MISSION & PROGRAMSMission:
Sunshine Horses, Inc. is an independent (501c3) adoption agency committed to rescuing, rehabilitating, schooling and re-homing horses, with particular interest placed in Standardbred Aftercare (transitioning from racing to a second career). Our organization also provides a haven for those unable to be adopted.
We do this while teaching our volunteers and those within the community about the horse/human bond; that horses can be our healers and partners. As we work with them, they enrich and empower our lives and offer us opportunities for personal growth.
Our organization provides programs involved with equine rescue, adoption & retirement
Our organization provides community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses.
Our organization is directly responsible for the care and shelter of equines involved in our programs.
100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization does not use satellite, overflow, foster, and/or outreach facilitiesHorse Rescue, Rehabilitation, Retraining & Re-homing:
Overview of our programs involved with rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, re-homing and/or retirement:
Sunshine Horses, Inc. takes in horses from all breeds and backgrounds. However, we specialize in Standardbreds and have one of the leading aftercare programs in New York State. In 2022, we proudly transitioned from verification to accreditation with Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Since 2019, we have followed their gold standards and guidelines as well as the guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Our documented policies and procedures are based on these standards. We are also accredited by the Standardbred Transition Alliance for the last several years, we partake in their retired harness racing placement program. In addition, we continue to accept horses from the kill pen. Our organization plays a special roll in being their lifeline to a second career.
When the horses come into our program, they are rehabilitated when necessary and schooled under saddle to improve their adoptability. We take special pride in matching each horse with its potential adopter in hopes of finding their "forever home". Each adopter is screened and completes an extensive application, several references are required and verified. We also perform a farm check and visit the stables where the horse will be living. There is a binding adoption contract requiring the adopter's signature. Included within this contract are stipulations there is to be no breeding, no racing, nor selling at auction, and no shipping over the border to slaughter. At this time and moving forward, we are giving the present adopter the option to gift or sell the horse, if they can no longer provide a home. We also give them the choice of returning it to Sunshine Horses. Whatever the decision, it is presented to Sunshine Horses, Inc., within a timely manner. The future owner, if applicable, then completes and signs the Sunshine Horses, Inc. placement contract. References are required and a representative from our organization will then assess the condition of the new home. As with each contract, the adopters will continue with annual vet checks and a copy of the veterinary record will be sent to Sunshine Horses, Inc. If deemed necessary, we will perform a home check at any time. We try to ensure a good fit between horse and human, while also providing a safety net for each horse.
Horses remain with us if they are not adopted. We have several horses that are companion only and not rideable. We also provide a sanctuary and haven for those that are old with chronic conditions.
Sunshine Horses, Inc. continually engage with the community, teaching humane education, animal welfare and ways to protect the American horses. We discuss the joy they can bring to our lives. the importance and ability of being able to create a horse/human bond as they become our healers and partners in life.
Community Outreach and/or Public Education:
Overview of our programs involved with providing community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses:
Sunshine Horses, Inc. offers those in the community opportunities to visit the farm, through guided tours, our annual Open House, Onondaga Farm Fest in 2022 and again, hosting it this year. During these visits, we teach the public of the multiple ways horses can enrich our lives as they become our healers and partners. We discuss the many equine therapeutic programs that are provided within our community and around the country. We include within this information the importance of protecting the American horses. Pointing out the many hardships and perils that horses face in their lives. Such as, retired racehorses found in a kill-pen and facing the possibility of being sent to slaughter. We discuss the potential difficulties in re-homing horses. Added to this, the vast number of acres whether farmland, forests or open land that is being sold for commercial, industrial and residential development. This not only cuts into land available for horses to roam, it reduces areas where the public can ride, as well as effecting the sources for hay and grain production.
