Founded in 1991 by Joan B. Benson and incorporated in 1999, HPS continues to reach out and to grow. HPS is a fully incorporated 501(c)3, approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization. HPS maintains the first equine sanctuary in North Carolina to provide permanent retirement care for neglected equines. Until 2008, the sanctuary was available to equines whose owners could no longer afford their care. The downturn in the economy made it necessary to change our policies to accept only starved and/or abused equines. The sanctuary has housed as many as 51 horses at one time. The need is so great that plans have to be made to find a larger facility and funds raised for its purchase. HPS has trained investigators who perform abuse and neglect investigations with the goal of educating the owners in proper care of their horses. We prosecute abuse cases only when absolutely necessary. When the owners are not interested in the humane care of their horse, we offer to take the horse for rehabilitation.
The large farmhouse located on the property is the private residence of Joanie Benson, the founder and Executive Director of the Horse Protection Society.
HPS is on land is fenced with electric fencing into different fields.
All fences are electrified. Do not be fooled by the fact that you may grab the wire one day, and nothing happens.
Always close any fence, gate, or door after yourself. If you are looking for where you may pass through a fenced area, look for a yellow, black or orange plastic handle. These are the only safe part of the fence you can touch.
Barn one has 14 stalls, often has horses that need closer watching. There are two hospital stalls that are 12ft. by 24ft. The windows were custom made and can be closed in the winter.
The interior of the barn is equipped with rubber floor mats, with 26 stalls. These should be cleaned with plastic (never metal) shovels and brooms. A fire extinguisher is located at the entrance of the barn.
These small buildings are modular stall units, featuring two stalls each. There are four condos, making up eight stalls total, on the property. Each condo is located between two paddock areas, allowing for possible access to more than one paddock; it is imperative that changes in access are only made with officer approval. The "front condos" are located in front of Barn 1 with access to the round pen and front field. New arrivals will typically be quarantined here. During quarantine condo doors must remain shut to prevent nose to nose contact. The "side condos" are located beside Barn 1 with access to the side field. Horses unable to join the main herd are generally housed here.
Covered structures are used to protect the hay from the weather and to reduce waste. There are two large hay feeders located between barn 1 and barn 2. There is one small feeder located on the far boundary of the side paddock. The feeders house large round bales being fed to the herd.
Thanks to the wonderful support and generosity of our donors we have been able to construct a gorgeous indoor riding arena. This would not have been possible with out the generous help of John Jancic, owner of Mid State Metal. The arena allows us to not only work with horses in all weather, but also provides us with a safe and distraction free space, which is especially helpful when beginning training with a new horse. The riding arena is to be used only by members of the Equine Training Program on training days unless otherwise given permission. Horses should never be left unattended while inside of the arena. In order to keep the space in top condition for everyone, it is your responsibility to clean up after your horse at the end of your training session.