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ASPCA Grants $458,000 to Equine Rescue Groups Joining Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative in 2011

Eight New Groups Join Grant Program This Year
September 21, 2011

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that eight thoroughbred rescue organizations have joined the ASPCA Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative, a major program made possible by a generous donor, which aids in the rescue of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter, instead rehabilitating them and giving them a new lease on life for events or enjoyment.

"Too often, thoroughbreds end up at livestock auctions--or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses--when their racing days are over," said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. "Each of these groups has demonstrated a dedication to promoting equine rescue and welfare. We're proud to help them responsibly build their capacity and save more racehorses."

The new organizations joining the list of thoroughbred rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2011 are:

  • Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue in Pa., which will use the funding to build an additional quarantine area and install fencing in two other areas of the property to increase capacity;
  • The Exceller Fund in Ky., which will finance its 'Racing Warriors' program to provide sanctuary housing for five horses who competed on the track until physically depleted and are incapable of being repurposed as performance horses;
  • Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program in N.Y., which will use the funding for training programs and therapeutic shoeing in order to reduce the time it takes to get retirees adopted;
  • Glen Ellen Vocational Academy (GEVA) in Calif., which will overhaul its drainage system so that the paddocks aren't a muddy quagmire during and after the rainy season. Additional paddocks will be built to house thoroughbreds being rotated out of their areas until the project is completed and then be used to house additional horses;
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in Ohio and other locations, which will rehabilitate 40 injured thoroughbreds;
  • Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program in Okla., which will increase the number of trainers working with retired thoroughbreds to make them ready for adoptions sooner, which will enable more horses to go through the program annually;
  • Re-Run in N.J. and N.Y., which will pay for trainers at three of their facilities to prepare retirees for their new homes; and
  • Tranquility Farm in Calif., which will employ qualified trainers to assist in the rehabilitation of thoroughbreds for adoption.

The eight new groups join five existing equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country originally selected in 2010 to take up the challenge of saving more thoroughbreds than ever before: Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky.; Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) with chapters throughout the country; California Equine Retirement Foundation Winchester, Calif.; Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Chesapeake City, Md.; and Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Lexington, Ky.

The selected recipients cover a wide range of thoroughbred rescues, and the grant funding helps each of the groups increase capacity and rescue more horses. Plans have included expanding direct intake programs, incorporating physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovating facilities to accommodate more horses, creating a training voucher program to increase adoptions, and implementing training programs for thoroughbreds to prepare them for second careers.

In 2010 the ASPCA awarded more than $1 million in the form of 93 grants to equine rescue groups and humane organizations in 32 states, nearly doubling the $546,789 distributed in 2009. 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.

The ASPCA Equine Fund provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the United States for purposes in alignment with our efforts to protect horses. The ASPCA Equine Fund grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices. To learn more about the ASPCA Equine Fund and 2010 grantees, visit www.aspcapro.org.