Our organization regularly attends community outreach functions. We annually partner with other rescues in the area, including the Canine Carnival. This past summer of 2022, we were fortunate to participate in The World of Horses, at the New York State Fair. The Onondaga Farm Fest was also held at our farm. At this time we taught the attendees about our organization as we provided activities and programs. Intertwined through it, we spoke of the special bond that develops between horse and human. We related many stories where volunteers and adopters have experienced this wonderful connection; how the equines have enriched and helped them in their lives. Our discussions within these visits also elaborate the many hardships horses can face in their lives.
We have many disabled individuals, accompanied by their trained mentors, that participate in our volunteer programs, experiencing equine care. Their smiles beam from ear to ear as they assist with grooming, some singing to the horse as they brush the coat. Each one is positively affected by their interaction with the horse.
Our organization also works with youth community groups as well as those that are required to do community volunteer service. This is provided on their level of understanding and that is appropriate for them. Many high schools in the area use our organization, offering students graduation credits for providing community service.Research/Medical Use of Equines:
Our organization has never made, and would not ever consider making, equines available for research studies or medical training that involves invasive procedures and/or that which may cause pain or suffering to the equine. Religious Affiliation:
Our organization does not promote religious education, religious purposes, or a specific religious faith or use donations for religious education or religious purposes; require participants to be of a certain faith; require participation in religious, instruction, activities or services; or require participation in prayer, worship, religious instruction or other religious activities as a condition of receiving social or secular services offered. Auction Donation:
Our organization has never allowed, or would not consider allowing, an equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that would cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter.
Our organization acquires horses/equines from the following source(s):
Our organization does not acquire horses/equines from the following source(s):
Purchase/Adoption from Owner
Our organization will accept the following:
Only Stallions to be castrated
Additional information about our acquisition policies and practices:
We mostly receive Standardbreds off the racetrack, as well as from the kill pen. However, we take any horse in need, some of the situations and breeds above have never presented themselves to our organization, however we would accept them into our program. When we acquire horses from the kill pen they are not purchased by Sunshine Horses. The horses fees have been paid by other individuals. We provide the care thereafter. We have yet to receive a horse from abandonment or seizure but that does not mean we wouldn't accept it.
Before accepting a stallion into Sunshine Horses, it needs to be castrated.
POLICIES: INTAKE, ASSESSMENT & TRAININING
Prior to a horse being accepted and/or arriving at the facility, the organization requires the following with respect to the health status of the horse:
A current Coggins
Vaccination records that have been administered within the last 12 months
If health records are not available or are out-of-date, the owner is responsible for having vaccinations administered.
If health records are not available or are out-of-date, our veterinarian will administer appropriate vaccinations
A health certificate signed by a veterinarian and dated no more than seven days prior to arrival attesting to the health status of the equine is provided to our organization either prior to or upon arrival of the equine
Prior to a horse being accepted and/or arriving at the facility, the organization has the following policies in place:
The owner of a potential equine is interviewed over the phone or in person prior to seeing the equine
The equine is evaluated at its place of residence
The owner completes an application/contract which constitutes the agreement between the owner and our organization
The owner is financially responsible for the shipping of the equine to and from the organization
Equines are not taken on trial
Following arrival of the equine at the facility, the following is performed:
Physical examination by a veterinarian upon arrival and/or prior to quarantine departure
Physical examination by trained barn staff
Photographs are taken of each equine upon arrival at the facility and kept with the equine's health records
A Henneke Body Conditioning Score or other body conditioning score is assigned
Physical examination by a farrier
Physical examination by a dentist
The equine is scanned to check for a microchip
The equine is microchipped if the scan indicates that there is no microchip
Blood work other than Coggins
Upon intake, the organization has the following quarantine policy in place:
The equine is confined to a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine at the facility
for a prescribed period of time
The equine is confined to a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine off-site for a prescribed period of time
The equine is not quarantined
The typical length of quarantine is:
10 to 20 days
Horses are assessed for following skills and behaviors:
Retrieval from a pasture/paddock
Leading with a halter and lead rope
Temperament, disposition and attitude, such as rated from very calm to very high spirited
Loading onto and unloading off a trailer
Mounting and dismounting
Riding at the walk
Riding at the trot
Riding at the canter
Riding by a beginner and/or unbalanced rider
Tolerance to unusual objects and loud noises
Known vices, i.e., cribbing, biting, kicking, weaving, stall walking, etc
Tolerance to multiple handlers at the same time
Driving (Pulling a carriage)
Our organization has the following policies and procedures in place pertaining to the ongoing assessment of horses in its care:
