Matt’s Blog: How Everyone Can Help Horses During Adopt a Horse Month
By ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker
With many U.S. horses facing life-threatening challenges—from horse slaughter to ownership obstacles—we should act on every opportunity to help these cherished animals live and thrive. That’s the idea behind Adopt a Horse Month (AHM).
Now in its third year, AHM connects people who can adopt horses with people who need to place horses. It also symbolizes the incredible power of teamwork, compassion and collaboration to save lives—whether you’re adopting, fostering, volunteering, contributing or simply sharing adoptable horse profiles with your friends, family and virtual communities.
During last year’s AHM, more than 44,000 people viewed adoptable horses on myrighthorse.org, our online equine adoption platform. And throughout that month, participating shelters reported an average adoption increase of 43%, which is an astounding result.
Availability Isn’t the Problem
We estimate the number of potential equine adopters in the U.S. to top two million, but not everyone knows how or where to find their right horse. My Right Horse fills that need, featuring profiles and contact information for nearly 1,000 available horses from coast to coast, like 19-year-old Kahlua in California, 18-year-old Ireland from West Virginia, 11-year-old Luxor in Kentucky, nine-year-old Sylvester in Virginia and eight-year-old Blowing Strong in New York.
ASPCA Right Horse Partners work closely with each adopter before, during and even after the adoption process to ensure strong matches for both the horse and the adopter.
We also support partner organizations with trainings and resources to help them secure more adoptions, and we offer equine grants supporting adoption work, expanding access to safe rehoming options for horse owners in need and helping keep owned horses at home through safety net programming.
Everyone Can Help a Horse
The goal of Adopt a Horse Month in 2023 is to introduce adoption opportunities that connect even more potential adopters with horses waiting for homes, and we’re off to an encouraging start.
But even if you can’t own or foster horses, you can help by showcasing stories of local adoptable horses within your networks using the #AdoptAHorse hashtag. Nearly 300 horse profiles have already been shared from the My Right Horse site. Please help us get more than 50,000 visitors to myrighthorse.org this month so those adoptable horses can be seen, shared, and given the best chances of adoption.
You can also talk about equine adoption with friends and family, as well as support and volunteer with local equine adoption organizations.
In 2021, Logan was accepted into the Texas 4-H Homes for Horses program, an ASPCA Right Horse-supported initiative that matches horses to youth trainers who work with the animals to make them more adoptable.
“She was untrained and unridden,” said Kendall, Logan’s trainer. “It took me 30 minutes just to catch her in a stall. I couldn’t put on a halter on her. She was completely green.”
But over the course of several months, Logan learned basic skills and manners and was eventually adopted by a woman named Brenda for herself and her family. Today, Brenda has four horses on her property: Logan, now named Baby Doll; Peanut Butter, a Palomino mare; and two geldings, Ace and Peanut, who belong to one of her daughters.
“I’ve loved and enjoyed all my horses,” Brenda told us. “But Baby Doll is special. She’s my pet.”
Logan and all of the animals adopted with help from the ASPCA Right Horse program are living, thriving examples of how good people and good ideas can come together to save lives
Whether you’re new to helping horses or have been living and working around equines for years, Adopt a Horse Month is a unique and powerful opportunity to help horses find safe and loving homes. Please get involved to make a meaningful difference in their lives.