MISSION & PROGRAMSMission:
Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused, neglected and slaughter bound horses.
Our organization provides programs involved with equine rescue & adoption
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 uses satellite, overflow, foster, and/or outreach facilities which adhere to all the policies, procedures and practices of our organization Horse Rescue, Rehabilitation, Retraining & Re-homing:
Overview of our programs involved with rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, re-homing and/or retirement:
Each incoming rescue horse must undergo a 30-day quarantine to protect the horses already at The Dorset Equine Rescue from becoming ill through a communicable disease or illness inadvertently brought in with the newcomers. In turn, the newest members of our herd will receive extensive intervention and examinations from our team of veterinarians, and experienced staff. After they gain their health back, each horse will slowly start a training program. Our trainer works closely with our veterinarians to assure the best possible outcome for each horse. We believe that horses are happier and healthier when they have a job. The Dorset Equine Rescue has a full time trainer who evaluates each horse’s abilities and physical condition. Because we rarely get much history on the horses, we treat each horse as if it does not have any training. We make sure we get to know our horses very well and continue their training for as long as they are with us. The better we know what they are capable of, the better we can match them with their future adopter. A well-trained horse is far more adoptable than an untrained horse. Sometimes age or injury prevent horses from being ridable, but that doesn’t mean they are useless. Some of these horses are great companions to our younger horses that are insecure and need stability. Some of them end up being good lead line horses, or therapy horses for people to pet and brush, or they get adopted out as as a companion to another horse who is alone. All of our horses, including the ones that are not ridable are brought into the barn regularly and taught to have excellent ground manners so they are a pleasure to be around and well behaved for the veterinarian and farrier. When a Dorset Equine Rescue horse is ready for adoption, it is listed on our website and shared on social media. Each horse’s adoption fee is based on the horse’s ability, temperament and level of training which then goes directly back into supporting the current horses in our care. Anyone who is interested in adopting a horse must fall within our adoption guidelines and is asked to fill out an adoption application and provide references, after which point we also require a barn check. We require every new home to provide a certain level of care including shelter, a good sized turn out area, basic vaccines and routine farrier care. After a home is approved, the new owner will sign a contract to help assure the horse will continue to be well cared for. If at any point they cannot keep the horse, the adopter is required to notify us first before re-homing their horse, so that we are part of the re-homing process. The new adopter must follow the same approval process and sign a new adoption contract. Once a horse comes through our rescue, we do everything in our power to keep it forever safe and from falling on hard times again. We strive to make sure each horse and adopter is compatible so they can develop a life-long and successful relationship.
Community Outreach and/or Public Education:
Overview of our programs involved with providing community outreach and/or public education programs involving horses:
We offer several community volunteer education days for the local high schools including Burr and Burton Academy, Long Trail School and Stratton Mountain School. We have also hosted educational days for Boy Scouts, various summer camps and 4H groups.
We also launched a preventative feed assistance program in 2021, the Vermont Hay Bank, to help horse owners in the community who are experiencing hardship with feed assistance. By doing this we hope to prevent horses in need from being sent to auction or from going hungry. The application is on our web site dorsetequinerescue.org and we helped over a dozen households in 2022.
In the spring and summer of 2022 we held a series of meet and greet new volunteer orientation sessions called Pitchforks and Pastries where interested community members could meet us and other volunteers during informal work sessions so that we can effectively identify and cultivate potential volunteers and give donors a closer look at what it takes to operate the rescue day to day. These were very successful. We will hold these again in 2023 during the warmer months.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
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
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
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.
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 owner completes an application/contract which constitutes the agreement between the owner and our organization
Equines are not taken on trial
The equine is evaluated at its place of residence
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 monthly
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
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 massage therapist
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine nutritionist
Physical examination by a veterinarian at least annually
Equines at our facility may be treated by an equine acupuncturist
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):
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:
We have a no breeding policy in our adoption contract as well.
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
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
Our organization will only re-home an equine to a location where another equine resides
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
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 scheduled visits
The agreement states that adopters/purchasers can return an equine to our organization free of charge
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 our organization reserves the right to make unannounced visits
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)
The average equine re-homing (adoption/purchase) fee received by your organization:
$751 to $1,000
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 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
In the case an equine is unmanageable and demonstrates repeated dangerous behaviors, the equine may be euthanized upon the recommendation of the veterinarian
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:
Since all adoptions require a farm visit, we only adopt out within about a three hour radius from Dorset, VT. We ask that potential adopters do a map check from their property to Dorset, VT to see if within that range. This range is a little flexible, but not by much.
Each horse we adopt out must have an equine companion at their new home to be turned out with. Horses are herd animals and are happiest with a buddy.
The horse must have access to a clean three sided run-in shed or stall 24/7, blocking the prevailing winds and protecting them from the weather.
The horse must always have access to a clean water trough that is heated in the winter.
We require the adopted horse stay up to date on these basic vaccines: Eastern/Western Encephalitis, Tetanus, Rabies, Influenza and Rhino.
We require that the adopted horse stays up to date with regular feet trimming (6-10 weeks depending on the time of year), deworming (minimum of 4 times per year), and annual dental care.
The adopted horse must have a minimum of 8 hours of turn out daily.
The adopted horse must have a minimum of 1 acre of pasture for a full size horse(s) and a minimum of ¼ acre for a miniature horse(s).
Although it is not required, we do encourage all perspective adopters to have their own vet do a pre-purchase exam.