Winter Is Coming—Help Us Save At-Risk Horses

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 4:45pm
Chestnut colored horse stands in ring

Max, a former champion living in Arizona, was healthy and happy before his owner was forced to give him up.

As the deadly snow storms that have already hit the Great Plains illustrate, winter is coming. It won't be long before much of the country is buried under a blanket of white.

This is the time of year equine rescues, sanctuaries, and community hay banks serving needy horse owners stock up on hay for the entire winter. The ASPCA assists these groups through grants made possible by our members’ compassion and generosity, ensuring that horses don't suffer and starve.

One such group is the Arizona Coalition for Equines (ACE), which received a $3,000 grant from the ASPCA in November 2012. These are just a few of the lives ACE was able to touch with that funding:

  • Slammed by foreclosure on her home and forced to move after the death of her mother, a woman living on disability ran out of money to feed her two horses. She turned to ACE for a helping hand, saying she would rather feed her horses than herself. ACE responded with a month’s worth of hay and settled her unpaid feed bill, giving her time to get back on her feet. Her horses remain in excellent condition.
  • A disabled veteran on a fixed income asked ACE for help when his horse became unable to walk. Sometimes feeding his horses before himself, he was desperate to get veterinary care but unable to pay the upfront costs. With ACE assistance, a veterinarian did a complete examination and diagnosed thrush, a front hoof abscess and a possible pelvic injury. Treatment provided immediate relief. 

The greatest success story belongs to Max, a 30-year-old former champion show horse (pictured) who had been owner-released to a commercial stable due to financial hardship. His former owner was devastated when he went to visit Max months later and found him close to death—he had been left to starve. The man reached out to ACE, which rescued Max and covered the cost of his foster care until a new forever home was found.

As you budget your holiday spending and pick out the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, please remember the horses—as well as the cats and dogs—who are out in the cold this winter. If you haven’t done so lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Max who are bracing for winter and waiting for our help.

Skinny horse with outline of ribs showing

When ACE rescued Max from a commercial stable, he was emaciated and starving from severe neglect.

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Yes, that was my first thought as well! I cried when I first saw Max's picture. How is it possible that nobody working in or visiting that stable- or owners of horses being boarded there- saw this poor suffering creature in there?? i used to ride horses and have always been a big animal lover; the stables I've been to always have an army of horse-loving kids and young girls around to volunteer and spend time with the animals. Have things really changed that much since or what kind of place is this? I'm losing faith in humanity, really. Another thing- Max worked and created profit for this person all his life and it took the guy "several months" to visit him? Awful. At least he called the ASPCA finally. Please post an update on this, I'm really troubled by this story.


Susanna said it all I have a "clip" on my Refrigerator stating "THE MORE I SEE OF PEOPLE THE BETTER I LIKE MY DOGS.

Heather Davis

I'm with Karen, let's starve and beat the people who abuse and starve animals maybe that will stop the morons and when people realize that they are going to get the same treatment they dish out may be some of the stupidity will stop.


I hope the stable owner was put in jail or executed!


it is not embarrassing to know any one could be this cruel to an animal or any one,. it is disgusting to know and learn any one could sleep at night knowing that there is a living creature feet away hungry and cold, and the conscience of some one would have a good night sleep and a hardy meal... just know God is watching and you may get away with it in this life, but they will have to answer for their ignorance and stupidity and selfishness.... this kinda of thing just makes me sick!


correction it is very embarrassing to learn of just bad people.

Barb Holcomb

The laws on animal abuse are way too soft and forgiving. Many times it is just a misdemeanor. They need to have stiffer sentences, longer probations and be prohibited from EVER owning, living with, or caring for another animal. Having a database for animal abusers for the entire country is doable. These people are just a hair away from abusing humans and I'd bet that they do that too. It would be money well spent.


well if you think about it jail is really tooooooooo good for the a -- now starving maybe if you make sure that he's tied and chained to something to make sure he really suffers, and put them OUTSIDE. and as emma says tell someone, don't be ashamed to ask for help, cause we all need help at one time.

Sharon B

I agree with Karen. Let the bastards who do this to animals starve and suffer. Who cares about them
Jailtime is too good for them.

Sharon B

I agree with Karen. Let the bastards who do this to animals starve and suffer. Who cares about them
Jailtime is too good for them.