For those of you who have read Mystery Horse at Oak Lane Stable, you are aware that Gallant Star (the bay mystery horse who the main character, Cassie, wants to own) is rescued by Stan, Oak Lane Stable's barn manager, from a bad situation. In the beginning of the book, Cassie, her dad, and Stan set out on a Saturday morning to look at several horses for Cassie to possibly own. The third farm they visit is rundown and neglected along with four underweight horses kept in a muck-hole of a paddock with a filthy water trough and nothing to eat. Their destiny is a rendering plant if they are not purchased by someone soon. Even though Cassie pleads with her dad to buy the bay horse - the only horse who showed any interest in them - her dad refuses to buy any of them. Stan goes back later in the afternoon to buy the bay horse because he has a feeling about him and surprises Cassie the next day when she sees the horse at the stable.
I remember reading a magazine article when I was young about a horse who had been given a second chance at life by being rescued from a neglectful situation. (I even have this noted in the story when Cassie first sees the four horses standing in the paddock.) I was shocked at the magazine's photographs of the horse's condition. I had never seen any horse or other animal so emaciated in my life. All of the horses in the rural area I grew up in were well-cared for. This obviously impacted me enough to include it in a novel I would write decades after reading about it.
I made a commitment to give a percentage of the books' sales to several animal rescues whose dedication to rescuing animals is amazing. Animal neglect is, unfortunately, a very real problem. We can thank all of the people who save these animals lives and care for them until they are adopted by loving, knowledgeable, and suitable people.
The first place I give back to is the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation in Pittsville, Wisconsin http://www.equineadoption.com/ I have followed them for years and have been impressed by their dedication and level of care for the horses they have taken into their possession. There have been some tragic cases of neglect over the years that they have handled professionally and with great care. They have some terrific horses for adoption if someone is looking for one.
The next place is the Wisconsin Humane Society https://www.wihumane.org/ Their dedication to all animal welfare is amazing. They work hard to raise money through fun events, offer education on animal care, and find the perfect home for all of their rescues and surrenders.
The third place I send regular donations to is the Washington County Humane Society http://www.wchspets.org/ My husband and I have adopted several cats from this humane society over the years. In Mystery Horse at Oak Lane Stable, Cassie has a cat named Dexter. Dexter was actually our first adopted cat from them. He was 11 years old, and the director was concerned it would be hard to find a home for him because he was older than the other cats. I took one look at him - plus he was using his front paw to pound on his glass cage door to get my attention - and knew he would be our cat. We had him for 8 years until he died of old age. He now gets to live on in the novel.
All animal rescues need our help. Perhaps there is one locally that you are interested in helping out either by volunteering or giving a donation or even adopting a new furry family member. The world will be a better place if we take the time to thank and help out all of those who help animals in need.