Into the Light Horse Rescue and Sanctuary was inspired by Dove, a newborn foal. The rescue's story began in the spring of 2015, on a Colorado feedlot that sells horses to slaughter in Mexico. A young black and white mare with dreadlocks in her mane and tail gave birth to a darling filly with a little white dove marking on her side. The filly was born amongst the chaos of the feedlot, surrounded by 100 horses all awaiting their fate to be shipped to slaughter.
Our founder Reneit Opperman learned of the newborn foal and her mamma, and knew immediately they needed to be saved out of harm's way. Without hesitation, she paid for their freedom and had them rushed to a quarantine facility.
As mamma Phantom and baby Dove were in quarantine, Dove developed an infection. Feedlots are no place for any horse -- especially a newborn. The disease and sickness Dove developed from being there for the first few hours of her life compromised her ability to fight off any infection.
As infection attacked Dove’s eyes, she went blind before the vets even had an opportunity to save her sight. Her illness continued to develop, and at exactly six weeks old, she succumbed to her sickness and passed away while her mamma Phantom stood helpless.
The loss of baby Dove devastated Reneit. More than ever, she felt that she and the three other horses she had saved needed to continue on for Dove. In the weeks following Dove’s passing, Reneit saw the urgent need to continue to stand up for the thousands of horses that continue to be tossed away and lost to the slaughter pipeline, so that Dove's loss would not be in vain.
Into the Light was born from this chain of events, and the name represents the feeling our horses experience when they are at the end of the line in the slaughter pipeline, but are brought back into the love and light of freedom when rescued.
Dove continues to inspire our rescue every day, and we carry on her memory with each horse we have the honor of saving. To date, we have rescued 90 horses, and intend to continue our mission of working tirelessly to ensure our horses are loved and cared for, and never again experience the horrors of the slaughter pipeline.
Reneit is the rescue’s fearless leader, founder, and matriarch. She selflessly gives her time, resources and soul to this rescue, and is an unmatched voice for abused and discarded broodmares and young horses. Her sheer vision and commitment keep the rescue, as well as all the horses within it, healthy and thriving. Reneit can often be found in the late hours of the night cleaning stalls with her headlamp on, well after everyone else has gone home for the day. Her passion and knowledge is unmatched, and she never leaves a horse unhugged or stall uncleaned!
Trish manages the rescue’s sanctuary in Colorado. She is an integral part of our team, and acts as the rescue’s eyes on the ground in CO by looking at horses on feedlots and picking out the ones most in need. Reneit and Trish work together to save these horses from the lot and put them into quarantine, eventually placing them in California or Colorado according to their needs. Trish takes amazing care of our precious sanctuary mares in Colorado, and we are so thankful for all her hard work!