The ASPCA Horse Adoption Express Has Left the Station

May 27, 2021

a horse transport truck

A March transport moved five horses from the ASPCA's Regional Support Center to the Dumb Friends League's Harmony Equine Center. The horses are receiving additional training to prepare them for adoption.

The lifesaving concept of transporting animals isn’t a new one for the ASPCA; we regularly transport dogs and cats to locations where they are likely to have better chances of finding new homes faster. This practice benefits both the destination and source shelters, allowing them to more effectively use their resources to help more animals—not to mention the happy people who can adopt a pet as a result.

Transport has become an important piece to improving and saving the lives of dogs and cats. A similar organized transport system hasn’t previously existed for at-risk horses … until now, that is. 

The Right Horse Initiative is our program that’s focused on massively increasing horse adoption in the United States. Harnessing the collaborative spirit and geographic diversity of the dozens of Adoption Partner groups who participate in that program, we’ve developed the Horse Adoption Express to move horses between their facilities. We’ve observed that the biggest barrier to adoption is often the distance between the adopter and their Right Horse. The Horse Adoption Express removes that barrier and ensures more horses are helped.

Horses need to be moved for a variety of reasons, and it is very likely that today’s source facility will become tomorrow’s destination facility. If a horse has had a hard time finding an adopter in their home community, the Horse Adoption Express will move them to an area where they are more likely to find their perfect family. In some situations, a partner may have a waiting list of adopters for a particular breed of horse that is more common in another part of the country. Other times, specific training needs can be the barrier that prevents a horse from being adopted. In those instances, we’re moving horses who need help to passionate, talented Training Partners. The trainers use their skills to work with the horse and help facilitate an adoption within their network of contacts.

The Horse Adoption Express is one example of how we’re innovating, and adapting learnings from successes for other species, to lay new tracks for horses. Follow the progress of the Horse Adoption Express on social media and meet the adoptable horses who’ve hitched a ride on