dancer's horse rescue and sanctuaryIt is my pleasure to introduce you to Enola Hambey of Dancer’s Horse Rescue. Enola and her husband Rick live their faith by extending compassion and care to people and animals in need. They are foster parents, adoptive parents, horse rescuers, and regularly host fund raisers for animals and animal advocates.

In this interview style article, Enola shares about their children, rescued horses, and mission to help other animal advocates and animals in need. The responses are compiled and edited from questions I asked Enola as well as from her writings.

What inspired you to foster and adopt children?

I guess rescuing came naturally to us in the sense that as Christians we already had hearts of compassion for the lost and needy, the broken and forgotten. As a medical missionary, Rick had traveled to Guatemala nine times and spent time Honduras, El Salvador and southern Mexico. I had been working as an evangelist on the female jail team in our previous church and ministered to the homeless on the streets of Houston.

When my husband Rick and I moved to Kentucky 8 years ago we knew in our hearts we wanted to be foster parents. My father grew up in Kentucky and was given away at the age of 5. He had a hard life and felt unwanted. My husband Rick grew up as a foster child; being moved from family to family. He spent time in boy’s homes until he was 18 years of age. Because of his own background and our love for Jesus, we felt called to reach out to foster children. We wanted to give them stability and love while their parents worked to get their lives together so they could get their children back. Our home is a care plus home. Children come to us when other families could no longer handle their behaviors.

The second set of siblings to come into our home was Rico, Michael and Dalton. Their parents failed to get them back and their parental rights were terminated. Rick asked if I would consider adopting them. It had never crossed my mind to adopt at that time. I told him I really needed to pray about it and talk to my birth son. He was out on his own and dating the lovely woman who is now his wife. My son thought it would be awesome to have 3 brothers. I prayed for God to show me if it was his will, and he did in a dream. Rick never had children on his own. We did try to have a child together, but it was not God’s will. We did not understand why at the time.

Rick and I agreed to go forward for the adoption. We have had our boys for 6.5 years and for the past 2.5 years they have been ours through adoption. We have been through hell from dealing with their past life and all the baggage they had attached to them from their birth parents. All the emotional scars and wounds which sometimes comes out in anti-social behaviors. They are in ongoing therapy trying to help them go a different path and make healthy life choices.

Hambeys

What inspired you to become horse rescuers?

Our love of horses was born out of their majestic presence and beauty. We saw the need of many horses here in the Lexington area (“The Horse Capital of the World”).  We saw how horses who did not meet  financial demands or were overworked and could not perform were discarded or put down. 

It was not until moving to our beautiful property with its “Courier and Ives” type farm view of silos, train tracks, cows, and rolling hills in Wilmore, Kentucky in 2008, that my husband Rick and I decided we needed horses. We had a barn and a very nice horse fence already in place.

One day, we were out with our seven foster children to look at a horse. We went to this person’s farm and could not believe our eyes when we saw him punching Spirit in the nose. His story was that it was for the horse’s own good. Spirit did not want to go on trail rides or wear shoes, so he was worthless to these people.

We were so upset as we watched this man beat the horse that I just yelled out “We will take him from you – SOLD!” However, as we tried to get Spirit into the trailer to head home, he cried and kept looking back at his baby – Thunder. We just knew that we could not leave her there to be beaten and we could not bear to break up the bond they had. So again, I yelled – “We’ll take that one too.” The owner had no problem unloading two uncooperative horses.

So, with two horses in our trailer, we headed home. And thus, the inspiration for our rescue began.

Dancer's Horse Rescue
Spirit and Thunder

What is the mission of Dancer’s Horse Rescue?

Our Mission is to help as many discarded horses as we can. We save them from abuse, kill shelters and neglect. We do not re-home them, but offer them a forever home of safety here on our property. Dancer’s Horse Rescue gives 100% to our beautiful rescues. Life here is safe, enjoyable and only kind words are spoken with gentle hands upon them. This is why we call it a “Sanctuary” as well.

dancers horse rescueWe know we can only save a limited number of these wonderful Equine souls mostly due to spacial limitations and financial resources.  But the ones we can help we offer a shelter to live out the rest of their lives in peace free from abuse or neglect. When one of our six horses does pass on,  another will come and receive the same love and special care. 

