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S.T.A.R. Ranch

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 06/07/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  karen k owens

Employees:   Full-Time:  0  Part-Time:  0  Volunteers:  20

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. horse volunteers complete application, then are introduced to horses they will contact with Diane Denny, Ranch foreman. proper behavior and attitude are instructed and known as reason for dismissal if ignored. Each area of the ranch has a lead volunteer, Linda Schelander, who works with new and younger volunteers. Karen supervises all activity and jobs in progress.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  12

Number of Board Members:  7  Number of Voting Board Members:  7

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? No

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:
     STAR provides hands on for youth in the county, both special needs and organizations as well as community service hours. 222 young people visited STAR in 2015 for classroom and field work. Fewer in 2016. STAR provides an outlet for animal control to place a horse if being seized by the county. Once the horse is at STAR the county ceases to be responsible and their expenses end, thus ensuring that the county will take advantage of our facility and remove horses when necessary. Prior, nothing was done and horses suffered for years in this area for lack of a place to go. We donate acceptable horses to established horse therapy programs, currently 10 have found their new calling.

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. When rescuing a horse it is often obvious that others are in need of rescue as well. Goats, cats, dogs and occasionally people, are also in trouble. We work with DSS (department of social services) and report any family problems that we see in the field. FUR, feline urgent rescue, ran the cat program under the STAR umbrella and now has their own 501C3 and state license. Their building is just inside the STAR gates. Barn cats and animal shelter over flow are now saved rather than euthanized. 5 donkeys were rescued 2014, 3 turned out to be pregnant. 5 goats were rehomed in 2016.

5. Does your organization operate programs involved with animals other than horses?  No


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. 
     STAR has a 16 horse capacity. By use of 2 foster homes and adoptions we are able to keep the doors revolving. Horse #111 came in this week. We accept horses once they are checked 'in the field' by our vet, if possible. Sadly, some need to be put down and never come to STAR. The rest arrive no matter what condition if our vet feels he can be saved. Example, a 10 year old severely starved stallion came in. We have a round pen and secure section of the barn to contain him until he is well enough for gelding. The University of Tennessee treats many of our intakes due to the severity of their issues...like Levi, from the barn fire. We are strictly rehab. We do not breed, board or ride.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     They are generally acquired by owner surrender or through Animal Control. STAR is called to check out the horse, transport and maintain him at the ranch. The owner surrenders all rights to the horse at that point. We do not accept donated horses or horses that owners just don't want anymore. We are here for the needy ones. Permanent residents may live out their lives at the ranch, although older ones make great companion horses and have found homes. 15 are buried at the ranch.

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. 
     We don't consider any horse no longer useful. We generally have 3-4 permanent residents who, for various reasons, won't be adopted. They live out their lives at STAR. Horses leave STAR via adoption procedures, foster procedures and being donated to therapy organizations needing horses. There are protocols to follow for each case, but all involve a farm check to see where the horse is going with a follow up visit. The first 30 days of any placement is considered a 'foster'. At the end of that period, the adoption becomes final. Calls and emails keep us in touch as well. We offer a sponsorship program to potential horse owners to start them on the road to 'owning a horse' at STAR. This often leads to an adoption. The STAR website helps and facebook is an excellent tool in reaching out for sponsorships as do local fundraisers and press releases.

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.). 
     Vet, Ted Wright, checks the horses out prior to admission to STAR if possible. If not, immediately upon arrival. Very few have health records. We start from scratch with vaccines and worming. A coggins report is pulled every year for each horse and those being adopted by new owners. We don't ride.

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. 
     Daily visual hands-on is the best monitor. We ask volunteers and those feeding to check with 'good eyes' for any new issues. Vaccines are donated by the unwanted horse campaign every spring. Our vet keeps them on hand for incoming horses as well. Most horses coming to STAR generally are at risk with serious issues. The lower part of the barn is divided into 3 sections with separate run outs. the upper 4 stalls have direct contact with volunteers. One geriatric mare and a 29 year old blind mini mare, are in the top pasture with their own run in shed. The herd, horses now well, are in the larger front pasture and have their own run in shed, thanks to EQUUS! We alternate wormers every quarter. the University of Tennessee factors into all of the most serious of cases.

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: 
     We believe no horse should suffer if he has no chance of recovery. The vet makes the call and Karen handles the decision. We never euthanize a healthy horse....Chester was tempting! He was a gelding who still thought like a stallion. We found him a home with a mare and an experienced owner. he is in heaven... He was very difficult, but we would never have put him down. Another example was a mare, though physically ok, was neurologically impaired. She became a danger to herself and to others - she was euthanized.

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: 
     We don't breed. We have never had a horse become pregnant in our care. ALL stallions are castrated as soon as they are physically able to tolerate the surgery. Unless advised by our vet to the contrary, all stallions are gelded.

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: 
     Fosters are handled like adoptions. Initial farm checks, background review of owners horse history, check of other horses present. Karen maintains email contact with fosters as well. Vet recommendations are essential for both adopters and fosters. This is a very small community. It didn't take long to find out who the good horse people are as well as a few to avoid.

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 age.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine health and soundness.

