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Homeless Horse Facts


How do horses become homeless?


?         Their owners die.

?         Their owners fall on hard times.

?         Horses can live over 30 years and many people are not prepared to care for any animal its entire life.

?         Lame or un-rideable horses almost always end up homeless.

?         A sport or competitive horse stops winning

?         Over breeding by “backyard“ breeders

?         Wild horses rounded up to give their land to cattle ranchers

?         A horse that is not the right color, confirmation or temperament

?         Horses with any type of medical condition

?         and many other reasons that are too numerous to list.


Fact: 80% of first time horse owners get rid of their horse within 5 years


What happens to unwanted and surplus horses?


?         Some are sold

?         Some are euthanized

?         Most are sent to the local auction house and bought by “kill buyers”

?         Over 90,000 US horses are slaughtered every year in Mexico and Canada


Why are horses slaughtered?


?         Human consumption in Europe & Asia

?         The largest markets are France, Belgium, Holland, Japan, and Italy.



Fact: Horse meat is not eaten in the United States


What kinds of horses are affected?


Horses of virtually all ages and breeds are slaughtered, from draft types to miniatures. Horses commonly slaughtered include race horses, wild mustangs, surplus riding school and camp horses, mares whose foals are not economically valuable, and foals who are "byproducts" of the Pregnant Mare Urine (PMU) industry, which produces the estrogen-replacement drug Premarin.


How are the horses killed?


Under federal law, horses are required to be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually with a device called a captive bolt gun, which shoots a metal rod into the horse's brain. Due to their physiology, most horses, however, are improperly stunned and are conscious when they are hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut.


The cruelty of horse slaughter is not limited to the act of killing the animals. Horses bound for slaughter are shipped, frequently for long distances, in a manner that fails to accommodate their unique temperaments.


They are usually not rested, fed, or watered during travel. Economics, not humane considerations, dictate the conditions, including crowding as many horses into trucks as possible.


Often, terrified horses and ponies are crammed together and transported to slaughter in double-deck trucks designed for cattle and pigs. Although transportation accidents have largely escaped public scrutiny, several tragic incidents involving collapsed upper floors and overturned double-deckers have caused human fatalities, as well as suffering and death for the horses.


What alternatives exist to slaughtering horses for human consumption?


Several alternatives exist, such as humane euthanasia performed by a veterinarian. The bodies of euthanized horses can be picked up by rendering plants for disposal. Horse owners can have their animals euthanized and bury them (where permissible) or have them cremated. Another option is to donate the horse to an equine rescue organization; some will take unwanted horses and find them good homes. The horse racing industry recently initiated the Ferdinand Fee which will be used to fund retirement homes for race horses to ensure that no more racehorses like Ferdinand wind up at a slaughterhouse.


What can individuals do to stop slaughter?


There are laws pending right now in Congress that will stop the slaughter of horses. Contacting your representative and urging them to prevent slaughter is one way to help save horses from this terrible death.


You can find your Senators at this link: http://www.senate.gov/

Helping out a charity or rescue that has a mission to help horses in need is another way. People can help by donating or volunteering or both.


One of our goals is to reduce the callous overbreeding of horses so that older, injured or surplus animals will no longer be viewed as expendable. 


Horse owners can plan  for their animals care in the event something happens to them.


Menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy can ask their doctors to prescribe one of the many safe and effective, FDA-approved alternatives to Premarin®.


What is Wildhorse Ranch Rescue doing to help with this issue?

  • We have helped save the lives of equines in need on a regular basis.
  • We have an adoption program.
  • We currently have sanctuary equines that we provide daily care for.
  • We hold clinics that educate the public about owning a horse.
  • We attend events that allow us to educate non horse owners.
  • We have built a partnership with the Arizona Forest Service Agencies to take  in all of their retirees.
  • We take in retired Government horses, such as Cavalry horses, that would otherwise go to slaughter.
  • We’ve worked on assisting with laws that protect horses.
  •  We hold fundraisers and events to raise money so that we can take in more horses.
  •   We maintain ownership of any horse that comes to WHRR.
  •   If an animal is adopted or in foster care we do regular inspections to ensure the horse is physically and mentally healthy.
  • We have fun events around the Phoenix area and at The Beastro, an Art ~ Music ~ Philanthropy House in Presccot, AZ, where people can enjoy entertainment, buy some art and "Help Feed a Horse in Need (tm)." www.TheBeastro.org






HappyCow Healthy Eating Guide

  Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, Inc. aka Wildhorse
501(c)(3) charity ~ Established 1995
Mailing Address for ALL correspondence: PO Box 3080 Gilbert, AZ 85299-3080
Physical Addresses:  WHQ ~ Wildhorse Head Quarters 11811 S Lindsay Road Gilbert, AZ 85296
W@PP ~ Wildhorse at Pixie's Playground - Certified Foster Facility - San Tan Valley, AZ
W66 - Wildhorse 66 ~ 3555 W Old Hwy Ash Fork, AZ 86320

Phone: (866) 926-8007 General inquries info@whrr.org  Volunteering ecreeger@wildhorse.org