Welcoming a rescued horse into your family and life is an extremely

rewarding experience. Knowing that you are providing a horse that

has been starved, neglected, and/or abused with a safe, loving,

forever home brings great satisfaction. Rescued horses, just like

rescued dogs and cats, often display gratitude for the remainder of

their lives. They seem to understand that they have been rescued

and given a new life.

What are USERL's adoption policies in a nutshell?

Adopted horses remain the property of USERL. Adopters may not breed, race, sell or give away the adopted horse. Adopters must allow USERL to inspect their facility for safety prior to adoption, and access to check the horse thereafter at USERL's discretion.

How does the adoption process work?

Potential adopters must first fill out an Adoption Application. If a particular horse interests them, they should put that horse's name on the application. A USERL volunteer will contact the potential adopter to discuss the application and the particular horse, then a time will be scheduled for a facility check. Once the potential adopter has passed the facility check, they will be put in contact with the horse’s foster provider to schedule visits with the horse.

What does a facility check involve?

A USERL volunteer will schedule a time to meet the potential adopter at their facility – whether their own barn or a boarding facility. The volunteer will inspect the facility, checking for safety (i.e. no barbed wire, no junk in the pastures), a clean, healthy environment, and the condition and temperament of the other horses, if any. S/he will also snap a few photos.

Why do some horses have a required donation and others do not?

Horses over 25 and those that are companion only do not have a required donation. Horses that are rideable or otherwise in demand will have a required donation that is still well below a reasonable selling price.

Why does USERL not give the adopter ownership of the equine?

USERL's commitment is to the equine, and retaining ownership protects the future of that animal. Adopters may die, get laid off or become ill but USERL will always be there to make certain that the horse has food, shelter and love. Most of our adopters feel security in knowing that if anything happens to them, USERL will be there to provide for their beloved friend. Our intention is for the adopter to have the equine for the rest of it’s life. On a darker note, retaining ownership prevents a small number of unscrupulous people from adopting a horse then selling it for whatever profit can be had - maybe to a kill buyer, or to someone completely unsuitable for that horse, or to someone with a record of animal abuse.

Why does USERL not allow breeding?

USERL does not oppose responsible, well-researched breeding programs that aim to improve the breed and species. USERL does oppose indiscriminate breeding practices. USERL embraces the belief that there is an overpopulation of horses in the United States. If there were no overpopulation problem, there would not be thousands of sound, healthy horses going to slaughter every year. Over breeding to stock the racing industry and irresponsible breeding are the root causes for this problem.

As a matter of principle, USERL does not allow its rescued horses to be bred. USERL feels that denying breeding of any one horse will not negatively impact the quality of the species as a whole. However, stopping a single horse from breeding will significantly impact the horse population over time. Also, since USERL retains ownership of adopted horses, the organization would also feel compelled to retain ownership of the resultant foal. This would mean more work for volunteers (doing barn checks, placing returned horses, keeping up with vaccinations, etc.), putting an unnecessary strain on USERL's resources.

 How long does the adoption process take?

It depends on how quickly the USERL volunteer can schedule a facility check, and then how quickly the potential adopter can schedule visits with the particular horse. Typically it takes one week to one month.

Why does USERL prefer not to adopt to homes that have no other grazing animals?

Horses are herd animals and are not at ease unless they are with others of their kind - or at the very least, another grazing animal like a goat or cow. Being alone causes stress and makes the horse more susceptible to illness. If the potential adopter does not have another horse, they can get a goat or...adopt two horses!

Why does USERL require a minimum of a three-sided, roofed shelter?

Wild horses are free to find natural shelter and also run in large groups that can huddle together for warmth and protection from the elements. Domestic horses, on the other hand, are typically confined to relatively small areas that lack adequate natural shelter, and are pastured in small herds that cannot provide enough protection from the elements.

Why does USERL not allow barbed wire?

In a word: Safety! Barbed wire is extremely dangerous for horses. Horses panic easily, even in a familiar environment. A panicked horse can overlook wire strands, and severe injury can result if he runs into or through barbed wire. Wire has a memory of being coiled, and once released from the fence posts it can quickly wrap around a horse's legs, body and neck. USERL takes great pride in the protection it affords the rescued horses. It will not allow them to be exposed to fencing which has proven time and again to cause injury, disability and death.

I am interested in adopting.  What should I do now?

Examine our Available Horses to see if a particular horse interests you.  Be sure to also check our national website at www.USERL.org.  Complete the form below or send an email inquiry with your name, address and contact information to our Regional Adoption Coordinator, Paula Hafermalz, whose email address is below.  Our Adoption Coordinator will email an Adoption Application to you to complete and send back. Submitting an application does not commit you to adopt, it is just the first step in the process of matching you with one of our wonderful horses. Thank you!

For more information on adoption, please contact...
Paula at SixHorseRanch@yahoo.com

As we are staffed entirely by volunteers, 100% of your donations go directly towards helping out rescue horses.  Please consider donating via PayPal below and/or through one of the other many ways to support the USERL - NCCP.


NC CentralPiedmont Region