The Problem...  

Unwanted horsesThe problem we hope to address is simple: too many unwanted horses in the US are being brutally slaughtered in Mexico and Canada. Healthy horses are purchased for pleasure, maybe for a child or grandchild, and when the novelty wears off the well-intended owner doesn’t know what to do.

Horses develop disabilities, or become too old to fulfill the owner’s original purpose. Some horses aren’t “pretty” enough, and others don’t show very well or run fast enough. The resulting lack of attention makes horses hard to handle. Many horses go from owner to owner until their original talents and purpose are unrecognizable because of poor handling, deeming the horses useless or unfit.

There are many healthy, sound horses on their way to slaughter that can never live up to their fullest potential. Unfortunately, many horse owners who are not educated about the care and handling of equines are unwittingly contributing to the unnecessary suffering and mistreatment of horses.


However, individual owners aren’t the only ones contributing to the problem of unwanted horses. The over breeding of horses has helped produce this oversupply, as well as the commercial programs involving mares and foals. There are many responsible breeders who pay strict attention to the genetic qualities they want to pass on to their foals, and these breeders generally produce healthy horses that live long, productive lives.

Unfortunately, there are also breeders who produce genetically weak animals that are harder to sell and have very little value other than being a family pet. There are many breeders of competitive horses – racehorses, jumpers, cutting horses, etc. - whose goal is to produce the next champion of their sport. Inevitably, some of these fall short of greatness and are unknowingly sent to auctions from where they end up killed.

The mistreatment of mares used for surrogates and the foals they must abandon (Nurse Mare Foals) causes great concern among horse lovers. Other mares are kept pregnant so their urine can be harvested for the drug companies, and their foals (PMU Foals)add to the population of unwanted horses. So while it may be easy to blame amateur horse owners for our overpopulation problem, professionals also play their part.

Horse auctions are a vital piece of the industry, and many people have been served well by buying and selling horses in this manner. The history of the horse in America is rich with stories and experiences from different auctions, and many today – such as the Keeneland yearling sale - are significant events in the industry. 

However, auctions are the major suppliers for kill buyers, and many horses sold at auction end up being loaded into stock trailers and driven straight to the slaughterhouse. It is important that horse owners clearly understand what might happen to a horse sold at auction, and also to understand that there are better ways to find another home for an unwanted horse.

    Adoption & Rescue    
  Sending your horse to slaughter should never be your only option.

If you have a horse that you feel might be difficult to sale due to training, age or temperament please contact anyof the groups listed below to help you place them. Anytime a horse is sold, it is only one owner away from ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Protect your horse from a cruel fate and never sale or give them away without some kind of contract. If you don't have one you can download a copy of our Transfer of Ownership form that you can edit to fit your situation.


Horse rescues in our network include:
Coyote Hills, Chunky, MS
Dark Horse Rescue, Hernando, MS
Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Jackson, MS
Project Hope of Mississippi, Grenada, MS
Animal Protection and Education Assoc., Vancleave, MS
Trails End Horse Rescue, Petal, MS


The listing of the above sites does not mean they are recommended by If you are considering giving up your horse, please take time to thoroughly interview the buyer or rescue agency to insure your horse will be treated in a manner that is safe and humane.