DEFHR horses listed as “Available for Adoption” are horses who have completed their rehabilitation programs and are seeking forever homes.
DEFHR horses listed as “Available for Guardian Program (GP)” are rehabilitated horses seeking forever homes. Horses in this program are either over the age of 20 years old or younger horses that require special treatment and attention due to a medical condition. Similar to adoption, horses available through the GP are provided a forever home by compassionate caregivers. While caring for the GP horse, any expenses incurred by the caregiver are tax-deductible, including but not limited to feed, stall bedding, veterinary care, farrier care, medication, and supplements. In an effort to ensure each horse continues to receive the level of care they deserve, DEFHR retains the titles for GP horses throughout their lifetimes and requires annual facility and horse checks to track their health.
DEFHR considers the experience level required for handling horses as follows:
DEFHR receives horses who have been impounded by animal welfare officials for cases of abuse or neglect. As such, horses arrive at DEFHR with a variety of experiences and may not have received proper handling in the past, if they have been handled at all. DEFHR takes great care to gain each horse’s trust, build its confidence, and provide training to help the horse learn to trust their handlers. Once a horse has completed rehabilitation and DEFHR has received full ownership from the impounding agency, the horse enters DEFHR’s training program and is made available for adoption. Many horses available for adoption are in the beginning to middle stages of their training program and are best suited for experienced handlers that can continue to advance the horse’s training in its forever home. See experience questions for more information about how DEFHR describes each level of experience.
DEFHR asks for an adoption fee as a way to support its life-saving work. Adoption fees vary depending on the horse’s ability, temperament, and training. Horses available through the GP are also offered at varying rates.
DEFHR accepts field board with access to a run-in shed and/or a stall just in case your horse needs to be confined due to severe weather or illness.
PASTURE, WATER, AND COMPANIONSHIP
Minimum requirement of one fenced acre per horse. Water needs to be accessible 24/7 and provided in a trough or tub that will not freeze during the cold months.
Horses are herd animals, and they love a pal; therefore, there must be at least one other equine present as a friend for any adopted horse. Our Adoptions Team will work with you on any concerns you have for adoption suitability.
Once successfully paired with a horse, completing the adoption process can take as little as two weeks; this allows DEFHR time to contact references. If a suitable home is available, DEFHR will make every effort to expedite the adoption process in order to make room for other horses in need of care.
No. DEFHR offers horses for adoption to suitable homes on a first-come, first-serve basis. Operating on limited resources, DEFHR cannot hold horses on reserve; doing so could mean having to turn away a critically ill or injured horse impounded by animal control. If a suitable home is available, DEFHR will make every effort to expedite the adoption process in order to make room for other horses in need of care.
Yes. DEFHR will transport an adopted horse to its new home for a small fee. DEFHR charges $2 per mile, one way.
All horses adopted from DEFHR are current on their care, including vaccinations, Coggins, farrier care, dental care, and deworming. When adopted, copies of medical records and/or history are given to the adopter. For horses with unique needs, recommendations for future care are included.
DEFHR welcomes potential adopters to schedule a prepurchase exam with a licensed veterinarian to ensure that the horse is suitable for your desired future career.
Yes. In most cases, after one consecutive year of successful facility profile report submissions — ensuring the horse has been well cared for and is continuing to thrive as an equine partner — DEFHR may sign over ownership to the adopter. However, horses adopted through the GP will remain under DEFHR’s ownership for the rest of their lives and may not be relocated or sold.