What is a horse rescue?

cera-8Every year there are tens of thousands of unwanted horses across the United States that don’t have a home, or are in danger of starvation or going to slaughter. While the data from various sources changes, last year over 140,000 horses were shipped across US borders to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.

In the United States rescue facilities have the resources to care for a little over 30,000 horses, and these organizations often work towards placing these horses into homes where they will be able to live out the rest of their lives.

Each organization is different, and each organization works with different types of rescue horses. Rescue horses can come from a variety of sources:

  • Racing (both thoroughbred, standardbred, QH racing)
  • Mares and foals who are by-products of the production of the drug Premarin (pregnant-mares-urine (PMU), used to treat menopausal symptoms for which there is a synthetic alternative)
  • Over breeding and “backyard” breeders
  • Irresponsible owners – their horses are acquired by questionable buyers through auctions or free on Craigslist.
  • A changing economy – not all owners are aware of the lifetime cost of horse ownership (horses can live for 30-40 years)

Organizations rely on donations to function, but the directors tend to be incredibly driven and passionate people. Adopting a rescue horse can be a great alternative to purchasing, although be warned – while the up front cost might be less, horses are expensive to maintain!

Click here to find a horse rescue in North Carolina! 

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