Laughing Pony Rescue

Laughing Pony Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 2009 with the mission to provide a safe haven for unwanted, abused and neglected horses and for those horses bound for slaughterhouses. We also provide education regarding proper horse care and maintenance and work to enlighten people on the plight of slaughterhouse activities and the need for horse rescues. We are proud to have been verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. We are a 100%
volunteer operation which allow 100% of our donations to go toward the care of our current horses as well as to rescue others in need.

The length of tenure of Laughing Pony’s efforts in San Diego County with horse rescue is strong and will continue to be so. We have a strong community support and continue to offer support to horse rescue efforts in various parts of the country as deemed essential. Our aim is to offer these beautiful creatures a new lease on life, rather than to be sold to slaughter. Over the years, we have built strong relationships with community partners including the ASPCA, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Ark Antiques, Amazon, and Ralph’s.

Mission

The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are to rescue and rehabilitate all breeds of neglected or abused horses; to restore and train these horses so they can be matched to a loving and forever home; to teach and disseminate educational materials to the public including, but not limited to, materials relating to the care and plight of horses; and the use of horses for therapeutic purposes, therapeutic being defined as helping people with limited physical or mental disabilities that will help them to improve their current state or provide an enjoyable respite from their current condition.

Organization History

Celia Sciacca has been instrumental in rescuing more than 3000 horses, nursing them back to healthy mind, body and spirit, and adopting them out to loving homes.

At ten years old, she got her first horse, Hot Foot Honey. She used to ride her bareback through the streets of New York. She later got a job breaking, training and exercising horses for the racetrack, and riding in the fair races.

Her first rescue was an Appaloosa stallion named Don, who was on his way to the feed lot to get fattened up and then sent to the slaughter house for meat.

Celia was among the first to go to Nevada to help rescue their wild Mustangs. Celia would take on what others would deem the “untrainable” horse. She often helped other rescues to train difficult horses so that they could be placed in good homes. She helped individual owners with similar problems as well.

Celia is the President of Laughing Pony Rescue, Inc., founded as a non-profit in 2009. Each day she and her team of volunteers take care of up to 20 horses at the Laughing Pony Rescue Ranch. There are other rescue horses in their network being fostered at ranches around Southern California. The rescue operation, rehabilitation, training, and sponsorship/adoption efforts take hard work, and money, but its all well worth it when an amazing animal that has been given a second chance finds a loving home.

Problem

What most people do not know is that 6,000 equines suffer every week. The slaughter truck picks them up and spends 2-3 days on the road with 30-50 horses jammed into the truck. They make sure the holes are small so people can’t see inside. There is no room to move, no food, and no water. The trucks are packed with foals, broken horses, mares, and stallions. These animals are being sent to the slaughter house.

The horses cared for by Laughing Pony Rescue have already been through extensive traumas and are usually in some form of recovery from injury or illness. Even without such trials, it is essential for the horses to have good footing in order to prevent further injury and to reassure their security. Having a strong footing will not only provide safety, it will also provide them with the confidence to stride with more energy and with less resistance.

Horses we rescue come from the following:

Premarin Farm Mares – Mares are impregnated and kept in stalls during the last 6 months of pregnancy so their urine can be collected. This urine contains estrogen that is used to produce Premarin for women’s hormone therapy. The mares are kept pregnant so the estrogen can be harvested. Rescuing mares from these farms requires paying certain fees, so we cannot take every horse. 

Feedlot horses – These are lots where horses are stored before sending to the slaughterhouse. If they are too skinny, they are fattened up until ready to send to the slaughterhouse. Rescuing requires paying current slaughterhouse prices, transportation fees, and any other applicable fees. Amigo was rescued from a feedlot in New Mexico.

Neglect/Abuse – When an owner cannot take care of the horse due to finances or inexperience or other situations that will put the horse’s health at risk, they can donate the horse to us. Our 2 ponies came from these conditions.

Program

Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate all breeds of neglected or abused horses, to restore and train these horses so they can be matched to loving, forever homes, and to educate and inform the public about the care and plight of horses, as well as the use of horses for therapeutic purposes. Our long-term vision includes a Veteran Therapeutic Engagement Program, an alternative therapy program for military veterans; a therapy program for adults and children with disabilities; and outreach programs to educate the public about animals.

Proper arena design and management is key to ensure the health of the horses and to prevent potential injury to the horses and to those who care for them. We have found that utilizing decomposed granite is a very strong option for maintaining the arena, stables, and other similarly tread upon areas without exorbitant expense. We are aware that careful planning and use of the decomposed granite will ensure a more sustainable footing for much longer duration than typical land can provide. This will also help with natural occurring erosion and prevent the regular cleaning of the stalls from creating unsafe conditions for the horses to stand on.

Additionally, these animals are always in need of proper nutrition, transportation, veterinary care, and safety supervision. 

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