Melanie Sue Bowles

When Melanie Sue Bowles stumbled across the quote, “The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose,” she loved it so much that it became the steadfast philosophy by which she has lived her entire adult life. Unwanted, elderly, and abused horses became her purpose, and she and her husband Jim began Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary with one horse in need on five acres of land in rural Florida. Their facility grew to hundreds of acres in first Arkansas, and then North Carolina, where rescued animals were allowed to roam as natural herds. Over the years, Melanie and Jim have intervened on behalf of over 300 downtrodden horses, many of them coming to the sanctuary to live out their lives in peace and dignity. Their story has been featured on PBS and in three books Bowles has written about the Sanctuary’s animal residents. Bowles comes from a large family, many of whom own horses and love all animals as much as she does, including nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who helped inspire the characters in Liberty Biscuit.