Founded by Diane Delano in 2000, Wild Horse Rescue Center (WHRC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare, rescue, and preservation of America’s wild horses – the mustangs. WHRC receives mustangs who have been taken from the wild and ended up in neglectful or abusive situations. WHRC rehabilitates these wild horses so they have a chance at getting adopted into good homes and have dignified lives after being taken from the wild.
Mustangs were introduced to the United States as domestic horses in the early 1500s by the Spaniards. These horses later formed a large wild population and came to play a critical role in the building of America. The U.S. is virtually built on their backs. Now, when they are not needed for labor and transport anymore, they are sadly being mistreated and exploited at the hands of man. In the early 1900s, the wild mustang population was estimated to be over 2 million. Today, there are only 40,000 left in the wild and about as many in captivity in need of rescue. Caring for a wild horse is drastically different than caring for a tame one. Sadly, this often leads to mistreatment and neglect of wild mustangs in captivity.
What We Do About The Problem
When we rescue horses from abusive and neglectful environments, they are often at the brink of death. The goal is to nurse them back to health and tame and train them so they have a chance to be adopted into a loving home. The majority of them can indeed be tamed, trained, and adopted, while others cannot. Diane, the founder of WHRC, refers to these horses as “wild at heart” and says she “will never force them to work with her and be tame if they don’t want to”. These wild horses live out their days at the center because their chances of being adopted are minimal.
We strive to create greater awareness and understanding of the wild mustang. We offer mentoring for mustang owners, hold workshops on the care and gentling of Mustangs, give educational seminars on mustangs in American History, and bring mustangs to wildlife festivals and other community events.
Diane Delano has been an ardent horse lover all of her life. She found her greatest passion in helping America’s wild horses, the mustang. Diane’s desire to make a difference in the lives of these beautiful and intelligent wild spirits led her to create the Wild Horse Rescue Center in Mims, Florida.
Mary Alice “Malice” Smith
Malice Smith has been a vital part of WHRC, since 2004. With veterinary technician and wildlife management experience, Malice’s skills, experience, and dedication (and her sense of humor) make her a vital part of WHRC. A strong advocate for the preservation of mustangs in the wild, we feel fortunate to have her on our team.