F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse Rescue & Sanctuary
AKA/DBA Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development & Safety, Inc.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse Rescue & Sanctuary
C/o 1840 NE 65 Court
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
*Physical address available on request.

Phone: 954-492-0168  MAKE AN INQUIRY

View our WEBSITE


EIN: 59-2825751
Founded: 1987


Profile Last Updated May 19, 2023

Public Charity

Equine Welfare Network Guardian
Effective Date
May 2022

The Guardian Seal of Transparency is awarded annually to recognize an organization's commitment to transparency and accountability by their willingness to make comprehensive data about their programs, horse care practices, and governance available for public scrutiny. The Guardian Seal of Transparency is NOT an endorsement.
Awarded Annually
Effective Date: May 2022
Last Updated: September 15, 2022

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse Rescue & Sanctuary has not attained the Guardian designation for 2023.


F.R.I.E.N.D.S. mission and vision are to provide a permanent safe haven for all horses that are asymptomatic carriers of Equine Infectious Anemia within the State of Florida as well as to aide any horse in immediate need of assistance in Broward, Dade or Palm Beach County. Our goal is to prevent the needless destruction and slaughter of unwanted horses.

Our organization provides programs involved with equine rescue & retirement
Our organization provides community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses.
Our organization is directly responsible for the care and shelter of equines involved in our programs.
100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization does not use satellite, overflow, foster, and/or outreach facilities

Horse Rescue, Rehabilitation, Retraining & Re-homing:
Overview of our programs involved with rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, re-homing and/or retirement:
     F.R.I.E.N.D.S. provides a lifetime of sanctuary to every horse we accept. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. does not buy, sell, trade or give away horses. Instead, we offer them a lifetime of sanctuary so these animals will never be in need of help again. Our primary financial goal is to acquire sustainable funding to provide these noble animals with the dignity of allowing them to live out their lives while meeting both their psychological and physical needs. We provide them with the best possible care and the loving interactions they so deserve. Our moral position is to advocate and participate in ongoing research to find a cure, vaccine or aide in creating a more accurate test for EIA. We offer aide by providing researchers with test tubes of blood, drawn by a licensed veterinarian for their work. It is also our intention to factually educate the public regarding EIA thus allowing us to dispel the myths and misconceptions that lead owners to believe their only option is euthanasia. It is our ethical obligation to surrounding communities that we continue to give back to them in a worthwhile and enriching way by maintaining and enhancing our many interactive programs that benefit local families, organizations and horse owners, thereby positively impacting the entire community.
     Since 1987 F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has had thousands of volunteers come through our gates that have wanted to volunteer. We currently offer two options for potential volunteers to choose from. Our "Volunteer Member Program" offers volunteers the opportunity to come up to four days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30-5:30 pm. For those who are not interested in becoming members, volunteers can sign up on Hands On Broward and come on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Many of the volunteers come from diversion programs, local, private, and public schools. We also have various group visits and multiple clubs that participate. Our program has inspired volunteers whether they were volunteering for school, court or “just because”. The program is based on hours served so everyone has the same opportunity to “achieve” the knowledge and "know how". As they attend, they will work their way up from stall cleaning, watering, to grooming, bathing, turn out, feeding etc. The growth of volunteer support over the last several years has been tremendous. In 2010, there were over 30,000 volunteer hours served. It is our practice to accept the kids that are not accepted or welcome anywhere else. We also have volunteers that come from Volunteer Match and Points of Light. Most of the volunteers we get have never been around horses or farm animals before, so it is very gratifying to watch them grow and bond with the different animals. We have also been the proud participants of the Disney's “Give-a-Day, Get-a-Day" program, Disney's Family Days, National Help A Horse Day with the ASPCA, Weekend Today's Make A Difference Day, the 100 Horse Challenge, the Time to Ride Challenge, National Meet A Horse Day, World Animal Day and we have been a Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Program for several years. We have had 1000’s of families come out to participate in our various programs. Many of them still come back on a regular basis. While we are rich in volunteer support, we are still in need of funding sources every year.
     Our Sponsor-A-Horse program offers people an affordable opportunity to “sponsor a horse” to groom, ride, care for, enjoy and appreciate. Sometimes we are able to fulfill a lifelong dream, or help parents reconnect with their children through our many horse themed family events at the ranch. The reason people choose to sponsor may differ but, it is appealing to them that they have a horse to “call their own for as long as they wish to sponsor”. If a "member sponsor" decides they no longer want to be a sponsor, all we need is a two week written notice of termination of sponsorship. There is no "time" term to our contract. Member Sponsorship can be a very enriching experience for anyone who likes or loves horses. We have beginner, intermediate and advanced horses. Of course, we want “sponsor members” to stay, so it is our job to help them pick the horse they are most comfortable & compatible with. We welcome all levels of horse lovers! This program gives people the opportunity to see if they truly have what it takes to “OWN” a horse before actually purchasing one. Through our program they will find out if they can financially afford a horse, if their children are truly dedicated to horses, or is it just a fad? They can determine if they have the dedication for the long haul, possibly up to 30 years as that is their life span, and can they do all the physical work involved? Can they commit to the required time it takes to properly care for a horse? Often they find that renting, taking lessons or leasing a horse is a better option for them. It is a great way for everyone to test the waters without diving in head first and buying a horse.
     Our Corporate Sponsorship Program is directed toward corporate donors that can donate a set amount to “sponsor” the needs of a chosen horse for a year. For these donors we offer several venues of acknowledgement for their support. First, a banner will be placed on the fence line at the ranch with their name and logo recognizing their commitment to the horses and F.R.I.E.N.D.S., an engraved plaque is placed on the stall of their sponsored horse acknowledging their donation, and they will receive a plaque with a photo of their sponsored horse suitable for hanging in their office or store. They also receive one day private use of our facility for their employees to either meet their sponsored horse, hold a team builder, or to do their own BBQ for their staff. Lastly, there will be a link placed on our website showing their generosity and support of their business, foundation or club.
     In our ongoing dedication to giving back to our community, furthering the education of the public and ensuring a better future for all horses, we host visits from SANFORD BROWN INSTITUTE for their VET TECHNICIAN PROGRAM as well as the NSU Pre-Veterinary Club. We provide a hands-on experience for the students with the horses and pigs that allow them to have the hands on experience with large animals outside of the scope of their textbooks in handling and treating animals.
     We are firm believers in helping the future of our country and our children. We work with many child advocacy groups within the community providing the children with a chance to come to the ranch and interact with the horses and other animals. We see the powerful and transformative effect interacting with our animals has on them. The “Magical Mini Program” began in 2016 and continues to operate monthly. Our community has been very receptive to the program and we are pleased to say there have been several children that have come back more than once. We are also very proud to say we have never had a child leave unhappy after the class. This is a one day class for children 6-10 years old. Because the children are handling miniature horses, the fear factor of a large horse towering over them is removed. The lesson plan was put together by a school teacher that volunteered her time to teach the children about grooming, how to put a halter and lead rope on, and how to lead a miniature horse through the obstacle course. These miniature horses not only give the children a hands on experience, they give them a great sense of accomplishment and confidence. Parents are truly amazed when they pick their children up.

