Number of neglected equines rescued triples

We have launched a campaign to find homes for a record number of abused, neglected and abandoned horses and ponies.

Arabian horse Olive © RSPCACharities, including us, 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.

Help us find homes for horses.

Alarming figures from the past five years show:

  • The number of neglected horses rescued by our inspectors has almost tripled.
  • For every horse in one of our centres there are seven waiting for a place.
  • Our convictions relating to equines have more than doubled - bucking the national trend of a reduction in animal welfare convictions.
  • Our inspectors rescued most equines from Hampshire last year – 163 horses, ponies and donkeys.
  • We have been called about almost 500,000 horses nationally by worried members of the public.
  • Our rehoming rate has doubled. But we still have 900 neglected, abused and abandoned horses in our care across England and Wales.

We are now removing five horses a day

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.

Cathy continued:

“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.”

Homes for Horses

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

Charlotte Dujardin, who scooped double gold medals for dressage at the London 2010 Olympics, rehomed a foal named Santa after we found him close to death.

Charlotte Dujardin with Santa © RSPCACharlotte (pictured right with Santa), from Gloucestershire, 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.”

Abigail Moon, our 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 are being held at our centres to showcase our rescue horses and ponies, or to find out more about rehoming visit www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses.

Find out more about our campaign and how you can help us, find #HomesForHorses on Twitter.

To support our campaign text HORSE to 70111 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + your standard network rate.)