Major Grants Promise Better Finish For Retired Racehorses, Says American Humane Association

Dec 16, 2013, 09:32 ET from American Humane Association

National Animal Welfare Group Applauds Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance for Providing $1 Million to 23 Accredited Thoroughbred Aftercare Facilities

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If thoroughbreds are known for anything it is for their spectacular finishes, and because their racing careers are much shorter than their overall lifespans, true horse lovers believe that the lives of these magnificent animals should have spectacular finishes, too. A $1 million grant by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) to 23 accredited thoroughbred aftercare facilities in 10 states and Canada will do much to ensure that more of these beautiful creatures have safe, healthy and dignified aftercare and retirements.


"American Humane Association applauds the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance for making a tangible difference in the lives of some of the country's most beloved animals," says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "The working lives of thoroughbreds are relatively short, and it is vital that those who care for horses support their care in the years following the glamour of the race."

The grants will benefit animals through accredited facilities in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, as well as Surrey, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

American Humane Association has partnered with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to review, strengthen and update national standards of care governing the welfare of retired Thoroughbreds. With the aid of its Scientific Advisory Committee, American Humane Association worked with TAA on rigorous protocols for rescue groups if they wish to become part of the alliance and receive funds for care of the horses, establish an accreditation program for aftercare organizations that handle Thoroughbred racehorses, and cover guidelines for operations and governance, education, welfare, horse healthcare management, facility standards and services,  screening and adoption policies, and ensuring a legal chain of custody, among others. 

Facilities eligible to apply for TAA accreditation include those conforming to, among others, these following broad standards:

  • Possess 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status
  • Have been operational for at least three years
  • Care for a resident population of at least five, with at least 50 percent being Thoroughbreds

The complete Code of Standards for aftercare facilities and the accreditation application are available at

For 137 years American Humane Association, the nation's leading charity in the protection of children and animals, has worked tirelessly for the protection of not only racehorses, but all equines. Since its founding in 1877 American Humane Association has helped to safeguard, rescue and care for hundreds of thousands of horses from all walks of life. During World War I, American Humane Association worked to rescue more than 68,000 wounded horses each month on the battlefields of Europe. This team became known as Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services, and for nearly 100 years, has traveled around the country and globe to care for animals including many horses who had been abandoned, neglected, or caught in manmade and natural disasters.  In 1939, American Humane Association created its famous Film and Television Unit (the issuers of the "No Animals Were Harmed®" end-credit) to oversee the treatment of animal actors after a horse who was forced to run off a cliff and died during the filming of Jesse James.  In recent years, American Humane Association has been involved in numerous rescues involving cruelty and abandonment cases around the country.  The organization also conducts groundbreaking research benefiting horses through its Animal Welfare Research Institute.

"Horses are special creatures to so many Americans, and have been crucial to shaping this country's history," said Dr. Ganzert. "It is important that we do not forget the extraordinary amount of care these beautiful animals need, both during and long after their careers are over."

About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

SOURCE American Humane Association