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ASPCA Announces Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative

Major Grants Will Save Retired Racehorses Across the Country
March 2, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative—a major initiative made possible by a generous donor—that will aid in the rescue of retired racehorses from neglect, abuse, and slaughter.  Six equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country were selected to take up the challenge of saving more thoroughbreds than ever before.

The six grant recipients are: California Equine Retirement Foundation in Winchester, Calif.; Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky.; MidAtlantic Horse Rescue in Chesapeake City, Md.; Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Lexington, Ky.; Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation headquartered in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. with contracted housing in 14 states; and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) in East Lansing, Mich. with chapters in eight states.

"Many thoroughbreds rarely live out their final days in peace and comfort when their racing careers are over," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "Too often, they end up at auctions or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses where their lives come to a brutal end.  These grants will enable organizations devoted to equine rescue the ability to save more horses and further advance their mission."

The selected recipients cover a wide range of thoroughbred rescues, and the grant funding—ranging from $100,000 to $350,000—will be distributed over the next two to three years to help each of the groups increase capacity and rescue more horses.  Plans include expanding direct intake programs, incorporating physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovating facilities to accommodate more horses, creating voucher programs to increase adoptions, and implementing training programs for thoroughbreds to ready them for second careers.

"We met with visionaries who were extremely grateful to be selected for this opportunity to responsibly build their capacity and save more racehorses," said Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of ASPCA Community Outreach. "The ASPCA truly values each group's steadfast efforts to promote equine welfare.  The thoroughbred that has given its all on the racetrack deserves to live out his life free of pain, fear, and suffering."

In 2009, the ASPCA awarded a total of more than $540,000 in the form of 164 grants to equine rescue groups and humane organizations across the country.  The ASPCA works to protect and aid horses through legislation, advocacy, education, targeted grants, and enforcement of the carriage horse and cruelty laws in New York City. 

For more information on the ASPCA's equine programs, please visit http://www.aspcapro.org/saving-lives/equine-program.