The adoption policy of Beyond The Fence Line Equine Rescue Inc. (hereinafter referred to as BTFL) is designed to help ensure all equines in the care of BTFL are placed in suitable homes. The adopter of the equine must be at least 18 years of age with no history of animal abuse or neglect. Anyone who adopts and subsequently returns an equine to BTFL shall have any subsequent adoption applications reviewed and approved by BTFL on a case-by-case basis.
1.1 Application Process
The prospective adoption applicant shall submit a complete Adopt Application package to BTFL. A complete package shall consist of:
1) A signed copy of the Adoption Agreement
2) A signed copy of this Policy
The approval process begins upon receipt of the competed Adoption Application package. The Application will be reviewed to verify that the applicant meets the requirements of BTFL and the references submitted will be verified, along with a background check. After review and verification, A BTFL representative will be assigned to conduct the on-site inspection of the property where the equine will be kept. The inspector will verify that all animals on the property are properly cared for and the property is safe and adequate for the equine to be adopted. If the equine will be boarded, the inspector will talk to the owner of the facility where the equine will be boarded.
1.2 Adoptive Home Standards Of Care
The following guidelines are applicable to general equine management practices and are required of all persons adopting an equine. While not comprehensive, they offer basic parameters for responsible equine ownership. The number of equines should never exceed the ability of the adopter to feed and care for them properly. Such limits are dependent not only upon the physical health of the individual but also the financial ability to maintain proper management. In addition, any individual keeping equines must comply with all relevant federal, state, and local laws.
1.3 General Management Practices.
BTFL’s philosophy is that horses should have as natural an environment as possible.
Adopters agree to provide turnout for any adopted equines. It is strongly preferred that horses not be forced to live alone, but have pasture mates. Any area in which equines are kept must have safe fencing and be free from hazards such as debris, machinery, etc. The following are requirements which must be met in order to adopt an equine, however, all will be considered on a case-by-case basis:
1) Pasture. A minimum of 1/3 acre pasture per equine on the property is recommended. Exceptions may be made in those cases where the equine will be maintained at a boarding facility BTFL, provided the equine, if stalled, is provided daily turnout of an adequate time and space.
2) Shelter. Equines shall be provided with shelter that provides protection from extreme weather including but not limited to: prevailing wind, snow, sleet, rain, sun, and temperature extremes. Stalls and shelters shall be constructed to provide sufficient space for each equine to turn around, lie down, and move freely and to allow free air flow. Shelters may be constructed to have removable sides during the summer. All enclosures, stalls and/or shelters shall be kept in good repair and free of standing water, accumulated waste, sharp objects and debris.
3) Water. The adopter shall provide troughs or individual water sources to provide adequate and clean water for all equines. All water receptacles shall be kept clean and free of hazardous contaminants and be positioned or affixed to minimize spillage. Use of defroster to prevent freezing in inclement weather is recommended. Equines shall have access to water at all times when not actually being trained or ridden.
4) Feed and Storage. Equines shall receive at a minimum the equivalent of 3% of their body weight per day in high quality forage and grain. If natural forage is insufficient in quality or quantity, quality hay shall supplement the diet. Diet shall be planned with consideration for the age, condition, size, and activity level of the equine. If more than one animal is fed at the same place and time, it shall be the responsibility of the adopter to ensure that each equine receives nutrition in sufficient quantity. If necessary, equines shall be separated to ensure each has access to adequate nutrition without interference from more dominant individuals. Individual feed buckets or pans should be provided for each equine. All storage and feeding receptacles shall be kept clean and free of contaminants, such as feces, mold, mildew, rodents and insects. Stored feed shall be kept in such a manner that equines cannot gain access to it.
5) Fencing. Fencing shall be of solid construction, without sharp edges and visible to equines; electric fencing is acceptable. The use of barbed wire fencing is unacceptable in any area of five or less acres or along any side of any area separating equines from one another. Use of electric wire may preclude the barbed wire provision. Fencing shall be monitored on a regular basis to ensure its safety and effectiveness is maintained.
6) Cattle Guards. Cattle guards will not be permitted unless there is a gate separating the equines from the cattle guard or the equines do not have access to it.
1.4 Approval Procedures.
After the equine property inspection has been successfully completed and the applicant’s facilities have been approved, a BTFL Representative will notify the applicant that they are approved to adopt. At this time the applicant may request priority on a specific equine.
1) The adopter will be required to immediately notify BTFL of any change in mailing and/or equine property address, phone numbers, email, or any other contact information.
2) Approval applies only to the equine property that is initially inspected. If an adoptive home changes the location of the equine property, an inspection of that property will be conducted.
3) If after approval the adopter becomes inactive in excessive of twelve months there will be a re-inspection of the property
4) If at any time the adopter fails to follow procedures, violates the Adoption Agreement, or an equine’s health declines, BTFL has the authority to remove said equine from the property. On the day of the removal, notice of the removal of the equine/s will be given to the adopter stating the reason for the removal and, if warranted, the revocation of the adopter’s approval status.
