ASPCA: horse adoption and rescue awareness

In an effort to help reduce the homeless horse population, the ASPCA has launched an equine adoption campaign to bring attention to equine rescue and adoption.

The homeless horse population in North America is an ongoing challenge. And it has become clear that no single approach is going to resolve the issue. The equestrian community will need to work together in a multi-faceted fashion to gradually increase responsibility for each and every horse. One way of doing this is to help promote and bring awareness to horse rescue, and horses available for adoption. Too many people refuse to consider rescued horses when looking for a new equine partner, often because of myths such as “rescued horses always have problems”, or “horse rescues aren’t reputable”.

Benefits of adoption

“There are several benefits to adopting a horse,” says Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which is working to build awareness of horse adoption.

“These benefits include the following:

  • You get an honest assessment of the horse from the rescue team on what they have discovered about the horse while in their care.
  • The rescue will commonly have brought the equine up to date on vaccines, de-worming, gelding, hoof care and dental work.
  • More rescues are engaged in training the horses in their care.
  • People who adopt from rescues do so to support the group’s work and feel good about knowing they are helping a horse move into a new phase of purpose.

“A recent nationwide survey conducted by Edge Research and commissioned by the ASPCA, showed that 2.3 million Americans have the means, space and interest for adopting a horse within the next five years,” adds Jacque. That is a lot of homes for a lot of horses in need!

The ASPCA has partnered with 2 Broke Girls actress Beth Behrs to help bring awareness to the importance of equine adoption. Beth has become a strong advocate for this cause after adopting her own horse, Belle, from Blue Apple Ranch last year.

“There are so many wonderful horses with amazing temperaments, smarts, personality and charm that need forever homes,” says Beth. “And there are so many wonderful rescue organizations that do incredible work to train the horses and prepare them for their forever homes. It is the best decision I ever made and I cannot imagine my life without Belle in it.”

When considering where to adopt, ask these questions:

  • Is the group credentialed? “The two most common credentialing bodies are the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA),” says Jacque. “Both perform onsite inspections, review records and protocols of both equine and people-oriented programs, and check financials and business practices.
  • “Are they involved in other equine entities such as coalitions or state horse councils? Membership indicates concern for the betterment and safety of equines on a larger scale, and illustrates an understanding of the importance of being part of a larger network.”

To find an adoptable horse near you, please visit