Redwings Horse Sanctuary: home for gentle giants

Monday, January 9th, 2023

horses in Paso Robles

Horses, ponies, and donkeys find safe haven

Redwings Horse Sanctuary was first founded in Carmel, CA in 1991 with the mission to end the abuse, neglect, and slaughter of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and burros. Redwings rescued 15 equines that first year. Since then it has rescued, rehabilitated and provided permanent sanctuary and adoptive homes to hundreds of horses and donkeys.

Thanks to a generous trust bequest, Redwings was able to purchase a 141-acre property on Union Road in Paso Robles in 2015. A grand opening in September 2021 officially opened the gates to the new, permanent sanctuary for abused, abandoned and neglected equines. The property was designed specifically to meet the needs of the rescued horses.

The mission of Redwings Horse Sanctuary is to eliminate the causes of equine suffering through education and community outreach programs, to rescue abused and neglected equines, and to provide permanent sanctuary or selected adoptive homes for those equines. The new permanent location allows for increased educational outreach to local schools and the potential to build a future horse therapy program.

Paso Robles horse rescue

The need for sanctuary

There are any number of reasons that horses need a place of sanctuary and most of those reasons come down to the reality that horses are much harder to place than dogs and cats. What happens to larger animals desperately needing a secure place to live, due to abuse, neglect or abandonment? The amount of space a horse needs, the cost involved in feed and care, and often the special handling and attention are not always easy to find.

Redwings is home to all kinds of horses and burros from the smallest miniature horses to the largest draft horses. Visitors can see a herd of burros, mustangs from Montana’s Pryor Mountains or the regal draft horses watching over the ranch from their hilltop. The horses and burros in the care of Redwings include permanent residents who, due to age, illness or injury are not adoptable and will live out their lives at the sanctuary. Others are available for adoption as companions or for adoption for riding.

The adoption program ensures that horses go to approved and loving homes. Those interested in adopting first fill an adoption application and have a home inspection before being approved to adopt. During the first year of adoption Redwings staff keep a close eye on the adopted horse and make sure they are happy, healthy, and a good fit for the new family.

An accredited nonprofit

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is an accredited 501(c) 3 non-profit horse rescue organization. Over the years since it was founded, Redwings has received accreditation by CARMA (California Race Management Account), TAA (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance) and GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries). The CARMA and TAA accreditation designate Redwings as an approved aftercare facility for retired racehorses. The GFAS is an international organization that provides certification for animal sanctuaries through verification and accreditation.

Redwings offers guided public tours, community volunteer opportunities with the horses, horse sponsorships, and a vibrant adoption program.

To make an appointment for a visit, learn more about Redwings, about volunteering, about the horses, or to make a donation, visit, call (805) 237-3751 or email


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