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All About Equine Animal Rescue

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 07/02/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Wendy Digiorno

Employees:   Full-Time:  0  Part-Time:  0  Volunteers:  100

Does your organization utilize a management company for management and administration? No

Describe your training process for employees and volunteers and the types of human resource documents used in your organization including job descriptions, evaluations, etc. Orientation programs for all new volunteers. This includes safety practices, procedures and proper care/handling of horses. Additionally all new volunteers are mentored by senior volunteers for a period of time to ensure proper procedures are followed to ensure consistent methods are used for all horses. All volunteers must sign a release of liability, as well as sign that they understand the procedures and code of conduct for the facility.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  4

Number of Board Members:  5  Number of Voting Board Members:  4

Board Compensation:

Is Board Chair compensated?  No  Is Treasurer compensated?  No

Are there any other Voting Board Members that are compensated?  No

Board Relationships:

Are any members of the Board or Staff related to each other through family or business relationships? Yes

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member. The mother of the Executive Director owns the facility where the programs are conducted.

Board Affiliations:

Are any Board members or Staff associated with and/or compensated by another organization with a relationship or business affiliation to your organization? No

Conflict of Interest:

Does your organization have a written conflict of interest policy and regularly and consistently monitor and enforce compliance with the policy, including requiring officers, directors or trustees, and key employees to disclose annually interests that could give rise to conflicts?  Yes


1. What percent of your total programs and services are horse-related? 100

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     Pony Pals/Farm Days - Programs allows children between the ages of 4 and 10 years old to come learn about daily care of horses and farm animals, including feeding, mucking stalls, and grooming.

Birthday Parties - Allows children to enjoy the farm for their birthday celebrations. This includes halter lead pony ride. Grooming of miniature horses and feeding of farm animals.

Summer Camps: AAE offers summer day camps to enrich the summer experience of children. It is a week-long adventure where children learn about the daily life of a volunteer at an animal rescue facility.

Horses4Heroes - Program allows veterans opportunities to work with horses in various capacities, such as Project Free Ride.

Community Service/Volunteer Programs: Programs allows students and court appointed assignments to fulfill volunteer requirements through service at our facility.

Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts: Program allows organizations to earn badges and awards through projects at the rescue facility.

Third-Party Placement Assistance: Program allows third-party horse owners to find suitable forever homes for their horse when they are no longer able to provide care.

School Field Trips: Allows local schools to visit our facility to learn more about horses and their care. This includes special needs students who are given the opportunity to work with the horses in various capacities.

Clinics: AAE facilitates or hosts dental, gelding and vaccine clinic enabling horse owners in the community as well as our rescue, access to low cost services.

3. Enter the total number of facilities/locations where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for: 1

4. Describe your non-horse-related programs, services or activities you provide, including those involving other animals. All programs are horse-related. Other programs include other animals: Goats, Sheep, Alpacas, and Chickens. These animals are included in our Farm Day program (this program also includes horses).

5. Does your organization operate programs involved with animals other than horses?  Yes


1. Describe your equine management philosophies, practices, policies and operations with respect to the use of the horses in your program, including the rehabilitation and retraining (if applicable), ongoing training, schooling and exercising plan for each horse and your policy as to the number and condition of the horses accepted by your organization. 
     All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.(AAE) takes in only as many horses as resources permit (e.g. finances, volunteers, paddock space, horses age, health/special needs, training, etc.). AAE follows natural horsemanship principals and trains volunteers in AAE handling methods to ensure consistent handling of all horses by all volunteers. Horses are housed in large paddock and pasture areas for unlimited movement/exercise, unless smaller confined areas are necessary for medical reasons or socializing/training purposes (e.g. feral horses, herd-bound horses, etc.). Additionally, only experienced trainers provide ground/saddle training activities, whereas trained volunteers conduct basic care, grooming, and hoof care activities. When space is available, we transport select horses to Monty Roberts International Learning Center for training at various levels (e.g. socializing/gentling feral horses to saddle training). Horses are evaluated for an appropriate fit prior to program use.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     AAE has acquired horses from a variety of situations including auctions, feedlots, abandonment/neglect, military deployment, animal control seizure support, Indian reservation culling programs, assistance to other rescues, and private relinquishment/surrender due to financial distress, land/home loss, owner's death/illness/injury, and changes in job or family circumstances. Our focus has been auction/feedlot rescue of pregnant mares and mare/foal pairs.

