“We are seeing sick, dying or dead horses up and down the country being neglected or dumped like rubbish”: RSPCA launches Adoptober to tackle equine crisis


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has launched a new campaign to tackle a “horse crisis” that is putting equine charities and sanctuaries under strain.

The ‘Adoptober’ campaign is running throughout this month to promote adoption for some of the animals in their care.

Each week throughout October the charity is promoting a different type of animal in the hope that people will look to adopt from the RSPCA rather than buy from a breeder.

This week the focus is on horses

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said:

“Our equine centre stables have been consistently full for many years now due to the volume of horses we have had to rescue and take in, which means a large number are cared for in private boarding stables until they are adopted, which costs a great deal.”

Last year the charity says that it rescued 1,071 horses from neglect and suffering.

Although we managed to rehome more than 320 horses, we still have around 886 in our care, and are expecting many more horses to be in need of rescue this winter.

“We are asking people to consider adopting their next horse from a charity instead of buying. Not only does it mean they won’t be inadvertently funding irresponsible breeders and dealers, but they’ll be freeing up a space in our specialist centres for another needy horse”.

A dead horse, due to severe neglect. Image: RSPCA

Horses rescued in the West Midlands

The charity has helped rescue 17 horses from neglect and suffering in the West Midlands alone — and hundreds are still looking for “forever homes”.

Equine Welfare Specialist Dr Mark Kennedy said:

“We have been dealing with the effects of the horse crisis for almost seven years now, seeing sick, dying or dead horses up and down the country being neglected or dumped like rubbish on a weekly basis.

“It’s heart-breaking that we had to rescue more than 1,000 horses last year. We and other charities are struggling to cope with large numbers continually coming into our care.”

The RSPCA are encouraging horse lovers to adopt a rescue animal, if they are able to, or donate to support their heaving rescue centres.

“Changing lives through horses” project

The RSPCA have also partnered with The British Horse Society through their Changing Lives Through Horses project, which aims to improve the lives of disengaged young people using horses as the inspiration for positive change.

A number of horses have found new homes through the project.

To find out more about Adoptober visit the RSPCA website.


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