The practice of adopting dogs and cats has become wildly popular over the past few decades, resulting in millions of animals being saved. It makes sense; by adopting your pet, resources are freed up to help more vulnerable animals in your community. Horses are no different in that the need for safe rehoming options is critical to improving their welfare. One major difference, however, is the popularity of horse adoption. Many people are unaware that adopting a horse is an option, but we’re working to change that!
Here are several of the creative ways that the ASPCA is building bridges in the equine world and helping at-risk horses:
The Right Horse Initiative
To create transformational change and massively increase equine adoption, collaboration is key. Bringing together partners is exactly what the ASPCA’s Right Horse Initiative does, convening dozens of equine rescues, professionals, associations and businesses to help adoptable horses by sharing their diverse expertise and influence. By supporting innovation, advancing best practices and promoting equine adoption in new ways, The Right Horse is leading the way to bring equine adoption to the forefront.
My Right Horse
We’ve revolutionized the process of searching for adoptable horses by creating one portal where you can browse hundreds of them: My Right Horse. Adoption groups that are able to list horses on the site take excellent care of their horses and provide an outstanding adopter experience—so you can browse confidently, knowing that you’ll likely find your #RightHorse and have a great experience bringing them home.
Colorado State University’s Right Horse Program
Colorado State University, an early partner in our equine adoption work, has a world-renowned Equine Sciences program that attracts future equine professionals from around the country. The students go on to participate in the equine industry in many capacities, so it’s beneficial for them to understand and support equine welfare and adoption efforts. After engaging in our shared goal of increasing horse adoption and collaborating with several other of our partners, the University teamed up with three fellow Right Horse Partner, Colorado-based equine rescues. Each semester, the rescues send horses to the University, and the students spend several months providing training and helping the horses get adopted. This course, dubbed the CSU Right Horse Program at the Temple Grandin Equine Center, allows the rescues to maximize their resources and help more horses, while the students gain new training skills and learn about equine welfare. It’s a win-win situation that’s creating long-term change in the equestrian world.
The importance of good horse training can’t be overstated! Horses who are trained can become good partners for a wider range of adopters. But training resources are often scarce for shelters and rescues; many groups have a list of horses waiting to receive training.
Once again, our great partnerships are piloting an innovative new solution with our support. Professional horse trainers, including world-renowned trainers Monty Roberts and Julie Goodnight, are bringing adoptable horses from our Adoption Partners to their barns and using their talents and networks of contacts to facilitate adoptions.
Transporting Good Horses to Good People
Relocating animals from areas of overpopulation, or low adopter demand, to areas of higher demand has saved countless dogs and cats over the years. We’re applying that same idea to horses and moving them to areas where they can more efficiently find homes or receive additional training.
The ASPCA’s Horse Adoption Express has left the station and is moving horses around the country. This program recently launched, and already horses are finding homes and making their adopters’ dreams come true. For example, six horses recently left an Adoption Partner in Florida, where they’d each spent over a year awaiting an adopter, and traveled to a partner shelter, Horses’ Haven, in Michigan. The transported horses had a waiting list of adopters eager to meet them, and all six have now found happy homes.
Telling the Story of Adoption
Horse Illustrated is one of the most popular and respected equine magazines. Early into our partnership with the publication, they started highlighting equine adoption through a series of educational and celebratory articles. They’ve been changing the perception of equine adoption and helping more horses find homes—and they’ve assembled a great online resource library to help first-time horse owners learn how to care for their new hooved friends. Check it out!
Interested in learning more about equine adoption and meeting some of the incredible horses who’ve been helped by these programs? Visit myrighthorse.org to get started!
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