Equine Transition and Adoption Center

a woman walking a brown horse

Launched in late 2021, the ASPCA Equine Transition and Adoption Center is an Oklahoma-based program aimed at developing solutions to the barriers that get in the way of at-risk horses finding homes.

Horse owners in Oklahoma in need of understanding and help can access free services for their equines through the Equine Transition and Adoption Center. Here’s how it works: A mobile team, including a local veterinary partner, assesses the horse(s) at the owner’s request. Based on that assessment, the team either provides subsidized veterinary care when it’s best for the horse to stay at home with the owner; compassionate euthanasia if needed to prevent suffering; or safe relinquishment so the horse can receive care before being placed in a loving new home through adoption.

At the facility in El Reno, Oklahoma, a training and behavior specialist works with relinquished horses to prepare them for new homes. The program is testing groundbreaking, humane training methods to build a shareable blueprint for retraining and rehoming horses who are minimally socialized or have behavioral issues that make an adoption placement challenging.

An adoption specialist works alongside the training and intake teams to test methods for efficiently finding each horse a loving home, designing specific strategies for marketing horses who’ve traditionally taken longer to be adopted. These learnings, along with the research gathered by the training team, will be shared back with the equine welfare community to elevate and expand equine adoption efforts nationwide.

The Evolution of Our Open Admissions Work

Many horses have multiple homes throughout their lifetimes. These natural transition points between homes can be times of vulnerability, especially if a horse owner’s life or financial circumstances have changed. Adding to the challenge: struggling horse owners often don’t know where to turn for help in these moments. We’re committed to changing the fate of these horses by working to provide a safety net of support for horses and their owners.

The ASPCA Regional Support Center pilot, launched first in 2018 in the Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas) area, with a second pilot initiated in 2019 to serve the Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) area, functioned as a collaborative, mobile team responding to local horse owners’ requests for assistance.

In late 2021, the Regional Support Center evolved into the Equine Transition and Adoption Center Pilot—an expanded program more broadly supporting the region’s horses with safety net and rehoming services across Oklahoma. The Equine Transition and Adoption Center includes expanded staff focused on training and adoption matchmaking. Since the program’s launch, more than 400 horses have been helped.

The program continues to respond to community needs around the state and now includes a temporary physical location at a partner facility, Nexus Equine.