Keeping Horses Safe in Oklahoma City

January 16, 2020

a donkey looking over a fence

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our second Equine Regional Support Center, a pilot program to provide no-cost services to horse owners in need in the Oklahoma City area. In collaboration with a local veterinary clinic and several rehoming partners, the open-admission center provides a safe place for owners to relinquish equines for adoption into new homes and offers access to basic veterinary services and humane euthanasia for suffering horses, mules and donkeys. 

“Unfortunately, there are very few safe, affordable options for horse owners when they are unable to keep, sell or give away their horse, and the ASPCA is committed to creating humane options for these equines,” said Tom Persechino, Director of ASPCA Equine Welfare. “When dog and cat owners are unable to continue caring for a pet and need help, they can seek out a shelter where their animal will be cared for and placed into a loving home. The ASPCA—along with many of our shelter and rescue partners—is dedicated to creating the same lifesaving options for equines across the country.” 

The new Equine Regional Support Center is assisting horse owners in Oklahoma, Logan, Kingfisher, Canadian, Grady, McClain, Cleveland, Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties. All surrendered equines are evaluated by a licensed veterinarian to assess the animal’s health. Horses suitable for placement are placed with one of our rehoming partners for adoption into a new, safe home. More than 70 horses have received services since the Oklahoma pilot began in August 2019; several horses have been successfully rehomed and approximately 45 horses are currently awaiting adoption through the program. 

In 2018, we launched our first Equine Regional Support Center pilot in the North Texas area. There, we helped nearly 60 equines in under six months. Of the horses brought to the Center for rehoming, the top three reasons given at surrender were human health problems, issues related to the health of the horse, and a change in the owner’s housing or living conditions. The data collected during these pilots will help us identify future opportunities to implement similar programs and expand the reach of vital services throughout the country. 

“One of our goals with the ASPCA Regional Support Center is to bust some of the myths about horses in transition,” said Persechino. “Through our work, we’re demonstrating that horses in need of rehoming, like many of the horses who were surrendered to us during our first pilot program, have tremendous potential to go on to new homes and successful second or third careers.”