NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Hampton woman seeks community's help in creating horse sanctuary

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 18:40:54-04

HAMPTON, Va. - A Hampton woman is working to rehome Virginia horses doomed for slaughter, but she needs the community's help.

Michelle Miller volunteers with the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, an organization that rescues horses in kill pens and gets them to safety.

“There’s absolutely no reason for race horses or off-the-track horses to go to slaughter when they can be retrained and repurposed,” Miller said.

She has six horses ready for a new life, but at the moment, they don't have a permanent home. Miller is working to change that by refurbishing an old barn off Armistead Avenue in Hampton to become the Willow Woods Equine Sanctuary.

The horses will be trained in equine therapy, riding and other community outreach programs. Miller has big plans for the worn-out space.

“These are all old stalls that are going to be refurbished into a conference room, for training classes for youth and the community itself,” Miller said.

She said the facility, located at 2521 N. Armistead Avenue, will be able to house 10 horses once the roof and walls are patched and the space is cleaned up. She's calling for the community's help.

“If you’re handy with a hammer, a screw gun, a broom and a rake, there’s nothing that can stop this project from happening,” Miller said.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, Miller is asking community members to come together to help make the sanctuary a reality. Those interested can meet at the address listed above.