Rescue, Adoption and Retirement facilities offer a great option not only to horse owners who are no longer able to care for their horses, but also to the horse who will receive the care they deserve and in many cases, a second career and a new home.
The AQHA has produces a publiction entitled "Understanding Your Options for the Unwanted or Usable Horse".
The American Association of Equine Practicioners have created "Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities". It is good to review these before considering placing your horse at a facility.
Read Dr. Jennifer Williams' article, "The Current Status of Rescue" for great questions to ask when considering placing your horse at a rescue or retirement facility. You can also visit the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, an accreditation organization, to find a complete list of rescues and sanctuaries that are accredited in Colorado. http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org
Many people are confused about the terms horse rescue, retirement and/or sanctuary. The Unwanted Horse Coalitions pamphlet "Own Responsibility" offers a solid description and can be downloaded from their website. The site offers an online directory of facilities currently accepting horses.
The website also summarizes essential information to consider before placing your horse at a rescue, retirement or sanctuary. This information is based on input from the American Association of Equine Practicioners (AAEP) and offers a series of guidelines.
AAEP - "Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities"
Although the Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance does not endorse one particular facility, it does recognize the efforts of the following organizations:
- Colorado Horse Rescue
- Front Range Equine Rescue
Unwanted Horse Coalition's List of Facilities that accept horses.
The American Quarter Horse Association's new Greener Pastures program will enable owners to indicate on a horse's registration certificate that should the horse ever become unwanted, unusable, or simply ready for retirement, they will if possible assist in finding him or her a suitable home.
The program is free, completely voluntary, does not imply that a buy back or exchange of money will occur, or that a horse is guaranteed a home, because sometimes situations can and do change. It simply allows members who can and want an opportunity to provide for the long-term care of horses they've bred or owned. You must be an AQHA members to sign up for, or to enroll a horse in the program.
Essentially, the Association will act as a clearinghouse by tracking Greener Pastures-enrolled horses and AQHA members who have indicated the desire to help.
For more information click here: AQHA.com