Horses on Death Row: The Story of Heart

August 26, 2015

The words “horse auction” may not mean much to you, but for thousands of American equines, they are a death sentence. At these weekly events, horses are auctioned off to buyers who can use them for any purpose, which means that kill buyers—those who make money selling horses for their meat—are lurking around every corner.  Many owners who take their horses to auctions have no idea that they might meet this awful fate.

It’s unbearable to see so many animals sent to certain death simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Often, these horses are young, healthy and strong; their only crime is having no one who loves them enough to protect them. Heart was one such horse.

Horses on Death Row

While investigating a recent rural horse auction, Stacy Segal, Director of Equine Initiatives at the ASPCA, spotted a young chestnut horse. He engaged her with playful nuzzles, and that’s when she noticed the unusual marking on his head: a white heart. When his number came up, Stacy was devastated to see that kill buyers were among those doing the bidding. She couldn’t bear to see him sent to death, and—thanks to some fast action and the assistance of a horse rescue organization—was able to intervene and help save Heart’s life.

Today, Heart is happy, safe and loved. His life was spared that day, but hundreds of other horses weren’t so fortunate. For them, the horse auction was a death sentence. But saving one horse at a time is not that solution—and that’s why we need you to get involved right now.

Horses on Death Row

When you make a donation to the ASPCA today, you can support our life-saving efforts, including those focused on ending horse slaughter once and for all. Your gift can help us continue to fight for legislation that will prevent horse slaughter from returning to the U.S. and ban the export of our horses for slaughter abroad, and can also help us continue to provide grants and hands-on assistance to rescues and sanctuaries all around the country.

We will not rest until, like Heart, every horse has a bright future ahead. Please make a gift today.