Desert Oasis Rescue

President and founder Rhona “Cass” Dewey with the horses of Desert Oasis Rescue.
  • Services

    Rehabilitation, Adoption

  • Location

    Tuscan, Arizona

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


Surrounded by miles of dirt roads and the lush Sonoran Desert, Desert Oasis Rescue (DOR) is just that, an oasis. It’s a refuge; a safe place for OTTBs to come after their racing careers to rest, decompress, rehabilitate, and reinvent themselves into their next chapter. DOR’s President Rhonda (“Cass” to those who know her) has lived on the property for 32 years. With a 10-stall barn, a long row of turnouts, a few smaller pens, 2 larger paddocks, and large sanctuary enclosure, and attention to detail, her green thumb and horsemanship are on full display.

Cass has been involved in the horse business her entire life and had taken hundreds of horses off the track before finally deciding to make it official and became a 501c3 nonprofit in 2018. DOR averages 22 OTTBs each year with a nice balance of rehab and sanctuary horses. Cass’s knack for networking, equine care, and being able to match horses with the right home has been proven time and time again.

For her, the horses are the easy part. Her daughter Brandi stepped in to help organize and modernize the operation. Dr. Chuck Hoover, the veterinarian who lives down the road, is on the Board and is an absolute angel supporting the health and well-being of the animals. Olivia Tashlein, a student in the Racetrack Industry Program, has chipped in to help with writing grants and social media. Bridget Brussles is our tech component and is currently building the website. It takes a team to expand into today’s modern world and become part of the OTTB movement. This work is a passion project. When you go to a local horse show and see so many healthy happy DOR graduates there doing their jobs for their new owners, in their new lives, it makes it all worthwhile.

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