RSPCA needs Homes for Horses as number rescued in Wales increases 500%


Embargoed until Thursday June 26 2014

The RSPCA has launched a campaign to find homes for a record number of abused, neglected and abandoned horses and ponies.


Charities, including the RSPCA, are in the grip of an equine crisis as falling horse prices over the past five years, combined with rising feed and care costs, have led to thousands of horses being neglected, dumped and in some cases left starving to death.


Alarming RSPCA figures* from the past five years show:

  • The number of horses rescued by RSPCA inspectors in Wales has increased fivefold during the horse crisis (2009 – 2013)

  • Swansea has seen the biggest increase in the number of horses rescued – an incredible rise of 1,289% and Swansea was also the area in Wales with the most equines rescued last year

  • The number of calls from Wales to the RSPCA from people complaining about equine welfare has increased by 60% during the horse crisis (2009 – 2013). The most calls in 2013 in came from Carmarthenshire

  • At the start of the horse crisis the RSPCA was rescuing one horse every eight days in Wales – now it’s at least one every other day on average.RSPCA Lockwood Horse and Donkey CentreEquine Re-Homing Appeal 2014RSPCA Groom Alice Robinson with single adult female horse (Olive)Lockwood, UK

  • Our rehoming rate for England and Wales has doubled but we still have 900 neglected, abused and abandoned horses in our care. For every horse in one of our centres there are seven waiting for a place


Stunning part Arab Olive is looking for a home


RSPCA chief inspector Cathy Hyde, who heads a specialist team of equine officers, said: “Over the past five years there has been a marked and very worrying increase in equine neglect and abuse.  This is witnessed on a daily basis by frontline staff.


“In 2009 we were removing on average two horses a day.  What is most shocking is that we are now removing on average five horses a day.


“This disturbing trend in neglect seems to be affecting equines more than any other animal that we deal with.”


She added that inspectors are seeing more large groups of horses which aren’t even being given the very basics – food and water.


Chief inspector Hyde said: “I remember a major issue in Wales in 2013, where we dealt with a group of 300 sick and neglected horses and ponies. It was horrendous, something that I will not easily forget and I fear we will have to deal with something similar again in the future.”


The Homes for Horses campaign is being launched to find loving homes for hundreds of RSPCA rescue horse and ponies.


One of the horses rescued by the RSPCA looking for a new home is pretty Secret saved from a field with very little grazing and littered with mud, rocks and metal near Whitland, Dyfed. The ponies were not being checked on or fed enough, many were badly affected by worms and had Secret beforeSONY DSC


rain scald due to standing out in the rain.


Charlotte Dujardin, who scooped double gold medals for dressage at the London 2010 Olympics, is backing the campaign after she rehomed a foal named Santa after he was found close to death by the RSPCA.


Charlotte (pictured below with Santa), said: “There are hundreds of horses and ponies which need homes, it has has really opened my eyes to what’s going on.


“It would be great if more people could rescue as there are some lovely horse and ponies out there. I’m really pleased I’m able to help the RSPCA.”_46A7662.JPG


Abigail Moon, the RSPCA’s rehoming operations manager, said: “Even though we are rehoming record numbers of horses and ponies we are rescuing more and more each day and still have hundreds looking for fantastic new owners.


“We have Shetlands to Shire horses, leggy foals to bombproof schoolmasters, dependable cobs to showy Arabs and everything in between.


“We really need the horse community to help us tackle the equine crisis and find Homes for Horses.”


A series of open days is being held at RSPCA centres to showcase our rescue horses and ponies, or to find out more about rehoming visit

To support our campaign text HORSE to 70111 to give £3