Big Mama

Big Mama is up for adoption
Big Mama is ready for adoption! She is a very beautiful and sweet Off Track Thoroughbred mare who stands approximately 16 hands tall. She is 18 years old and has good ground manners, loves attention a…

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Stemma - horse for adoption
Stemma is a very beautiful and sweet Thoroughbred mare who stands approximately 16 hands tall. She is 15 years old and has good ground manners, loves attention and is good for the veterinarian and fa…

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Available soon!  Sydney is a 25 year old Morgan cross mare who stands 13.1 hands tall. We found her as a skinny, wounded, and traumatized horse ready to ship to slaughter in December 2022. It’…

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Heidi portrait
Heidi is available for adoption and we are looking for a very special home for this special needs mare. She is a 20 year old Haflinger and stands 13.1 hands tall. She is available as a retired compani…

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Success Stories


Cassidy was an unwanted small Welsh pony who arrived with us as a 13 year old in the winter of 2019. We quickly learned she was safe for kids and had a very sweet personality. Cassidy wasn’t with us…

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We rescued Holly from a kill-pen in the winter of 2019 as a four year old. We named Holly after our friend Holly who created a fundraiser for us to assist use with rescuing this mare. She wasn’t wit…

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Zipper is available for adoption as a companion horse and is searching for his special person. He came to us a year and a half ago as an owner surrender after his owner passed away, who Zipper had bee…

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sadie horse available for adoption
Sadie came to us in 2018 through law enforcement due to a neglect case. She was just 4 years old and was a body score of 3. Her hooves had not been trimmed in a very long time, and quite possibly had…

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Montauk arrived at The Dorset Equine Rescue in December of 2017 after his owner unexpectedly passed away. He quickly bonded with another horse that had already been with us for a couple of years named…

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Memphis arrived with his mother Apache in the summer of 2017. They were both owner surrenders. Memphis was adopted in March of 2018 along with his buddy Nipster. We are thrilled that he and his buddy …

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Tess arrived with us in January of 2018 as a four year old. She and another horse, Sadie were part of a neglect case and were seized by law enforcement. They were both very underweight and neither had…

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Twister was a local owner surrender who arrived with us in the summer of 2017. He wasn’t with us long before he was adopted. He is now a companion to Barney (now known as Lovebug) who was adopte…

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Apache is a very beautiful and gentle horse who arrived with when she was  18 years old as an owner surrender in the summer of 2017 along with her colt Memphis. She gave birth to Memphis on a trailer…

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We rescued Foster when we outbid a kill buyer at an auction in the spring of 2017. We also outbid a kill buyer for another horse at the same auction who we named Sheila. They were named in memory of a…

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Maggie arrived with us as a 6 year old with her son Nipster in the summer of 2017. They were both well cared for but were surrendered due to their owner having a serious illness. Maggie was adopted in…

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Nipster was a two year old when he arrived with us along with his mother Maggie as owner surrenders. They arrived in the summer of 2017. Nipster has a kind personality and loves attention. He was adop…

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Sally and Lucy

Sally and Lucy are an adorable mother and daughter pair of miniature donkeys. Sally is the mother and is the lighter colored donkey. She is five years old and Lucy is two years old. They were a local …

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Turtle was a local owner surrender who arrived with us in Spring of 2017. Even though he is blind in one eye, he was very trusting and was always willing to go out for a trail ride and be handled and …

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India (Indy)

India came to us as a scared and completely unhandled yearling filly who we saved from slaughter in February 2017. She had come into a kill pen with a group of 8 young horses. We only had room and fu…

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Orion is a beautiful 15.1 hand, 7 year old gelding who was slaughter-bound when rescued. He arrived with us in the winter of 2016/2017.  He has a young and lively personality. Orion has an old injury…

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Luna is a 16 year old beautiful flea bitten grey quarter horse mare. She has a very sweet personality and loves to stand to be groomed. She is good for the vet and Farrier and great with other horses.…

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Jaks is a 10 year old appendix gelding who was owned by a kill buyer and about to ship to slaughter and we pulled him. He has been with us since August 2016. He was very underweight when he came to us…

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Ferdinand is a thoroughbred gelding and arrived at DER in August of 2016 as a four year old. He had been raced several times and won a couple of races. When he stopped running as fast, he found himsel…

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Barney was one of four neglected stallions who arrived with us in March of 2016. They were a local owner surrender and very feral. We had them gelded right away and trimmed their feet long feet while …

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We rescued Fred along with three other mini’s from a local neglect situation in 2016. All four were stallions and had foundered. Their hooves were very long and they were very afraid of people d…

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Manning was rescued when he was 6 years old from shipped to slaughter back in December 2015.  He was very sick with pneumonia and very underweight when he arrived at DER. But after a few visits from …

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Jack (shown right) and his mother Ruby were rescued in the spring with the help of Spring Hill Horse Rescue. They were full and asked if we had room to take them. They were trapped inside an old campe…

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Duke (left) and Daisy
Duke (left) was rescued along with his sister Daisy. The photo taken at his rescue (below) was taken in the spring of 2012. You can see how skinny he was by the bones on his face, even showing through…

