Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Horse rescue organization scrambles for a new home

BROOKSVILLE — Anyone who knows them will tell you that Carrie Young and Allan Wilson don't enjoy having to say no.

No matter how financially strapped the couple's nonprofit organization is or how physically fatigued they are, people know there is always room for one more creature to find comfort, kindness and loving care.

But things have changed drastically for the operators of Ohana Horse Rescue, located on a 35-acre spread on Lake Lindsey Road north of Brooksville. The property, which has been on the market for several years, is about to be sold to new owners who have other visions for its use. Young and Wilson, who have been renting the site, have been told that they have until June 13 to relocate. And, at this point, they have no place to take the horses.

For the first time since they opened the rescue in 2007, Young and Wilson have had to refuse new intakes. On a recent weekend, they had six calls looking for shelter space, including one from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

"It's heartbreaking, but we don't have another choice," Wilson said. "You can't properly care for rescue horses and bring them back to health if you don't have a situation that allows you to think long-term. We just don't have that right now."

Young, 56, has loved horses since she was a child. The niece of the late Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young, she has come to appreciate the savvy and tenaciousness needed to be an animal welfare advocate. Two years ago, she showed up on local TV and in the newspaper leading a one-woman campaign at U.S. 19 and State Road 52 in Pasco County to raise money to help with medical treatment for a neglected and abused horse named Isabelle that had been brought to her by the county's animal services.

Weeks of intense therapy saved Isabelle and made Young the go-to person in Pasco, Hernando and other Central Florida counties when authorities discovered a horse in trouble.

"We don't give up," said Young, who, along with her husband, has spent many a sleepless night nursing ailing horses back to health.

At one point earlier this year, the couple had 32 horses under their care. Their monthly bill for hay and other food alone often topped $800, which made saving for a permanent home pretty much impossible.

While the ultimate goal is to find permanent homes for all of the horses brought to them, there are a few, such as Isabelle, which lost an eye to disease, that won't ever leave. Young said her wish is that Ohana will always be a destination for horses that have nowhere else to go.

Since being told of the impending sale, Young and Wilson have been scrambling to find a suitable home for Ohana. However, being a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit that survives on donations from the equine community and money made from regular yard sales, they are limited to what they can afford to rent or buy.

The ideal facility would be between 5 and 10 acres, fenced and include a small home where the couple can live.

"We're not looking to have a palace," Wilson said. "If it's something that needs fixing up, we can do that. We're willing to do everything."

To learn more

For more information about Ohana Horse Rescue, visit or the organization's Facebook page. Ohana can be reached by phone at (727) 326-7827.

Horse rescue organization scrambles for a new home 05/28/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 3:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Crash at U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park kills one, shuts down traffic


    PINELLAS PARK — A man is dead after a crash between two cars at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and 70th Avenue N just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Pinellas Park police are investigating the death of a man during a crash on U.S. 19 early Saturday. (Pinellas Park police)
  2. Tropics watch: The latest on Harvey and what systems could hit Florida


    While Eastern and Central America monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, two tropical disturbances are moving through the Atlantic.

  3. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  4. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no


    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]