At Sunrise we have seven total horses, ponies, and donkeys. Each has their own personality and are endlessly entertaining!
Meet the Equine
Alice came to Sunrise in 2016 after being rescued from severe neglect. She was part of a neglect case being investigated by The Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio (ACT) She was malnourished and skin and bone when she arrived at Sunrise. The other horses she lived with were well cared for but Alice was not. With love and TLC Alice began to heal. She was fast friends with our late horses Danny and Cheyenne, so we were very happy she and Preacher clicked and became best friends. We were able to discover by a tattoo under her lip that in her previous life, Alice has raced. Alice is extremely beautiful and majestic and is our only thoroughbred. She loves to run in the fields and roll in the green grass. In 2021 Alice scratched her cornea, causing it to rupture. After doing everything we could to save it, OSU performed an eye enucleation. Alice is now our beautiful one-eyed wild child.
Danica came to us is 2021 from Kentucky. She had lived 8 years alone in a field, where predators were rapidly encroaching on her space. Her owner came to visit everyday, but she was lacking animal companions and her field was becoming dangerous. She needed a new home. Donkeys are very social animals and wanting a better life for her, her owner asked Sunrise to bring her home. A sweet little story we love to tell is on Danica's arrival the very first resident to come and greet her was our cow Buddy. Not only were they from neighboring areas in Kentucky, their previous owners were good friends! We had hoped that Danica and Willie would bond however she surprised is by bonding with Lily Moo. She is now the sassy aunt to Lily Moo and Jackson, making sure to keep those two kids in line.
Lakota, Strawberry, and JJ
Strawberry and JJ are one of our mother and child pairs at the Sanctuary, with Lakota as the loving aunt. They came to us in 2015 and have called Sunrise their forever home ever since. They are very sweet in nature and have such kind little hearts. JJ is the most outgoing of the three, he often greets guests at Open Barn Day for head scratches. Lakota is the most reserved of the three and likes to keep to herself. You'll often find them grooming each other and grazing in the fields.
Preacher joined the Sunrise family at the end of 2019. His story is that of great betrayal. After many years of faithful service, Preacher was sent to be slaughtered by his previous owner, who said he had been a great boy and was even in his wedding. His rescuers referred to him as "The Wedding Gelding." Preacher was saved from the kill floor at auction as a 22 year old gelding by a equine rescue organization (Copper Horse Crusade) However, it soon became apparent that he was not able to be ridden as he had a cracked hoof and would be hard to place, so he risked facing euthanasia. This is when we heard the story of this beautiful "Wedding Gelding," Preacher. We knew immediately we would give him sanctuary. He had already been through so much and he deserved to know peace and love. Preacher still has many beautiful years left to live. He bonded quickly with Alice and now they are inseparable.
Willie came to us in 2015 after being rescued from the Animal Cruelty Task force of Ohio. Willie had previously lived with a horse, but after the horse was relocated, Willie became very depressed and needed animal companions.
In 2015 he became part of the Sunrise family and he became fast friends with our late donkey Roscoe. They spent many years together as a dynamic duo. When Roscoe passed Willie's bond with Alice became stronger and he loves to follow her around, but he does tend to get a bit jealous of Preacher, sometimes. Willie has such a funny personality and he is incredibly smart. He knows how to unlock gates and take chains off fences, so we always have to be very careful. He even stranded one of our volunteers on the roof of a barn, when he decided to walk away with the ladder. He is our silly boy.