What does horse rescue cost?

In order to run a non-profit horse rescue very well, the truth is that costs are very high. Heart of Phoenix is thrifty, but we do not cut corners. We house from 120-165 horses within our facility and large network at any given time. Our monthly costs are around $35,000 averaged out through a calendar year.

Things depend on what part of the country you are in; Heart of Phoenix is very luck because many costs in Appalachian are lower than other areas, for instance, the costs of hay and property.

Most horse owners do not have to board here, instead owning acreage, so when they foster, many have a lot of pasture for their foster horses. We have kind vet practices that reduces our vetting by 20-50%, as well. We buy grain for our facility in bulk. We are approximately 95% volunteer ran. More than half of all horses within the rescue are in foster or training homes at any given day and time, while around 40-45 call our main facility in Lesage, WV a temporary home.

We are fortunate that we have an administrativeistative and core team offering many professional skills as a volunteer services, like horse training, accounting, data entry, some application processing, web and graphics design, videography, social media management and more.

As a result, Heart of Phoenix is able to, dollar for dollar, house more horses and meet their needs in rescue than about anywhere, I am very sure, especially when we are not an organization based on our founder’s facility. The rescue leased an independant farm, which sets us up for longevity and outlasting the founder, we hope.

We make sure we are doing what a horse must have until a home is found, and we focus on being there if a horse needs us later.

Each horse that arrives into the rescue receives a vet exam, and if the horse has a good prognosis, the horse receives:

  • Full recommended vaccines for our area, including intranasal strangles
  • Fecal
  • Bloodwork
  • Coggins
  • Dental float
  • De-worming by the vet
  • Freezebrand
  • Microchip
  • Most receive a lameness exam with the Equinosis Q with Lameness Locator
  • X-rays, as recommended
  • Castration, if a stallion

The cost of the intake vetting is around $400, which is a discounted price for the rescue. If a horse has a poor prognosis, we always do the humane thing for the horse, and that kind offering runs $300 these days total.

All horses receive whatever farrier care they may need:

  • $30 up to $400 – depending if they need a trim, shoes or a specialist at Rood and Riddle

Most horses need 6-12 months of rehabilitation, training, re-training and then wait to find the right person:

  • $1,200 – $2,400 on average yearly per horse – many horses cost more (some much more), but then some cost less due to fosters covering feed, and it averages out to $200 per horse in monthly feed, minerals and supplements.

We also provide a safe net for owners unable to offer a horse euthansia, castration or other basic needs:

  • Typically, we will offer up to $300 directly to the vet to cover a service as a one time aid per owner

Then, of course, there is equipment to maintain, repair and/or pay for:

  • A tractor, brush hog, UTV, Dump wagon, horse trailers, truck, tire replacements, oil changes, etc

Next we have the actual facility that requires daily, monthly and yearly repair and upkeep:

  • Lease costs, fence repair, barn repair, mowing, caretaker living quarters maintained and repaired, shed repair, etc

Then there is the insurance on everything:

  • Trucks, trailers, general liablity, special events, equipment

Then there are paying people who provide services that are not always or ever volunteer based:

  • Caretakers, stall cleaners, sometimes haulers, trainers, web services, accounting reviews, applications processors, contractors, mechanics, hay delivery, feed delivery, and the list on that goes and goes

There are event and travel costs:

  • Special events take money to put on, and sometimes the events are not fundraising based, but offering adoption events, comunity services and the like
  • Traveling to pick up horses, assist other organizations, conferences, continued education and more

So by the time a horse is adopted, the low average minimum invested by the organization is $2,500.00 – $7,500.00, with an a median investment being $5,000. A few horses may be a tad less, and after after 1,100 rescues, plenty have been more. Average adoption fees are about $1,200. During special events, we can see much higher fees, but those are rare compared to typical adoption fees.

And that is all why donors are so vital, but it’s also why Heart of Phoenix is a great nonprofit to invest in for a better tomorrow. A rescue cannot run well without a solid donor base.

There is no low cost or free way to rescue horses well; when you give, give where your donation accomplishes the most possible in the way the aligns closest to what future you hope to help create.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: