More About Dannielle
I started ATHA because, after over 8 years of volunteering for horse rescues, I was looking for somewhere to put all I had learned into where horses still had a great need to be rescued. With an 8-month racing season, our local Phoenix track has 1700-2100 horses coming from all over the country and Canada to compete. The chances a horse needs to retire from racing or needs somewhere to rehabilitate before learning a new career is very high. That was the niche that needed filling.
I gathered 9 friends who I knew were dedicated to horses and we began our Board. We submitted our request to the IRS and within 3 weeks we received our 501(c)(3) approval. After The Homestretch-Arizona began on July 25, 2011.
In my spare time, I like to go to movie theaters and be entertained by watching movies. It doesn’t matter if it is a drama, comedy, science fiction, or true story, as long as it is well-written and acted, I will enjoy it. (Horror pictures I avoid because that is not entertaining to me.)
Founder & President
I am inspired by acts of courage, wonders of nature, and people who have “against-all-odds” made great accomplishments.
I can't live without ... I was going to say “potatoes.” It seems the most perfect food, whether fried, mashed, baked or made in casseroles. But what I really can’t live without is 'sharing with others.'
When I first got married my husband thought when someone asked for something of me or I saw a need, he was doing me a favor by telling me it wasn’t my responsibility and to say ‘no.’ This went on for quite awhile until I realized how miserable I had become. I finally told him that I like to share. It makes me feel good about myself.
Soon after that conversation, he and I were in line at the grocery store and the lady in front of us with 3 young children bought maybe 4 items. One of her sons brought up a package of cookies. She looked in her wallet and explained to her children that they didn’t have enough money and they had bought what was needed. No child argued or even looked disappointed. All four started walking home together with their bag of groceries. I saw them walking together on the sidewalk while my husband and I were driving home. I looked in my wallet and saw I had a $20 bill. I asked my husband to pull over. I got out of the truck and approached the mom and told her I admired the job she was doing with her children. They were so respectful. I also told her I noticed money was a little tight for her, I had been there myself, and wanted to share what I had with her delightful family… that was a really good day for me.
‘Sharing’ gives me a feeling I can’t live without.
My credentials are:
Using the skills I have learned from every secular, educational and volunteer experience needed to run a rescue.
While in California I did office work in the fields of Public Health, Land Development, Insurance, and Law. I wanted a career change so I went to a community college and received an Associates of Arts in Sign Language Interpreting. I interpreted part time at the college, interpreting classes for deaf students. I then went on to receive my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies (as a prerequisite to becoming a teacher) from California State University Northridge.
We moved to Arizona and I continued to take classes at Arizona State University to become a Certified High School teacher. While waiting for a job, I worked at the Arizona House of Representatives as a secretary for one session.
I taught High School Business for 11 years—6 years at Trevor Browne High and 5 years at Camelback High School.
When my husband and I adopted an 8-year-old-daughter, I started my volunteering. I volunteered for 4 ½ years at a Therapeutic Riding Center. I was recruited to be the Barn Manager at a local horse rescue and worked there for 4 years.
On July 25, 2011, After The Homestretch-Arizona came to be with IRS #45-2897060. We currently have 4 Board members, 3 members on our Advisory Council, and 50+ volunteers. We have earned the Platinum Status from GuideStar, the monitoring agency for smaller non-profits. We have been accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance since 2015. We are now in a permanent location – a 5-acre ranch in North Phoenix.
A unique discovery
I never used to believe in ‘things happen for a reason.’ I always felt we were given a brain to make decisions which resulted in things happening … until I noticed things were happening for a reason for our horses. For example:
Quetzel Green was rescued because of a phone number written on a napkin … just 3 days before he was going to be euthanized.
Brad’s Storm Time was foundering and we were faced with a decision to put him down … four days later, a lady gave me a business card for an alternative medical practitioner who was able to find a unique solution. He is now adopted and riding the trails.
Our lease was up on the ranch and we were running out of options for a new home for the horses… meanwhile, a friend referred me to a hay store where I just happened to meet a person who was getting ready to sell their ranch. It was perfect for our needs, so we bought it. And now our horses have a permanent home. Later, that friend called to apologize because she accidentally referred me to the wrong hay store.