31 January 2014 marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. To mark the occasion we’re announcing a huge rise in the numbers of horses rescued and taken in by us last year.

In 2013, we rescued, collected or took in 1,526 equines, 69 per cent more than the previous year.

We are always seeking new homes for our many horses, ponies and donkeys, at the moment we have just over 800 horses in our care.

It costs us more than £4 million each year

Horse being rescued © RSPCA

RSPCA Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde said:

“We have just four equine centres in England and none in Wales.  They are able to take in around 100 horses at any one time, leaving the majority of equines in our care in private livery.  The RSPCA still funds the care of these horses and it costs us more than £4 million each year to do this.


“The horses we take in are often the most neglected which means they prove to be the most expensive and challenging to rehabilitate.


“However, we work hard to rehabilitate these horses and desperately need people to rehome them and also to foster the younger equines.  However, if people aren’t able to take in a horse they can also help by Sponsoring a Stable Block.”

Rehome a rescue horse rather than buy one

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said:

“2013 wasn’t a good year for horse welfare.  We’ve been out to thousands of horses that have been left abandoned or fly grazed, many of which are victims of the rising cost of feed and care combined with a drop in the price they can fetch at market.  This means that irresponsible owners often leave their animals to breed indiscriminately and fail to provide them with even the most basic level of care.


“It hasn’t all been bad news, however, as the Welsh Government has just introduced new legislation to tackle fly grazing and abandonment problems.


“We still want to see greater enforcement of microchipping and passporting legislation so we can identify those horses left to graze on other peoples’ land.


“What we need people to do now is to keep raising the issue with their MPs but also to help us fund the care of our horses and to consider rehoming a rescue horse rather than buying one.”

To find out how to rehome a horse from us please visit our horse rehoming page.

Caroline rehomed a horse from us, read all about it in our latest blog post: ‘Rehome a rescue horse? Why not!

We can’t do it without you

We can only rescue and look after all the horses in our care with your help. Please donate online or text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

You can also help by sponsoring a stable block and help care for rescued horses, ponies or donkeys staying there.