CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Dove Creek Equine Rescue is taking part in NBC’s Clear the Shelters initiative to get adoptable pets into their forever homes in August.

Dove Creek is a non-traditional shelter that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes horses in the Texas Panhandle. Ali McEwen, Dove Creek’s director of operations and volunteers, said the rehabilitation process is based on the individual needs of each horse.

“We’ll get some horses in that had some serious trauma and we kind of know the scenario that they need to be in. So when we bring in someone that is a potential adopter, we get them to work with them and we see what their home is like. We do teach them their quirks and a lot of the time our trainer will go spend a couple of weeks with them just trying to get them to adjust. But for most of our adopters, they’ll give that horse about six weeks to just settle in and find its new home. Everything kinda goes pretty smooth,” she said.

In addition to riding horses, companion horses are available for adoption.

“Horses are really one of the most healing animals so riding a horse is not what they are all about. I mean really having your feet on the ground with them and grounding with them is amazing too. So just having a companion horse. We see it with dogs all the time. Nobody probably thinks of a horse, but I think it’s way more powerful honestly,” McEwen said.

According to McEwen, it is more difficult to obtain horses that are being neglected or abused than dogs and cats.

“They are treated like farm animals, so what is good for a chicken is good for a horse in the eyes of the law. You can get 300 dogs a year and we may get 10 horses because it’s hard to do. So for us, it’s important that we are able to not only obtain that horse but make sure it’s rehabilitated in the proper form and that it does have the perfect home. So our process is a little bit longer. Our percentage rate is great. We have a really good adoption process, but it just takes a little bit longer,” she said.

Dove Creek’s Sunset Dinner is coming up on Oct. 21. The theme this year will be Ode to the Ol’ Westerns.

“We’re going to have a tribute to the old westerns. We’re just going to honor all the iconic things. So it’s our biggest event of the year. That is what is our main keeper of the rescue. It really brings in all of our money. It’s a big event and we would love for everybody to come out and be a part of that,” she said.

Dove Creek’s ‘Need for Feed’ campaign is also still happening. McEwen said the rain ruined all of the hay they purchased and they are struggling like everyone else. She said they are trying to keep their herd down because of this, but she hopes they reach their goal of $35,000 so they can start accepting new horses.

For more information about adopting a horse, attending the sunset dinner, or donating to the ‘Need for Feed’ campaign, visit Dove Creek Equine Rescue’s website.

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