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Daisy Success Story
Daisy (left) first came to us with her brother Duke from a neglect case in the spring of 2012. The “after” photo was taken about 6 months later (August 2012). She has come such a long way! She was…

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Bella in her new home
Bella was rescued in the early Summer of 2015 because she was owned by a kill buyer and was scheduled for slaughter.  Ten years old at the time of rescue, Bella was adopted in the fall and is doing…

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Ollie Success Story
Ollie was rescued in the early Summer of 2015 because he was owned by a kill buyer and was scheduled for slaughter.  Three years old at the time of rescue, Ollie was adopted in the fall and is doing …

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Sarge - Success Story
Sarge came to us in August 2014 from an auction in New York where he was bound for slaughter. He came to us very scared, due to him not having his full sight. After he was examined by the vet we learn…

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Coco Success Story
Coco was rescued in June of 2014 from a known kill-buyer in PA.  He is an 18 year old pony with a wonderfully sweet personality. He was adopted by a wonderful family in CT and is now called Spirit an…

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Walter in new home
March 2015 Update – Walter (above left) found his new forever home in Massachusetts where he lives with his new equine friend Ace! It was very hard to say goodbye but we know his new owner Rebecca…

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Champ came to DER in 2014 as a ten year old when we rescued him from slaughter. He was adopted into a perfect home in NH in 2017 where he lives with his two horse buddies.  

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Lorelei Success Story
Lorelei came to us in June, 2014 from a known kill buyer in PA. She was very underweight, was missing a lot of hair, and was having trouble eating (pocketing her food in her cheeks). After a full vet…

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Rain was rescued in August of 2015 at an auction where we outbid a “kill buyer” for her to prevent her from shipping to Canada for slaughter. She was only at our rescue for four short mont…

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Pike and his friend Violet were rescued soon after they both lost their mothers due to severe neglect. Violet was just two months old and very scared. Pike, being just a few months older, looked after…

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We rescued Violet in August of 2014 when she was two months old from a local cruelty case. She tragically lost her mother due to severe neglect. She was at The Dorset Equine Rescue for two years and h…

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Lady has been with us for a couple of years and we are very excited that she was finally been adopted in the spring of 2018. Her best buddy Montauk is also getting adopted along with her. We couldn’…

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Ireland came to us in the Spring of 2015 when she was three years old. She was in a kill pen and in danger of shipping to slaughter. Ireland was very ill when she came to us and clearly had an extreme…

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We outbid a kill buyer for Dixie in the summer of 2015 so she wouldn’t ship to slaughter. When we’re at an auction trying to decide which horses to save, it can be a very tough decision wh…

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Buttercup is a sweet and beautiful 15-year-old buckskin mare who we purchased in August of 2015 from a known kill buyer. She was literally standing on a scale getting weighed after the auction, about …

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Nash with Lorelei
Nash came to the rescue in June of 2014 after he was seized by animal control due to neglect and severe malnutrition.  He was about 400 pounds underweight and we are still working to increase his wei…

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Ruby and her foal Jack were rescued in the spring with the help of Spring Hill Horse Rescue. They were kept in a pop-up camper for nearly 6 months, completely neglected. Jack was just a new born when …

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Morgan was rescued from shipping to slaughter from NY in the fall of 2014. She’s was adopted in the summer of 2016 and lives with her new mom in southern VT.

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The Dorset Equine Rescue is an approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Dorset, Vermont. We are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of neglected, abused and slaughter bound horses. Horses come to us from a variety of situations, including many from owner surrenders. Our organization gets contacted regularly by people who wish to surrender their horses to us for many different reasons. In some cases, there has been a loss of job, serious illness, divorce, foreclosure or death of an owner. Due to lack of funds and space, we are forced to focus on the ones who are in the most dire situation.

We are happy when we can help not only the horses in these tough situations, but also the people who have fallen on hard times and have no other option for their horses. By intervening, we prevent the horses from ending up in a worse situation or going to auction which would put them at a high risk of shipping to slaughter. We also receive horses through law enforcement who seize animals due to severe neglect. When we have room, we also pull horses from auction or kill pens to prevent them from ending up on a slaughter truck bound for Mexico or Canada.

Often these horses arrive at the slaughterhouse seriously injured from transport due to the extreme overstocking of trailers. It’s common for them to be severely dehydrated having had nothing to drink or eat for days. It’s an exceptionally long and grueling trip for them. Slaughter is a terrifying and brutal end to a horse’s life and is not the answer to the overpopulation of our horses. Horses have played a major roll in building our country and deserve better.

We invite you to join us in our journey as we continue to make a difference in the lives of neglected and at risk horses. To sign up for our mailing list, please click here:

The Dorset Equine Rescue runs entirely on private donations made by the generosity of people like you. The horses that come to us come from situations of abuse and neglect. Watching them heal mentally and physically throughout their rehabilitation with us is incredibly rewarding, but we need your help to continue our life saving work. If you would like to make a contribution to support our mission, please use this link:

Thank you for your support!

