The Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative is made possible by a single generous donor, and aims to prevent retired racehorses from being neglected, abused and slaughtered. In 2009, the ASPCA awarded more than $540,000 in the form of 164 grants to equine rescue groups and humane organizations across the country, and it is expected that the funds from this new initiative will be in addition to funds already earmarked for equine rescue.
Six equine rescue organizations and sanctuaries across the country have been selected to take part in the initiative, including the California Equine Retirement Foundation (Winchester, California), the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (Saratoga Springs, New York), and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (East Lansing, Michigan). Each center will receive between $100,000 and $350,000 over the next 2 years to help them increase their capacity and subsequently rescue more horses. Plans include expanding direct intake programs, incorporating physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovating facilities to accommodate more horses, creating voucher programs to increase adoptions, and implementing training programs for thoroughbreds to ready them for second careers.
"Many thoroughbreds rarely live out their final days in peace and comfort when their racing careers are over," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "Too often, they end up at auctions or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses where their lives come to a brutal end. These grants will enable organizations devoted to equine rescue the ability to save more horses and further advance their mission."