Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.

Protecting horses. . . educating people

aka DEFHR   |   Lisbon, MD   |  www.defhr.org

Mission

The mission of Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) is to ensure quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education and outreach. We rehabilitate horses that come from animal control impoundments, train law enforcement professionals how to handle cases of large animal abuse and neglect, and maintain our farm as an educational community center for our volunteers and visitors. The combination of assisting law enforcement authorities and providing educational programming to the public sets us apart. The Baltimore Sun has called DEFHR a “national model” for horse rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming. We are a private, independent nonprofit based in central Maryland. We do not receive any government funding.

Ruling year info

1992

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Erin Clemm Ochoa

Main address

PO Box 309

Lisbon, MD 21765 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1759077

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

DEFHR aims to play a meaningful role in solving equine mistreatment, through rescue/intervention, education and community outreach. In the all-too-common event of extreme maltreatment, law enforcement authorities may remove an animal from an owner’s property after an independent veterinarian makes a determination that the animal is at risk of immediate death or irreparable harm. We support law enforcement authorities with removal of such horses to safety. Government agencies typically lack the resources to shelter horses, so without our assistance the horses almost certainly would be euthanized. Once at our farm, the horses are rehabilitated and evaluated/trained in preparation for adoption to a new home. Over the years, we have rescued over 2,500 horses suffering unimaginable trauma from starvation, hoof disease, parasite infections and life-threatening wounds—all perpetuated by humans. We are often the only thing standing between a horse’s life and death.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation

Days End Farm transports and cares for abused and neglected horses seized by animal protection agencies in Maryland and the tri-state area. DEFHR rehabilitates them and adopts them out to approved homes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

DEFHR has long realized that protecting horses from abuse and neglect requires humane education and community outreach. We have a wide variety of programs that reach people nationally and internationally, including: community service events at our main farm; an internship program that offers extensive, hands-on experiences for future equine industry leaders and professionals; trainings for law enforcement and legal professionals; and clinics for the public of all ages. For instance, we offer Large Animal Rescue Training and Equine Cruelty Investigator seminars to teach animal control and law enforcement professionals how to recognize, document and prosecute animal cruelty and neglect.

A unique service provided by DEFHR is expert testimony in court cases. We meticulously document the condition of every horse that is taken into our care, taking a series of photographs and collecting health data on arrival and during and after rehabilitation. When a horse’s case is addressed in court, we present evidence on the horse’s behalf. In Maryland, DEFHR helped develop the state’s pioneering Minimum Standards of Care for Equines, under which horses in perilous health or living conditions can be seized by animal control and law enforcement officers. This work has helped strengthen animal protection laws and hold law-breakers accountable.

DEFHR helps not only horses, but also the many adults and children who visit our farm and take part in our programs. We provide continuing education to our volunteers and a wide variety of equine-focused education to members of the public. We also host inner city and home school groups and offer a curriculum written to Maryland public education standards. This is of value because many at-risk and special needs children in our area have limited access to green space, fresh air and exposure to the world of majestic animals.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

DEFHR’s work is made possible through volunteer support. We have over 1,100 trained, active volunteers, who collectively work 30,000-50,000 hours per year. Volunteers assist with day-to-day farm operations and management of our herds, trainings and tours, grant writing, graphic design, data entry and other administrative needs. We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds, including those who have no prior experience with horses, and provide a structured program attuned to our volunteers’ overall experience, continued engagement and growth. Numerous parents have thanked us for the life-changing impact of this program on their children in terms of building confidence and life skills.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

3-Star Rating for Fiscal Management 2016

Charity Navigator

Henry Bergh Award 2010

ASPCA

Affiliations & memberships

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance 2015

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance 2020

Global Federation of Animal Santuaries 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animals with freedom from fear and distress

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

This is the number of horses taken in by DEFHR that year. It does not include those already in the Rescue & Rehabilitation Program at the beginning of the year.

Number of animals rehomed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Once a rescue horse has completed rehabilitation, they are evaluated/trained in preparation for adoption. Rehoming a rescue horse frees up space to take in a horse needing our help and expertise.

Number of sheltered animals

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This number includes all horses under DEFHR's care at the beginning of the year plus those Rescue & Rehab horses sheltered throughout the year.

Number of animals provided with long term care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community Outreach/Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of Equine Ambassadors, horses that serve in DEFHR's education and outreach programs.

Number of animals spayed and neutered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of rescued/rehabilitated stallions gelded, reflecting DEFHR's no-breeding policy to stem the tide of unwanted horses.

Number of students demonstrating responsible behaviors and work habits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Community Outreach/Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This is the number of interns serving annually. They come from all over the U.S. and overseas to work with the horses and programs. Many go on to work in a variety of equine/animal welfare fields.

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Community Outreach/Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of students learning about equine abuse and neglect through field trips to DEFHR and off-site presentations/classes.

