Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary Annual Fall Fundraiser

Gulliver, mascot of Equine Voices

Diane Russell

For 17 years, Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary, in Amado, Ariz., has provided a home for horses and burros in need of food, shelter, veterinary care, and love. Equine Voices has rescued more than a thousand equines who were abandoned, abused, used in drug smuggling, and in the production of the drug Premarin. They have been given a second chance for a new home through adoption and, in many cases, a forever home at the Sanctuary.

Founded in 2004, the primary mission of Equine Voices was to save mares and their foals used in the production of Premarin, a post-menopausal hormone drug for women. Premarin stands for Pregnant Mare Urine which is used in the manufacture of the drug. The foals are the by-product of the industry and are generally sent to auction. If lucky, they will be adopted; if not, they are sent to slaughter.

Equine Voices started with four 11-month-old Premarin foals known as the “Foundation Herd.” One of them became the sanctuary mascot. His name is Gulliver and he was chosen for the honor of mascot because the auctioneer said he was “too big and too ugly” to be adopted.

Of all the horses and burros that have come through the gate at Equine Voices, some have been adopted, some are sanctuary equines who will spend their remaining lives there, and others have crossed over the “Rainbow Bridge” leaving their hoofprints on the hearts of the volunteers and staff. Although these horses have passed on, their spirits remain alive, as does their legacy of continuing our work.

This year’s annual fall fundraiser is dedicated to them. The theme is “Dia de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead, a day to remember and celebrate those we have loved and lost, both human and animal. This event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Longhorn Grill and Saloon, 28851 S. Nogales Highway, Amado, AZ 85645. There will be a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions, and live music for dancing. Attendees are welcome to bring a photo of a loved one, human or animal, to be placed on the altar during the event. Reservation information can be found on the Equine Voices website at equinevoices.org/category/upcoming-events or by calling 520-398-2814.

Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to saving horses and burros from neglect, abuse, and slaughter. It is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), only the third equine rescue in the U.S. and the first in Arizona to meet the GFAS’ Standard of Excellence.