With Passion and Ambition She Created a "Herd of Hope"
Aileen Stevens, founder of Herd of Hope, was born and raised in Lancaster County. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2002 from West Chester University. After graduation, Aileen worked in a number of different fields, focusing primarily on the development of her business management skills. In 2005, she and her husband, Dr. Shea Stevens, opened a dental practice. Aileen was instrumental in developing the office’s infrastructure, while her husband began providing comprehensive dental care to patients. Aileen and Shae now run two practices; Aileen provides oversight, managing budgetary, human resource, and administrative issues.
As the Stevens continued to grow their practices, Aileen embraced opportunities for community service, volunteering with organizations ranging from the SPCA to her children’s local schools. All the while, her love of horses—which began in her childhood—continued to grow. Two years ago, Aileen found a way to combine her passions. Building on her years of business experience, Aileen founded an equine rescue, rescuing over 150 horses. Aileen’s vision has always included helping humans and people by allowing them to connect and heal each other. The therapeutic and camp programs offered through Herd of Hope bring this vision to life, providing services to diverse community members.
In addition to first-hand, lifelong experience with horses, Aileen continues to enhance her horsemanship skills by attending various trainings, including a Natural Horsemanship Clinic in 2019.
"Born and raised in Lancaster, I always had a love of horses. I leased my first horse when I was in 8th grade and the love only grew from there. I was asked to find a home for a horse that was slaughter bound, and this experience opened my eyes to the auction world and how many horses are sent to slaughter every year. I couldn't turn a blind eye. I immediately became immersed in the world of auction and began to rescue horses at-risk for slaughter. I knew I needed a local barn to help me if I wanted to expand my work and save more horses. Herd of Hope Horse Rescue has become my life's passion. These beautiful animals are my family, and I will continue to find them the homes and love they deserve."