will be held on October 16, 2021. Here is the flyer! It will be held at the Freiheit Country Store, 2157 FM-110, New Braunfels, TX 78130.
As one can imagine, the cost to bring these horses back to health with good nutrition and taking care of their medical needs is substantial.
And to help donors know that their donations are going to be used for the welfare of the horses, Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. has risen to the top of the ladder in non-profit seals of approval. Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. was awarded the GreatNonProfits Top Rated seal in 2019. The GreatNonprofits seal is the second most trusted rating seal, after the Better Business Bureau (according to a study by Software Advice).
In addition, Happened By Chance Horses, Inc. achieved the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2020! This is the highest level of recognition for transparency that a non-profit organization can achieve. Congratulations to you, Linda, and to your wonderful devoted team!!!
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