The roots of The Horse Protection Association of Florida began when HPAF founder, Morgan Silver became aware of horse abuse in Miami Dade County in 1987. Morgan reported starving rental horses to the “proper” authorities. A police department and animal agency replied that the horses were fine and that there was no problem. As a horse professional, Morgan knew that these horses were indeed in serious condition. With the help of the Hialeah Police Department, the horse rental was shut down and 15 horses were seized. Morgan cared for eight of these horses for the next six months pending the outcome of the case when the horses were adopted to new homes.
After discovering corruption within horse rescue groups, Morgan felt that a reputable horse welfare agency was needed in Florida. In April of 1990 The Horse Protection Association of Florida was incorporated. For the first years The Horse Protection Association of Florida housed horses in the backyards belonging to generous people in the Kendall area of Miami.
On August 24th 1992 life as we knew it changed when Hurricane Andrew hit South Dade. The Redland and Homestead areas, home to thousands of horses was decimated. Barns were leveled, homes were completely destroyed and no fences were left standing. The area literally looked as if it had been hit by a bomb. Horses and livestock roamed freely, some survived days in canals, unable to get out on their own.
Robbie’s Feed and Supply generously allowed the use of their property as a holding facility for the loose and stray horses and six weeks of rescue began. 180 horses were brought to the compound by volunteers who caught them as they wandered the area.
Volunteers transported injured horses to a triage hospital set up at the Tropical Park Equestrian Center. Veterinarians, vet students and countless volunteers cared for horses injured in the storm.
In October 1992 The Horse Protection Association of Florida moved the homeless horses who had owners and horses relinquished by their owners to the vacant Doral Equestrian Center near the airport. Over the next 3 years The Horse Protection Association of Florida moved to numerous facilities.
In 1996 The Horse Protection Association of Florida had no money and was ready to fold. We were called to pick up a palomino mare, Sandy, who had been abandoned in South Dade. An appeal was made through an article in the Miami Herald and the public responded. Hundreds of horse and animal lovers saved The Horse Protection Association of Florida.
With the new support in 1997 The Horse Protection Association of Florida was able to lease it’s first real farm, 9 acres in Homestead. For the next couple of years The Horse Protection Association of Florida continued to grow, helping horses throughout Florida.
Click here to read about our new facility in Marion County.