Somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
A paradise where horses go…
Care, Kindness, Peace, Dignity
Since 2001, the ranch has provided a last refuge for numerous senior horses who've been used up and left behind. Some current Hector Hill residents include:
Zelda, a coal-black Thoroughbred mare with beautiful eyes and very long legs, rescued several years ago from a vacant lot along with two equine companions... All had physical injuries and only the weeds to eat. Nobody knows how long they'd been there.
Kody, a beautiful senior Appy gelding who was dropped off at a rescue with owner instructions to "just euthanize him"...Today, handsome, feisty Kody is very much alive and kicking and the "boss horse" at Hector Hill.
Heidi, a lovely, sweet Quarter Horse mare who was in skin-and-bones condition when she was confiscated by animal control officers...She had salmonella, advanced arthritis in one leg, and physical signs of having been bred multiple times. Today, Heidi is healthy and has her own pasture, a quality diet, equine friends, and all the human-provided "t-l-c" she needs.
Jax was picked up by rescuers in the middle of a rice field, in the middle of the night, after running near a freeway for nearly an hour. He then spent two weeks in a county animal shelter, but was never claimed. Severe arthritis made him unadoptable.
All horses, especially discarded, abused and neglected senior horses, deserve care, kindness, peace and dignity. At Hector Hill, horses long given up by those once charged with caring for them can graze, amble, make friends and just be themselves till the end of their days.
A Haven for Senior Horses
Hector Hill Animal Sanctuary (HHAS) offers a safe haven for senior horses who've been victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Hector Hill partners with independent rescuers, animal protection/rescue organizations, and municipal shelters to care for aging horses and other animals in need.
What We Do
Hector Hill in the springtime!
Sweet Jax is a real sweetheart
Zelda's racing days are now far behind
Best friends forever
"Last Chance Ranch"
For nearly two decades, the Hector Hill property near Auburn, California, has been a place where senior horses have been able to quietly live out their days with the individualized care they require. Every equine resident at the sanctuary receives routine health evaluations, foot care, dental checks, quality feed, and medications as needed. All have spacious, shaded areas to move around in, and frequently share their pastures with deer, wild turkeys, quail, rabbits and guinea fowl.
Once at Hector Hill, the horses are "home." They become permanent sanctuary residents and are never re-homed. Hector Hill has been nicknamed a "last chance ranch" for aging horses.
Hector Hill Reaches Out
As we move into 2020, a quick look-back at the past year makes us appreciate all the good people and places that were part of Hector Hill’s 2019. Some shout-outs:
Thanks to Vicki at Barnes & Noble for helping us participate in their holiday gift-wrapping event once again. It’s always a pleasant way to get into the holiday spirit and the B&N staff couldn’t be more accommodating…
While Hector Hill is squarely focused on the care of senior horses, the welfare of all animals is very important to us and we do what we can throughout the year to lend our support to a variety of animal champions. This year’s group included a koala rehab/rescue hospital Down Under and some of the incredible animal rescue volunteers on the front lines of Australia’s heartbreaking fire devastation…
Closer to home, Steve and Jeannie of Hayward Friends of Animals/Second Chance have been doing good work for animals and their people for decades. We shared some holiday spirit with them as well, and hope they can continue their wonderful work on behalf of dogs and cats for years to come… PETA’s build a (hungry, neglected, wet, freezing, chained-up) dog a home program is always a winner and likewise got our thumbs-up support…
Our special thanks to ACO Marissa, who rescued our equine newcomer, Jax, and reached out to Hector Hill for help with his placement. He’s settled in nicely with us, and the shelter staff enjoyed the updated pix of him we sent…
As a new member of the Homes for Horses coalition, we’re looking forward to networking at their May conference. And, now that Bill’s retired, we’re both turning our attention to ongoing developments in California’s horse-racing industry--and look forward to some progressive changes in the year ahead…
Our undying gratitude to everyone who makes what we do possible. Onward.
Hands On With Horses
Hector Hill recently initiated a student volunteer program to offer both pre-vet students and those working or planning to work in the animal care field opportunities to gain “hands-on” large animal experience. Volunteers learn the basics of equine behavior, care, feeding and ranch maintenance as they groom, exercise (no riding) and interact one-on-one with our senior horses. Volunteer opportunities are made available by appointment only; to participate contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hector Hill is proud to be a member of the Homes for Horses Coalition, a national coalition dedicated to increasing collaboration, professionalism and growth in the equine protection community. HHC is a joint initiative of the Animal Welfare Institute and the Humane Society of the United States.
Our 2020 Wish List
Pasture maintenance and fence repair at Hector Hill are ongoing projects, of course, and we have some good vendors to rely on for these bigger projects. But for us daily do-it-yourselfers and volunteers who handle the never-ending cleaning and feeding chores, we routinely need the smaller, more mundane things like water hoses (which always seem to take a beating from year to year), rubber feed pans (of which there are never enough), large plastic buckets with the rope handles (back savers when cleaning up poop), and the all-important manure rakes (which inexplicably seem to last only so long). Donations to help us keep our maintenance supplies up to snuff are always appreciated – and we’re happy to do the shopping part. Contributions to our ranch supplies fund can be made via PayPal - just visit the “Donate” tab on this website – and snail mail works too. Thank you.
Additional Support for Animals
Extending A Hand
Hector Hill's primary mission is to provide forever homes to senior equines. As we can, we also support others dedicated to helping animals, by way of sponsorships, donations, and with temporary shelter and care for animals in need.
Who We Are
HHAS is guided by an all-volunteer board of directors with combined experience in law/consumer issues, communications/media, grant management, municipal animal shelter operations and business:
Carol Gage, Chair - A longtime animal advocate, adopter and independent horse rescuer, Carol owned a communications/design firm for many years. She is a co-founder and former board member of TEAM – Teaching Everyone Animals Matter – and for several years co-organized community spay/neuter and health clinics for the pets of low-income residents. She also coordinated media campaigns on the importance of spay/neuter and pet identification. Today, when not hauling feed bags, scrubbing buckets and cleaning pastures at Hector Hill, she’s likely spending time with her rescue pup, Dharma.
Kathy Wilkinson, Vice-Chair - Kathy works for a large local school district, and is a gold-star volunteer and "chicken whisperer" at a county animal shelter --where she spends every waking moment when not on the job. She's a card-carrying tree-hugger (horticulture degree) and the proud mom of two sweet pitbull mixes, Billy and Otis.
The Lovely Miss Heidi is looking very photogenic
Bill Gage, Treasurer - During his 30-plus years in the California legislature, Bill helped advance a number of successful pro-animal bills through the legislative process and to the governor’s desk for signature. The issues he worked on included: pet licensing, puppy mills, shelter adoptions, and spay/neuter, among many others. Now retired, Bill's lending his animal advocacy experience to additional animal welfare projects, with a primary focus on California’s horse racing industry.
Barb Schor, Secretary - After 40 years in the fast-paced world of communications and marketing, Barb recently jumped off the merry-go-round and headed south of the border. Now retired, she and her husband, Marcos, live in Baja California, where they're a bit like fish out of water, but settling in nonetheless. A self-described “cat person,” and a lover of all of our four-legged friends, Barb is excited to be a HHAS charter board member.