Many things can happen in the life of an equine owner which force the decision to sell, or find a new situation, for even a treasured equine partner. Financial changes, location changes, health issues or even time constraints are just a few issues that can force a horse owner to be scratching their head wondering how best to go about finding the next safe solution for their equine friend. If you, or someone you know, is faced with this situation… there are options.
Do not surrender your horse to a kill pen or send it to public auction. Much too risky. This is the surest route towards the slaughter pipeline. Also do not advertise your horse as free to a good home in the paper and then give it to anyone who shows up without taking time to thoroughly investigate the person who will be receiving the horse. And, to check up on the horse if you do give it away. Many kill buyers use a story of a niece, daughter, or family member they want to surprise with a new horse, and then ship that very same horse to slaughter, very shortly after acquisition.
Surrendering a horse to a reputable progressive rescue organization can be a very good choice for all parties involved. Here at Horses without Humans we have had people surrender their horses for various reasons similar to what is listed above. If the rescue is capable of training and adopting out your horse, here is a list of the good things that can happen because of that. If your horse is spoken for through a program such as Horses without Humans offers, he or she will have a safety net that is rarely, if ever, offered in traditional sales.
Horses without Humans rescue organization will take an adopted horse back if the adoptive family can no longer keep or care for the horse, or, if the horse, proves long term to not be suitable. This scenario eases the worry of what might happen as the donated horse gets older, or maybe has an injury or illness.
The adoption fee generated from a surrendered horse can help other horses at the rescue, by providing funds, for ongoing needs such as feed, hay, medical supplies, farrier, etc. These costs never end and our rescue is no different than many others. We depend on adoption fees to help cover costs of maintaining, training and bringing in more horses who need help.
If you are surrendering a horse you should be very honest in your description. Disclose all medical, behavioral, and training issues. If you can transport the horse to the rescue… do so. If you can donate funds to the rescue so that your horse is not a burden on the feed bill do so as well. Sometimes there will be a waiting period before your horse can be taken in. If you do not need the horses tack, blankets, grooming supplies etc, consider donating these items as well. Your gifts will be tax deductible, including the value of the horse.
We have a very real problem here in the United States. One which all horse owners and lovers should be aware of and then embrace until a viable solution is found. The problem is that of unwanted horses and what happens to them when owners forego their responsibilities. If you love horses, or have benefitted from being part of the equine industry please do what you can for those with no voice of their own.
My name is Yvonne Barteau and I am dedicated to doing what I can to be the change I wish to see in the Equine Industry. One horse at a time…and one after another!