Millstone Township, NJ --- The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, with the assistance of a local SPCA, last week took possession of three horses placed in 2010 whose condition had fallen to a life threatening status.
The adopter, who had previously been compliant with provision of follow up health reports, failed to respond to the SRF's periodic documentation requirements which are due in spring and fall. With the help of a local SPCA, the three geldings were located, evaluated and found to have body conditions scores of two, based on the Henneke Scale, in which five is ideal and one is near death.
By the provisions of the SRF's adoption agreement, the horses were recovered and shipped to a boarding facility in southern New Jersey for careful rehabilitation and veterinary care. They will each need to gain hundreds of pounds and lost muscle tone before re-placement can be considered, probably well into 2014.
"While this incident reflects a rare occurrence, it does underscore the need for consistent and thorough follow-up on every horse we place for adoption, for as long as that horse lives," said Paula Campbell, president of the SRF. "We understand that these animals live as long as 25 or 30 years and adopters' life circumstances change. We are prepared to take a horse back if need be, under any circumstances. We commit to the lifetime responsibility for the care of every horse in our program.
"Despite thorough and stringent background checks on potential adopters, there are still things that can go wrong. That's why we must devote time and resources to ongoing welfare checks."
Those that would like to contribute to the rehabilitation of these horses can do so at www.Adoptahorse.org.