Few people can argue that the horse is one of nature’s most elegant, beautiful creations.
“Who doesn’t want to see a horse running across the pasture — tail and mane flying?” Linda Hewerdine said, fondly watching the animals grazing at the Society for Hooved Animals' Rescue and Emergency (SHARE).
Besides their beauty, she said, “They’re very loyal and very loveable. They make wonderful pets, besides just being ridden.”
Then why would anyone starve, beat or neglect such a trusting, magnificent animal?
Sixty-five horses — many of whom have crossed paths with cruel or ignorant owners — now have a safe place at the rescue site near Dewey, just west of Rantoul.
The rescue site will have an open house from noon to 4 p.m. next Sunday to showcase the adoptable horses and provide some fun activities.
SHARE is a nonprofit humane society in Champaign County, but its investigators cover a large portion of Illinois, including Vermilion County. It’s located on 25 acres of private property not belonging to the rescue group.
Hewerdine, who lives on the property, is president and head director. SHARE was formed in 2003, and has provided care for hundreds of horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys. In 2012 the group took in 21 horses and adopted out 25 horses.
Besides providing care, the group focuses on educating people about how to take care of horses.
While many people admire the animals’ beauty, they don’t realize how much work, time and money goes into their care.
“You have to understand it’s a lifetime commitment,” she said. “It’s a lot of work and it’s costly.”
An animal adopted from the shelter can’t be sold, she said; however, if a person must return a horse because he can no longer care for it, he’ll be given a tax credit.