LISBON, MARYLAND, January 30, 2018 – The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) announced receipt today of a $750,000 grant to launch a first-in-the-nation project to facilitate the responsible transition of horses whose owners are no longer able to care for them. MHC was the first state horse council in the country to support a federal ban on export of horses for human consumption, and its members from every sector of the horse industry came together to develop an alternative. The program is called Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS) and was unveiled today at the Maryland Horse Industry Day in Annapolis.
METS will include a statewide network of equine facilities, farms, associations, veterinarians, trainers, and rescues that can provide safe options for horses in transition. Using a mobile assessment team, the program will provide owners with individualized equine assessment services and transition options based on the specific needs of their horse.
“Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state, and many of those horses will end up needing new homes throughout their lifetimes,” said MHC President, Neil Agate. “We believe that all owners who need assistance in transitioning their horses should be aware of their options, and we are excited to unite and engage Maryland’s horse industry as we build this one-of-a-kind initiative.”
The launch of this cutting-edge program is made possible through a generous grant funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund via The Right Horse Initiative. The Fund’s goal is to massively increase equine adoptions and provide resources for horse owners nationwide. "Too many horses owners in the United States find themselves without humane options when it is time to transition their horse,” said Christy Counts, President of the Right Horse Initiative. “We are proud to partner with the Maryland Horse Council on this progressive and innovative approach to providing transition support to horse owners.”
To ensure the success of this program, MHC has partnered with Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) to leverage their expertise and well-developed infrastructure. As part of this partnership, the METS offices will initially be housed at DEFHR’s Lisbon, MD facility. “DEFHR is honored and thrilled to be part of this exciting new endeavor geared to help safeguard Maryland’s horses. We are looking forward to serving our equine community in a more meaningful and valuable way,” said DEFHR CEO, Erin Clemm Ochoa.
The METS program will be developed and tested on a small scale over the next six months with services offered to all Maryland horse owners by the summer of 2018. For more information about METS, send email METS@mdhorsecouncil.org or visit www.mdhorsecouncil.org.
About Maryland Horse Council (MHC)
Established in 1985, the Maryland Horse Council is the umbrella association for all horse organizations, clubs, businesses and professionals, farms and stables, institutions, owners and enthusiasts in Maryland, representing the interests of over 30,000 Marylanders on legislative and regulatory issues at the state, county and local levels. MHC has been repeatedly recognized by the American Horse Council as one of the most active and effective state horse councils in the country. For more information, please visit mdhorsecouncil.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR)
Founded in 1989, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. is a nationally recognized animal welfare nonprofit organization that ensures quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education and outreach. As a premier all-breed equine rescue, DEFHR focuses its attention on legal documentation for court, rehabilitation and recovery of animals in distress while preventing abuse and neglect through community education and outreach. Its 58-acre farm in Woodbine, Maryland provides respite for more than 80 equines at any given time. DEFHR is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. To learn more, volunteer or donate, visit www.DEFHR.org.
About The Right Horse Initiative
The Right Horse is an initiative funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund, a division of the Arnall Family Foundation dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals. Their goal is to massively increase the number of successful horse adoptions in the United States by working together to reframe the adoption conversation and shatter the stigma surrounding horses in transition. To learn more about The Right Horse Initiative visit www.therighthorse.org.
For More Information
Contact: Jennifer Purcell
844-634-6773 ext. 707