3. Describe under what circumstances horses leave your organization. Please describe in detail your horse adoption/fostering practices and procedures including any recruitment initiatives you have to attract potential adopters. Please include your policies and practices with respect to horses that are no longer useful or manageable and horses that need to be retired. 
     AAE's goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses. Although we are not a sanctuary, we provide sanctuary to all horses until they find a forever home. AAE does not euthanize horses unless there is a quality of life issue, extreme injury or illness, or a horse deemed to be too dangerous to safely adopt, and with veterinary recommendation. Senior horses and unsound horses are rehabilitated to the extent possible, then adopted into companion homes where they will live out their remaining life. AAE utilizes an adoption application and agreement to screen adopters, references are checked, and a home evaluation is conducted to assure prospective adopters and housing situations are suitable matches for the horse. AAE's adoption rate is approximately 75 percent. AAE utilizes our database (Constant Contact), our website, and social media (Facebook, Twitter), as well as a variety of horse adoption/classified sites (e.g. Adopt-a-Pet, Pet Finder, Horse Clicks, Dream Horse, Equine.com, EquineNow.com, and similar sites) to attract potential adopters. We also maintain a presence in the community by attending local and state fairs, horse expos, and other community activities. We utilize a strategic process for matching our healthy rehabilitated animals with compatible, loving and permanent adoptive homes. Our foster program is considered a temporary adoption, and prospective fosters undergo the same process as prospective adopters.

4. For new horses, describe your initial assessment process for each horse (i.e. physical examination, test ride, health record, Coggins test, quarantine, veterinary consult, etc.). 
     New intakes are typically quarantined for at least two to four weeks, as indicated by health, intake conditions/circumstances, and documented vaccine history. Physical exam is conducted upon intake, to extent possible (e.g. feral horses). Veterinary services are provided, as indicated. Vaccines and deworming are administered as soon as appropriate, based upon health/body condition upon intake. Hoof and dental care are also provided as soon as appropriate, based upon health/body condition upon intake. AAE typically does not intake stallions (unless mini horse) due to facility limitations, unless a suitable foster situation is available. Stallions are gelded as soon as possible. Prior to adoption, horses are current and on regular vaccine, deworming, hoof and dental care schedules, and colts/stallions have been gelded. During residence at AAE, horses are evaluated for general handling and riding skills, and AAE strives to provide ongoing training and improvement of the horse, including resolution of problem issues.

5. Describe your overall horse health care plan and how you assess and monitor the health of your horses on an ongoing basis. Include a description of your vaccination and worming schedule. Include a description of your health/veterinary care plan for at-risk animals, geriatric horses and horses with serious issues. 
     AAE health practices are described in Section 3 above. AAE volunteers interact daily with all the handleable horses, as well as observation of the feral/unhandled horses. Handling and observation includes observation for injuries, illness, or other changes in appearance or behavior that would indicate a health problem. Vaccines, deworming, hoof and dental care are as prescribed by veterinarian, and generally include annual vaccines, rotational worming every 2-3 months, hoof care every 6-8 weeks, and annual dental exams/treatment. Psyllium is provided on a quarterly basis to mitigate sand colic and related issues. At risk animals and horses with serious issues are monitored by AAE veterinarian and treated, as recommended. Geriatric horses receive senior supplements and joint supplements. Any other special needs are provided, as recommended by veterinarian (e.g. Cushings medication, special diets, corrective shoeing, hoof supplements, mare/foal supplements, and similar, as needed).

6. What is the euthanasia policy? Please include specifically under what circumstances your organization will euthanize a horse and whether your organization will euthanize a healthy but difficult horse for space: 
     AAE is a no kill organization. Euthanasia is only a consideration in quality of life situations, in the event of extreme injury or illness, or in the case of a dangerous horse where human safety is at risk. AAE does NOT euthanize any horse to create additional space.

7. What is the breeding policy? Please include specifically if horses become pregnant while in your care, and if there is a no-breeding clause in the documentation your organization uses to adopt, donate, sell, etc. a horse: 
     AAE is maintains a no-breeding policy for horses within the rescue and post-adoption. AAE is not equipped for intake of stallions (unless mini stallion); however, if a suitable foster is identified, a stallion could potentially be fostered until gelded. AAE's policy is to geld as soon after intake (or birth) as is practical considering the horse's age, health, and handling limitations. All colts born on site are gelded at the appropriate time. Colts/stallions must be gelded prior to adoption.