Community Outreach and/or Public Education:
Overview of our programs involved with providing community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses:
     We have three main interaction programs for our community to participate in; the Member Sponsor A Horse Program, the Magical Mini Program and the Member Volunteer Program.
     We accept groups from all walks of life. Our Volunteer Coordinators sets up dates for both public and private group visits throughout the year. Some of these groups come from: group homes, hospitals, police department camps, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, diversion programs and various other organizations. They have their own staff that comes with the group and we facilitate the interactions.
     When we have a public group visiting, most of the people have never been around horses before. We give them a brief informational overview of what we are going to do, and what they should not do. Our staff does not turn the group loose with the horses. These are monitored visits and they are only doing ground work such as stall cleaning, watering and grooming.

Research/Medical Use of Equines:
Our organization has never made, and would not ever consider making, equines available for research studies or medical training that involves invasive procedures and/or that which may cause pain or suffering to the equine. 

Research/Medical Use of Equines:
Our organization has made equines available for research studies or medical training.
Please explain where and for what purpose equines are/were provided to use in research or medical training. 
     We offer researchers blood samples, drawn by a licensed veterinarian. We do allow vet tech students to come out with their teachers to have hands on experiences with medicating, bandaging, and wrapping. We do not do any invasive procedures or research that would or may cause pain or suffering to any equine.

Religious Affiliation:
Our organization does not promote religious education, religious purposes, or a specific religious faith or use donations for religious education or religious purposes; require participants to be of a certain faith; require participation in religious, instruction, activities or services; or require participation in prayer, worship, religious instruction or other religious activities as a condition of receiving social or secular services offered. 

Auction Donation:
Our organization has never allowed, or would not consider allowing, an equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that would cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter. 

Our Programs/Activities that are not equine-related and/or involving animals other than equines:
 We do not conduct any programs using the four goats, four potbellied pigs, two farm pig and two sheep. Unfortunately, there are no rescues in our county that will accept pigs or small farm animals so, when the police need a place for them, we will accept them and try to place them when possible. The goats were dumped at the property and we have had them for a long time.


Our organization acquires horses/equines from the following source(s):

Our organization does not acquire horses/equines from the following source(s):
    Purchase/Adoption from Owner  
    Kill pen/Feedlot  

Our organization will accept the following:
    Pregnant Mares
    Only Stallions to be castrated

Not Checked:

Additional information about our acquisition policies and practices:
We do accept stallions but they are immediately castrated. When possible, we would like to have them castrated before they come, but we will not leave them in a bad situation to have it done first.


