Today I’m at one of my favorite places in the world: Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex, England. My “Everything Animal Reiki” class starts today! (Looking forward to seeing you if you’ve signed up.) Situated on 40 beautiful pastoral acres in the English countryside, Remus was founded in 1983 by Sue Burton. Here are a few of the reasons why Sue is such an inspiring animal hero to me, including a closer look at what makes Remus so special:
1. What was once a post-war dairy farm is now home to more than 200 rescued farm animals—among them horses, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep and the resident cats and dogs.
2. Sue founded Remus partly because, as she states on her website, “I have always had a great belief in wrong and right and total respect for all living creatures—be they animals or humans. I could not believe that in this country [England] we could stand by and watch an animal suffer and die needlessly and that we would not all move mountains to ensure it never happened again.”
3. Sue makes sure that holistic remedies like Reiki take center stage at Remus, and for a variety of ailments—including tumors, cancer, colic, Cushing’s disease, chronic emotional problems and end of life. Sue says of the animals, “They’re all Reiki sponges up here.”
4. Thanks to Remus’ cutting-edge Elderly Horse Campaign, local horse people are educated about the various things they can do to help their horses thrive in their golden years.
5. Sue and her staff of 10 (and more than 50 volunteers) take extra special care of the animals. “We want to actually make their life better,” she says. “Not just look after them, but give them something back.” In addition to food, water, veterinary care and love, these animals—who previously found themselves in abhorrent conditions—also get sugar-free feed; natural herbs; soft, sandy floors; and even a solarium.
6. An amazing 70 percent of the rescued horses at Remus are more than 20 years of age—including the adorable Orchid, who just celebrated her 49th birthday. In fact, Remus is currently petitioning Guinness World Records to recognize Orchid as the world’s oldest horse.
7. Remus has won many prestigious awards. In 2011, the sanctuary won Best Horse Rescue Center in the UK from The Wetnose Burgess Awards.
8. In 2014, Remus won £500 as runner up in the Heart of Essex Awards, which honor the most deserving unsung heroes in the community.
9. Remus is also a “Best Place to Visit With Your Dog,” according to The Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs UK awards.
10. Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones, is patron of Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary.
Who is your animal hero? Share with us in the comments below!
Photos copyright Charlotte Jensen and Kathleen Prasad.