In the late fall of 1995, I bought a home on 10 acres outside of Elgin. There we had a barn and plenty of space and good grass. My daughter and I moved in with the happy anticipation of life in a rural setting with our two horses, Baby and Hazey. There were three horses living on poor pasture next to our new property; I soon learned that neighbors were also aware of their presence and also that there seemed to be no one caring for them. These neighbors and I began to pay closer attention and realized that although that property owner’s mother lived in the area and was thought to be caring for the three animals, in fact, they had neither food nor water. We contacted the Sheriff’s Department, Animal Control and anyone else we could think of but got no response. Meanwhile, we were tossing bales of hay over the fence for the emaciated animals. Ultimately, all we succeeded in doing was angering the property owner who had moved to Colorado, leaving his three horses to get along the best they could with neither food nor water. That owner returned with a trailer in the middle of a winter night and loaded three animals that could barely stand. We never saw or heard of those horses again. I can only hope they had a good ending to their ordeal. Our lack of success in assisting the three horses ultimately led to my decision to offer lifetime sanctuary to other equines.
Nancy Jensen-Case, Dreamtime Animal Sanctuary’s founder and operator, is a 1994 Master of Divinity (MDiv) graduate of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (now known as Seminary of the Southwest) in Austin, Texas. She is also a Board Certified Hospital Chaplain, working with death, dying and the grief and loss which accompany them and feels that there is a direct bridge connecting her work as a chaplain and her work as operator of an animal sanctuary; each informs the other.
Nancy had spent as much time as possible around horses during her childhood but did not have daily experience of them until her daughter, Sarah, began to participate in the United States Pony Club. Nancy gained most of her horse care experience through her role as a Horse Management Judge for the local Pony Club and the rest has come from more than 20 years living among the animals.
Dreamtime has been State of Texas certified incorporated as a nonprofit and is awaiting approval of 501c(3) status from the IRS. In 1997 we began by operating under the umbrella of another equine sanctuary organization to offer lifetime sanctuary to horses and donkeys. We quickly began to include sheep, goats and pigs; then came the dogs and cats. Current sanctuary residents include 13 horses, 12 donkeys, 7 sheep, 14 goats, 11 pigs, 44 chickens, 6 Guinea Fowl, 8 dogs, 18 cats, 10 ducks and 1 goose, Leona. The sanctuary is located on a rural road outside of Elgin, Texas. Here, animals and human visitors alike find new life and hope. Hence, our logo, “Hope lives here.”