Panhandle Equine Rescue, Inc. was founded by a small group of concerned citizens, when it was discovered that equine neglect cases were not being properly handled by the appropriate authorities. Equine were “slipping through the cracks” and nothing was being done to ensure their welfare. PER became incorporated on February 1, 2005 and shortly thereafter, three PER members were authorized by the court of Escambia County, Florida under FL. Statute 828.03 to investigate reports of equine in trouble and verify if there have been violations of state laws made for the purpose of protecting animals or preventing any act of cruelty to animals. Our investigators attended a Horse Cruelty Investigation Workshop at North Carolina State University and still do continued education at every opportunity.
Panhandle Equine Rescue came into existence because equine neglect cases were not being handled by the proper authorities in Escambia County. Through the years PER has worked with the county to make improvements in how equine cases are handled. Our goal was for Escambia County Animal Control and Escambia County Sheriff’s Department to realize that their job description included handling equine cruelty cases in an appropriate manner according to Florida Statutes. We are proud to say that huge strides have been made in improving the way equine cases are handled by the proper authorities. We still have some ground to cover but both animal control and the sheriff’s office, as well as the State Attorney’s Office take equine neglect seriously and work hard to not only educate owners of all livestock, but also will seize and prosecute whenever necessary.
Currently all reports received by PER are being referred to Escambia County Animal Control. Recently, a new team of Animal Cruelty Investigators were formed within the department of Animal Control. PER feels confident that they have the expertise and knowledge to work equine cases in this county. To report equine or other livestock neglect or cruelty in Escambia County; please call Escambia County Animal Control at 850-595-0097.
In the meantime, PER is still busy caring for the equine that have been rescued over the years. We still have equine cruelty investigators available and on call if you feel that additional assistance is needed. The cruelty hot line number is 850-587-3565.