Unwanted Horse Group Compiling List of Facilities Accepting Horses

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) is asking facilities that will accept and/or place horses to list themselves on the UHC Web site.  

"This is an important step for the coalition," said Tom Lenz, DVM, UHC chairman. "We have received many inquiries, not only from horse owners who are seeking retirement homes or second careers for their horses, but also from people who are interested in adopting a horse or volunteering at equine placement organizations. We expect that this online directory will furnish valuable information to all these people and, in so doing, be good for the horses."

Representatives for the UHC said they hope the group's Web site will be utilized as a bridge between people who are seeking alternatives for their horses and the many facilities that will accept them. Such facilities include rescue, retirement, and retraining facilities; therapeutic riding programs; colleges and universities; police and military organizations; public stables; and government and park service programs.

The UHC has organized its Web site so that representatives of these facilities can list themselves after completing a brief questionnaire.

To complete the questionnaire or view the facilities in the directory, go to www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org, click "Resources," and follow the link to "Facilities that Accept Horses."

Facilities will be listed by state. The information from the questionnaire is intended to give horse owners more information about the facility, including contact information, whether it is tax exempt, year founded, horse capacity, number of staff, and whether it follows the "Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities," published by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Facility managers will also be able to describe their organization and spell out its purpose and philosophy.

"We want as many facilities listed as possible, large and small, all breeds and purposes, those with a formal structure and those without," Lenz said. "Just because a facility is small or not tax-exempt doesn't mean it is not a good facility. There are plenty of horses who need care, training, and use. We want to make horse owners aware of the big facilities that may have farms in several states and the smaller facilities that may serve a local area. They all have a place in this effort."

The UHC Web site also features a series of questions to help guide owners trying to decide on a facility, program, or second use for their horse.

"Sometimes people just don't understand what facilities do and what questions they should ask," said Katy Carter, UHC coordinator. "We hope this will help them and their horse in a difficult time."

The UHC is a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to reduce the number of unwanted horses and help horse owners understand the various options, services, and assistance available to them when they are considering what to do with a horse they can no longer care for.

The coalition's Web site has information on the issue of the unwanted horse along with an ever-expanding resource section dedicated to educational materials and news articles. A brochure highlighting the coalition and its activities is available online, along with a handbook entitled "Own Responsibly: Guidance for Current and Potential Horse Owners from the Unwanted Horse Coalition."

For more information see the UHC Web site, www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org.  

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