MISSION & PROGRAMSMission:
The mission of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals is to protect the health and welfare of neglected and abused equines. The vision is the elimination of equine abuse and neglect.
The MSSPA provides superior rehabilitative care as well as access to veterinary services 24 hours a day, and maintains nearly forty equines on its farm facilities. Each year dozens of horses are placed at the Society's farm facilities by Maine law enforcement agencies. Following rehabilitation, most animals are adopted into permanent homes. Those unsuitable for adoption remain at the Society for the balance of their natural lives.
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:
MSSPA is New England’s premier horse shelter. It partners with state and local law enforcement to provide shelter and care for abused and neglected horses and collaborates wherever possible to maximize the resources of all:
•MSSPA has a memorandum of understanding with Maine’s largest private horse rescue, Horses With Hope. There, talented horsewomen work with Society horses seeking new permanent homes. All services, including care, training, and board of the horses, are provided at no cost to the MSSPA;
•Equine rehabilitation and sanctuary – Volunteers and paid staff, together with veterinarians and farriers, operate the shelter and a sanctuary for rescued equines who cannot safely be placed in adoptive homes;
•Adoption – A successful horse adoption program, which includes a careful screening process, pre-placement check of adoptive homes, execution of appropriate legal documents because MSSPA believes there is a right home for every horse, and annual follow-up with each adopted horse for the duration of its lifetime;
•Maine Horse Matchmaker – A free service operated by the Society which offers promotion, networking, and matchmaking services for horses in need of rehoming. It provides assistance to horse owners no longer able to care for their animals, regardless of the reason, and endeavors to keep horses out of the shelter system;
•Feed and Care Bank – A program to provide temporary, emergency assistance to Maine horses in need. MSSPA expends funds on a range of items, from hay to vet care; and
•Farmland preservation – A large open-space agricultural enterprise on its 124-acre farm annually produces an average of 7,500 bales of hay to help sustain the horses in the shelter.
Community Outreach and/or Public Education:
Overview of our programs involved with providing community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses:
•The Society collaborates with several animal shelters in Southern Maine to provide summer camper experience and humane education;
•MSSPA staff offer hands-on learning opportunities at River Road farm and presentations to teach the many aspects of animal welfare at no cost to the public;
•Society staffers are eager to bring awareness to the life-saving work of the MSSPA. Hands-on learning opportunities at River Road farm and presentations to the public are available upon request;
• Volunteer and paid staff opportunities for incarcerated women who are housed nearby at the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center. The program is designed to give women the skills and experience they need to successfully live as positive citizens and employees after they transition from state correctional facilities into their home communities. The program is a benefit to the horse shelter and to the almost 50 women participating in it since its inception.
•Legislation – MSSPA is nonpartisan. The Society monitors and comments on animal welfare legislation that is relevant to its work.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:
The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals does not allow the breeding of animals. Any stallion received into care is castrated as soon as medically or legally possible.
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:
If health records are not available or are out-of-date, our veterinarian will administer appropriate vaccinations
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.
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:
Equines are not taken on trial
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
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
Blood work other than Coggins
The equine is scanned to check for a microchip
The equine is microchipped if the scan indicates that there is no microchip
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:
20 to 30 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
Driving (Pulling a carriage)
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
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 monthly 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 annually 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
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
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
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):
As needed; no set schedule
Additional information about our intake, assessment & training policies and practices:
Nearly all the horses received into care here are the product of law enforcement seizures and little to no medical history is ever obtained.
Ground manners and other training are regularly provided to horses that are physically able to participate.
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
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:
EUTHANIZATION OF ANIMALS
7.1 The Officers and Directors of the organization shall conduct the business of the organization such that the decision to humanely euthanize an animal owned by the MSSPA shall be made by the Executive Director, with a recommendation from a duly licensed equine veterinarian, in consultation with the MSSPA's Operations Manager. If the Executive Director is not available and the circumstances requiring euthanization are exigent, the Operations Manager, having made a good faith effort to contact the Executive Director, shall make the decision, with a recommendation from a duly licensed equine veterinarian.
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
Adopters/purchasers are NOT required to provide updates
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
The uploaded Re-homing agreement includes the following re-homing (adoption/purchase) statements:
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 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 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 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 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 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
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers are required to provide updates (photos, vet records) for three or more 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:
Not applicable; None received
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
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 returned to their owners
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:
While adopters are not charged an adoption fee, adopters are asked to make a donation to the MSSPA to support the care of the herd. At the time of adoption, title to the horse becomes fully shared between the adopter and the organization. There is a joint tenancy of ownership in the animal.