In Memory

Many of the horses who enter the CHANGE Program have withstood years of abuse and neglect. These horses seem to have a deep appreciation for the love and good care they receive, even if it's just for a short time. Despite extensive rehabilitative efforts, some cannot be saved. These are their stories.

Warning: graphic images


This beautiful registered 15-year old Peruvian Paso stallion was surrendered to SCACC on March 4, 2013 as part of a larger humane case. He went into CHANGE foster care for training and socialization.


Athena was a stunning 18-year-old Quarter horse/Arabian mare who spent her entire life in squalor at the hands of a Penngrove animal hoarder.
Her eyes were severely damaged by uveitis and glaucoma, chronic conditions that can be sometimes be managed with veterinary care. Untreated, these diseases caused Athena to become blind and left her in constant pain.


A black Quarter Horse gelding of unknown age, Blackie was found tied to a fence post on a 100-degree day. He was severely dehydrated and emaciated. A few days after his rescue, Blackie succumbed to medical complications and was euthanized.


On a hot summer day in 2012, the Sonoma County Animal Services Department contacted CHANGE to pick up a severely emaciated gelding in West Petaluma. Little did we know that this little chestnut Arabian in his mid-twenties would be among the most emaciated horses that CHANGE has encountered.


Darla was a 36-year-old mule who was found wandering on Highway 12 in Kenwood.
By law, Animal Control authorities are required to hold loose or abandoned livestock, including horses, for 14 days. Darla’s owners eventually came forward and requested that she be euthanized. Darla’s quality of life was compromised by various age and health challenges.


November 18 ,2016


June, 2021
Jerome enjoyed a long life and knew that during the last six years that he was loved. Thank you to Kate, Suzie, Jane, Susan, and all of the people who helped to care for him. He was a tremendous life force and kept moving forward without an ounce of self pity, right up until the day he transitioned.

Little Nova

Little Nova had a hard life from the beginning. She was taken in to CHANGE at only 5 weeks old, when she was found in a pasture standing next to the body of her dead mother.


Maddie entered CHANGE foster care in January 2011 after she was seized by Sonoma County Animal Control.
A veterinarian determined that Maddie was completely blind in one eye, and had very limited vision in the other.
Sadly, Maddie had a difficult time adjusting to foster care and her lack of vision made her dangerous at times. After a month of love and good care, Maddie was humanely euthanized.

No Name

No Name was a Quarter Horse cross gelding who was abandoned in a vineyard. He was believed to be in his late twenties. No Name showed signs of having been used in an illegal Mexican rodeo event in which horses are run loose at high speed and roped, causing them to fall violently.


Scarlett was a lovely, sweey, gentle older mustang mare that entered CHANGE after a terrible ordeal in the summer of 2019 in which she was abandoned in a parking lot in a cramped dilapidated horse trailer in the July heat. We were able to research her freeze brand and we have learned that Scarlett was gathered off of the Goldfield HMA in the Battle Mountain District of Nevada by the Bureau of Land Management. She was gathered in a water trap on September 15, 1994 as part of an emergency BLM gather because the horses did not have enough feed or water and were very thin.


Shiloh entered the CHANGE Program in 2009 with an emaciated body condition. At the time of her entry, she had lost almost half of her body mass due to starvation.


Stephen was an older grey Thoroughbred gelding that came to CHANGE the night of October 12th, 2017, in the midst of the Santa Rosa fire storm. He and Cassie (see Cases in Rehab) were saved from an evacuation zone by our CHANGE volunteer and an Animal Services Officer. The duo had to find them on a dark mountain and jump a fence with the horses to get them to the trailer. Stephen knew the way and practically led them to safety.


YiYo was not even lucky enough to make it into the CHANGE Program, but his story is at the heart of one of the most important felony animal cruelty trials in county history.