What we came to realize is that we are not only helping our horse,s but they are helping us as well. Horses can be very therapeutic with emotionally damaged children. They teach them how to trust and give love.

Who is Dancer?

Dancer is a Morgan Show horse that we saved due to her foundered condition. She was offered for adoption because she could no longer be shown in the ring and the cost of rehab, extensive vet care and farrier work needed to get her back into shape was too expensive.

She is the namesake of our rescue due to the fact that she is the lead horse and was able to take that role despite all that was stacked against her. We named her dancer because as a Morgan she was trained to perform extensive trot and stepping moves for the show ring. She obviously enjoyed performing because she will perform some of these routines on her own volition out in the pasture and it looks as if she is dancing.

Dancer  has many health issues. She has a special diet because she has what we might call in human illness – diabetes. If she gets too much sugar in her diet and she can easily become overweight. So Dancer has to wear a mask to slow down her down as she eats grass. She also has problems with her feet and has to wear special shoes.

When Dancer came to us and joined the others, she was not welcomed by the other horses. However, as time went on, I believe that they knew she was sick and they all started to accept her and love her unconditionally as animals do. Dancer is now the lead horse of the herd. Even though she is more than likely the weakest in body, she is the strongest of mind and spirit. I also know that they look to me as part of the pack. Our love surrounds us and keeps us calm and allows us to handle whatever surprise may come up on a daily basis.

Dancer's Horse Rescue
Dancer enjoying a treat from Dalton

What are some challenges faced by rescued horses?

Rescue horses have their own brand of problems such as not trusting humans but seeing them as a source of abuse or discomfort. Much work has to be done at times teaching them to trust. Their respect must be earned,slowly at times.

When we got him, poor Spirit had been so abused that he walked out of the trailer very slowly, hanging his head. His spirit had been so broken that he has always been our greatest challenge. However, I am glad to say that he has come a long way and does trust me now. But when the farrier comes, he goes back into  fear mode. Even horses can have PTSD and Spirit is a good example of that.

Other problems may exist including medical issues such as destroyed joints from over-jumping and foundering. Foundering, or laminitis, is a  very painful inflammation affecting the folds of tissue connecting the pedal bone to the hoof.

Farriers have told us more than once, that the reason horses are called “Rescue Horses ” is because nothing can be done with them. They are no longer wanted because of so many problems. Sometimes they’re simply discarded because they don’t run fast enough, or aren’t financially viable for their owners who hoped to make some profit at their performance.They say it is much easier just to have two good riding horses instead of horses with issues.

What are your challenges as horse rescuers?

Finances, which includes up-keep of property and equipment, feed, vet bills, farrier costs and so on. Another challenge is care and maintenance time with other responsibilities to perform jobs etc.. Care of these wonderful beings takes a big bite out of our personal time.

How do you fund Dancer’s Horse Rescue?

The funding comes out of our own pockets or from funds raised by events such as the one going on now in the Caring Hearts Auction group (CHAG). at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…  

My husband Rick also has a web site that sells hand made jewelry, Native American style prayer pipes, and artwork. All proceeds made from Rick’s site go to one of CHAG’s ongoing auctions or Dancer’ Horse Rescue. The site is Wolf Moon Creations: Handmade Native American Style Personal Prayer Pipes and Hand Made Jewelry.  

wolf moon creations

wolf moon creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other funds are raised from the online store at Dancer’s Horse Rescue Facebook Page. (Enola makes blankets, pillowcases and other items to sell to raise money for their horse rescue. Yes, that is a personalized photo of your pet which you can order at the auction if you wish)

photo of your pet on pillowcase

What is CHAG and how can we join?

Caring Hearts Auction Group is an international auction group that I founded with the help of friends, some of which live in Canada and Australia. We are dedicated to helping all animals in need of rescue or help. CHAG holds monthly auctions for different animal rescue groups as well as special fund raisers for multiple animal needs such surgeries or emergency vet bills. Once a year, an auction is held for Dancer’s Horse Rescue/ Sanctuary such as the one ongoing now. 

