ASPCA Names Tom Persechino Director of Equine Welfare

March 22, 2018

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the appointment of Tom Persechino as director of Equine Welfare. Persechino will draw from his extensive experience in the equine industry to help advance the work of the organization’s Equine Welfare department, which is focused on ensuring equines nationwide have good welfare.  By working collaboratively with stakeholders in both the welfare and sheltering community and equine industries, the ASPCA aims to help at-risk horses safely transition to new careers and homes, increase safety net support for horse owners so they have adequate access to resources in times of need, and enhance its strong anti-cruelty efforts.

"Tom Persechino’s commitment to equine welfare and his impressive background within the equine industry will be a valuable asset in helping the ASPCA develop innovative programming and new partnerships to promote the bond between horses and humans and improve the welfare of horses across the country,” said Emily Weiss, Ph.D., CAAB, vice president of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “We look forward to leveraging Tom’s experience to expand our collaboration with horse industry professionals to achieve the goal of good welfare for all equines.”

Prior to joining the ASPCA, Persechino oversaw multiple key initiatives and programs for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) for more than 20 years. His previous responsibilities included overseeing AQHA’s welfare and drug-testing programs, as well as creating its steward program, which defined and enforced safe, humane training practices at shows and races. It was at AQHA where Persechino helped to establish the Full Circle Program, a method by which members can assist in providing or finding a suitable home for horses with which they have a previous connection. He was also part of the team that established the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition, aimed at improving horse welfare through education and industry collaboration.

“I’m honored to be joining an organization that shares my passion for ensuring all horses are treated with dignity and respect,” said Persechino. “I look forward to continuing to identify areas of collaboration within the equine community to advance meaningful welfare programs for all horses.” 

Under the strategic direction of Dr. Weiss, the ASPCA Equine Welfare department is focused on ensuring horses have good welfare, which includes partnering with The Right Horse Initiative, developing innovative programs, as well as supporting humane legislation and advocacy, field rescue, and targeted equine grants. The ASPCA is currently encouraging equine shelters, rescues and sanctuaries to register to compete in the fifth annual Help a Horse Day contest to raise awareness about the year-round lifesaving work they do to find homes for horses. This year’s contest has been expanded to offer 17 grant prizes totaling $110,000 in prizes.

For more information about the ASPCA’s commitment to equine welfare, visit