Important organizations in the regional and national rescue community welcome Northern Lights Horse Rescue (NLHR) to the community, recognizing NLHR as innovative, professional and committed to the important work of helping horses in crisis and striving to eliminate abuse and neglect from the human-equine experience. NLHR formally incorporated in 2016 as a collaborate network, using an innovative approach to support horses in crisis across New England with a distributed, care-based model that leverages the infrastructure of small barns that catch the overflow that the large regional rescues can’t accommodate. Important animal welfare organizations welcomed us to the community including:
- MSSPA. The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (MSSPA) is the largest rescue in the New England region, serving animals that are seized by law enforcement agents only. It is not funded by state tax dollars, but public donations. MSSPA’s Executive Director Meris Bickford pledged cooperative support to NLHR for our work in supporting surrendered horses in our network in the spirit with which MSSPA collaborates with all animal rescue organizations operating in the area. MSSPA conducts important educational and community outreach programs in addition to supporting 60-80 animals in crisis at a time.
- The Horses for Life Foundation welcomed NLHR as a regional rescue organization with an innovative business model, and one that shares their goal of protecting horses. Allondra Stevens reached out to NLHR to welcome us to the rescue community, as well as sponsor our membership in the Homes for Horses Coalition. Horses for Life is also dedicated to preserving wild horses that live on the American open range, and advocates to end horse slaughter and to ban the exporting of American horses across international borders to slaughter houses.
- Homes for Horses invited Northern Lights Horse Rescue to join The Homes for Horses Coalition, a national joint initiative of the Animal Welfare Institute, the ASPCA, and The Humane Society of the United States. HFH is a group of rescue and sanctuary organizations, grant makers and individuals interested in taking a proactive stance in ending horse slaughter and other forms of equine abuse while promoting growth, collaboration and professionalism in the equine rescue and protection community. HFH currently has more than 380 members representing horse rescues and sanctuaries in almost every state in the U.S. By working to end equine cruelty, advance the highest operating standards for equine rescue and retirement facilities and promote responsible horse ownership, The Homes for Horses Coalition is actively engaged in improving the lives of America’s equines, and was instrumental in helping the Global Federation of Animal Shelters (GFAS) create their standards for equine sanctuaries, with whom they continue to work closely. Membership is verified through standards of performance as well as references of professionals allied to the NLHR organization.
- More to come!
How NLHR Works
NLHR doesn’t place horses with farms; rather, we support farms who are already in possession of one or two horses that they’ve taken in at the request of an animal welfare, animal control, or law enforcement officer in their New England state. These farms operate equine businesses that are not focused primarily on rescue work, though they are licensed by their state to take in horses for rescue. They are engaged in small-scale rescue, typically one or two horses at a time, as a complement to their other equine activities. NLHR can help them sustain that commitment through relief of some of the financial burden of care. Our innovative approach leverages the infrastructure of these existing farms, and so we are able to reach twice as many horses as typically require care.