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The recent horse crisis sees a 55 percent rise in rescues


Close up of horse in a stable © RSPCA

We've launched a fresh appeal to horse lovers to help horses as new figures show we've rescued 55 percent more equines from cruelty and neglect last year.

As England and Wales’  largest animal welfare charity, we've seen an enormous increase in the number of horses coming into our care - with almost three a day being rescued.

We're currently looking after more than 850 horses, donkeys and ponies and have launched Stables Sponsorship, asking horse lovers to help us care for rescued equines until they're ready for rehoming.

The crisis isn't getting any better

Cathy Hyde, who leads our team of specially trained equine inspectors says:

For several years now we as a charity have been picking up the pieces of the equine crisis, with our inspectors being called out to sick, injured, neglected or cruelly treated horses every single day. And despite our best efforts the crisis is not getting any better.

Last year we took in 979 horses which was a 55 per cent increase on the year before.

For many of the horses, being rescued is just the beginning of a long road to recovery, and it can take many months for us to rehabilitate them to a point where they can be rehomed. The time and work during those months is absolutely essential but extremely costly, and we now find ourselves with over 850 horses in our care, so we desperately need the public’s help.

Those who rehome a horse from us are doing something very special but for those who aren’t in a position to do so, this new scheme provides a unique opportunity to make a huge difference too.

From foals suffering neglect to older horses cruelly treated or abandoned, we've seen an enormous increase in the number of horses taken in.

The impact of the recession, over breeding, the high costs of vet bills and falling prices for horses have all contributed to the crisis, which has also seen a distressing number of horses dumped dead and dying like rubbish.

The poor state of the horses coming into our care means that the cost and length of their rehabilitation is increasing and as a charity, we're urgently calling for the support of horse lovers through the new Stables Sponsorship launch.

500 equines have come into our care this year

Last year, our national call centre received over 30,000 calls about horses and already this year alone more than 500 equines have come into our equine centres.

Prince the horse with a leg injury © RSPCA

These include four-year-old horse Prince (pictured right) who came into the care of RSPCA Lockwood Centre for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys last winter. He was found abandoned, suffering with a horrific leg injury that was so severe, it exposed parts of his tendon.

Prince was understandably very unsure of people but the grooms at Lockwood worked tirelessly to rehabilitate him and treat his severe injury and help him to trust people again. Thankfully, Prince is now healed and is ready to find a new home.

Sponsor our horse stables

You can help horses like Prince by giving just £10 sponsorship per month which will help provide our equine centres with everything they need for horses who are rescued from the most appalling conditions by our inspectors.

You'll receive quarterly news and updates about some of the horses who have been taken into our care and looked after in the stables. You'll also receive letters from the staff at our equine centres with updates on the horses they've helped.

To sign up to sponsor our stables, please call 0300 123 0346 or visit our stable sponsorship page.

Rehome a horse

We're always looking for homes for our rescue horses, ponies and donkeys. If owning a rescue horses appeals to you, find out more about our equine rehoming process.

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