Find out who we are and what we do
On February 14, 1999 Doug Arneson and Geri Vincent purchased 10+ acres with a dilapidated house and barn in Monroe, Washington as their home and a place where they could help equines in need. A new home was in place by June 1999 and they moved onto the property with three dogs, thirteen cats (foster failures…), three horses, two donkeys, Tony Pony and a flock of chickens. Improving the property and working full time was very demanding. In addition, equines in need soon came to live with us.
The following years were very hectic with many animals entering the rescue, the ongoing need to re-build the farm and full time work to pay the bills. We operated as a private rescue until 2010, paying for the animals’ needs with our income and savings. We received our state charity status in 2008 but we were not aware that we could provide tax receipts while our federal 501c3 status was pending. We didn’t publicize our nonprofit status until June 2010 when we received our determination letter from the IRS.
Equine Aid is a labor of love and hope. We are thankful for our wonderful Board of Directors and all the volunteers who help us care for the animals. There are many ways to help here. We hope that every person who has assisted us, in any capacity, knows how important they are to the successful rehabilitation, training and placement of our rescued equines.
Meet The Team
Doug Arneson: Founder
Doug’s business cards read ‘Facility Manager’ which translates into ‘any job that needs doing, he’s on it’! Since retiring from driving big rigs in 2014, Doug has taken full charge of the maintenance and barn work at Equine Aid. He also keeps the feeders filled with hay and maintains our supply of hay, feed and bedding. Quite a change from living on his sailboat! He is a big softie for any animal in need, his flock of chickens, our herd of cats and two dogs, wild birds and his ducks, Marley and Dora.
One fine day in the spring of 2007, our Petey arrived along with his beautiful family: two standard jennets and their jack foals. He was a parasite infested jack, seized by Skagit County animal control. In spite of all the his sudden life changes he remained charming and self confident. After quarantine he was gelded and was soon adopted by our neighbors. He proved to be too much of a busy-body for their farm and returned after a couple weeks. Because he is so social with everyone and comfortable indoors and out, we decided he would stay as our mascot. He is an expert at donkey kisses and a great ambassador for all donkeys.
The individuals listed below all serve without payment as Equine Aid is entirely volunteer operated. Your donations go to the animals, not for administration.
Geri Vincent, Founder/President:
The work I have done over the years has given me an odd assortment of skills which come together well for my role with Equine Aid. I have worked as a vet assistant, a farrier, spawned salmon, a cook, worked in fisheries research, a zoo keeper, managed a boarding stable, worked at an Arabian breeding farm and managed a warehouse. Although I am not proud of some of this work, I am grateful for what I learned from every experience and for the enlightenment they brought. Our goal at Equine Aid is sharing respect for every species in our rescue work. I am proud that every one of us wants to improve the lives of animals and people through our outreach.
Lennis Mullin, Board Member & Herd Health Manager:
As a child growing up in a small town in Puerto Rico, I always wanted a bicycle. For some odd reason, my parents bought me a pony instead. Then my mom discovered that she too loved horses and got herself a mare. Every weekend we would saddle-up and ride through the mountains, joined on the way by neighbors, friends, and other riders.
College took me away from home, followed by a 40-year Nursing career during which only memories remained of those awesome times with the horses.
Then one day, serendipitously through my best friend and a work party, I was introduced to Horse Rescue. My passion for horses was re-ignited and a whole new journey began! Recently I had the good fortune to be offered an early retirement. This has allowed me to pursue a dream—spending more time at the barn caring for the horses and donkey as the rescue’s Herd Health Manager and serving on the Board of Directors.
Additionally, I am looking forward to learning how to “relax” in my retirement and spend more time with my three-legged Black Lab and best friend, Frida, while also beginning my search for a place to move to out in “the country”….
Tinsley Whyde, Board Member/Event Coordinator:
I am a stay at home mom from Tucson, Arizona. Before having my daughter I worked in small animal veterinary medicine for 15 years and in animal rescue for even longer. My interest (obsession) in all things equine started shortly after moving to Washington with my husband and daughter in 2015. With my husband at work and my daughter in pre-school, I found myself wanting to work in animal rescue again. I started volunteering at Equine Aid in January 2018 and it is one of my favorite places to spend time. Geri and Doug have devoted their lives to helping horses and donkeys and I love being part of their farm. In fact, I love it so much that I adopted my first horse from them! I am now the event coordinator for the sanctuary and lead tours every month. I love sharing this special place with people and will continue to do so every chance I get!
Lynn Williamson, Board Member/ Secretary: I have loved animals my whole life and have volunteered most of my adult life with a variety of animal and environmental organizations involving exotic animals, native wildlife and domestic animals. But the one kind of animal I have not had a lot of experience with were equines. I have always loved and been intrigued with horses, and have ridden from time-to-time but have just not had one on one hands-on experience with them. Through my volunteer work at a chimpanzee sanctuary in Cle Elum, WA, I found Geri through my friendship with the chimp’s primary veterinarian– on Facebook of all places. I had known of Geri when I volunteered at the Woodland Park Zoo, and we had friends in common, but I had never met her! I contacted Geri over Facebook and quickly arranged a visit with the intent of my volunteering during winter months when it is difficult to get over Snoqualmie Pass to get to the chimp sanctuary. I quickly fell in love with the equines at Equine Aid and I am learning so much from Geri and Doug and my fellow volunteers, so I decided to make Equine Aid my year-round volunteer job. Life is very full with chimps, horses, donkeys and ponies. Oh, and dogs, chickens, roosters and ducks too! I live in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with two kitty cat brothers, Ben and Lewis.
Sabato Sorice, Board Member/ Treasurer: I am relatively new (since 2018) to being around horses and donkeys, yet my admiration and connection has been with me most of my life. My experiences in luxury hotel management and telecommunications industry lend itself to the genuine care, friendliness, and resources needed to support Equine Aid’s mission. My working management experience is over 20 years (Ritz-Carlton, AT&T) and my B.S. degree is in Information Technology and Administrative Management (CWU). Great ingredients for a successful organization are people, friendliness, preparation, participation, and performing along with our genuine care for each other and animals setting us up for success. I look forward to being with our team at Equine Aid in Monroe, Washington.
Jacinda Guenthner: Advisory Board Member:
I have been riding and working with horses for 20 years, starting in Snohomish County 4H and continuing to show in performance. I have worked with adults with developmental disabilities in numerous capacities and with nonprofits for eight years. I have a BA in community psychology from the UW Bothell. Horses are my passion and I began rescuing in 2014. I currently have four wonderful horses. My picture is myself and Joy, my very first horse we purchased when I was nine. She has crossed the rainbow bridge.