You may not be aware that Georgia is plagued, as are many states, with an over-abundance of unwanted horses. These horses, unfortunately, often end up starved to death or at low-end auctions and on craigslist to be purchased or taken by ‘kill buyers’. Horses who do not sell at these auctions are often left behind by their owners at the auction grounds. Kill buyers will load up these ‘throwaways’ and keep them in a ‘feedlot’ until they have enough to fill a large livestock trailer to send to slaughter in Mexico.
There are many horse rescues in Georgia, with various missions. Some are ‘sanctuaries’, meaning they take in horses unlikely to be marketable. There they remain for their entire lives. Other rescues take in and rehabilitate horses to be safe and adoptable. Still other rescues use rescued horses in therapeutic riding programs to benefit both horse and human. Larger rescues may incorporate all rescue paradigms into their program.
One Georgia horse rescue, Stamp Out Starvation of Horses, is a ‘relief fund’ that provides assistance to both individuals and other Georgia rescues. This assistance ranges from buying hay to paying for life saving veterinary care and gelding of stallions.
Each one of these rescues holds an important place in the Georgia horse community. Individually, each rescue is successful; but, united, they are powerful. These united horse rescues have formed a group called “Horse Rescues United of GA” (HRU). Increasingly important amid the frequent news of failed rescues and rescue scams, members of HRU also help create and adhere to best practices regarding accountability, transparency and ethics.
HRU is comprised of 6 separate Georgia horse rescues. When one rescue is contacted about a starved or neglected horse, or a horse owner who needs to rehome their horse due to unexpected physical or financial emergencies, that rescue publishes the need to the entire HRU community. This symbiotic relationship between horse rescues provides assistance to this horse that may not have been possible otherwise.
A typical example would be a senior gelding that was reported as starved. It turns out that his owner is elderly and no longer able to care for the horse. Because they are not ‘plugged in’, they have no idea how to find a home for the horse. HRU members will collaborate and one of the rescues will offer to foster the horse temporarily while another rescue makes a space to bring the horse in to their program. Another of the rescues may offer to transport the horse, and another pay for the horse’s vetting.
HRU’s foundation is based on mutual philosophies of licensed and reputable 501c3 non-profits. These philosophies include a strong stance against horse slaughter and a desire to work cooperatively to make Georgia a better place for horses. To that end, these rescuers have created a central brain trust where they benefit from a collective 250 years of horse experience; sharing horse keeping tips and brainstorming to find resolutions to common and some not-so-common issues.
Collectively, HRU rescues provide the following services to the Georgia horse community:
- Provide financial assistance to qualified horse owners for feed and vetting expenses.
- Take in unwanted horses relinquished by their owners, voluntarily or as requested by local law enforcement.
- Assist horse owners to re-home unwanted horses, including networking and marketing, as well as assistance in screening potential adopters.
- Offer retirement sanctuary for unmarketable horses.
- Use rehabilitated horses for therapeutic riding programs.
- Rehabilitate starved and behaviorally challenged horses.
- Place rehabilitated, safe rescue horses in new homes and follow up with their care.
- Educate the public about horse abuse and horse slaughter.
- Educate horse owners in proper horse care and nutrition.
- Provide volunteer opportunities for people who just want to be around horses.
- Mentor young people who are unable to afford a horse of their own, providing them with the opportunity to experience the joy of horsemanship.
- Investigate and follow up on reports of starved or abused horses and escalate to the appropriate local authorities.
- Educate local law enforcement about the Equine Welfare laws in Georgia and hold local and state authorities accountable for enforcing those laws.
- Assist in emergency rescue of horses.
- Hold gelding clinics or offer assistance with cost of gelding a stallion.
- Funds for assistance with equine cancer treatment.
Please keep in mind that a rescue can only do what is within their physical and financial limitations. Much of their work relies upon private and corporate donations, as well as the time and effort of volunteers.
If you would like to know more about each of these rescues, and how you can help, please click on the links provided below.
Save the Horses
1768 Newt Green Road
Cumming, GA 30028
The mission of SaveTheHorses is to improve the quality of life for all horses, thereby improving the lives of people through their bond with the horses. We are committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of equines suffering from abuse, as well as the successful retirement of working equines. We strive to improve public awareness and knowledge regarding the standards of care necessary to insure the health and safety of all equines.
Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement
536 Woods Road
Summerville, GA 30747
Sunkissed Acres is an Equine Rescue and Retirement facility. Our goals:
to rehabilitate and re-home those who are able to still be of service to others
to offer a quality, safe, lifetime home for the aged and infirm
to end the suffering of those whom it is deemed necessary
5826 Forest Drive
Acworth, Ga 30102
It is the mission, duty, and purpose of Trinity Rescue to provide sanctuary, rehabilitate and rehome unwanted, abandoned, neglected, and abused horses within Georgia, as well as the rest of the southeastern United States. Trinity Rescue is based in Acworth, Georgia, but we will work diligently with other trustworthy rescue organizations to provide help for horses that may be out of our region.
Red Clay Ranch
Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc. is a dedicated to the compassionate care of retired, unwanted and/or neglected equines.
Our mission is to save and protect equines in need by offering them a forever home, providing them with life-long care and rehabilitation.
Stamp Out Starvation of Horses
Stamp Out Starvation of Horses, Inc. is a Georgia horse rescue and equine relief fund committed to improving the lives of horses across Georgia by keeping them safe, healthy and out of the horse slaughter pipeline. Our multi-faceted program assists horse owners who have fallen on hard times by providing short-term financial assistance.
Blue Skies Riding Academy
501 Puckett Rd
Emerson, GA 30137
Blue Skies Riding Academy is a 501 (c) 3, volunteer based animal welfare and community outreach organization established in 2008. Blue Skies rehabilitates unwanted horses for programs and events that educate and inspire both children and adults.