The Henneke Body Condition score or other body conditioning score is updated at least annually
Photographs are taken of each equine annually and kept with the equine's health records
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine chiropractor
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine acupuncturist
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine massage therapist
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine nutritionist
Physical examination by a veterinarian at least annually
Photographs are taken of each equine monthly and kept with the equine's health records
Our organization has the following policies and procedures in place pertaining to the weight-carrying or workload capabilities of horses/equines that are ridden in our care:
Our organization evaluates at least annually and maintains a written record of the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
Our organization does not evaluate the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
No equines are ridden; not applicable
The following variables are considered in determining the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden:
Equine age, weight, breed, body condition, fitness, balance, health and soundness
Participant weight, height, body proportions, balance, fitness and riding skills as well as behavioral issues and safety concerns
Weight and proper fit of the saddle and other equipment
Terrain and footing in the working environment
Duration and frequency of working sessions, as the frequency with which an equine is subjected to maximum weight carrying and/or workload
Nature and pace of work, repetitive or varied, radius of turns, degree of incline and regularity of footing when equine is subject to maximum weight-carrying capacity
Temperature and/or weather conditions
Seasonal impact on the equines' workload and weight-carrying capabilities and limitations
Equine conformation to include the top line, length of back, strength and width of loin, bone density (measured by the circumference of the cannon bone just below the knee)
Size, shape, condition and angle of the hooves
Our organization does not evaluate the weight-carrying and workload limitations for each equine that is ridden
No equines are ridden; not applicable
Horses provided formal training (groundwork or riding):
2-3 times per week
Additional information about our intake, assessment & training policies and practices:
We require a coggins on all horses prior to entering our facility.
Any horse coming from the kill-pen is required to be tested twice for strangles.
We do request all previous vet records be sent with the horse, as well as attempt to receive a health certificate signed by a veterinarian within 7 days of the arrival.
Upon arrival at our facility, horses are placed in quarantine, a separate building from our herd, an admission assessment is completed in addition to daily shift checks for 2 weeks on the horses physical condition, unusual symptoms and adjustment.
A veterinarian and farrier check is done within the first week.
The organization has the following policies related to breeding and stallions:
The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, does NOT breed equines.
The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, breeds equines
The facility or facilities where our organization conducts its programs, including foster facilities, are permitted to house stallions
Additional information about our breeding policies and practices:
Breeding is not allowed for any of our horses that are adopted, as stated in our adoption and placement contract.
The organization has the following policies related to euthanasia:
Our organization will never have an equine euthanized for space
Our organization may have a healthy equine euthanized if it is a threat to itself, other equines, or people and euthanasia is recommended by a veterinarian
Our organization may have an equine euthanized upon the recommendation of the veterinarian after all reasonable treatment options have been explored
Euthanasia is done on site when possible to decrease trauma from transport
Disposal of the carcass is handled within 24 hours
Our organization will never have a healthy equine euthanized under any circumstances
Euthanasia is done at the veterinarian's facility
The following are authorized to administer the procedure for your organization in accordance with state laws:
A certified euthanasia technician
Senior staff with appropriate training
Employee of animal control shelter or humane society with appropriate training
Veterinary student under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian
Not applicable. Our organization prohibits euthanasia under any circumstances
Additional information about our euthanasia policies and practices:
Our policies and procedures for euthanasia follow the standards of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
POLICIES: RE-HOMINGView Re-homing Agreement
Our organization has the following re-homing (adoption/purchase) policies and procedures in place:
All potential adopters/purchasers complete a written contract which constitutes the agreement between our organization and the new owner
Potential adopters/purchasers must visit our organization and be observed with the equine on site
The distance of a potential adopter/purchaser's home from our facility is a consideration for when re-homing an equine
Our organization conducts a site visit of the adopter/purchaser's facility before the transfer of the equine to the adopter/purchaser's facility
Our organization does NOT re-home an equine to first time equine owners
Our organization will only re-home an equine to a location where another equine resides
Potential adopters/purchasers are encouraged to do a short-term, on-site foster with the equine
Adopters/purchasers are NOT required to provide updates
The uploaded Re-homing agreement includes the following re-homing (adoption/purchase) statements:
The agreement reflects that any individual or organization in possession of the equine as of the date of the agreement and any time thereafter is bound to not sell the equine at auction for slaughter or allow the equine to be sold, transferred, released, or otherwise placed into possession of any person or organization that will cause or allow the equine to be sold at auction for slaughter.
