Horses had been a part of Erika Slocum’s life for several years, but it wasn’t until March 2020 that her love of horses took it a step further.
Slocum is the founder and president of Fairweather Farm Rescue located in Huntingdon and serving Mifflin, Bedford, Fulton and other surrounding counties. Horses were even brought from Maryland and Texas.
She was inspired to start the rescue after taking in a severely emaciated and injured horse named Kodi.
“I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I agreed to help. Rescuing and rescuing this neglected horse changed the course of my life,” said Slocum. “I continued to foster other horses and started Fairweather Farm Rescue in 2021.”
As Slocum took more horses his personal funds were unable to support the number of rescues and a non-profit organization was formed.
“I knew I could help a lot more horses with the support of the community,” she says.
Fairweather Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and operates entirely through donations, fundraisers and volunteers. It also relies on physical donations such as hay, horse feed, blankets and horse supplies.
“The rescue is always in need of monetary donations or gift cards for Tractor Supply and other local feed mills. All donations made to the rescue are tax deductible,” she says.
The goal of the rescue is for the horses to be adopted into safe and loving homes once they are rehabilitated.
“We have two upcoming adoptions and four horses that are available for adoption through an application process and contract acceptance,” she explained. “We screen all potential adopters to make sure they are suitable for both the individuals and the horse.”
Horses come to the rescue in situations of neglect, bidding or surrender. The rescue is currently looking after 20 horses, the most it has ever had. Among the 20 living to the rescue are mini donkeys, a mini pony, two larger ponies, many full-sized horses, and a draft horse.
Fairweather is looking for volunteers to help with feeding, grooming, training, cleaning and maintaining the farm. They are also looking for new fundraising ideas. Monetary donations are accepted via Paypal, Venmo, CashApp, gift cards, checks or cash or as donations of supplies such as food and other necessary horse supplies.
The shelter welcomes visitors because it provides social interaction for horses, many of whom have had traumatic experiences in their lives and as a result have learned that they cannot trust humans. It is through the interactions at the rescue that each horse learns that it can trust and appreciate human interaction.
For more information, follow Fairweather Farm Rescue on Facebook.