Our Founder and President

Jen Soderberg Straub was born with a passion for horses.  After years of pleading, she acquired her first horse at the age of nine. Ever determined to do all she can to help the creatures she was born to love, Jen has brought this commitment full circle with the inception of The Dorset Equine Rescue.

Our Board of Directors

Jen Straub: Founder and President
Chip Straub: Vice President
Lori Berger: Secretary
Karen Patnaude: Treasurer
Janet Dunnington: Board Member
Heather Ayers: Board Member
Charity Eugair: Board Member

Chip Straub

Vice President

Chip was born and raised on the Jersey Shore and enjoyed spending his free time fishing and boating. He ran a landscape company for several years in NJ. Chip spent 5 years in Northern California and worked in the building materials industry. Chip eventually moved to Manchester, VT and worked in construction building homes. In 2009, he had the opportunity to build his own home in Dorset, VT which is the main location of The Dorset Equine Rescue. He is a certified home inspector, and has also been a volunteer firefighter. Chip currently works in the Renewable Energy field. He has been serving on the Board of Directors of The Dorset Equine Rescue since its founding in 2012. In his free time, he enjoys helping out at The Dorset Equine Rescue, spending time with his wife, Jen and their two children, and 2 dogs, 2 cats and 3 horses.

Lori Berger


Lori brings a wealth of equine experience and accomplishments; she has an extensive background as an educator, competitor and instructor and is passionate about animal welfare, especially as it relates to horses. Lori has degrees in American Studies and education, and taught Equine Studies at Vermont Tech and Post University; she was an intercollegiate dressage coach for both Dartmouth College and VTC, and was Region B Coach of the Year for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association. She strongly advocates for more humane “horse-centric” training and tighter restrictions on abusive practices in competition. She rides and competes in both traditional English and western dressage, and holds 3 WDAA World titles. She owns and operates a small boarding/training facility, Seize The Day Farm, in Tunbridge. Lori has volunteered with the Dorset Equine Rescue for several years including assisting in law enforcement investigations and multiple seizures. We are so pleased to have her take a more active role in the Dorset Equine Rescue’s mission!

Karen Patnaude


Karen has had a love for horses her entire life.  She loves to be out in nature and enjoys it the most when on a good long trail ride.   She has been a licensed CPA for over 20 years and has worked a majority of her career in public accounting.  Currently, she works for a Venture Capitalist providing accounting & management services for their companies.  In the past, she has served as a school board member for Sunderland Elementary, as an advisory council member for Merck Forest & Farmland Center and was a founding board member/treasurer for Wings to Fly, a therapeutic riding center.  She lives on a small farm in Rupert, where she enjoys spending time with her 3 horses, 2 dogs, a cat, and assisting her husband with raising a small herd of registered Hereford beef cattle.

Janet Dunnington

Board Member

Born and raised on the water in Savannah, Ga.,  Janet’s love of the water and boating led to a career in Sailing. For 15 years, Janet sailed throughout the Caribbean, eastern seaboard, Bahamas, Central and South America, the pacific earning her 100-ton Captain’s license and was support vessel for the 1980 and 1983 America’s Cup in Newport, RI.

Wanting to settle in one place, Janet landed in Manchester, VT where she worked in the hospitality industry starting out as an Inn keeper, then moving on to the Equinox Resort as Food and Beverage Manager and eventually as the Conference Manager where she found her love of planning corporate events.

Janet opened her own event planning company and planned events throughout New England for the next 25 years until her retirement in 2017. She spends her free time donating her time as the Event Chair and board member for The Dorset Equine Rescue.

Janet’s other free time is as an advocate for Wild Horses and Burros and spending time with her husband, two cats and a horse.

Heather Ayers

Board Member

Heather grew up in central Connecticut and has a love of all animals. Dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chickens and an iguana have all had loving homes with Heather. Although she has never owned a horse, the horse farm at the end of the road was a place of many fond memories growing up. Heather has spent over 20 years as a business/data analyst for two major health insurance companies and still resides in Connecticut. In her spare time Heather enjoys spending time with her son and loved ones, walking, hiking, kayaking and finding new adventures. After many years of being inspired by the mission of The Dorset Equine Rescue, Heather is proud and excited to serve on the board.

Charity Eugair

Board Member

Charity is a seventh generation Vermonter, lifelong horse lover and has been a friend of DER since its beginning, volunteering in various capacities over the years. In 2023, Charity joined the board, bringing a range of entrepreneurial & mental health experience with her including graphic and web design, ecommerce, marketing, building her own private practice, crisis intervention and program development. Charity is especially passionate about humane equine euthanasia and the intersection of social work and animal welfare where emotionally complex decisions are at hand. Serving briefly as secretary, Charity has taken on the role of Legacy Farm Development Chair, working closely with Jen on DER’s recent land acquisition and the vision for our future, and forever home. Charity lives in Brandon with her two sons and dog, where she works on the Addison County Crisis Team, in her own Practice and volunteering for DER. 

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