The agreement states that should the adopter decide to re-home the equine, our organization must grant approval of any individual or organization intending to take possession of the equine for any reason prior to the equine being placed into the possession of such individual or organization, including being provided written notification of the name, address, and telephone number of any individual or organization intending to take possession of the equine for any reason.
The agreement states that the terms of our organization's agreement will be binding on any future individual or organization taking and/or in possession of the equine for any reason.
The agreement states that re-homed equines cannot be bred
The agreement states that if there is any breach of contract the equine must be returned to our organization
The agreement states that our organization reserves the right to make unannounced visits
The agreement states that our organization reserves the right to make scheduled visits
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers can return an equine to our organization free of charge
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers are required to provide updates (photos, vet records) for three or more years
The agreement states that should the adopter decide to re-home the equine, our organization must be notified of the name, address, and telephone number of any individual or organization intending to take possession of the equine for any reason prior to the equine being placed into the possession of such individual or organization.
The agreement states that re-homed equines CANNOT be sold, adopted, transferred, auctioned, released, given away, or otherwise placed into the possession of another individual or organization under any circumstances.
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers can return an equine to our organization for a fee
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers are required to provide updates (photos, vet records) for one year
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers are required to provide updates (photos, vet records) for two years
None of the statements are included.
The organization does not re-home equines under any circumstances; our organization retains custody of our equines and ensures care of the equines for their lifetimes.
Our organization does not have the authority to transfer ownership and/or does not own any of the equines involved with our programs.
Our organization requires references from the following:
Not applicable or no references required.
Transfer of ownership occurs:
Immediately (at the time of adoption/purchase) or less than one year
The average equine re-homing (adoption/purchase) fee received by your organization:
$1,001 to $1,500
Our organization has the following policies and procedures related to horses that need to be retired, are no longer useful, or are no longer manageable:
Equines may remain at our organization for their lifetimes
Equines may be found suitable homes by our organization
Equines may be returned to their owners
In the case an equine is unmanageable and demonstrates repeated dangerous behaviors, the equine may be euthanized upon the recommendation of the veterinarian
In the case an equine is unsound and/or unhealthy and cannot be treated to relieve suffering, the equine may be euthanized upon the recommendation of the veterinarian
Equines may be sent to auction
If a suitable home cannot be located within 12 months, the equine may be euthanized
If a suitable home cannot be located, and space is not available for the equine to remain at the organization, the organization will secure a suitable home for the equine and accept financial responsibility for the lifetime of the equine
Additional information about our rehoming policies and practices:
Our adoption application and placement contract follow guidelines from Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and has been updated as of December, 2022. It changes our placement agreement to coincide with Right Horse Initiative allowing adopted horses to be gifted or sold to another adopter, if the original placement did not succeed. Our organization is notified of potential transfer, name and address. The new adopter completes an adoption application, references are checked, a home inspection is completed by our organization, the new owner signs a placement contract and the new owner is then required to send annual vet reports to us.
The horse is also able to return to Sunshine Horses, Inc. if adopter so chooses.