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Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary expands facility to help animals in need

A horse eating from a bale of hay at Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary.

Photo by Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary.

After a month full of renovations, Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary has reopened.

The team brought in tons of habitats and buildings for the animals, including expansions and additions to the enclosures of rescued pigs, rabbits, goats and horses, as well as a new building for the dogs.

“We had set up originally in kind of a hodgepodge manner to keep outfitting and taking in different animals as we needed to, and luckily we got a really nice grant from the Leslie L. Alexander Foundation to help make a lot of improvements,” Leanne Witt, who founded the rescue organization in 2005, says of the recent expansion. “And we’ve just let that continue to proceed forward and keep making improvements. We got a new building for the dog rescue side of things, so it’s really nice to be able to expand and take in a few more animals that need the help.”

Canine residents of Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary.

Photo by Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary.

The facility pulls animals at risk of euthanasia from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control to rehabilitate them and give them a second chance at life. After a summer packed with activities designed to educate the community, this fall Shining Horse Farm is offering more chances for locals to get involved.

People “enjoy being able to come and see the different animals and be able to get hands-on,” Witt says.

A foster program is set to officially begin in September, along with volunteer training classes. Though Shining Horse Farm occasionally travels for events, Witt finds that programs are most impactful when people can go to the property and engage with the animals.

“Every animal that you’re able to rehabilitate and bring them back to life and see their true potential, it makes it worth it,” she says. “So even though we’re out there sweating right now in this heat, it’s really nice to be able to see those changes.”

Shining Horse Farm has rescued over 400 animals the past four years. In 2021 it became a nonprofit organization. While the farm has a few permanent residents that require constant care, most of the animals are adopted. For Witt, that’s the most rewarding part of the job.

“It’s working with them one on one, making sure they make that progress, that recovery, and then we work toward the adoption side of things to find them the home that matches them,” she says.

The farm’s community events this fall include a Clear the Shelters event and a Countdown to 0 event, which will be announced via its Facebook page. In October, Shining Horse Farm will participate in Florida Atlantic University’s homecoming events and partner with Community of Hope for its Latino festival in West Palm Beach.

Outside active engagement, Witt says donations are a powerful way to support Shining Horse Farm. People “can always help support us by going to our website. It links up to the PayPal giving fund. … It helps us keep operations going, keeps things flowing,” she says. “That way we can continue to pull in the animals that are at risk of euthanasia in Palm Beach County.”

Aside from money, “we’re always looking for donations of newspaper, old linens, things like that,” Witt says. “My favorite thing is anything we can use for bedding around here because we use it for the rabbits, for the puppies, for the dogs. It helps a lot. It saves us from having to go buy puppy pads, and that can be easily $1,000 a month.”

Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary started with a focus on horse care. The farm added poultry, rabbits and guinea pigs in 2018 before growing into the sanctuary it is today.

Located at 13511 82nd St. N in West Palm Beach, the sanctuary works through Animal Care and Control to receive animals and for the most part does not take animals surrendered by owners. For more information, visit


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