16. What is your position regarding varying adoption fees vs. one set fee:
  Our organization approves of this concept.

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed:


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
STAR Ranch

970 Rabbit Skin Rd Waynesville NC 28785

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Karen Owens

2. Contact's Phone: 828-400-4940

3. Contact's Email: karen.starranch@gmail.com

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

5-8. Not Applicable.

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: 0.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 9

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. Main barn is 2 story. Basement is divided into 3 sections with 3 separate turn outs. ICU and isolation stalls are also here. Main floor has 4 stalls in front with large turn out including driveways for extra grass grazing. All fencing is 3 rail wooden, painted black. Some has an electric wire at the top. A 2 stall run-in shed is in the small top pasture for 2 horses. Another run-in shed is nearly built for the larger pasture and rehabilitated herd.

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.
     Pastures will be limed and reseeded as weather permits. We move horses from one pasture to another to allow seed to take hold. We serve hay year round as the number of horses outstrips the acreage for pasture. We have 4 horses in one pasture, 2 retired mares in another with their own run in. The barn is reserved for those needing medical attention and the stalls it provides.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 24

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.
     We do not ride. Our activities are for educational purposes, including brushing and bathing. Rubber mats are all around the frost free pump and hose where this is accomplished. The drive way in front of the barn is small gravel based to allow for drainage and decrease mud issues with concrete walkways in front of the barn and in the front 4 stalls. Rubber mats are on top of concrete stall pads.

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.
     Unwanted Horse Campaign and ASPCA

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     STAR owns a 2 horse open trailer and a dodge pick up truck to pull it. Both are present on the ranch property and readily accessible for transport.

10. Do the horses have specific tack assignments? No

11. Describe the plan, process and/or procedures to insure appropriate assessment of tack and the use for saddle fittings, tack, blankets, etc.
     We do not ride and have no tack at STAR Ranch. When offering therapy riding when it is feasible to do so, we use Camp Bethel. They provide the blankets and lead lines with a Path certified instructor.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     clip board with description and history for each horse, plus photos.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     All stalls have access to turn out. IF stall bound, horses are available to all of us, including volunteers, through the upper stall door. None are isolated.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     In general, for starving horses, we use well soaked alfalfa cubes and grass hay to start. Small meals frequently depending upon the horse, increasing slowly over several weeks. Pelleted complete feed, such as Purina Equine Sr., is added to the diet, again with water and usually a little corn oil, when deemed safe to do so. Beat pulp is used additionally for the severely malnourished horse. Salt and mineral blocks are always available. Wheat and rice bran mashes are used when appropriate. Chopped hay is added to the meals of older horses with poor or missing teeth. U Guard is added to horses on steroids or suspected ulcers.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     the body score of 3 or below generally creates a big push for us to have animal control take action. We use the tape for measuring the body for weight. All horses receive as much turn out as they want. None are stalled unless advised by our vet.

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.
     Our vet sets our procedure for horse parasite control by fecal tests. Each horses is wormed 4 times a year, rotating meds as dictated by the fecal test results. Manure is 'given' to organic farmers and landscapers by the truck load in the spring and sold in bags to small gardeners. Fields are dragged to spread manure in the hotter months. Horses are buried on the property with a back hoe or taken to the Ashville NC clinic for disposal if necropsy is involved.

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.
     We have a live-in worker, Caitlin, who actually lives IN the barn. The one bedroom apartment is fully furnished and approx. 900 sq. feet. We have a ranch foreman, Robert, who lives in another facility outside the barn in a nearby pasture. The shelter home sits at the top of the ranch where Karen lives. We have water heaters and bubblers for freezing water troughs and a generator for back up energy source. We have a never-ever-freezes spring for the main pasture horses. Fire extinguishers are in each section of the barn as well as smoke detectors. Hay is stored in a semi trailer, not in the barn.

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 entire ranch is fenced and the only entrance is gated with an iron electric gate. Only hand held remotes open the gate. There is a sign at the gate, "BY APPOINTMENT ONLY' and the phone number to call for access. Mike, Jim and Kate are on-premises caretakers as well. There is another family living just inside the gate who also help secure the property.

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.
     Doyle Teague, animal control director 828-456-5338 Animal Shelter, Waynesville, NC 28786

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.

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 05/14/2018

Veterinarian: ted wright

Clinic Name: Cedar Ridge Animal Hospital    Street: 184 Charlotte Highway    City: Asheville  State: NC    Zip: 28803

Phone: 828-575-2430    Email: tedwright@charter.net

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

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: 14.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 11

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 16

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

Additional explanation:16 max stay at the ranch while others are at the foster farms.

20 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

           + 7 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

27 = Total of 2a-2c

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

           - 1 2-e. Total number of horses transferred to another facility during the year.

           - 1 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.

4 = Total of 2d-2f

23 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            15 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

            8 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.

$38014     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$0     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

4745     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: $8
Question 3 ($38,014 ) divided by Question 4 (4745).

Average length of stay for an equine: 176 days
Question 4 (4745) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (27).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds


Program Use of Horses for Special Needs at this Facility Not Applicable.

V. Instructors/Trainers

This section is required only for organizations that provide equine assisted assisted activities and/or therapies (EAAT) to people with special needs. It is optional but suggested for other organizations and an opportunity to share information about your instructors/trainers with the general public.