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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…


Stanley Harrison

Photos: Harleen Bal


Our Mission

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. 

About Us

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 past and present Hector Hill residents include: 


Zelda, a coal-black Thoroughbred mare with beautiful eyes and very long legs, was rescued 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." Kody lived a long and happy life 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.  

What We Do

What We Do

Hector Hill in the springtime!
Hector Hill in the springtime
Love is in the air...
Best friends forever
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Sweet Jax is a real sweetheart

"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 not re-homed. Hector Hill has been nicknamed a "last chance ranch" for aging horses. 

Onward & Outward

Our volunteers bring an extra level of t-l-c to our horses

Hector Hill’s volunteers are, simply put, the best. They bring a lot of love and enthusiasm to our horses and their care, and we’re so grateful for their help. Whether students, retirees, or in-betweens still in the workforce, the commitment of our volunteers provides an extra level of interaction with our equines that keeps them extra happy and content. 

Saturday mornings wouldn’t be the same without Aaron, who brings an upbeat, can-do spirit to all sorts of chores around the ranch, including trough cleaning, pasture cleanup and all manner of heavy lifting as needed. Upon arrival each week, he greets each horse by name, and they always perk up when he walks by. 

Bobbi, a one-time horse owner herself, is our pleasant and ever-dependable Thursday morning helper who makes sure everybody’s well-fed and ready for the day. Bobbi’s especially appreciated on hoof-trimming days, when she turns up early to get everyone fed, haltered up and ready for the farrier.  

Relative newcomer Jackie is now an expert at hands-on horse care, particularly when it comes to bathing and grooming. Even our grumpy Holly appreciates Jackie's particular style of brushing, and all the horses look extra spiffy after Jackie’s paid them a weekly visit.

Finally, Sarvenaz, who drives a fair distance each week to spend quality time with our equines, is nicely settling into the horse care routine around Hector Hill. And when the chores are done, just being able to interact with our super-sweet seniors becomes the focal point of her weekly trip. 

Our horses love all the t-l-c they get from our volunteers, who all agree that there's just no better way to spend time.  

Thank you, team!


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It all began with Bucky...

Most kids just love horses

Young people who visit Hector Hill are typically amazed that such big animals, like horses, can be so calm and sweet. And this is exactly why our senior equines are special. They teach just by being themselves. 


We recently had a couple of 7-year-olds​ visit the ranch with their parents, and they were simply entranced by the horses and couldn't wait to pet them and give them treats. But then we suggested the kids try their hands at grooming as well. We put brushes in their hands and away they went! The kids were in heaven and so were their parents. Horses are great ambassadors for animals of all kinds. 


We're always pleased when parents bring their kids to visit Hector Hill.

Appointments can be scheduled by email for Thursdays through Sundays. Most visits last an hour or so; there's no riding.

Anyone interested can contact with information like group size, time preferences and other pertinent details; someone will follow up to make arrangements.


And, as always, we'll supply the carrots.

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.


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

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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 an initiative of the Animal Welfare Institute.

Additional Support
Who We Are

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:

Barb Schor, Board Chair - Former Californian and a lover of all creatures large and small, Barb spent four decades in Bay Area and Sacramento advertising, television and public relations firms before retiring south of the border with husband, Marcos. Part of their “family” includes three stray cats.

Kathy Wilkinson, Vice Chair - Recently retired after many years with a major area school district, Kathy is a longtime volunteer at a local animal shelter, with a particular talent for managing birds and farm animals. She also has a knack for things green and growing (horticulture degree) and is mom to an adopted pitbull, Harriet.  

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Bill Gage, Treasurer - During his 30 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. Now retired, he helps manage Hector Hill's day-to-day ranch operations and horse care.   

Our photogenic Heidi

Carol Gage, Secretary - Carol’s career in communications and media led to her own communications/graphic design company, which she ran for more than two decades while simultaneously pursuing her true passions: animal advocacy and rescuing horses. Today, when not managing horse care and ranch chores at Hector Hill, she’s likely spending time with husband, Bill, their senior terrier, Dharma, and recently adopted Bloodhound, Bo.


Hector Hill Animal Sanctuary 

3225 Hector Road, Newcastle, CA 95658 

916-502-7682info@hectorhill.orgVisits by appointment

Hector Hill Animal Sanctuary is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization:

Federal Tax ID 83-0527957

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