In Honor Of General Information

Here is where general information and notes about rescue, adoption, volunteering, etc will appear.

The Unwanted Horse: Myth or Reality?

In recent years some industry groups and other supporters of horse slaughter which consistently fight passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA) have claimed that there exists a huge unwanted horse population in the United States.

These organizations, which include the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Quarter Horse Association, have been lobbying Congress to block passage of the AHSPA on the premise that slaughter offers a humane way to dispose of these animals, a necessary evil without which horses would be subjected to neglect, abandonment and abuse. In short, they argue that horse slaughter improves horse welfare.

Ironically, these groups were largely silent on issues of equine welfare prior to introduction of the AHSPA. Yet now that the horse slaughter industry is seriously threatened the coalitions partners are citing animal welfare as the basis for their pro-slaughter stance.

The truth is that, no hard data exists on an "unwanted horse" population. The Unwanted Horse Coalitions own website states:

"No accurate figures document how many unwanted horses actually exist, their age and sex, the breeds represented, how many are purebred versus grade, their most recent use, their value or what happens to them in the long run. . Tens of thousands of horses that could be classified as unwanted are being sent to processing facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico each year."

In short, the coalition has absolutely no evidence to support its claim that horses going to slaughter are "unwanted".

What is clear is that killer buyers working for the slaughterhouses are outbidding other buyers at auction because they have a financial incentive to do so. The market for slaughter horses is set by the international demand for their meat in other countries, not by the number of "unwanted horses".

Here are the facts:

Horse slaughter is a brutal, predatory business that purposely seeks out healthy, marketable horses. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study revealed that more than 92% of horses going to slaughter are in good condition.

The notion that without horse slaughter there will be flood of abandoned horses is simply unfounded. When the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. fell by approximately 90% between the early 1990s and the early 2000s there was no correlating increase in abandoned, neglected and abused horses. Likewise, equine cruelty investigators in Illinois report that horse abandonment and abuse cases actually dropped during the temporary closure of the Cavel slaughter plant in the early 2000s (the plant is now permanently shut under state law). In California, not only was there no increase in horse abuse and neglect cases following passage of the states stringent anti-horse slaughter law in 1998, but there was a 34% drop in horse theft.

Horse slaughter actually encourages abuse and neglect. Unscrupulous owners who tire of caring for their horses have the easy outlet of dumping their horses into slaughter. Cruelty investigators report multiple instances where owners stop feeding or providing veterinary care for their horses prior to selling them to slaughter. Such neglect is illegal.

There is no statistical evidence to support claims that more horses are being abandoned following closure of the domestic horse slaughter plants. Abandonment is illegal and any instances of abandoned equines (or other animals) should be reported and prosecuted.

Ultimately, those supporting horse slaughter allegedly in the name of equine welfare - suggest that the horse slaughter industry provides a service for the humane disposal of unwanted horses. Nothing could be further truth. While there may not be a home for every horse, horse slaughter has no place in a society that cares for its horses. Responsible breeding and ownership, coupled with veterinarian-administered euthanasia when necessary, are the answer; not slaughter.

*Reprinted with permission from the Homes For Horses Coalition.

Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue's Jo Deibel is a Homes For Horses Steering Committee Member.


The $1 Horse Program at Angel Acres is a bit different than most.

Horses that are a $1 are one dollar for one of two reasons; we need the space they are taking up; this may be for a horse that needs to come in with very little notice, like Bandito. 


He or she is a remote placement and is being assisted through Mattie's Legacy Fund to help a horse owner in need.

$1 horses that are Angel Acres horses ARE sound, ARE up-to-date on teeth, feet, shots, deworming, training, etc.

All of the rules that are in place for our other regular adoption horses are in place for the $1 horses. 

Horses that are remote placements will have detailed descriptions and point of contact info.


  • They are NOT unsound and/or elderly.
  • They will walk, trot, canter and jump.
  • All have been vetted and brought up to date on shots, teeth, etc.
  • All have been professionally evaluated for rider experience level needs, for example is the horse 
    beginner friendly or are you going to need a seat belt?! lol

For this reason we do NOT show the $1 horses.

We do not take this step without careful consideration, for we want the horse that is chosen placed as quickly as possible. 
We choose one of the best, most adoptable horses at the rescue and reduce the fee to $1. 

This frees up a spot for a horse in dire need of assistance and allows someone to snag an awesome horse for $1.

We will send you a few pictures, if available, and will chat with you to determine whether or not the horse you are interested in is a good match for what you are looking for in your next horse.

If we feel he or she is a good match for you, we will ask you to fill out an application for adoption if you are interested in adopting him or her.

  • We normally will not have video, if we do we will have that posted or send it to you.

  • All $1 horses are required to be hauled by a professional hauler, the only exception are horses adopted within a 10 mile radius of the rescue.

  • If you are not happy with the horse anytime AFTER the first 2 weeks, we feel that is the minimum time they need to settle in to their new surroundings, we will take the horse back.

  • We will ALWAYS take our horses back whether he or she was an Angel Acres horse or a remote placement horse.

    Hayley is our next dollar horse and his link will be posted shortly...

    For More Details Please Write Or Call!


At Angel Acres, we believe that our adopters should actually own their horse. We transfer ownership of all of our horses unless otherwise noted. We DO get first right of refusal for every horse that is adopted out.

Which means, suppose you adopt a horse for $1800 (example adoption fee, some horses are higher, some are lower) and you spend two years turning that horse into a champion jumper, some rescues won't allow you to sell the horse and must return them to the rescue. We allow you to sell the horse AFTER we have been offered the horse back at YOUR asking price, NOT the original adoption fee. We also MUST be notified BEFORE offering the horse for sale in writing and via phone that an adopter is intending to sell their horse.

Once the horse has found a new home, Angel Acres must approve said home, BEFORE the sale is complete. We feel all of our adopters are kind, loving and caring horse owners, as such, we are confident that our adopters will make the right decision for their horse.

This allows Angel Acres to place more horses in a timely fashion. Jo purchased her first horse from Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue and ownership was transferred to Jo...thanks, we think! LOL! Look at the change one horse has made in her life...if she had not adopted Madison and owned her outright, who know if things would have been the same.

Because Jo was allowed to own Maddie and experience horse ownership and the wonderful feeling of saving a life, it inspired her to help found Angel Acres!

Jo Deibel Talks Horse Slaughter

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