All funds raised are given to the specific cause for which it was obtained. Nothing is ever kept privately or used to pay salaries or affiliates. Since its inception, CHAG has raised over $100,000.00 for different animal rescue groups or special animal need situations.

If you enjoy buying goodies at on-line auctions or have items to donate, please consider joining CHAG and invite your friends to join, too. To become a part of the CHAG family send Enola a friend request on Facebook.

 

Dancer’s Horse Rescue – Interview with Enola Hambey
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80 thoughts on “Dancer’s Horse Rescue – Interview with Enola Hambey

  • March 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm
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    It’s awesome that she does so much rescue(?) work with both children and horses. I don’t know how she does it. One dog keeps me busy!

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    • March 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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      We no longer foster after we adopted our 3 boys. My heart has always cried out for animals that have been a abused. My husband and I work hard on our farm caring for our rescue horses we get up early & as soon our feet hit the floor the work day begins.lol I must say I truly feel blessed being a small part of helping one animal at a time. Love, Enola

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  • March 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm
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    Wow! They sound like wonderful people! Thank you for bringing awareness to their rescue!

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  • March 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm
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    Dancer’s Horse Rescue & Sanctuary 501c3 , thanks you for your kind words

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  • March 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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    I really like the website with the handmade jewelry. I may love pets, but even I like to see things that make me look pretty every once and a while 🙂

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    • March 12, 2016 at 7:27 am
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      I know, right. I love the butterfly necklace. And all proceeds benefit rescue – even better.

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      • March 12, 2016 at 8:38 am
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        thank you .. my husband Rick loves to make the jewelry the necklace is available. Love, Enola

  • March 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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    An interesting read, thanks for sharing their story and raising awareness about horse rescue.

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  • March 11, 2016 at 9:19 pm
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    I firmly believe that it takes an army of caring people to make a difference in the lives of animals. Thank you for all you do. Andy’s Paw Prints is my business and we donate 25% of our profit from custom pet portraits to our partners to help animals in need. We would love to partner and send donations to your amazing cause and these amazing organizations. For partner information visit http://www.AndysPawPrints.com/partner-information.html We would love to join the army and help make a financial difference through partnering. Thank you for being a blessing to each and every animal. May blessings always follow!

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    • March 12, 2016 at 7:26 am
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      Thank you so much for your generous offer. I’ll be sure to pass this along to Enola.

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      • March 12, 2016 at 8:44 am
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        Hi Andy’s Paw Prints, Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you and Val it does take a army of good people to help animals in need,one furkid at a time we can truly make a difference. I will check out your business for partner information. God Bless, Enola

  • March 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm
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    Dancer’s story is beautiful- I think it’s wonderful you’re caring for these majestic creatures. Interesting that you have a mask to help slow down eating. I’m glad all those health issues are being managed.

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    • March 12, 2016 at 8:52 am
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      Hi Christy, Yes the mask is needed for Dancer if she does not wear it she can founder again she has to have special made grain too. I thank the Lord we are able to care for Dancer’s Horse Rescue & Sanctuary horses. A true blessing. Love , Enola

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  • March 12, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    I became aware of the need for horse rescues after the recent WA state fires. Bless Dancer’s heart – absolutely love the story as well as the store! Woot, going to go shopping!

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    • March 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm
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      Very sad about the fires in WA. We need more horse rescues through out the USA. Please enjoy your shopping if you have any special wants or needs just let me know. Love, Enola

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  • March 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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    I am so blessed to be working with Enola and being part of Caring Hearts Auction. Enola and Rick are, indeed, very special angels on this earth and they deserve our help. Dancers Horse Rescue and Sanctuary is truly a blessing for the six horses that have been saved. But, they need US to keep going. Please join and help CHAG AND Dancer’s. God bless!

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    • March 12, 2016 at 3:09 pm
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      Patti, I am blessed to have you on our Caring Hearts team not only as a admin , but a dear friend. All Animal Advocates need to take a stand for animal rights we are their voices. Blessings! Enola

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  • March 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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    What a wonderful couple and loving family. Emotional scars are difficult to heal but it sounds as if these boys are blessed to be getting the love and help they deserve. I’m sure working with the horses help.