Foals are kept with the mare for a minimum of four to six months, unless there are health or behavioral considerations.

8. Does your organization provide horses to any facility to use in research or medical training? 

9. If your answer to Question 8 is 'Yes', please explain where and for what purpose horses are provided to use in research or medical training?  NA

10. Does your organization sell, donate or give a horse to an auction? 

11. If your answer to Question 10 is 'Yes', describe under the circumstances where you have sold, donated, or given a horse to an auction, or where you would sell, donate, or give a horse to an auction. NA

12. Does your organization place horses in foster care? 

13. If your answer to Question 12 is 'Yes', describe how foster homes are selected, screened, and monitored and address all the questions below for each foster home in the space provided: 
     AAE considers a foster home equivalent to an adoptive home, but temporary, and the same process is used for evaluating prospective fosters (adoption/foster application and agreement, reference check, and home evaluation). AAE maintains ongoing communication with the foster, as well as random visits, to monitor foster care and horse conditions.

14. What is the average equine adoption fee/donation received by your organization: $201 to $500

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine level of training.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine age.

16. What is your position regarding varying adoption fees vs. one set fee:
  Other considerations are provided below.

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed: Rideable/trained horses may have a slightly higher fee. Adoption fee might be waived (only to approved adopter) if high needs, senior companion.


This section must be completed for each facility/location where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for. For example, if the applicant is involved with horse rescue and utilizes foster care facilities, the applicant must complete this section for each foster care facility. If the applicant provides equine assisted activities/services to the public at more than one location, the applicant must complete this section for each location that horse-related services are provided. If your organization uses the facility of another organization, please enlist the aid of that organization in answering the questions.

Total facilities at which our organization operates horse-related programs: 1


Location 1 of 1
All About Equine Animal Rescue

1900 Rocky Springs Road El Dorado Hills CA 95762

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Wendy Digiorno

2. Contact's Phone: 916-520-4223

3. Contact's Email: wendy@allaboutequine.org

4. Does your organization own, lease or use a part of this facility? Lease

5. If not owned, provide the name, address, phone, email and contact person of the organization(s) and/or individual(s) who owns the facility: The facility is family-owned.

Susan Digiorno (mother)
1900 Rocky Springs Road
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

6. If your organization does not own this facility, does your organization have a written agreement with the owner? Enter Yes or No.   Yes

7. If your organization does not own this facility, please provide the following information below: Start date and end date of current written agreement (term) and what is the organization's plan for the end of the written agreement? 
     The agreement was initiated upon start of the rescue in June of 2009 and is month to month with no termination date. The organization's plan is to incorporate a 90-day notice to terminate clause to provide AAE with ample time to relocate; however, AAE is outgrowing the current location (for purposes of growing existing (and developing new) human-horse programs), and AAE is actively searching for a new facility/location.

8. If your organization leases or uses a part of this facility, please provide the details as to what services are provided by the owner and if and how the owner is compensated.. 
     The owner provides water and utility services. The owner is compensated only for the cost of water/utility services in excess of a designated amount.

9. Does your organization operate programs involving horses AT THIS FACILITY that serve individuals with special needs, including but not limited to equine assisted activities and therapies? No

10. Enter the total number of instructors/trainers (full-time and part-time) involved with your organization's horse-related programs at this facility: 1.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 13

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. AAE facilities include a seven-stall barn with an office and attached hay barn, a four-stall mare motel, a two-stall mare motel, a twelve-stall mare motel, 12 paddock areas of various sizes, (5 are mustang paddocks with heavy-duty panels)a 50' round pen and a ~10-acre pasture. Barn and mare motel stalls are 12x12 and 12x16 with 12x24 paddocks. Perimeter fencing is 4 foot field fencing with top wires on t-posts with electric and t-post caps. One end contains a strand of barbed wire with an electric tape top lines, and AAE is in the process of replacing the barbed wire fencing. Cross fencing includes no climb fencing on wood posts with top wire and electric tape, 4 and 6 foot cyclone fencing, and pipe panels. The majority of cross fencing also includes electric tape. Shelters are provided in nearly all areas, and most paddock and the pasture area include dense oak tree cover. Pasture areas include 8'x24' shelters.

