A 501(c)(3) Horse Rescue Located in Aberdeen, North Carolina

Welcome to the Santana Center

The Santana Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to finding, placing and keeping horses in loving homes. Based out of North Carolina, our focus is to educate the horse community about responsible horse ownership, rehabilitation of rescue horses and what we can do to stop the epidemic of unwanted horses.

Every horse deserves a forever home. Learn more about rescue horses looking for a family.

Help us care for horses in need. Sponsor a horse, make a donation or foster an equine

Our Story
About The Santana Center

“A lot of people ask, why are we called the Santana Center? Santana Satin and Gold was my very special horse, who changed my life when he came into it and then again when he left. The overwhelming grief that I felt when he died inspired me to try to give something back to these wonderful animals. I still miss him every day, but I know that he would be thrilled to see all of these horses rescued in his name.” -Kathy

Featured Horse of the Month

Pooh Bear

This sweet little nugget is one of two adorable babies that we have here at the Santana Center.


What adopters and volunteers say about The Santana Center
  • The Santana Center has been exceptional in every way. As a former board member of a rescue and a current Humane Police Officer, I work closely with rescue organizations daily. The team at Santana stands out as one of the most professional, courteous, compassionate, and thorough organizations i have ever encountered. I personally did an out of state adoption of two mini horses they saved from a kill pen. It was a pleasure beginning to end and they continue to be supportive and regularly check in on my girls. I highly recommend this rescue!

    Erin I.
  • I have known Kathy and Nikki of the Santana Center for quite some time now. Their selfless acts of kindness within their rescue operation is amazing. They always do right by the horses. They and their team of volunteers spend time with the horses, making sure they know they are safe, loved and receive the care a true horse person would give of their own. The Santana center carefully hand picks adoptive families to ensure that the horses go to good forever loving homes, and are protected under their meticulous contract. Not only do they take in horses in desperate need of medical attention, they also take in horses that have lost their homes in these hard times. I’ve witnessed firsthand the horses they have taken in over the years, and I couldn’t recommend more highly a top notch rescue than Kathy and Nikki and The Santana Center.

    Penny P.
  • I have found The Santana Center to be an excellent Equine rescue to work with. The staff is incredibly caring, conscientious, and dedicated to helping horses no matter where they are. Furthermore, they work tirelessly to educate the public against the slaughtering of horses, and how to be a responsible owner. Their rehabilitation and training program is top notch, giving the rescue horses the best possible opportunity of finding forever homes. Adoption placements are thoroughly monitored to ensure that they never again fall through the cracks. If you’re looking for an amazing rescue, look no further. The Santana Center is one of the very best. I can’t thank them enough for all of their amazing work. Highly recommended.

    Leah T.
  • I loved my time volunteering for the Santana Center. I got to spend time with so many amazing horses and people. Being able to watch horses from the time they came to the Santana Center to when they finally left for their forever homes was such a joy. Seeing the terrified horse transform into a horse that can’t get enough attention from humans was truly incredible. I volunteered with the Santana Center for almost three years and I learned more about horses and the horse industry in those three years than I did in my seven years of riding and showing. I can’t recommend the Santana Center enough to anyone who loves horses or wants to be involved in bettering the lives of these amazing animals.

    Kate O.
  • I had the pleasure to volunteer at The Santana Center with my daughter for 2and 1/2 years.  when I saw a post about them on a friend’s page I knew right there and then that’s where I needed to be.  It became my “happy place,” a home away from home. The love and compassionate care that Kathy and Nikki devote to these horses who have been starved, abused, neglected and  saved from kill pens  is so heart warming. They bring the trust love and  sparkle,  back to these horses eyes and make sure that these horses find a new and loving forever  home a second chance .  even after they are adopted they still keep in touch with every single horse. Volunteering at The Santana Center as been a great learning experience . So if you love horses as much as I do this is the place to be. Kathy and Nikki are amazing and even though they moved from where I live, I will always find a way to get back there and visit. They will always be my” happy place, ”  my home away from home.

    Tammy C.
  • I volunteered at the Santana Center for a decade prior to the big move to North Carolina. I have spent unmeasurable hours shoveling manure, chasing horses, fixing broken fences, and yelling “knock it off!” more times than I can count. But every hour spent in the sun, rain, snow, or wind has been worth it when I get to see one of the horses off the trailer into their new homes. I’ve learned a lot about myself during this time. I am stronger mentally and physically then I ever could have thought. Patience is a skill that is developed over time and I see what I have learned from the rescue impact my day to day life. I can nail a wooden board back to where it belongs better than most men. I can look at a horse and know when they’re nervous, inquisitive, or ready to learn. And I have bonded with people that I view as some of my closest friends. Overall, the rescue has changed my life and in turn I hope I have changed the lives of the many animals we have taken under our care.

    Kelsey D.

Helpful Information

Tips for adopting a rescue horse & community resources for finding your equine partner.

Before You Adopt

Before you begin your search, here are some tips for you to think about as you scroll through and look at our available horses.

Understanding Horse Rescues

A new series of blog posts that explore different aspects of horse rescues, as well as what to expect when you decide to adopt a horse vs. purchasing a sale horse.

Community Resources

The Santana Center is honored to be a part of a network of horse rescues, and together we work as a team to help you find the right horse to fit your needs.