Question about Rescues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-09-2010, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia
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Question about Rescues

Not sure if this should go here or under horse protection, but oh well

Does anyone have experience with adopting a horse from a rescue? The rescue where I adopted my mare has adopters sign a contract saying we'll never sell or breed the horse and if we have to give the horse up, we have to give it back to the rescue.

Now...this is totally fine. I absolutely understand the premise behind. But the rescue is not well off, has many horses, but I see a lot of new arrivals there that are horses that were previously adopted but the owner lost their job, became ill, etc. and has to give the horse back.

Has anyone ever heard of a rescue that has this rule? I have seen a few, but I also see ones that only have it as a rule for a certain amount of time that you have the horse, and then you get full ownership. I've also seen the first right of refusal, and I've seen rescues that offer the option to 'buy' the horse rather than adopt. I just think this rescue could not only help more horses that need it, but also help the horses they already have more if they would let adopters have legal ownership after a certain amount of time. Maybe it's just this particular rescue that has a lot of horses returned?

What do you guys think about it?
tarebear is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 06-09-2010, 08:21 PM
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A lot of rescues have this rule. The OTTB rescue in my city states in the contract that if you sell the horse, the person/new home must be approved, but nothing about only giving the horse back.
justsambam08 is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 06-09-2010, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think the rule about having to approve a new owner is great.

I just wish I didn't see so many horses come back to the rescue when they're already full =(
tarebear is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 06-09-2010, 10:27 PM
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I know of few rescues that do have that in their contract. I would think that any rescue would allow a horse owner to give a horse back in emergency situations such as someone losing their job. A horse that has an owner that can't feed it has a need to be rescued. In those situations, they are giving the horse back before it gets emaciated and in poor's being humane and decent if you ask me. If the rescue has an overflow, then an option would be to sell those that are being brought back in good condition. IMO, the reason a lot of rescues don't do that is because they don't want to lose control of the horse. It is possible to find a decent buyer without having a big long contract stating what can and can't be done with the horse.
sandy2u1 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 06-10-2010, 12:09 PM
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It's not just with horses, many animal rescues have that kind of clause in their contracts. I've volunteered for a few different animal rescues (dogs, cats, etc.) that required the adoptee to bring the animal back to the shelter in the event that they couldn't care for it anymore. Now, enforcing that rule is another matter. It's more of a feel good measure for the shelter than anything else. Most of them aren't in well enough financial shape to actually take someone to court over violating the contract, so it's kind of a moot point. You decide to sell the horse (or whatever) and they find out about it (and that's a big IF), they more than likely aren't going to do anything about it. It's the same thing with the clause that many of them include that says they can come to your house for a wellness check whenever they want to. It's nice, but do they really come out to check? More often than not the answer is no.
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