Matt’s Blog: Adopt a Horse Month Demonstrates New Ways to Find Homes for Horses

June 14, 2021

Woman riding horse

By Matt Bershadker, ASPCA CEO

For many at-risk horses, substantial barriers stand in the way of finding safe and loving homes. The problem isn’t a scarcity of willing adopters—our research suggests that at least 2.3 million adults in the U.S. have the resources and desire to adopt a horse in need. The challenge is making potential horse owners aware of the adoption opportunities available to them and facilitating these lifesaving connections.

Tackling that challenge was the primary objective of the ASPCA’s first-ever Adopt a Horse Month (AHM), in which more than 150 equine adoption and rescue organizations participated during the month of May. The event educated and engaged more than 36,000 myrighthorse.org visitors on equine adoption, resulting in 319,000 views of adoptable horses on that site. That excitement and commitment resulted in many horses being adopted into new homes and finding new careers, with even more adoptions happening after the event.

Success stories include horses like Missy, a hard-to-place horse from the Humane Society of North Texas; Sunday Road, a Thoroughbred mare who’d been looking for a home since Wild at Heart Horse Rescue’s founding in 2017; and a retired racehorse named Precious from Win Place Home—all of whom found adopters during Adopt a Horse Month.

These touching stories are helping shift the public’s perception of equine adoption to match the enthusiasm and dedication we’ve seen for decades with dog and cat adoptions. The message is simple: the more people who realize that horses need homes, the more homes we’ll secure for those horses.

Adopt a Horse Month is the latest in a series of recent efforts by the ASPCA Equine Welfare team to protect horses in need, including acquiring The Right Horse—a collaborative network of equine industry and welfare professionals working to improve the lives of horses in transition—in 2019. Hundreds of adoptable horses nationwide are featured year-round on myrighthorse.org, the ASPCA's online adoption platform for equines.

This is a critical moment for American horses and they need all the help we can provide, but events like AHM give us confidence that compassion, innovation and dedication will be in strong supply to support at-risk horses year-round, and we’re very proud to do our part.

If you can take in a horse, find your local Right Horse Adoption Partner and meet a wide range of horses—including beginner horses—looking for homes. Or take a lesson with a Certified Horsemanship Association instructor, become a foster caregiver, or volunteer with horses and other equines to learn more about them. Remember: every horse foster or adoption opens up critical space and resources for other horses in need.

For those unable to adopt a horse, there are plenty of ways to support horses in transition. Raise awareness of equine adoption with friends, family, neighbors and social media followers, and advocate for better laws and policies to protect horses (and other animals) by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.

Thank you to all the rescue groups, organizations, shelters and adopters who worked tirelessly on behalf of horses during Adopt a Horse Month and continue that hard work every month of the year. Your commitment is inspiring, and I hope it inspires others to help horses find homes.