Wild Acres Horse Rescue, in Brooklyn, is striving to be a place where every horse, no matter of it’s past, deserves and receives respect, kindness and love.
Pictured above is founder of Wild Acres, Michelle Wild and Socks
Story and photos
By Christine MacIntyre
Wild Acres Horse Rescue is on a mission to rescue, rehab, and adopt horses into new loving, forever homes. Michelle Wild and her aunt, Pat, founded this 501(c)3 pending non-profit animal welfare organization located at 11400 Austin Road in Brooklyn.
With a common goal to help every horse possible, the crew at Wild Acres are working diligently to ensure their readiness for the first horses’ arrival this winter. And yes, they’re welcoming volunteers.
Currently, fencing is going up; plans are in the works to section off areas for quarantine verse healthy horses who may arrive at the 25-acre property.
Co-founder Pat (left) and Secretary Patte (right) assist with the installation of fencing in preparation for rescue horses’ arrival.
Wild says preparations are nearing the finish line, although there is a lot of hard work left to do. The work is near and dear to her heart, however. “I’ve had horses my entire life. I always knew I wanted to do something on a bigger scale – I’ve had personal rescues,” she says.
Wild Acres’ website, wildacreshorserescue.org, states that they help other animals that may come along, but their focus is on horses. They believe that every horse, no matter its past, deserves respect, kindness, and love. Every horse deserves a chance, and Wild Acres is that chance for many horses who have no hope otherwise.
They will strive to help every horse possible. The harsh reality is widely unknown to people, especially those who aren’t in the horse business. “80 percent of auctioned horses go through slaughter pipelines,” says Wild. While horse slaughter is illegal in the United States, loopholes allow over 100,000 American horses to be shipped across the Mexican and Canadian borders for slaughter each year.
Jenny the donkey, roaming the property at Wild Acres, is ready to meet the rescue horses.
“[The U.S.] is trying to pass legislation that would make it illegal to transport horses for the purpose of slaughter,” says Wild. According to a July 1, 2021, press release from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the Carter-Fitzpatrick Amendment to INVEST in America Act would effectively end the slaughter of American horses, here and elsewhere, if enacted into law.
Horses forced into overcrowded trailers, tormented on a journey across thousands of miles, then led to their deaths in slaughterhouses is the brutal reality. Kill buyers fuel the cruel and unnecessary fate. Wild says, “Kill buyers attend auctions and will even outbid rescue groups. Many of the horses at auctions are discarded, but otherwise healthy, horses.”
Wild says many horse owners get rid of their horses in the winter months due to their inability or unwillingness to care correctly for and shelter them in the climate. These horses are not necessarily old or sick but are merely unwanted. Kill buyers are even said to have stolen horses straight out of their stalls or pastures and shipped to slaughter for a quick buck.
Michelle Wild (left) and her aunt Pat (right) are founder and co-founder of Wild Acres Horse Rescue.
Besides rescuing horses from the slaughter pipeline, Wild Acres will accept surrenders, as well. “All of the horses who come to us will be thoroughly assessed, and vet checked before rehoming through our adoption program,” says Wild.
Once a horse is up to par, it may be available for adoption. “It isn’t first come first serve, because we want to do a thorough, careful assessment to ensure every horse is going to a good home,” says Wild. The process will involve the individual meeting the horse face-to-face and completing an adoption questionnaire that ensures the potential owner can care for a horse properly.
From left to right: Pat, Michelle, Patte, and David
“A lot of people want a horse, but they don’t understand everything involved in caring for one,” says Wild.
Wild Acres runs strictly off donations. Also, they are currently holding a bottle and can drive that will allow them to fulfill their mission further. Donations can be left at the office (1497 First St. in Adrian) or call 734-748-9057 for pickup. Interested donors can mail monetary donations to the office address; checks should be made payable to Wild Acres Horse Rescue, Inc.
Wild says they hope to complete the physical work before the ground freezes and hopefully have an open house next spring. “We are working hard to get up and running, but we have a great team of people here helping.”