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About Safe Haven

Our History

Safe Haven Equine Rescue was established in 1999 by Ruth Meadows. In 2006 Safe Haven was relocated to our current location in Gilmer Texas. Richard Fincher came aboard as Executive Director at that time. In 2010 Safe Haven built a new barn with 25 stalls, an enclosed feed room and a dedicated vet area. Since 1999 Safe Haven has rescued over 700 horses from being starved, abused, and neglected.   

Our Mission

Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home Inc. is a volunteer based, non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of horses. Our goal is to rescue abused, neglected, or distressed horses. We work to bring these rescued horses back to optimal health and to find them loving homes. In some cases, due to age or disability, a horse will not be able to be adopted. For these horses Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement Home Inc. will provide a home where they can peacefully live out the rest of their life with love and dignity. ​ 

Organizations We Belong To

Safe Haven Equine Rescue belongs to organizations that help promote the welfare of horses across the nation. 


One of these organizations is the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. This organization sets very high standards that must be meet at all times while caring for rescued animals. Safe Haven Equine Rescue is proud to have received accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in October of 2015. We are also excited to announce that in August of 2018 we passed out 3 year inspection to maintain our accreditation. Click here for more information about this organization.

Safe Haven Equine Rescue is also a member of The Homes For Horses Coalition. The Homes for Horses Coalition is a national coalition of horse rescues and sanctuaries, people wishing to take a proactive stance in ending horse neglect and abuse while promoting growth, collaboration and professionalism in the horse rescue community. The coalition is a joint initiative of the Animal Welfare Institute, the ASPCA and The Humane Society of the United States. In 2015 and 2016 board members from Safe Haven Equine Rescue were able to attend the annual conference. These conferences are attended by rescue workers all over the U.S. To learn more about Homes for Horses Coalition click here.

Texas Unites, founded in 2015, is an animal welfare support organization serving Texas and its surrounding states.  Texas Unites was a merging of two well respected organizations, North Central Texas Animal Shelter Coalition and Texas Federation of Humane Societies, both with a long history of supporting the animal welfare community.

Their mission is to provide a system of information, support and guidance by:
• Enhancing professionalism in the animal welfare industry
• Strengthening the human companion animal bond
• Promoting respect and compassion for all life

Click here for more information.


UHC Mission and Goals:

Through industry collaboration, the UHC promotes education and options for at-risk and transitioning horses.

The United Horse Coalition is committed to helping horses at-risk, or in transition by:

  • Educating current and future horse owners on responsible ownership, proper care and breeding, and options available before a horse reaches a state of being at-risk.

  • Raising awareness about the issue or horses at-risk,  and its impact on the horse industry

  • Reducing the number of horses at-risk, and working toward eliminating the problem

  • Ensuring that horses are treated humanely and with dignity

  • Facilitating the exchange of information on adoption, care, and alternative careers

  • Providing information on end-of-life decisions, including veterinary decisions, euthanasia, and disposal

  • Explaining the issue through presentations at industry gatherings, including horse association meetings, conferences, symposiums, and horse fairs

Want to learn more about UHC? Click here.

​The EWDC states the following:

  • We’re a group of agencies working together to collect national data on equine welfare from transition centers, adoption centers, rescues, sanctuaries, shelters, and other organizations involved in equine welfare.

  • We are currently collecting and sharing baseline trends such as capacity, current population descriptions, intakes, and outcomes.

  • Most data on equine welfare in the United States is anecdotal, we feel we’ve done what we can with the data we have.

  • We understand the power of data and how it can vastly shift the dialogue around an issue and drive positive change.

  • Funders and industry professionals identified a need for accurate and credible data, we see it as our responsibility to understand the issues and provide needed insight.

To learn about about the EWDC click here.


For more information about Safe Haven's Policies click here

Meet Our Board of Directors

Richard Fincher -

Executive Director 

Debbie Fincher - Secretary


Dr. Mike Hudson

Board President

Terrye Hudson

Board Treasurer

Cat Taylor

Vice President

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