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    • March 12, 2016 at 8:18 pm
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      Amen they are hard to heal. We do have our boys in therapy and the therapist is a strong believer. You are correct about the horses and what is truly amazing the horses seem to understand the abuse.

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  • March 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm
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    I met Enola thru one of her auctions. She had a blanket made by her mom, and she had just lost her mom a few months before this. I bid on the blanket and won it but I didn’t want it for me I wanted her to keep it. Then it was like we had known each other forever. She is such a wonderful, caring, Christian lady. As time went on she began telling me her story of her life. She is an amazing woman. So dedicated to helping all animals and helping with so many auctions. I don’t know how she does it along with her own obligations and raising her boys and caring for Rick. I don’t think she knows the meaning of the word NO😊 She has blessed so many people. And when Rick found out my grandson went to The Lions Camp he was so happy. Even their peacock helps with his feathers for auctions. I’m so glad to be a part of their lives. Even though we have never met in person, they feel like family. Check out her blankets. I have blankets and pillowcases she makes and they are beautiful. Love you Enola xoxo

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    • March 13, 2016 at 12:15 am
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      You are a blessing in my life.. My heart loves you, Enola

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  • March 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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    I just posted about Enola and it disappeared

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  • March 12, 2016 at 9:15 pm
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    I feel so blessed to have found CHAG and Enola. I too, have done rescue(cats) for over 60 years and I totally appreciate all the hard work and time that all rescuers put in to give these poor creatures a chance to know what it feels like to be loved. The CHAG auctions are awesome!! I have both purchased and donated items for them..please take a moment to go check them out and support this wonderful lady and her husband who do so much for poor, unfortunate animals who as a result, get a second chance at life and happiness! God bless you Enola and family!!

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    • March 13, 2016 at 12:13 am
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      Rita, I truly appreciate you. Love, Enola

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  • March 12, 2016 at 11:28 pm
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    This is some story … what are the laws in your state regarding animal abuse such as that you witnesses with Spirit? Likely that guy is still abusing horses. I’d love to know the name of his trail riding operation (so to not recommend it).

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    • March 12, 2016 at 11:36 pm
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      Also, I bought the butterfly necklace but my shipping address is in Canada, so please add shipping or let me know $$

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      • March 13, 2016 at 12:07 am
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        Thank you Sherri, I will let you know the cost of shipping. Blessings, Enola

      • March 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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        Sherri, The shipping cost for your necklace is $9.50 Blessings! Enola

    • March 13, 2016 at 12:09 am
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      Hi Sherri, We no longer have contact with the person, he has moved. Love, Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 3:59 am
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    Amazing that you are helping to raise awareness for horse rescue. It seems like a lot of times, when people think of animal rescue they think mostly of dogs and cats. But there are all types of animals out there that need our help. It’s always heartwarming to learn more about the people who are stepping up to the plate to help animals (and people!) in need.

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    • March 13, 2016 at 11:42 am
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      You are correct about when people think of rescues they think dogs and cats and of course we love them all, but horses can end up in slaughter houses they are growing. Love, Enola

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    • March 13, 2016 at 11:42 am
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      You are most welcome. Love, Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 10:24 am
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    What an inspirational story. It is hard enough raising one child or rescue dog let alone fostering and adopting more children and horses. Enola and Rick sound like very generous and compassionate people. Will check out CHAG.

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    • March 13, 2016 at 11:44 am
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      thank you for your kind words, yes please join CHAG we love all animals and reach out to as many as possible. So many lovely items in our auctions win as a token and reminder of your giving heart to help animals in need. Love, Enola

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    • March 13, 2016 at 11:45 am
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      thank you, God Bless, Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this, and thank you to Enola and Rick for all the fantastic work they do to help children and horses in need. It warms my heart knowing that there are still very compassionate Christians in the world. <3

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm
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      pleasure all ours we love people and animals.. God Bless, Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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    Enola is a sister in Christ. She, my daughter Stacie, and myself are Facebook friends. We share a love of God and horses. I respect and admire all that she and her husband Rick do out of pure love from their hearts. I loved the interview and thank you for doing it. I pray that much help for their causes comes as a result. Even though we have never met in person, we love Enola as I know so many other people do. Again, thank you for the interview.