5) BTFL reserves the right to remove equine from the property as they deem necessary.
1.5 Placing An Equine Into An Approved Adoptive Home.
When placing an equine into an adoptive home, the following procedures will be followed:
1) BTFL will set an adoption fee for the equine. This fee is subject to change as the equine progresses in training and may be reviewed periodically and adjusted higher or lower.
2) Once an approved adopter makes a request to adopt the equine, BTFL will review the adopter’s capabilities and needs (both facilities and equine experience) to see whether there are any obvious reasons why the equine requested appears not to be a good match for the adopter. If the match appears to be suitable, the adopter will have first priority on the requested equine. Subsequent approved adopters who request to adopt the same equine will be placed on a waiting list.
3) While BTFL tries to evaluate each equine as best as possible, BTFL cannot make a final recommendation on the suitability of an equine for any particular purpose. BTFL highly recommends the adopter have a veterinarian evaluate any equine they wish to adopt. If adopting for a particular purpose or event, BTFL also suggests a trainer or instructor meet the equine.
4) If the adoption is approved, transportation may be arranged by the applicant and BTFL.
5) The adopter may return the equine to BTFL for any reason. The adopter is responsible for all costs for transporting the equine back to an approved foster home or back to BTFL. The adopter or foster will be responsible for the cost of any veterinary work needed as a result of injuries or illnesses sustained in the adopter’s home if the equine is returned with such, and the cost of any other expenses by BTFL as a result of the adopter’s acts or omissions while in possession of the equine.
6) BTFL will not reimburse the adoptive home for any expenses incurred by the equine while in the adoptive or foster home.
BTFL policy forbids the breeding of an adopted horse, as there are already too many homeless and unwanted horses going to slaughter. However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis with a letter of intent and reason that must be approved. Should BTFL learn that an adopted horse has been used for breeding without written permission of BTFL, such breeding is a breach of contract and can result in ownership of the adopted horse reverting to BTFL – as well as the offspring of said horse, should the adopted horse be a mare.
1.7 Financial Responsibilities.
Upon agreement to adopt an equine, the adopter takes full responsibility for all maintenance costs of the equine including boarding fees, grain, hay, paste wormer, farrier, and other usual and customary costs including veterinary expenses once in their care.
1.8 Health Guidelines.
Equines shall maintain a body condition score of no less than 4 on the Henneke Body Condition Scoring Chart. Exceptions shall be made for equines under regular veterinary care for a medical condition. If the health of an equine in adoptive care is in decline and weight loss occurs, the adopter must immediately notify BTFL of such circumstances.
1.9 Humane Euthanasia.
Should the adopted equine suffer an injury or condition for which a licensed veterinarian recommends euthanasia, with the exception of laminitis, founder, or navicular, BTFL will accept the opinion of the vet. Should the horse suffer from laminitis, founder, or navicular – then the horse shall be returned to BTFL for treatment, unless the adopted owner opts for natural hoof care for the condition. No adopted horse shall be euthanized for laminitis, founder, or navicular, without the written consent of BTFL. Only a licensed veterinarian may administer euthanasia, except in an extreme emergency when a veterinarian is not available. A veterinarian shall examine the carcass to verify, in writing, such immediate need. Carcass shall be disposed of in compliance with all relevant law. The adopter shall immediately notify BTFL of such euthanasia and provide a veterinary statement and record of the euthanasia.
2.0 Hoof Care.
The adopter shall ensure that the equine will receive regular hoof care and maintenance every 4 to eight weeks, or as directed by a veterinarian or hoof care practitioner.
2.1 Mental and Emotional Health.
The adopter agrees, by signing this policy, that all equines are sentient creatures with mental and emotional needs. These include the company of other horses, access to open areas, humane training and handling methods, and respect for the horse as a living creature with its own unique needs. No adopted horse shall be treated in a way to jeopardize its mental and emotional health, and such treatment is a breach of contract. No horse shall be forced into a discipline for which it is not physically, mentally, and emotionally suited. Such conditions shall also be a breach of contract.
2.2 Sale or other disposal of horse.
Any adopted horse from BTFL shall not be sold, given away, donated to another agency, or leased without the express written permission of BTFL within five years from the adoption date. This is not to inconvenience the adoptive owner, but to safeguard the welfare of the horse. If the adoptive owner can no longer afford to keep the horse within the first five years from the adoption date the horse can be returned to BTFL. BTFL will, upon request, assist in finding the equine a new home if the adopter wishes to re-home the equine after five years. This will better ensure a quality home that has been approved through the BTFL adoption process. If within the first five years an adopted horse is removed from the approved location of care the new location for its care will be inspected and must be approved by a BTFL representative based on the requirements of these policies. BTFL does not give monetary refunds. Transportation costs of all returned horses are the responsibility of the adopter. All returned horses must be accompanied by the original yellow copy of the current calendar year coggins. Failure to provide this is grounds for refusal of horse.