Matt’s Blog: Horses Need Everyone’s Help to Find New Homes
By ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker
When you think of someone adopting an animal, what kind of animal do you immediately imagine? A dog, a cat, or maybe a rabbit?
What about a horse? If not, why not?
There are certainly plenty of horses in need—thousands of horses in shelters and rescues across the country on any given day and many thousands more in need of help. At the same time, we estimate the number of potential equine adopters in the U.S. to top two million. And the bonds between horse owners and their horses are also certainly as meaningful and cherished as those between any owner and their animal.
Equines are most at risk when transitioning from one career or home to the next. They can end up neglected, abandoned or in the low-end auction cycle, which puts them at high risk of ending up in the horse slaughter pipeline.
The need to help these vulnerable horses find their match with the millions of individuals wanting to adopt is why we’re launching our second annual Adopt a Horse Month (AHM), a collaborative nationwide campaign to help more equines find safe and loving homes and careers through online connections on our adoption platform, MyRightHorse.org. We will leverage the energy from the month to inspire a sustained commitment—from both equine rescues and potential adopters—to horse adoption throughout the year.
During AHM, we will be elevating the visibility of MyRightHorse.org, which showcases nearly 900 available horses across the country. New horses are posted to the site daily and adoptions are arranged every day. Equine rescues and shelters are making the most of the platform, promoting equines of all shapes and sizes.
Ninety equine rescue and shelter organizations throughout the nation have joined the campaign this year to promote their horses on MyRightHorse.org, and—in only the first few days of AHM—the site has had well over 80,000 pageviews and received more than 150 adoption inquiries.
Using the site and its tools, our adoption partners are hoping to foster remarkable bonds like the one between Jessica and Sunday, who connected during Adopt a Horse Month 2021 and have formed an unbreakable bond.
Anyone can search here for a horse to adopt or promote, and we ask people to use the hashtags #AdoptaHorse and #RightHorse when they share horse profiles on their social media channels. Awareness is critical because the more people who realize that horses need homes, the more homes we will secure for those horses.
Thanks to the hard work of our partners, equine adoption is already on the rise. Both the data and a wealth of direct equine welfare experience indicate that conditions are right for horses to be adopted on an unprecedented scale, and it will take a determined partnership of horse owners, horse lovers, local rescue organizations, national rescue organizations and even community leaders and social influencers to elevate this opportunity to its maximum lifesaving potential.
One of those partners can be you. Do you know someone with room to take in a horse, or someone who knows someone who does? With one small act, you can help them connect with a beautiful equine like Taco in California, Maybe in Texas, or Poquito Polkadot in Maryland. Remember also that every horse adopted or fostered opens up critical space and resources at a rescue for other horses in need.
As we make our way through Adopt a Horse Month, I thank all the individuals and groups working tirelessly to make it an outstanding success for equines in need. Your compassion and commitment to equine adoption is clear, inspiring, and—as always—one of the most powerful tools we have to act on their behalf not just this month, but always.