By: Hanna Pattie
As part of our ongoing commitment to giving back, Agency 451 provides one day per quarter where employees can volunteer at an organization of their choice. In the past, my co-workers have donated their time to organizations such as Cradles to Crayons, The Greater Boston Food Bank, Community Servings, and Junior Achievement.
Last Friday, I volunteered at New England Equine Rescue (NEER) for the day as my 451Cares fulfillment. As a competitive equestrian for nineteen years, my decision to spend the day at NEER was easy. Helping animals has always been a passion of mine, in fact, my husband and I are currently fostering a dog as the result of hurricane damage in St. John, USVI. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to give back to a cause I am so passionate about while being in the environment I love; a farm.
What is New England Equine Rescue?
NEER’s mission is to support the overwhelming need for equine support in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The farm is entirely volunteer run, and aids horses who are abused, neglected, or at risk of slaughter. In January 2012, the farm became a 501 c3 nonprofit organization and remains dedicated to their rescue efforts five years later. Generous donations have made these drastic before and after transformations possible!
How did I help?
My day was comprised of ordinary barn chores such as filling hay nets, cleaning stalls, and sweeping. These are minor tasks but are crucial to the well-being of NEER’s residents. Since I carry horsemanship experience I was also asked to spend time with the horses in need. From wound care and medicated baths to hand walking and grooming, I enjoyed helping these animals get healthy, learn manners, and gain trust in order to possibly be adopted to a loving home. Each horse had a different story and diverse challenges to overcome, which makes NEER’s approach to every individual recovery unique.
Apart from rescuing horses, NEER’s president and founder, Mary, has taken in a handful of other animals such as donkeys, chickens, goats, and her house-trained sheep who she bottle fed as babies. Mary’s efforts to help animals was truly inspiring. My time at the farm made me realize how successful the organization was in terms of providing care and a safe home for their residents, and I can’t wait to return for my next 451Cares day.
Interested in 451Cares? Learn more here.