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Winter Is Coming—Help Us Save At-Risk Horses

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 4:45pm
Chestnut colored horse stands in ring

Max, a former champion living in Arizona, was healthy and happy before his owner was forced to give him up.

As the deadly snow storms that have already hit the Great Plains illustrate, winter is coming. It won't be long before much of the country is buried under a blanket of white.

This is the time of year equine rescues, sanctuaries, and community hay banks serving needy horse owners stock up on hay for the entire winter. The ASPCA assists these groups through grants made possible by our members’ compassion and generosity, ensuring that horses don't suffer and starve.

One such group is the Arizona Coalition for Equines (ACE), which received a $3,000 grant from the ASPCA in November 2012. These are just a few of the lives ACE was able to touch with that funding:

  • Slammed by foreclosure on her home and forced to move after the death of her mother, a woman living on disability ran out of money to feed her two horses. She turned to ACE for a helping hand, saying she would rather feed her horses than herself. ACE responded with a month’s worth of hay and settled her unpaid feed bill, giving her time to get back on her feet. Her horses remain in excellent condition.
  • A disabled veteran on a fixed income asked ACE for help when his horse became unable to walk. Sometimes feeding his horses before himself, he was desperate to get veterinary care but unable to pay the upfront costs. With ACE assistance, a veterinarian did a complete examination and diagnosed thrush, a front hoof abscess and a possible pelvic injury. Treatment provided immediate relief. 

The greatest success story belongs to Max, a 30-year-old former champion show horse (pictured) who had been owner-released to a commercial stable due to financial hardship. His former owner was devastated when he went to visit Max months later and found him close to death—he had been left to starve. The man reached out to ACE, which rescued Max and covered the cost of his foster care until a new forever home was found.

As you budget your holiday spending and pick out the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, please remember the horses—as well as the cats and dogs—who are out in the cold this winter. If you haven’t done so lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Max who are bracing for winter and waiting for our help.

Skinny horse with outline of ribs showing

When ACE rescued Max from a commercial stable, he was emaciated and starving from severe neglect.

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I think that the owners of that facility should be denied food and see how they like it!

robert van why

I agree. the owner should go t jail for life what if her mother was treated liked



The problem with turning the conditions back on them is that it makes us no better than them. The important thing is to care for the animal and improve its quality of life. Let God take care of the rest.


These people & facilities should be held accountable. The name &/or names should be put onto a public list & be constantly updated. (Everyone says there are no jobs, here are some to be created). A picture of them the perps would suit too. Why not embarrass them - these are crimes & inexcusable. Do the crime, pay the time. As for their business, they should be evaluated for a specific amount of time & the findings also be made public. After a specific time period of checks these people shouldn't be dropped off the radar. There should always be random & unknown visits - this should apply to all types of business involving animals. If the service they advertise & sell can't be supplied & kept at what should be national/state standards then it should be dissolved/sold. We pay taxes for some really lame things not to mention even research. Many laws are antiquated or lame. I'd be happy to pay taxes for these people to be put away & hopefully deal/learn from the consequence. They shouldn't just sit there either, they should have to work for their existence - food, etc. The best scenario - they are made to live out at least a week or more the same way these poor animals do by their hand. That would be justice.

Lynn Porter

Cheri, I find your answer most acceptable. Another manner in which these animals can be helped is plain out stealing them, rejuvenate them and then find a forever home. I have stolen three, though that is not near enough. I can't do too many more, am too old to climb/cut fences or fend off watchdoge.
Are any of you willing to take my place? I am 70 now, and can't do more. PLEASE!!


The animal rescue site .com is trying to start an animal abuser registery . You can also check force, and Everybody needs to sign !!!! Let's get this registery started !!!!!


if i had a big house i would put my horses in the house and not let them go hungry


The place where Max was giving to if they didn't want to take care of him why didn't THEY call the ASPCA, damn I so getting to hate humans. We are the most selfish and cruel creatures on the planet.


I totally feel the same way as you. I hate people that do things like that. What is wrong with these people?
I hope those evil people who neglected Max, get their just due of suffering!


How could anyone with half a brain feed horses all around one that is starving and not give it at the very least a flake of hay?? It is just beyond my comprehension to believe that someone would be that ignorant. Thank God that the owner stopped by to see the horse and thank God that there are organizations out there that can rescue them.