US Horse Welfare and Rescue (USHWR) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit established in February 2016 at Nod Hill in Avon, CT on 20 acres of land. We are dedicated to saving America's unwanted horses from slaughter through rescue, advocacy, education, community outreach and solution based supportive programs. USHWR works in conjunction with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other equine rescue organizations across the country promoting awareness and legislation to put an end to the sale and transport of America's horses to slaughter.
How We Got Our Start
So, what was the ignition behind founding USHWR? For Susan Mitchell, USHWR's founder, it all started with a story. When Susan read the story of a teen who went online and saw a post and a picture of a horse just rescued from a kill lot, she thought it looked like her horse from several years prior. Upon calling the rescuer they determined it was in fact her horse, which she had sold with a Right of First Refusal contract many years ago. The teen and her parents packed up and drove through several states to the rescue to reclaim their girl. When the teen approached her horse, the horse began bowing to her. This was a trick she had taught the horse many years prior. " When I read this, I sat there and just cried for a long time". Imagine, through all those years this loving horse had held onto the memory of her girl and the tricks they did together! "To this day I still can't tell this story without crying," says Susan. That was the turning point, the moment when I said "This is so wrong." From those tears emerged an undying commitment to fight to protect unwanted equines from the horrors of the underground horse slaughter pipeline. These days with an amazing group of volunteers who share the passion and dedication USHWR is working daily to grow awareness and save America’s unwanted horses from a horrific death.
People Don’t Know
Through our advocacy and outreach it has become apparent that the public as well as most horse owners truly don't know the inherent risks associated with giving away or selling horses. Fewer are familiar with the existence of the horse slaughter pipeline and what that means to our equines.
Too often we sell or give our horses to local barns, other horse owners or even friends of friends with naive beliefs that our beloved steeds will be safe. Too often those equines end up at auction picked up by kill buyers. Too often the horse's final trip is crammed in with others shipping to slaughter.
Many of us do not understand the intelligence, the bond to their "family", the loyalty to their person, or their ability to suffer physical pain as well as emotional and mental anguish.
At the end of the day, creating awareness about the hidden horse slaughter pipeline is paramount to accomplishing our goals. Too many wonderful horses are ending up in kill lots and being sent to slaughter. Even one horse being slaughtered is too much. Overall, with the help of dedicated volunteers and donors, we will continue striving to reduce and, someday, completely eliminate the sale and transport of America's horses to slaughter.
AWARDS AND ASSOCIATIONS
GUIDESTAR - Bronze
Homes for Horses Coalition
Board of Directors
C. NightHawk Lambert
Diana S. Urban (State Rep.)
Wendy Thomson Flamand