A Safe Haven and a Second Chance - Longmeadow Rescue Ranch

By Longmeadow Rescue Ranch Staff

Mercury, in foal, being rescued from near starvation

Photos by Walter A. Suhre, Jr., photographer extraordinaire and friend to the Humane Society of Missouri


Nestled in the gently rolling hills of Missouri lies a special ranch where abused and abandoned horses can find a safe haven and a second chance at life. At first glance, the Humane Society of Missouri's Longmeadow Rescue Ranch looks like a typical farm. Horses graze in fields, chickens and roosters scurry around, and cows and goats make their presence known. But Longmeadow Rescue Ranch is more than a farm - Longmeadow Rescue Ranch is dedicated to healing and finding new loving homes for these magnificent animals.

Mercury and foal Midnight at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch


Mercury, a lovely chestnut mare, was part of a rescue that took place in April of this year when fifteen horses were rescued from a Phelps County, Missouri property. An investigation found that the horses were emaciated to the point of seeing hip bones and ribs, and seven horses were deceased by the time the rescue took place. Five of the rescued mares - Mercury, Twilight, Saturn, Nova, and Eclipse - recently gave birth to healthy foals. All are thriving under the loving care of Longmeadow Rescue Ranch Staff, where they will stay until they are ready for a loving permanent home.


The mares' story ended happily. They and their babies are growing stronger by the day. The foals and mares, Midnight and Mercury, Stardust and Saturn, Twilight Dimming and Twilight, Lightyear and Eclispe, and Lil' Moonbeam and Nova have made tremendous progress during their stay at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch and are ready for loving homes. But sadly, not every story of neglect ends as happily as this one. As awareness of Longmeadow Rescue Ranch increases so does the need for its services. During the last several years, the number of ranch animals rescued from abuse and neglect throughout Missouri and brought back to health at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch has more than doubled.

Lightyear (foal) with Eclipse (mare)

(L to R) Midnight with Becky Pemberton, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch education and animal specialist; Stardust with Kathy Warnick, Humane Society of Missouri president; Twilight Dimming with Cindy Markham, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch assistant; and Lil' Moonbeam with Earlene Cole, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch director


To meet these increasing demands, the Humane Society of Missouri has launched the Longmeadow Rescue Ranch Capital Campaign. Through this campaign, new buildings will be constructed and existing buildings will receive much-needed renovations. One of the most exciting aspects of the new construction that is getting started this fall at Longmeadow is that besides providing more living space for the animals, the public will benefit as well. A new classroom will educate children on the humane treatment of all living creatures. Education is key to putting an end to animal abuse and neglect. An indoor arena will enable staff members to conduct more in-depth rehabilitation activities and allow for training demonstrations. Although a three-year campaign, construction and renovation will begin as funds are raised.


Donations to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch can be made by calling 314-951-1542 or e-mailing Development@LongmeadowRescueRanch.org. In addition, animals at Longmeadow can be sponsored through the 'Barn Buddy Program.' Sponsors help feed, board and provide medical care for selected animals. Barn Buddies receive a certificate of care, a fact sheet and photo of the animal sponsored and an opportunity to visit the animal at Longmeadow. More information can be obtained by visiting www.longmeadowrescuecanch.org. Barn Buddies make great gifts for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.


It's stories like these mares and foals that make Longmeadow Rescue Ranch one of the premier horse and farm animal rehab centers in the country. The Humane Society of Missouri founded Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in 1988. Longmeadow provides personal attention and medical care, under the guidance of Director Earlene Cole and a dedicated staff of five full-time employees, to formerly abused and neglected horses and other farm animals in Missouri and the surrounding region. Once the rehabilitation process is complete, the animals are available for adoption to loving homes.

(L to R) Midnight, Twilight Dimming, and Stardust


"We tend to think of cats and dogs when we hear of animals being mistreated or placed for adoption, but there is a whole other segment of the animal population that needs the same care and attention as our household pets," said Cole. "While residing at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, these animals receive the utmost in medical care and attention in hopes that they will make good companions for their new owners."



Animals come to Longmeadow under a variety of circumstances. The most common are those animals saved by the Humane Society's Rescues and Investigations Department or those abandoned by their owners.


The latter occurs with pets such as pot-bellied pigs, whose owners tend to relinquish them once the animals are fully grown. Unfortunately, the greatest numbers of animals placed at Longmeadow are rescued from abusive homes throughout Missouri and surrounding states. One exceptional influx came after the rescue of nearly 60 animals from a Northwest Missouri residence in October 2003. Donkeys, miniature horses, sheep, chickens, ducks, piglets, a turkey and even a llama were among the rescued animals.

More About the Ranch

Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, the Humane Society of Missouri's large-animal rehabilitation center, is located in Union, Missouri. The 165-acre ranch, once known as Packwood Longmeadow Farm, was purchased in 1988, made possible by a generous bequest from George Packwood, Jr.

George Packwood's commitment to the Humane Society of Missouri began as an active supporter of the organization and continues today through his generous donation of land to be used specifically for the care of ranch animals.

The same bold spirit that colored his philanthropic life marked Mr. Packwood's career. He began his career as an engineer and applied his expertise as a signal construction foreman for the Frisco Railroad. He often found himself washing his dirty hands until they were practically raw. So, working in a rented loft, he created a milder industrial soap along with a special soap dispenser. He liked the idea of marketing his product instead of sitting behind a desk as a consulting engineer. In 1926 he was ready to launch his own business, which in the 1950s was sold to the Calgon Corporation.

Mr. Packwood is quoted as saying, "In the world of business, if you perfect something good, you can get up on the housetop and flap your wings and crow about it." Well, Mr. Packwood, through your generous donation of land we created something good - Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. And we promise we will get up on the housetop and flap our wings and crow about it as we make this safe haven for horses and ranch animals even greater.


Longmeadow Rescue Ranch serves as one of the most comprehensive large-animal care and rehabilitation centers in the United States. On any given day, as many as 150 animals from throughout Missouri - including horses, cows, goats, pigs, potbellied pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and roosters - call Longmeadow Rescue Ranch their safe haven. Whether they have come for temporary shelter while they wait to be adopted or have been impounded by law enforcement agencies as evidence in neglect and abuse cases, the rescued animals receive kindness and the best of care from our dedicated staff members and devoted volunteers. The ranch animals thank you for your support.


We hope you will help spread the story of our commitment to animals like the horses rescued from Phelps County with your friends. Please contact us to learn more about the services and animals at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch.



For more information:

Longmeadow Rescue Ranch

480 Josephs Road

Union, MO 63084





Humane Society of Missouri

1201 Macklind Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63110





About the Humane Society of Missouri

The Humane Society of Missouri is committed to the prevention of cruelty, abuse and neglect of animals in St. Louis and throughout Missouri through its adoption centers, veterinary medical centers, education programs, cruelty investigation programs and obedience and behavior programs. Since 1870, the Humane Society of Missouri has welcomed all pets in need. It receives no local, state or federal funding, relying on the generosity of corporations, foundations and individuals for its support. The Humane Society of Missouri serves the entire state of Missouri with headquarters in St. Louis at 1201 Macklind Avenue; a facility in St. Louis County at 2400 Drilling Service Drive in Maryland Heights; and Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, 480 Josephs Road in Union.