Prior to a horse being accepted and/or arriving at the facility, the organization requires the following with respect to the health status of the horse:
    If health records are not available or are out-of-date, our veterinarian will administer appropriate vaccinations
Not Checked:
    A current Coggins
    Vaccination records that have been administered within the last 12 months
    If health records are not available or are out-of-date, the owner is responsible for having vaccinations administered.
    A health certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated no more than seven days prior to arrival attesting to the health status of the equine is provided to our organization either prior to or upon arrival of the equine

Prior to a horse being accepted and/or arriving at the facility, the organization has the following policies in place:
    The owner of a potential equine is interviewed over the phone or in person prior to seeing the equine
    The equine is evaluated at its place of residence
    The owner completes an application/contract which constitutes the agreement between the owner and our organization
    Equines are not taken on trial
Not Checked:
    The owner is financially responsible for the shipping of the equine to and from the organization

Following arrival of the equine at the facility, the following is performed:
    Physical examination by a veterinarian upon arrival and/or prior to quarantine departure
    Physical examination by trained barn staff
    Photographs are taken of each equine upon arrival at the facility and kept with the equine's health records
    A Henneke Body Conditioning Score or other body conditioning score is assigned
    Physical examination by a farrier
    Physical examination by a dentist
    Coggins test
    Blood work other than Coggins
    The equine is scanned to check for a microchip
    The equine is microchipped if the scan indicates that there is no microchip
Not Checked:
    Fecal test

Upon intake, the organization has the following quarantine policy in place:
    The equine is confined to a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine at the facility for a prescribed period of time
Not Checked:
    The equine is confined to a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine off-site for a prescribed period of time
    The equine is not quarantined

The typical length of quarantine is:   20 to 30 days

Horses are assessed for following skills and behaviors:
    Retrieval from a pasture/paddock
    Leading with a halter and lead rope
    Temperament, disposition and attitude, such as rated from very calm to very high spirited
    Loading onto and unloading off a trailer
    Mounting and dismounting
    Riding at the walk
    Riding at the trot
    Riding at the canter
    Riding by a beginner and/or unbalanced rider
    Tolerance to unusual objects and loud noises
    Known vices, i.e., cribbing, biting, kicking, weaving, stall walking, etc
    Tolerance to multiple handlers at the same time
Not Checked:
    Driving (Pulling a carriage)

Our organization has the following policies and procedures in place pertaining to the ongoing assessment of horses in its care:
    The Henneke Body Condition score or other body conditioning score is updated at least annually
    Photographs are taken of each equine monthly and kept with the equine's health records
    Photographs are taken of each equine annually and kept with the equine's health records
    Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine chiropractor
    Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine acupuncturist
    Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine massage therapist
    Physical examination by a veterinarian at least annually
Not Checked:
    Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine nutritionist
Our organization has the following policies and procedures in place pertaining to the weight-carrying or workload capabilities of horses/equines that are ridden in our care:
    Our organization evaluates at least annually and maintains a written record of the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
Not Checked:
    Our organization does not evaluate the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
    No equines are ridden; not applicable

The following variables are considered in determining the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden:
    Equine age, weight, breed, body condition, fitness, balance, health and soundness
    Equine conformation to include the top line, length of back, strength and width of loin, bone density (measured by the circumference of the cannon bone just below the knee)
    Size, shape, condition and angle of the hooves
    Participant weight, height, body proportions, balance, fitness and riding skills as well as behavioral issues and safety concerns
    Weight and proper fit of the saddle and other equipment
    Terrain and footing in the working environment
    Duration and frequency of working sessions, as the frequency with which an equine is subjected to maximum weight carrying and/or workload
    Nature and pace of work, repetitive or varied, radius of turns, degree of incline and regularity of footing when equine is subject to maximum weight-carrying capacity
    Temperature and/or weather conditions
    Seasonal impact on the equines' workload and weight-carrying capabilities and limitations
Not Checked:
    Our organization does not evaluate the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
    No equines are ridden; not applicable

Horses provided formal training (groundwork or riding):   As needed; no set schedule

