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  • White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue

Why we limit intake

With the ever increasing pressures on families in these difficult economic times, there are correspondingly large numbers of horses looking for new homes, being sold at auctions, or simply being left to fend for themselves. Every day, we receive heart-breaking calls, not only about senior, blind, or medically challenged horses, but also regarding good broke, sound horses that are looking for placement. Our policy is to work with owners and rescuers to find them homes and to only take in those horses that have no other options. Even then, we must limit ourselves to the number we can physically care for and house.

There is a reason for drawing this hard line. Like all good rescues, we have a provision in our adoption contract that ensures our continued responsibility for our adopted horses. Despite a very rigorous adoption policy, we know that things can change in people’s lives. But we do not want those changes to affect the security of our rescued horses, so we require that they be returned to us, should rehoming be necessary. That means that there is always the chance of horses coming back to us at any given time. This month, three must be returned due to adopter hardship. The breakup of a family or home has enormous costs for the human participants, but they can at least discuss the reasons and ramifications. It is traumatic for animals, too. They have no way of understanding why their home and their people are suddenly no more. Some of them are handed off to relatives or strangers with no emotional investment in them, then passed along until they ultimately find themselves in the same situations they were rescued from to begin with.

White Bird’s horses will always receive the same high quality care from us, as well as a continuing concern for their lifelong welfare. But this responsibility comes at a cost, and during these difficult times, resources are strained. Our continuing obligation to our rescued horses means that we must carefully manage our intake numbers. And that means that we sometimes need to make hard decisions.

We would love to take them all. But we have seen too many rescues succumb to fatigue and overload in trying to balance their humanity with their budget, to take our rescue commitment lightly. Our obligation to our horses is for life. We want to make sure that we will always be there for them, no matter what, so that “… they may live in the remainder of their lives in safety and dignity.”


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