How are HPL adoptions different from those of other horse rescue organizations?

Sundance at the Horse Protection LeagueWhen HPL accepts a horse, we commit to either keeping or following up on the horse for the duration of its life. We screen adopters carefully, and watch them interact with a horse in the hope of placing the horse in a permanent home. After a horse is placed in an adoptive home, we continue to monitor its progress to be sure both owner and horse are content. The adopter signs a contract agreeing that if he wants to sell, lease, or give away a horse obtained from HPL, he must have HPL’s approval of the new home and any succeeding homes in advance.

What kind of horses does HPL have available for adoption?

We receive a wide variety of equines in the course of a year, and many are adopted very quickly. We accept horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Some of our animals are donated to us, some we purchase at auction, and some are “impounds” (by the State Veterinarian or animal control officers). We may have high performance animals in the prime of life to horses that can do light work as well as older horses that are best suited as companion animals.

What does HPL do with the horses before they are adopted?

Volunteer working with a horse at the Horse Protection League

Even before accepting an animal (and we can’t take all that are available or offered), we try to get as much of the animal’s history (behavior, performance, veterinary) as possible. When we receive a horse, regardless of how we acquire it, it is sent either to our farm or a foster home. We evaluate the animal to see if there are any health or behavior issues to be dealt with. We obtain medical treatment if necessary and provide on-going care. If there are behavior issues (ground manners, trailering, etc.) we have a trainer work with the animal.

How does HPL choose adopters?

When selecting an adopter for a particular horse, we are less concerned about the prospective adopter’s ability to ride than about his ability to safely handle the animal, provide for any special needs it has (physical and financial), and to develop a bond with the horse. When we match a horse with an adopter, we will also match riding ability to the horse’s riding requirements.

What is the procedure for adopting an HPL horse?

Prospective adopters fill out an adoption application stating their previous horse experience, what kind of horse they’re looking for, where and how the horse would be kept, and what they want to do with the horse. We try to match a horse with the perfect applicant for that animal. If we think we have a match, we’ll visit the applicant’s premises (or the prospective boarding location) and review the applicant’s experience in handling horses and riding. We’ll make sure the applicant’s expectations don’t exceed what the horse is capable of and that the applicant can properly care for the horse. We’ll invite the applicant to visit the horse and spend time working with it. If there appears to be a good match between horse and applicant, we’ll go forward with the adoption.

What is the adoption fee?

An adoption fee is based on the horse’s usability and soundness. It is almost always below the price for a similar horse bought on the open market. It does not reflect what HPL may have spent to rehabilitate the horse.

What if I change my mind?

Horse enjoying the pasture at the Horse Protection LeagueHPL’s goal is to have each horse placed in a happy, loving, permanent home. If, within a 2 year period, the match between horse and adopter doesn’t work out, HPL will take the horse back.