Diane Delano, founder of the Wild Horse Rescue Center

by | Sep 1, 2021

Diane Delano—founder of the Wild Horse Rescue Center, a Webster, Florida facility that rescues, rehabilitates, and finds new homes for wild horses—recalls growing up amidst a family of horse lovers, and she started riding at age three. This was in the Catskills, where Delano says, she was frequently playing outside and tending to various wild animals, including baby woodchuck named Peanut. A few years after the family moved to Central Florida, a pivotal thing happened for Delano when she was 13: Her father gave her a horse, named Raindrop, who went on to be part of Delano’s life for 34 years. It’s hard to imagine someone whose youth—whose childhood, really–more directly foreshadowed their life’s work. Especially once Delano encountered her first wild horse. She describes her longstanding relationship with the Bureau of Land Management, which includes Delano being selected by the BLM to serve as a Compliance Officer, for which her duties included investigating reports of places where horses were being neglected or mistreated—and sometimes seizing the animal. She discusses the Wild Horse Rescue Center, both by the numbers (currently, 64 horses across 42 acres), as well as some specific horse residents, past and present, and how a new brand of volunteer—residents of The Villages, a nearby, noted retirement community—stepped up and stepped in when Covid-associated restrictions forced suspension of the Center’s major International Volunteer Program. (http://www.wildhorserescuecenter.org, https://www.facebook.com/wildhorserescuecenter, https://www.instagram.com/wildhorserescuecenter/)


ALSO: I also spoke briefly with Aja Nikiya, founder of Compassion Kind, a multifaceted animal welfare organization–one of their major missions involves traveling to the sites of disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and rescuing the animals there. Nikiya explained that in the wake of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ida, she and her colleagues arrived in Louisiana on Aug. 31, initially setting up in Lafayette, to assess the power outages, flooding and other obstacles in various areas that would help them determine where they could immediately deploy, and where they should wait. Nikiya outlined ways people can support Compassion Kind’s efforts, including monetary donations (via Venmo: @compassionkind, PayPal/zelle: [email protected], Cashapp: $compassionkindorg), as well as food—dry and wet–and animal supplies. She also asks that people periodically check the Compassion Kind website and social media pages for requests for folks who can foster rescued animals, and other updates. (https://www.compassionkind.org, https://www.facebook.com/compassionkindfoundation,              https://www.instagram.com/compassionkind/)

COMEDY CORNER: Eddie Izzard’s “Horse Whisperer” (https://www.eddieizzard.com/en)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Rolling Stones’ “Monkey Man” (R.I.P., Charlie Watts)


Part 1

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