Number of small learning community opportunities offered to improve undergraduate student engagement

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Community Outreach/Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of students studying and learning through DEFHR's Legacy Programs, Scout Days and Home School Programs.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to improve the quality of care of horses throughout their lifespan and drive down the number of unwanted horses. When intervention is necessary, we provide skilled assistance in the removal, transport, rehabilitation and rehoming process. We are finding ways to elevate the equine-human welfare conversation and support healthy, strong communities in places where horses are present.

Adopting horses into permanent homes improves the lives of the horses and frees up space for more intakes. In recent years, we have ramped up the marketing of our rehabilitated horses, changed the regional equestrian community’s perception of rescued horses, and created adoption demand. We have allocated more resources to training our horses to boost their adoption prospects, and simultaneously have begun offering training for prospective adopters. n 2018 we hired an adoption coordinator to provide better outreach and support to prospective adopters after realizing that we had more people expressing interest than we were able to handle.

A key strategy aimed at helping people value equine welfare and equipping them to intervene in situations of cruelty is to promote awareness of the plight of horses and positively influence attitudes toward the animals. Our volunteer and educational programs are designed to motivate community interest in compassion for horses. DEFHR educates people on advocacy, the proper care of horses, visible signs of abuse and neglect, and techniques for rescue and rehabilitation honed over decades of experience. DEFHR is often referred to as the national model of equine welfare and humane education and strives to maintain this reputation through making its entire operation accessible to anyone with even a passing curiosity about horses and their welfare along with robust and innovative humane education programing. Our main farm is purposely maintained as a welcoming, wholesome community center, open to the public for tours every day of the year, with no appointment necessary.

DEFHR’s facilities consist of two farms in central Maryland. Core operations are carried out by a professional staff of approximately 18 full-time employees along with hundreds of volunteers who work on a regular, committed basis over the course of the year. The main farm, a 58-acre property in Woodbine, Maryland, is owned by DEFHR and features a critical care barn with specialized veterinary equipment, pastures with run-in sheds, an outdoor arena, and a classroom building. The second 14-acre satellite property in Rohrersville, Maryland, which we lease, is used for overflow and quarantine purposes.

We have succeeded in developing a robust and sustainable infrastructure: a broad donor base, an excellent financial position, internal controls integrity, and blossoming collaborative partnerships with external organizations and businesses. We have honed our techniques for nursing horses back to health and providing documentary evidence in criminal cases that are prosecuted. We have helped professionalize the rescue field by offering trainings to first responders handling cases of large animal abuse and neglect.

What is next for us is to expand and upgrade our facilities. We need additional veterinary equipment in our critical care barn. We routinely fill our classroom building to capacity and turn away groups, and we lack sufficient parking space for cars and buses. Our trainers work long hours through all seasons in our outdoor arena; we need to build an indoor arena to make it possible for them to train more effectively during the winter months and in inclement weather. Our intern program continues to grow and the current residential facility can only house 3-4 interns, if we renovate the housing we would be able to more than double residential capacity and accept more interns into the program. All of these improvements will help us grow our capacity to take in horses in need, increase the level of quality care we provide our horses, increase the number of horses placed in second-chance homes, and enhance our educational and outreach programs. In 2021, with support from a Maryland state grant, we purchased a former firehouse on an adjacent property. We plan to renovate the building in order to create a welcome center, classroom, office space and intern housing.

Animal cruelty and neglect are often linked to factors such as economic distress, divorce and mental illness. While much is beyond our control, we focus on areas that are within our influence, such as education, support and intervention. Our systems are working well: law enforcement is stepping in more effectively and community resources are being brought to bear. We have rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed increasing numbers of horses over the years. Collaterally, we are growing our human beneficiary base. DEFHR volunteers and visitors experience a sense of wellbeing and a better understanding of their capacity to empathize. Within the animal rescue field, we are widely recognized as the national model for horse rescue. As we continue to grow our facilities and community outreach, we will further our mission of prevention of and response to horse cruelty and neglect. Maybe one day we will succeed in eliminating a need for horse rescue farms such as ours.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Animal protection officers, law enforcement, the general public, students/participants in our education/outreach programs, donors and volunteers

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Brittney Ebbert

Accountant

Term: 2020 - 2023


Board co-chair

Lindsey Groff

Attorney

Term: 2019 - 2022

Christopher Schaefer

MV Financial

Erin Ochoa

Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Elisa Harvey

CardioMed Device Consultants

Carolyn Nordberg

Self-Employed

Wayne Willoughby

Attorney

Christa Cooper

Self-Employed

Susan Flaherty

Towson University

Dana Scanlon

Self-Employed

Yoram Tanay

Retired

Christina King

Owner

Kathryn Michel

Social Secretary

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/21/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/21/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.