The Kentucky Equine Humane Center was recently formed in Lexington, Ky., and will serve as a shelter and adoption service for unwanted equids in the state.
The group will lease a 50- to 60-acre farm in the Lexington area for its shelter facility, which will accept equids with a valid negative Coggins test.
"There are no such facilities that we are aware of in this country where you can bring your horses when you can no longer keep them," said Lori Neagle, cofounder of ReRun, a nonprofit Thoroughbred adoption program, and a KEHC board member. "When KEHC opens its doors, no Kentucky resident will be able to say he sent a horse to slaughter because he had no other choice."
The KEHC's mission is to provide humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for Kentucky's unwanted equids. The center plans to educate the public, raise awareness for responsible equine ownership, and serve as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states.
The KEHC will accept horses, donkeys, and mules free of charge, but donations are encouraged. The center will work closely with other equine organizations, along with breed associations, to help find adoptive homes for each animal before euthanasia is considered.
Along with Neagle, the center's founding members are Kim Zito, Joan Ciampi, Meg Jewett, Dr. Stuart Brown, Dr. Tom Daugherty, Carol Farmer, Staci Hancock, Judy McCarron, and Sally Spielvogel.