Vet and Farrier information

We are so fortunate to have the highest level of vet care for our rescued horses.

If you ever want to ask after a horse in our care or inquire about their health you are welcome to contact our vet team as they visit regularly and have eyes on all our horses on a weekly basis.  We are absolutely transparent in allowing people to come and see the horses in our care as we feel all 501c3's should be held to the highest standard, a standard we hold ourselves to daily.   

We encourage anybody donating to a horse rescue or sanctuary to ask questions, to do your research and make sure your donations are going to the care and feeding of horses and not anywhere else.   We have rescued sixty horses and every single one of them is with us at either our Malibu or Oregon location and you can message us to have photographs of any horse on any day.  That is the commitment we have to these horses in our care.


In Malibu we are fortunate to share vet care between two incredible women.

Dr Katie Prince D.V.M.


Dr Katie Prince D.V.M. is a member of our board of directors and also has taken care of our private and sanctuary horses for many years.  Dr Prince now has a second practice in Sonoma Central California but always makes sure to visit when she is down in Malibu once a month.  We routinely seek her out as a second opinion on any medical decisions we need to make for these horses in our care.

Aside from Katie's knowledge and commitment to Skydog Sanctuary we are also very lucky to have two other hugely qualified and talented regular vet teams in Malibu and Oregon

Our regular vet for Skydog Malibu is from CONEJO VALLEY EQUINE

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Merle DerVartanian, D.V.M.

Merle DerVartanian, D.V.M.

Dr. Merle received her B.S. and D.V.M. degrees from University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and completed her internship at Chino Valley Equine Hospital.  In her free time, Dr. Merle enjoys riding, running, cycling, and hiking with her dogs Paulie and Emmy.

She also enjoys spending time with her four-legged hooved animals which include two horses, two donkeys, and now a mule. Dr. Merle's professional interests include ophthalmology, internal medicine, wound management, lameness, and geriatric care.




Up at our Oregon Sanctuary we are taken care of by Bend Equine led by Dr Shannon Findlay and her team


Dr. Shannon Findley

Dr. Shannon Findley is a California transplant who grew up in Gilroy, California. She is an alumni of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she completed her bachelor's degree in Animal Science and she then graduated from UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Findley completed her internship at BEMC in 2010 and promptly fell in love with beautiful Central Oregon. She has been an associate since 2011. Dr. Findley enjoys all aspects of practice however her particular clinical interests include internal medicine, ultrasonography, preventative medicine, neonatal medicine and equine reproduction. Dr. Findley’s background in equine reproduction started at Cal Poly where she was the breeding manager of the university’s Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred breeding program. She also participated in embryo transfer research at Cal Poly. In 2013 she pursued over 90 hours of continuing education in advanced equine reproduction techniques including embryo transfer, embryo freezing and semen freezing.  Dr. Findley also has specialized training in large animal technical rescue that she received while heading up the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team. Ask her to show you pictures of her helicopter rescues! She has a strong passion for volunteering in international veterinary medicine (also known as equitarianism). She has traveled to Peru, Central Mexico and Nicaragua for equitarian work and currently has a January 2016 trip planned to Morocco. In her free time, Dr. Findley can be found on the slopes, on the river, on the trails with her Arabian Cayenne, or enjoying just about any outdoor activity Central Oregon has to offer.


We see foot care as a hugely important and massively necessary part of taking care of wild mustangs. 

We have many horses here that self-trim as they would in the wild living out on our 9000 acre ranch. they cover huge distances on a rocky terrain and their feet naturally wear down.

There are other horses who are easy to handle and we get their feet trimmed regularly with our wonderful farrier team.




In Malibu our farrier is Santana who comes every 6-7 weeks to check on the horses feet We also always have him come see any new horse we rescue, straight after the vet so that he can follow any instructions she might have for foot care as many rescued horses come in with bad feet.

He is one of the kindest gentlest and most skilled feet doctors we know. He works with horses so beautifully and takes time with care and patience on every horse he handles.

Santana with beautiful Rhys - all the horses at Malibu stand well for the farrier and are easy to keep trimmed


Janelle and Joe

In Oregon we are very lucky to have such rocky ground in many places so the horses, for the most part self-trim but the others are regularly trimmed by two incredibly knowledgeable bare foot trimmers.

We are the only sanctuary I am aware of that has two farriers on full time staff. Both Joe and Janelle know our horses as they work with them day in and day out throughout the year. They are constantly checking feet and trimming where needed and we are so lucky to have them both on the team.