Additional information about our intake, assessment & training policies and practices:
We accept all horses in immediate need of assistance and we will not leave a horse in a bad situation. Every horse is evaluated upon arrival, given shots and worming, and a full check up. Within a week, the farrier is out to do the hooves unless he is needed sooner. We let the horses "settle in" and acclimate to our facility. They are kept in a separate paddock and turn out area for up to 3 weeks. However, we begin assessments upon arrival.
     Test riding is done only if the horse has been rehabilitated, are healthy and have the go ahead by the Vet, and even then, the longest time the horse would be ridden is up to 30 minutes in the ring to determine if they are sound and safe for beginners or kids to handle. Most horses are never ridden, the elderly are not ridden, the infirmed are never ridden, riding is the rare exception.
     We do require all of the horses to be ground trained so they can be handled by our all volunteer staff. If we did not do this training or maintain the standards that we do, we would not be able to manage the horses under our care and people would get hurt. Our programs teach people of all ages how to properly handle and care for a horse. This includes but is not limited to; stall cleaning, grooming, putting on a halter, putting on a lead rope and properly leading a horse. We also teach people to groom and bathe, and the horses must be able to be handled. If we did not do this training, we would not ever be able to have their hooves done, paste worm them or have the vet tend to their medical needs. We also believe that if everyone is taught the same way, the horses know what to expect when volunteers or sponsors go into their stalls to handle them.
     All new horses are separated from the other horses for at least 3 weeks. This gives them time to get acclimated to how things work at our place and so the "volunteer staff" can get an idea of their manners and what and how much the horse knows. Initially, the people handling the new horses are seasoned, long term members and management only. Once we know any issues, we begin working on them right away.
     One of our main programs is the Sponsor A Horse Program. This program allows "Member Sponsors" the opportunity to groom, bathe and ride the horse they have chosen to sponsor. We are not a training facility however, we do have horses that can be lightly ridden. We have several horses that used to be jumpers. Most can never jump again, but they can do light riding in the ring. We have horses that are at all levels. We have horses that kids and beginners can ride and we match the horses to the sponsor and their ability. In exchange, the sponsor covers the costs of that horse monthly. These horses are never ridden two days in a row and they are not ridden for more than an hour in the late afternoon. We are very strict. The sponsor funding helps us cover the expenses of an unwanted horse and the horse is getting lots of attention from their sponsor family. We have plenty of older horses that can walk through poles, trot a bit on the rail and be useful in teaching what "horse ownership" would be like. Along with the riding, they must do stall cleaning and other chores. We do have horses that are young and untrained, we also have older horses that are not trained. These horses are worked with by seasoned riders, trainers and senior staff in an effort to get them settled into our program. We also have horses that can never be ridden for various reasons. All of these horses belong to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and will have a life in sanctuary whether or not they are ever rideable. The horses we get are usually dumped off, left on foreclosed property, left behind when people leave, left due to an unpaid bill or after "a season" is over. (racing, jumping etc.)
     In Florida, the law requires those 18 years of age and younger are required to use a helmet. We do have individuals that ride without helmets although we recommend that helmets be worn and we post signs. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. does not require any specific "riding attire" other than requiring helmets on kids 18 and under, and we also require boots or closed toe shoes.


The organization has the following policies related to breeding and stallions:
    The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, does NOT breed equines.
Not Checked:
    The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, breeds equines
    The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, are permitted to house stallions

Additional information about our breeding policies and practices:
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. does not breed horses. We have all horses castrated prior to, or within two weeks of arrival. We do have two very old miniature stallions but they are not used for breeding. Both over 25 years old.


The organization has the following policies related to euthanasia:
    Our organization will never have an equine euthanized for space
    Our organization may have a healthy equine euthanized if it is a threat to itself, other equines, or people and euthanasia is recommended by a veterinarian
    Our organization may have an equine euthanized upon the recommendation of the veterinarian after all reasonable treatment options have been explored
    Euthanasia is done on site when possible to decrease trauma from transport
    Disposal of the carcass is handled within 24 hours
Not Checked:
    Our organization will never have a healthy equine euthanized under any circumstances
    Euthanasia is done at the veterinarian's facility

The following are authorized to administer the procedure for your organization in accordance with state laws:
Not Checked:
    A certified euthanasia technician
    Senior staff with appropriate training
    Employee of animal control shelter or humane society with appropriate training
    Veterinary student under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian
    Not applicable. Our organization prohibits euthanasia under any circumstances

Additional information about our euthanasia policies and practices:
Gunshot to the brain will not be used unless the horse is in severe pain, already down, and there is no Vet available.


Re-homing Agreement not applicable.
Our organization has the following re-homing (adoption/purchase) policies and procedures in place:
    The organization does not re-home equines under any circumstances; our organization retains custody of our equines and ensures care of the equines for their lifetimes.

Our organization has the following policies and procedures related to horses that need to be retired, are no longer useful, or are no longer manageable:
    The organization does not re-home equines under any circumstances; our organization retains custody of our equines and ensures care of the equines for their lifetimes.

Additional information about our rehoming policies and practices:
Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development & Safety, Inc. aka F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Inc.
     Re-homing Agreement (Adoption Contract/Bill of Sale) not uploaded BECAUSE it does not exist.
     We do not re-home, adopt, sell, or breed. We are a true Sanctuary.

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