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm
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      Sovola,My heart has been touched by your kind words. I love you and Stacie , Enola

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm
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      God Bless you , Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 9:03 pm
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    It always is uplifting to see people who respond with love and caring and reach out to help others.

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm
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      Thank you. We do believe it is a must for us all to go out of our way to care for others and this does include animals.
      Matthew 10:29
      “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
      Love, Enola

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm
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      Thank you. We do believe it is a must for us all to go out of our way to care for others and this does include animals. Love, Enola

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    • March 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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      thank you , love Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm
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    What a fantastic interview! I enjoyed it very much. In my younger days I was an equestrian, riding, showing, and training horses. My own were my best friends, so this post was especially near and dear to my heart. What a caring heart of gold she has! Beautiful pics.

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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      thank you.. Horses are amazing their soulful eyes tells us so much. Love, Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 10:21 pm
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    Wow! Truly inspirational. I am happy to share and would love to support.

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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      Thank you and God bless. Love, Enola

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm
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      Thank you and God Bless. Love, Enola

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    • March 15, 2016 at 11:13 am
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      thank you , Blessings Enola

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  • March 13, 2016 at 11:39 pm
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    What a lovely interview! Thanks for sharing!

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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      Thank you for taking the time to enjoy our interview.. Love, Enola

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    • March 15, 2016 at 11:14 am
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      thank you. Blessings, Enola

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm
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      A true pleasure. God Bless, Enola

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  • March 14, 2016 at 1:53 am
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    This sounds like such a wonderful family! I’m glad to see that they are allowing God to work through them in acts of compassion. These children and horses really needed someone like them. 🙂

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    • March 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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      thank you Robin…. We as a family trust in the Lord with all our hearts and we allow Him to give us direction through the trials and our blessings. We truly feel bless to see our story is touching hearts of so many. Love, Enola
      Matthew 6:26-30
      “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

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  • March 14, 2016 at 8:30 am
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    What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing. Rescuing and adoption are two things that are very close to my heart.

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  • March 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm
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    OMG, what an incredible story and an incredible interview! These people are really saints for the selfless work they do for animals and for taking these beautiful children into their homes. Thanks for sharing their very special lives with us.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  • March 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    Thank you.. Love, Enola

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  • March 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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    I am so proud to work with these people. They make a real difference for people and animals. Thank you Enola for everything you do. Thank you for writing about them and their work.

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    • March 15, 2016 at 11:15 am
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      Blessings to you Phyllis.. love, Enola

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  • March 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm
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    Your story is inspiring. I appreciate all that you do. We need more people like Enola and her family in this world!

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    • March 15, 2016 at 11:16 am
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      awww thank you Lori, God bless you and yours, Enola

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  • March 15, 2016 at 1:18 am
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    This is such a compelling story. Enola your heart reaches out to humanity and animals that are abused. That’s was a nice thing you did not to leave the other horse behind because Spirit would have missed him.

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    • March 15, 2016 at 11:17 am
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      thank you Eddie.. Blessing my friend

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  • March 15, 2016 at 5:47 am
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    There are a few good people left. You are one of them. Keep up the good work

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  • March 15, 2016 at 11:18 am
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    thank you Lisa for your kind words. Love, Enola

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  • March 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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    Enola does amazing work! Love the auctions, too!

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    • March 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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      Thank you Kristine.. Love, Enola

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  • March 15, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    I met Enola thru our love for my Grammy & her Mom. We became fast friends & had so much in common. I so admire her for her devotion to those that are in need, hurt, wounded & needy. And her love for God is one of her best attributes. Love you Enola.

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  • March 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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    awww Kathy thank you. I love you , Enola

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  • March 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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    I really love the part that they “live their faith by extending compassion and care to people and animals in need.” This is really what loud voices in our country need to hear and see and understand — it’s all about compassion and caring. Bless you both for being such outstanding examples of what humans can be.

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    • March 27, 2016 at 8:23 pm
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      Amen … God bless you and yours too

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