Jennifer Williams has been rescuing horses since 1998 when she worked with fellow Texans to form a rescue. At that time, horse rescues were practically unheard of and no other horse rescues operated in Texas. Few resources existed to help new rescuers develop their organization, so Williams spoke to other rescuers and researched non-profits. Despite struggling in the beginning, the rescue became a nationally-recognized organization that helped over 500 horses over the course of six years. In 2005, Williams left the organization to co-found Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, an organization that works throughout both Texas and Arkansas. Since its inception in March 2005, Bluebonnet helped nearly 200 horses throughout the two states and has advised rescues across the country.
Williams drew on experience gained in starting both rescues when writing her first book, How to Start and Run a Rescue. When asked about her book, Williams comments, “I co-founded two great organizations and I’ve been lucky enough to help hundreds, if not thousands, of needy horses. But forming a new organization isn’t easy. I had very little help and had to make it up as I went along sometimes. Ever since the first rescue became successful, I’ve received emails from many other people who want to form a rescue. I can’t share everything I’ve learned in nearly 10 years in a simple email, so I decided to write this book so others could learn from my experiences.”
Although How to Start and Run a Rescue is written from the perspective of a horse rescuer, topics such as fundraising, promoting your organization and working with the community are relevant to rescuers of other species and to any animal-related nonprofit. The book can also help those who want to volunteer at a rescue determine which rescues are good. For those who don’t work with rescues, the book includes stories of the horses Williams has rescued, such as Cloud who arrived covered in scars and scared of humans.
Williams adds, “I don’t want people to have to re-invent the wheel. If I can teach other animal lovers how to run good rescues, then even more animals can get the help they need and deserve.”