Sanctuary: a place of healing and safety

Thousands of horses are abused, neglected, unwanted, or brought to auction
each year.  Some eventually find loving, permanent homes while others are
less fortunate and end up victim to mistreatment, or possibly, slaughter.

The Double R Heart Ranch is home to Whisper's Sanctuary, a safe residence
for horses and other animals in need.   Living in a "disposable" society where
appearance and achievement are valued, many animals that are considered
less than perfect are discarded.  We believe that every animal can benefit
from a loving, accepting environment.  

Horses seem especially prone to adverse treatment, possibly due to their
reliance on humans since being domesticated.  Horses are often repeatedly
bought and sold during their lifetimes.  This can be due to the reality of time
and expense of horse ownership, changes in a horse owner's circumstances,
or a horse no longer meeting an owner's needs.  Horses sometimes encounter
homes where they are abused, neglected or mistreated, or even people with
good intentions who simply do not know or understand how to care for a
horse.

Mission:

Provide a place of peace and healing for unwanted and formerly abused
animals, animals considered "unadoptable" by local rescues and shelters,
retired service animals, and those in need of a second chance.  

Goal:

-  Offer a "forever home" where animals can live, heal, and contribute to the    
community.

Programs:

- Forever HERO (humane equine retirement options): an educational program
for children that promotes responsible and informed horse ownership, and
resources for older/injured horse retirement to prevent abuse, neglect, and
sending horses to slaughter.

- Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: the horses contribute to society by helping
people heal and achieve personal growth through therapeutic programs.  
Anyone who thinks an unrideable horse can't be useful must participate in a
program such as this.  The profound impact the sanctuary horses have made
on the lives of participants has been amazing.  

Purpose:

-  Residents are provided with a safe environment in which to live, healthy
nourishment,  fresh air,  peaceful surroundings,  and loving care

Why?  We believe that providing for an animal's basic needs is part of the
process of rehabilitating those who have been abused and neglected.  It is a
precursor to re-establishing trust and a sense of predictability and stability.  
It also allows an animal to transcend past issues and become one's best self.

-  Animals participate in Sanctuary activities, where each one has a job based
upon individual talents and abilities.  An animal may act as a companion, be
part of the welcoming team for new residents, educate visitors, or participate
in animal assisted psychotherapy.  

Why?  We believe that having a job restores dignity and a sense of purpose,
and gives each animal a sense of belonging while "giving back" to the
community.   



The inspiration for the Sanctuary, in memory of...

Whisper

Gentle and sweet, Whisper was in our lives just eight months.  Whisper was purchased
at auction from an unscrupulous horse trader.  This man grossly misrepresented Whisper
as a 12 yr. old horse and took a hefty sum of money, laughing as he duped us beginner
horse buyers.  What we would later learn was that Whisper was closer to 30 yrs old than
12.  He was a gentle spirit in our lives.  He will always be fondly remembered for his
joyful expression with ears forward, whinnying, and dancing eyes.  He lived out his last
months enjoying lush pastures and companionship from his friend Sedona.  Whisper left
a lasting impression, which inspired us to begin the Sanctuary.   
His memory and spirit
lives on through offering a second chance to other animals in need.