Our Story

Willow River Equine Rescue was established in December 2019. However, it’s Co-Founders were working to save and re-home horses for years prior to having been accepted as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It all started in 2014 with the adoption of River, a Pierce County seized mare. She had been saved by animal control when so many others in the seizure were euthanized.

Following River was Whistler, a yearling paint mare. Whistler was saved from the slaughter pipeline and re-homed to one of the Co-Founders. After River and Whistler brought the Co-Founders together, their love of equines expanded to become Willow River Equine Rescue (WRER).

WRER has saved dozens of horses both domestic and wild. They have participated in the adoption incentive program with the Bureau of Land Management and their wild Mustangs as well as the Yakima Reservation Mustangs. Whether they are receiving surrendered horses or helping other equestrians with their training and progression, WRER has always put the needs of their horses first. Due to their tireless dedication, they have provided an invaluable service to the equine community.

Permanent Residents at WRER

Meet our beloved permanent horse residents at Willow River Equine Rescue – River & Whistler!


River is a 14-year-old mare. Her breed is unknow as she was part of a Pierce County seizure and nothing was known about her before she was saved. She is a permanent resident at Willow River Equine Rescue and is used to teach new and young equestrians about horses.


Whistler was rescued from the Feed Lot when she was a yearling. Now 8 years old, this spunky paint helps train new horses and ponies on the ways of herd dynamics. She is a permanent resident and is the only horse with blue eyes at WRER.