SAFE Adoption Policies

  1. SAFE will approve adoptions based on the best situation for the horse. SAFE reserves the right to turn down an adopter for any reason.
  2. Adopters must clearly understand that because these are rescued horses, SAFE may not be able to provide any history or background information for them prior to their rescue. It is our policy to disclose everything we learn about a particular horse while in our care, including behavior we observe, handling or training issues we uncover, and veterinary concerns. But there is still a degree of risk involved in adopting a rescue horse because of the inherent lack of background information. Ideally, SAFE is looking for adopters who primarily want to give a good home to a horse in need, and are understanding and accepting of that horse’s potential limitations.
  3. Adopters are required to be able to provide their horse with:
    • adequate shelter (minimum requirement is at least a three-sided shelter for the horse to get out of the elements. A tarp or carport is not considered adequate, nor are trees)
    • safe, secure fencing in good repair (no barbed wire, and t-posts must be capped)
    • adequate hay, feed, and a continuous supply of fresh water
    • in addition to regular exercise, horses need to have access to some amount of turnout in a pasture or paddock free from hazards that might cause injury to the horse. A mud management plan for high-traffic turnout areas during the winter months.
    • necessary veterinarian care, include routine checkups, vaccinations, teeth floating, a deworming program, and emergency care
    • regular farrier care, whether the horse is shod or barefoot
    • reliable and experienced caretakers onsite
  4. Site Visits: Potential adopters of SAFE horses are asked to submit to a site inspection prior to approval. A SAFE representative will meet with the adopter at the location where the horse will be kept to assess that all the above requirements are met. Because of this requirement, SAFE is only able to adopt to people who live within a reasonable driving distance of a SAFE member approved to conduct site visits. At present time, we can only adopt to people living in Western Washington.
  5. No-Breeding Policy: Because SAFE is a rescue, we are faced with too many horses that are unwanted, forgotten, and discarded. We also see a large number of broodmares that are sent to slaughter after coming up barren for a season. As an organization, SAFE feels that excessive breeding of horses is a large factor in the problem of unwanted, discarded horses. Therefore, it is our policy that mares and fillies adopted from SAFE may not be used for future breeding and all stallions and colts will be gelded before they are offered for adoption.
  6. Future SAFE Involvement with Horse: SAFE will maintain an interest in the horse throughout its lifetime. We will perform yearly site visits and ask for regular updates on how the horse is doing.
  7. Horses may not be moved from their approved location or leased out to a third party without our approval during the first year after adoption.
  8. Resale Policy: SAFE is seeking permanent, lifetime homes for our horses. We realize that situations may change and the need to rehome may arise, however we do not adopt out to homes specifically looking for resale propects. Our policy is that adopters may not sell, lease, trade or transfer the horse to another party without written permission from SAFE. Provided the new home meets our adoption criteria, we will approve the request and we will ask the new owner/guardians to sign an adoption contract. The goal is not to disallow an adopter from selling a horse, it is simply to ensure that a previously rescued horse never ends up in a bad situation again.
  9. SAFE reserves the right to remove the horse from any situation in which the horse is not being cared for properly or is deemed unsafe. This right extends for the life of the horse.
  10. First-time Horse Owners: SAFE welcomes and encourages first-time horse owners to apply for adoption. We do ask that there be an experienced horse person available to provide guidance to the first time horse owner and help when needed. Our first priority is assuring that both the horse and the adopter will be safe.
  11. There may be very rare exceptions to the above policies.


ADDENDUMS to SAFE Adoption Policy:

Off-the-track Thoroughbreds and other “hard-keepers” will only be adopted to people who have prior experience working with and feeding these types of horses.