3. Describe how you manage the use of your pastures/paddocks given the size and number of your pastures/paddocks and the number of horses you have at this facility.
     AAE's preference is to maintain horses in pasture area or large paddock areas, as opposed to stall environments. Horses are housed in areas with other compatible horses. Senior horses on special diets are brought in to stall/paddock areas in the evening, and they receive night feeding, then morning feeding prior to pasture turnout for the day. Horses with veterinary needs are housed in stall/paddock areas, when indicated. Recent intakes are transitioned from quarantine to paddock areas adjacent to other horses for a minimum of 3 to 14 days prior to introduction to areas with other horses.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 12

5. Describe the area where your training, riding and equine related activities are conducted, including what type of footing/surface is utilized and what factors were considered to determine the suitability and condition of the area for the activities conducted.
     AAE utilizes a roundpen and an arena, both with sand footing, for training and program activities. The areas are flat and partially shaded, and are manageable with respect to simultaneous activities, limited horse access, effective flow of activities, and easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

6. Is the facility in compliance with the Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities prepared by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (whether or not your organization is directly involved with rescue and retirement)? Yes

7. If no, please explain and specifically describe the areas in which the facility is not compliant. Not Applicable

8. If this facility is recognized as compliant with the published standards of another applicable organization, and/or accredited by another applicable organization, including any state licensure or registration process, please provide the details.
     AAE's facility achieved GFAS Verification status on April 14, 2016 and is working toward Accreditation.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     AAE is equipped with a two-horse slant load trailer, a two-horse straight load trailer, and a combo/stock horse slant load trailer. Numerous AAE volunteers also provide transport when needed.

10. Do the horses have specific tack assignments? Yes

11. Describe the plan, process and/or procedures to insure appropriate assessment of tack and the use for saddle fittings, tack, blankets, etc.
     AAE provides saddle/tack fitting training to volunteers that will be involved with riding activities. Training includes proper fit and identification of improper fit, pressure points and related. Additionally, one AAE volunteer is responsible for sizing and fitting saddles and tack. AAE's tack area has designated hangers for each horse for halters, leads and bridles, and saddle tags are used on saddles/saddle racks to identify which horse(s) the saddle is for.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     AAE utilizes a site map which is updated as often as daily to identify which horses are housed in which stalls, paddocks, or pasture areas. The AAE website (which is accessible via the barn computer) is maintained with photos and description of each horse. AAE maintains hard copy and electronic copy files for horse records including intake information, veterinary information, and other relevant documentation, as well as an electronic file for photos.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     AAE only utilizes stalls for special needs and protection when a horse is being treated for illness or injury. Quarantined horses are housed in a separate paddock. Once the horse has recovered, it is turned out to pasture or larger paddock with other horses of similar age and condition.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     AAE feeds the general population a high quality 4-way hay (oat, wheat, rye, alfalfa), and select horses receive orchard grass. Hay is fed twice daily. Supplemental feed is used as needed, for seniors, pregnant/lactating mares, foals, weanlings, malnourished horses, other needs). Senior horses are supplemented with (senior) pellets, and horses with compromised dental health are supplemented with pelleted feed. Cushings or laminitic horses are fed orchard grass. Other supplements as indicated (e.g. hoof, vitamin, rice bran, beet pulp, etc.) When refeeding malnourished horses, AAE follows the UCD protocol for refeeding malnourished horses which includes 100% alfalfa in small frequent feedings transitioning to free choice until normal flesh. Feeding is generally twice daily. Foals and horses on veterinary treatment plans may be fed more often. Grain and supplements are used as needed to supplement foals, program horses or special needs.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     The Henneke Body Condition Score guides our refeeding program from intake. Horses below normal score are fed a diet designed for weight gain and those above normal score are fed a diet designed for weight loss. As previously noted, AAE follows the UCD protocol for refeeding malnourished horses which includes 100% alfalfa in small frequent feedings transitioning to free choice until normal flesh.

16. Please describe your activities to limit or control the advent and spread of disease within your facility (Biosecurity plan). This should include but is not limited to your manure management and disposal procedures, your carcass disposal plan and your parasite control plan. Please indicate the role of your veterinarian in the development and implementation of your overall plan.
     Horses are quarantined at intake for two to four weeks, depending on health/vaccine history available, prior location, and evaluation at intake. Manure from quarantine is bagged and disposed of off-site (landfill). Horses are dewormed and vaccinated as soon as feasible (e.g. health, handleability). Resident horses are quarantined if health issue is identified (e.g. cough, nasal or eye discharge, etc.). All stalls and paddock areas are mucked 1-2 times per day, as are the heavily congregated pasture areas. Manure is piled in a designated pasture area, then spread. AAE has procured a tractor, but is looking for a trailer for hauling manure to a local mulching facility. Additionally, AAE is trying to identify outside sources for manure disposal, recycling, repurposing.

