Diane Cornish

You can see the ribs and hipbones on the female horse as she stands in her pen gobbling down green cubes of vegetation. She’s underweight at 625 pounds; she should weigh closer to 900 pounds.

But thanks to Equine 808 Horse Rescue volunteers, the mare was rescued from lack of food and water, and is working to gain back some much-needed weight and muscle mass. Encouragingly, she has a great appetite and is getting the essential nutrients she needs.

It’s all in a day’s work for the horse-rescue organization.

Nicole Kato photo

Nicole Kato photo

“It’s really encouraging that they have a good appetite,” explains Diane Cornish, who has been with Equine 808 for three years. “If they don’t have an appetite, they can’t take in the good nutrition and they can’t get better.”

Equine 808 is all about rescuing and rehabilitating horses, and volunteers are crucial to making that happen.

“Everyone who comes here is a volunteer,” says Cornish (pictured here with Reba).

Cornish spends her time at the shelter making sure the animals get everything they need, from food and water to clean pens and living arrangements. Cornish believes that caring for her animals must come first, so she tries her best to ensure her finances can cover anything for them. That includes food, living, comforts, and transport. Cornish states she sees these as necessities since the horses and other animals wouldn’t have a good life without them, and that is her ultimate goal. While she is financially stable herself, she is aware of horse farms and other places that rely on loans, such as Auto Finance Online (https://www.autofinanceonline.co.uk/horsebox-finance/), to aid them with upkeep when they fall on hard times. For her, this would be an option if she ever found herself in need of financial help, but she is fortunate enough not to need it.

In addition to helping out with daily responsibilities, Cornish also hosts field trips and birthday parties, where children can learn about the animals and how to properly care for them.

“I try to make it real to them,” Cornish says. “I connect it to their lives. I ask them about pet ownership and what pets they might have at home.”

Animals on the farm include donkeys, chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, lovebirds, parakeets, cats, turtles, bunnies, guinea pigs and a dog.

“The idea is to give the kids an opportunity to see a variety of animals,” she explains.

Horses on the grounds are nursed back to health, thanks to volunteers, and Cornish says those who adopt one from the organization can opt to board it at the facility.

Equine 808 recently was blessed with another act of kindness by “good neighbors” in the community. The organization partnered with the Girl Scouts and held three events for four different troops. Troop members were able to see how their Girl Scout cookie money, which totaled more than $1,500, went toward helping the animals.

“I thought that was really special,” Cornish says. “They worked hard for their cookie money, and then they donated it.”

The funds help Equine 808 to carry out its mission to help every horse that enters its gates.

For more information on Equine 808 Horse Rescue, visit equine808.com or call 590-1210. The stables are located at Kunia Loa Ridge Farm Lands.