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Meet Jacqui Avis of Drifter’s Hearts of Hope in Franktown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Drifter’s Hearts of Hope.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jacqui. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Drifter’s Hearts of Hope is a horse rescue and rehabilitation center that strives to circumvent the slaughter pipeline. Horses at our facility are rehabilitated, evaluated, trained and eventually adopted out to forever, loving homes. What started out as one rescue horse, Drifter, and one very special child, Bella, has blossomed into an active organization in Franktown, Colorado where we are not only committed to circumventing the horse-slaughter pipeline but also educating the community about at-risk horses, hosting fundraiser events, and continuing to expand our rescue through initiatives like The Annie Project.

We take in horses through owner surrenders, auction intercepts and our very own program: The Annie Project. Through the Annie Project, we have partnered with over ten dude ranches so far to find forever homes for their retiring horses. The program was born in June 2017, through the relationship between Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, C Lazy U Ranch and The Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association. The Annie Project has been instrumental in providing over 55 dude ranch horses fantastic new homes, thus keeping them safe from entering the slaughter pipeline. Our goal is to create a lasting, symbiotic relationship with all members of the CDGRA (and eventually the DRA) and have the opportunity to find these deserving horses loving and forever homes in their retirement/transitional years.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Horse rescue is challenging due to its very nature. The cost of care that these horses require is high and thus we spend a lot of time creating and managing fundraisers, grant applications, and donation requests though our passion stems more from the horse care side of the operations. Rescue can be very rewarding but it can also be very heartbreaking. We see things that a lot of people couldn’t stomach but the success stories keep us going.

Please tell us about your nonprofit.
The Annie Project sets us apart from other horse rescues as it is the only program like it in the country. We are known for having the safe trail and kid horses and this reputation stems from the dude and guest ranch horses that come to us through the program. This ability to partner well trained and loving horses with their very own family has given us great pride and full hearts. We have a reputation for really caring about the horse/human connection when we re-home our horses as well as choosing safe homes. The horses in our care are given the best of everything and are really set up for success. Our good reputation in the horse community is definitely something we take seriously and of which we are very proud.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The Board of Directors of Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, as well as the volunteers, sponsors, fundraisers, donors, vets, farriers, dentists, trainers, adopters, supporters, partner ranches, grantors, partner organizations, and many more, have played huge roles in our success. It truly takes a village, and we are so very thankful for ours. Through providing time, effort, passion, expertise, love, funds, and much more, each and every one of our supporters has helped the organization. Our volunteers provide countless hours of hard work to ensure that the horses receive the best possible care. A special thanks to our very kind and generous supporter, Stephen Strachan, who donates the facility to the rescue.

If you’d like to get involved, feel free to take a look at the opportunities on our website and send us a message! We’d love to include you in our horse rescue family.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 303-521-5726
  • Email:
  • Instagram: driftersheartsofhope
  • Facebook: driftersheartsofhope

Image Credit:
Persistent Imagery
Mary Lynn
Emily Smart
Gina Lynn
Kate Grogan
The Right Horse

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