17. Please describe your emergency preparedness plans that address weather related issues, fire safety procedures and/or any additional hazardous scenarios your facility could potentially experience.
     AAE has a documented Emergency Disaster Plan. Our main concern is fire. Should there be a barn fire, we have an evacuation plan. There is sufficient pasture areas to house all horses and a process for trailer removal if necessary. We have a call tree process for communication to volunteers. A wild fire is another potential danger in our area. We have provided for this in our plan as well. In addition to our standard haulers, we have collaborations in the extended community to call upon for assistance. Extreme weather is not a major concern, but is also addressed. AAE has a 7-stall barn, 4-stall and a 12-stall mare motel with covered stalls and several shelters in the pasture area if needed for at-risk animals.

18. Please describe the security in place at the facility or facilities to restrict public access and to keep horses safe. Do you have a security system and/or on-premises caretaker?
     The rescue is situated on a privately owned ranchette, totally fenced and a locked gates. The property owners live on the premises, as does the founder/executive director. Access is limited to volunteer shifts or prior arranged visits.

19. Provide the contact information for the individual or organization responsible for investigating abuse in the county where the facility is located, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     Henry Brzezinski El Dorado County Animal Services 6435 Capitol Avenue Diamond Springs, CA 95619 530-621-6638 henry.brzezinski@edcgov.us

20. Other than the animal control authority noted above, provide the contact information for all local, state and/or national authorities with whom your organization engages to address issues impacting horse welfare, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     ASPCA Matt Stern, matt.stern@aspca.org 703-430-3480 520 8th Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018 National Equine Rescue Network (NERN) Shirley Puga, equineangel22@yahoo.com, 760-419-2462 Homes for Horses Coalition Cindy Gendron, cindy@homeforhorses.org, 757-932-0394 4017 Bunch Walnuts Rd, Chesapeake, VA 23322

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 05/10/2018

Veterinarian: Diana Stolba

Clinic Name: Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center    Street: 2973 Penryn Rd.    City: Penryn  State: CA    Zip: 95663

Phone: 916-652-7645    Email: dianastolba@yahoo.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Cara Wooten, Instructor

3. Facility Horse-Related Inventory Questions

1-a. Enter the total number of horses involved with your organization's programs that are currently housed at this facility: 39.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 39

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 50

2017 Horse Inventory

1-d. Did your organization operate programs involving horses HOUSED AT THIS FACILITY during January 1-December 31, 2017? Please select Yes or No. Yes

35 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

           + 36 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

71 = Total of 2a-2c

           - 33 2-d. Total number of horses adopted during the year.

           - 0 2-e. Total number of horses transferred to another facility during the year.

           - 4 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.

37 = Total of 2d-2f

34 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            32 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

            2 2-i. Total number of horses permanently retired.

2017 Horse Care Costs

$     Feed (Grain/Hay).

$     Bedding.

$     Veterinarian.

$     Farrier.

$     Dentist.

$     Manure Removal.

$     Medications & Supplements.

$     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$     Horse Care Staff.

$     Horse Training.

$     Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.

$120744     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$5150     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

12410     Grand total of the total number of days each equine was in the care of this facility during 2017.

Average cost per day per horse: $10
Question 3 ($120,744 ) divided by Question 4 (12410).

Average length of stay for an equine: 175 days
Question 4 (12410) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (71).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds


6. Public-Related Questions
(required if programs serve individuals with special needs)

1. How many clients participate in the programs at this facility? 45

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 5

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 52

4. What is the average wait list time? 0 Weeks(Weeks/Months/Years)

5. How many hours per day does each horse work? (Estimate or Average)

    Mounted:   Un-Mounted:   Total: 0 *Missing/Error

6. How many days per week does each horse work? (Estimate or Average) 1

7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 1%

8. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed. The majority of the horses rescued by AAE are not trained for riding and many of them are untouchable when they come in. We work to get them sound, in good health and then focus on ground manners, haltering and handling. We are working toward having a riding program but it is not in place currently. When hosting our public programs, we utilize a few of our resident or trained horses for demonstrations or lead line horse/pony rides for children.

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Cara Wooten, Instructor

         *Facility Participation:

         All About Equine Animal Rescue

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No