BIDDEFORD — With a pure white coat and molting around his eyes and nose, Jazz is a favorite among visitors to Ever After Mustang Rescue – and he loves the attention. The 19-year-old mustang-appaloosa mix also happens to be blind, and the rescue is launching a campaign to raise money to build a new shelter for him.

To kick things off, Ever After is holding an open house Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Come see what we do and learn more about Jazz,” Lydia Boothby said of the event. People can donate at the open house, at the nonprofit shelter’s website – – or through the rescue’s Facebook page.

Jazz is just one of the many mustangs that Ever After Mustang Rescue has taken in during the 16 years it has been operating. Mona Jerome founded the nonprofit in 2002 with the help of her husband, Brad. Since then, she has shared her almost 30 years of experience working with horses with Boothby, her granddaughter, who’s been involved in the rescue since it opened.

Jazz needs a new shelter because the shelter’s stalls are in need of repair and he needs a safe place to stay while the barn is being worked on, Boothby said.

Because of his blindness, Jazz sometimes bumps into things or has trouble getting back into his stall.

“(We) want to keep him in what’s familiar” by keeping him in a similar area while the barn is being redone, Boothby said.

Jazz arrived at the shelter in 2007 and has become acquainted with his surroundings despite his blindness, which Boothby said is caused by uveitis, a condition that can be common among horses.

Volunteers have been part of a group effort to assist Jazz. He also has a guide who helps him get around the barn – a mule named Grant.

“Since Grant got here, they’ve gone out together. Horses and mules are very smart,” Boothby said, noting the partnership they have formed.

Boothby said Jazz “has a happy life” despite his blindness.

He’s been able to guide himself into his stall by using his nose to feel with his whiskers, she said, and he’s been able not only to develop trust of his other senses but also in the people who work with him.

“His ability to be so trusting regardless of who it is is very notable of Jazz, since getting to that point can be tricky with horses that are undergoing rehabilitation,” Boothby said.

Ever After Mustang Rescue’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate horses that are in need of a good home, whether that means staying at the rescue for the rest of their lives or being taken into a good home elsewhere.

They procure horses like Jazz, who was living on a farm in New York with poor conditions, and give them the help and treatment they need to hopefully become adoptable and go to a good home.

Ever After Mustang Rescue is at 463 West St. in Biddeford.

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