The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) seeks more facilities that accept, place, or use horses to list themselves on the UHC website, www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org
Currently, over 200 facilities are listed. "This is a continuing process for the coalition," said Dr. Tom Lenz, UHC Chairman. "We have received many inquiries not only from horse owners who are seeking retirement homes or second careers for their horses, but also from people who are interested in adopting a horse or volunteering at equine placement organizations. We expect that this online directory will continue to furnish valuable information to all these people, and in doing so, be good for the horses."
According to recent national and regional news reports, the number of unwanted horses in the United States is rising. Media reports suggest that rescue groups and state agencies are seeing an increased number of horses that can no longer be cared for by their owners. Some of these reports are suggesting that many rescue, retirement, and rehabilitation facilities are struggling to feed their current inventory as well and have been forced to start turning horses away.
The UHC hopes that its website resources will remain an important bridge between people who are seeking alternatives for their horses and the many facilities that are able to accept them. Such facilities include rescue, retirement, and retraining facilities; therapeutic riding programs; colleges and universities; police and military organizations; public stables; and government and park service programs.
"The more facilities we can list on our website, the better," said Julia Andersen, UHC Director. "The larger our online network becomes, the more options become available for the unwanted horse. If you are a facility that will help with the care, training and use of these horses, we encourage you to sign on."
The UHC website is set up so that these facilities can list themselves easily by completing a brief questionnaire. At www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org , click "Resources," follow the link to "Facilities that Accept Horses." Facilities will be listed by state and include contact information, tax exempt status, year founded, horse capacity, number of staff and whether it follows the "Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities," published by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. A facility will also be able to describe itself and spell out its purpose and philosophy.
"There are plenty of horses who need care, training, and a good home. We want horse owners to be aware of the large rescue/ retirement facilities with multiple locations as well as the smaller facilities that may serve a local area. They all have an important place in this effort," said Dr. Lenz.
The UHC website also has a series of questions that owners should consider when trying to decide on a facility, program or second use for their horse. "These questions will help owners know what options are available and what to look for in a facility. This is a difficult decision for many owners to make and we want to help them make the best one for their horse," said Andersen.