Wisconsin Horse Rescue Loses Barn and Horses in Fire


Barn fireA tragic barn fire in Footville, Wisc., last week killed 24 horses and destroyed the stable where they were housed. The facility was home to an equine rescue called the Humane Organization Rescuing and Saving Equines (HORSE, Inc.). A few of the horses that perished in the fire were personal horses of the organization’s owners, Cindy and Jim Bondowski, but the rest were rescues being rehabilitated for adoption.

The fire occurred on the morning of November 24. The Bondowskis were inside their house on the property and saw some of their horses running. They heard loud bangs from outside and went to investigate, only to find their barn engulfed in smoke and flames.Jim Bondowski opened the doors and attempted to enter the barn to get the horses out, but the smoke was already too thick. A few of the horses did escape through the open door.

Fire officials stated that the blaze was most likely the result of an electrical issue or heater malfunction. Seven horses escaped the fire, and the organization had several horses living outside in the pasture. The Bondowskis are now seeking a new facility to house these horses and to become the new headquarters of HORSE, Inc.

In addition to the loss of many of the horses and the barn, much of the farm’s equipment, hay and grain also burned in the fire.

To learn more about HORSE, including how you can help the rebuilding process and care for the surviving horses, click here.

Further Reading
Extinguish the Threat of Barn Fires


  1. I am so very sorry for your loss. There is no greater loss than losing horses in a fire. Our barn burned on 8/22/05 and 27 horses, 1 dog & 1 cat along with all equipment was destroyed. I pray that you will find a way to work thru this tragedy and keep going with the important job of rescuing horses.

  2. There is more to this story….the horses in the care of these folks needed rescuing. They were never let out of the barn as they were afraid of being turned in to the humane officers. My farrier said most of there feet were rotting as they had been standing in the mounds of manure in their stalls. This is not a registered non profit and while it was a horrible thing to have happened, there are many more reputable rescues that could use your donations.

  3. i am so sad right now i am crying my eyes out thinking of those poor horses.but what if it is true what the women said about them being abused is it possible these sick people could of burned the barn down for insurance reasons.That would be a disgrace maybe someone should investigate to make sure they are not abusing the horses.God help them and those beautiful horses.I hope it is not true because i am loosing more and more faith in humanity.

  4. Jim’s a thief and a fraud. He pocketed all of the donation money. Still hasn’t taken away the dead horses, they are just rotting out back. He’s too cheap to call a rendering service. Is a fraud by calling himself a CVT when he isn’t even registered. Also not licensed to practice as a chiropractor. I wouldn’t let him near my horse with a 10 ft pole. Good riddance. he’s moving his scams to Coloma, WI. By the way he was saying he had million dollar horses that burned up in the fire also…to collect the insurance money….maybe my ferrari was parked in there also .


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