Last fall, Bright Futures Farm launched a new program, PAWS (Pet Assistance and Wellness for Seniors), to help area senior citizens care for their pets. Seniors on a fixed income often go without to care for their pets - even sharing their meals with them. PAWS is a collaborative effort by Active Aging, Inc. of Meadville (AAI) and Bright Futures Farm equine charity (BFF) of Cochranton. PAWS provides pet food, flea & tick control, vaccine subsidies, and assistance with veterinary care for area seniors who are enrolled in specific programs through Active Aging of Meadville.


Your generosity will allow PAWS to provide more food and needed veterinary care to the pets of area seniors in need. If you’d like to help keep a senior’s pet healthy, there are two ways in which you can donate.

To make a donation for vaccines, flea & tick control and veterinary care, click the Donate button, below. To donate by check​, please mail your check to Bright Futures Farm, 238 Old Franklin Pike, Cochranton, PA 16314. Please put “PAWS” in the memo or include a note to direct your donation to the PAWS program.

To make a donation for pet food, visit You can doante by check to Active Aging Foundation, 1034 Park Avenue, Meadville, PA 16335



On May 9, Bright Futures Farm provided a safe landing for two Maine Coon cats, mother and son, named Morticia and Gomez. They are 17 and 18 years old and in very good health. They've had only two prior homes and were well cared for in each. My plan was not to take any more cats. We have 24 seniors now, the youngest being 13, but these two would have been euthanized, neglected, or separated, and I couldn’t let that happen.


Sometimes circumstances impact our lives in a way that not only hurts us but also hurts the innocent pets we love. This was the case for Morticia and Gomez's owner. Their owner could no longer care for them and knew that placement would be complicated because they are not only very elder seniors, but they are a bonded pair. Their owner reached out to their first owner, who talked with her daughter, who told a friend. Social media is very helpful in the work we do, and, in cases like this, it's a godsend. Because of that friend, the plea for help made it to social media and then made it to us.


My plan was not to take any more cats. We have 24 seniors now, the youngest being 11, but these two would either be euthanized, neglected, or separated so I had to take them. Tish and Gomez will have a permanent home here at Bright Futures Farm. Friends on Facebook furnished their new "condo" with cat trees, beds, and new bowls and they are already beginning to settle in to their new environment.


Tish and Gomez are very sweet. Tish is an A personality, right at my feet when I walk into their home and demanding attention. Gomez is quite shy, and for the first few days was hiding in or behind something whenever I'd walk into the room. After four days, though, he's warmed up to me and will come out of hiding when I am there. He even enjoys having his head and neck rubbed. If you'd like to sponsor them or make a one time donation toward their care, please visit our Donate page. Any amount will help!



I wrote a press release yesterday with optimism in my heart. The first paragraph read:

"Eleven starving horses that have been living an abominable existence for far too long will finally see the light of day again, today, May 3, 2016. They have been locked inside a dark, dank barn and neglected for so long that their hooves were over a foot long and curling like elves shoes. Their skin is dry, their feet are rotting, many of them are emaciated, and five of them have been hanging in makeshift slings from the rafters, their feet barely touching the ground. Four more were found locked in stalls with no hay or water."


As of 11:00 this morning I had to rewrite it. My heart sank and I cried. The first paragraph of our press release now reads:

“Six starving horses that have been living an abominable existence for far too long will finally see the light of day again, today, May 3, 2016. With heavy heart I grievously report that five were so severely neglected that there was no hope of saving them. This is the hardest part of what we do. Eleven horses lived in squalor for at least three years, admitted by their previous owner. Today we found poor quality hay just two feet out of reach of some of them. They had no water. Knowing what time we were coming today, this man made no attempt to put any hay or water in the stalls - not even just 'for show.'"


Just a few days ago, I received a call from the Clarion County Sheriff's office asking for assistance. Already responsible for the care of 25 horses, and knowing the cost to vet, and rehab this many horses would quickly become thousands of dollars - and not knowing where the extra money would come from - I never hesitated to help. When you hear any living creature can be forced to exist under these circumstances, how can you say no? I have faith that our community will help us bring them back to good health.


After coming to terms with my anger over the five that didn’t survive, I realized that there is still an inspiring story of courage that has a lesson for all of us - don’t give up! These horses have been at their lowest point for years and they survived. The Palomino stallion - the only survivor that was suspended from the rafters in a sling made from rubber, chain and rope - survived solely because of his spirit.


Bringing these horses back from severe neglect is a daunting undertaking. They will need more frequent hoof care to carefully shorten and shape their hooves so that they can walk comfortably again. They all will need dental care, wound care for the “bedsores” on their hips, and skin care as they all have dermatitis due to poor nutrition. The three stallions will need to be gelded and we will need to secure more hay very soon to get them back on the road to good weight.


I knew this was going to be a tough day. I didn’t know how emotionally challenging it would be until I walked inside the barn, and then had the repugnant job of taking photographs of the five dead horses to provide evidence of the neglect they all endured.


Bev Dee, Bright Futures Farm


Candy (now named Inga) and Dolly (now named Journey) have been adopted by Kelly and Colin of Pennsylvania. As you can see they are close to being at at an appropriate weight for their size.


Jet has been adopted by Connie, the woman who discovered them and who is responsible for saving their lives.


Lady (now named Addie) has been adopted by Connie's daughter and son-in-law, Rene and Ryan.


Tanner has had many vet visits and is being treated for ulcers. He's had two gastroscopies and is due for a third in September. He is also due to be gelded in September if his ulcers have healed.


Cider just went to his foster home today. He needs more one on one attention and some schooling. He's very excitable and a bit pushy. He has gained weight nicely and can be gelded within the month. Because Cider is 18 years old, he will have to have a closed surgery. That is safer for an older stallion. Approximate cost is between $600 and $800 at the hospital.


If you would like to contribute toward the ongoing care of Tanner and Cider, we would greatly appreciate it. Their recovery has been very expensive. Each of Tanner's visits is approximately $1000 because of the cost of the gastroguard. He's had two gastroscopies and is due to have a third one in September.  He's been on two regimens of gastro-guard so far. Each regimen consists of 30 tubes at a cost of $30 per tube, plus the clinic visit and the gastroscopy.


All horses are doing remarkably well considering what they've been through and we are so grateful that they were all strong of mind and body and survived. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed toward their care, prayed for them and sent us many notes and good thoughts. We read every single letter, note and card. Your support is heartwarming.


Bev Dee, Bright Futures Farm



FEATURE STORY: Cassie Bachik, Contributing Writer for The Allegheny Campus, a nonprofit newspaper made for and by the students of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, wrote a feature story about Bright Futures Farm for the February 4th issue. Cassie spent a day at our farm, taking pictures and asking Bev questions as she followed the daily routine of caring for all of the horses. (Read the full story here.)


We'd like to thank Cassie for her wonderful feature on Bright Futures Farm. Most of all, we'd like to thank Cassie for helping spread the word about what we do!

Each month we depend on tax-deductible donations, sponsorships and grants. We know that our honestly and transparency is the foundation of your support. You can verify our financials, and read testimonials from other donors by clicking the links for GuideStar and Network for Good. We have been Verified by The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and are Accredited by The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Both credentials required a thorough interview and on-site inspection of our facility, the animals in our care, and our financials by independent equine professionals, and an independent equine veterinarian.


Bright Futures Farm Equine Sanctuary


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Bright Futures Farm Equine Sanctuary  |  238 Old Franklin Pike, Cochranton, PA 16314  |  724-496-4960

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