Updated Animal Control Seizure Policy for Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC

December 2022

For 13 years, Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue (HOP) has aided counties across 3 states by offering expertise, training, equipment, man power for free. We have also covered all seizure costs for the rehab and retraining of all horses accepted for counties during this time. We have never asked a county to reimburse for care out of a county budget. We have covered the costs ourselves for counties across 3 states.

The current economic crisis we are experiencing in America requires that Heart of Phoenix implement a new policy for animal control seizures moving forward as of 12/1/2022.

We are extremely proud of the amazing service that we were able to extend, especially as a grass roots, donation funded 501©3 organization. Because of all we offered, counties not only became empowered with knowledge and resources, but the lives of horses in these cases were changed for the better.

We still want to help, as we are able.

However, due to:

  • The number of horses that owners are requesting we accept daily far exceeding our capacity
  • The costs of care nearly doubling from 2019
  • The legal side of seizure cases in our local region has become much more hostile
  • The extremely long time period for case holds (some going over 2 years)

Our new guidelines are as follows:

  1. We will still accept any equine(s) already surrendered to a county, as long as the rescue has space for no cost to the county.
  2. We will continue to provide our time or equipment for free to counties.
  3. If we make an exception in an emergency and do accept equines in a seizure, a county will need to cover actual fuel costs and cover subsidized care costs for vetting, farrier work and rehabilitation of the equine(s) involved.
  4. The equine(s) will need to surrendered to HOP following the closing of a case.
    1. We recognize underweight, un-vetted horses have no monetary value, and by subsidizing care costs during a case to a county, HOP will cover more than the value of a neglected equine, even in a short case.

The cost of legal cases has always been the burden of the county handling the case, but we are thankful to be able to pick it up for so many years for 3 states. It proved a huge aid to those states.

We will continue to provide no cost training and in person aid, when requested, when we can. We will also continue to offer no-cost rehabilitation guides and information, as well as help network horses to other organizations out of state that may extend care at no cost, when possible, if a county cannot afford to reimburse for care within HOP or if we do not have the space to help.

If a county would like to request the aid of Heart of Phoenix in a legal seizure, please visit this link.

If a county would like to request Heart of Phoenix give advice regarding case or to accept horses surrendered already to a county, the process remains unchanged. Please just reach out to as at 304-962-7761 or email Equinerescue@live.com

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