Helping Hearts Equine Rescue, Inc

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Adoption &  Foster Information / Standards of Care

Helping Hearts Equine Rescue, Inc

PO Box 342, Perrineville, NJ   08535

[email protected]

If you are interested in adopting one of our rescues, please email Lisa and request an Adoption Application.  

ADOPTION:   These are the basic guidelines for adoption --

We take applications on a case-by-case basis as we want to ensure a good match of horse and adoptor.  Before emailing an application to a potential adopter, we like to discuss hiss/her riding and handling experience and confidence level as well as riding style, to ascertain the suitability of the horse that they may be expressing interest in.  Once we agree that the horse might be a suitable match we schedule an appointment to meet the horse and email the  application out.  If we decide the horse is not suitable to the adopter's needs, we may suggest another one of ours OR help them network with another rescue to find their "forever horse". 

Upon approval of the Application,  A Conditional Adoption Contract is executed.  This Contract requires a vet exam/report be completed at 6, 12, and 18 monthsThereafter the Vet Exam must be tendered upon our request and/or we or an authorized representative must be allowed access to the equine to ascertain his health.   In addition,  the Contract stipulate that if the adopter can no longer keep the subject equine, that he/she is to be returned to our custody.  In the event the equine becomes substantially more 'valuable' than when initially adopted, HHER must be offered right of first refusal.  If we waive our right of first refusal, we require that the subsequent owner/buyer also Contracts with us, to ensure the horse's long-term continued safety.  Finally, the horse is never to be conveyed via dealer, auction, meat-man, etc.  and in the event of the death of the adopter, the estate is to return the equine to Helping Hearts. . .



  • Failure to complete all questions completely will delay or deny your application. Please feel free to attach additional information about you and the kind of horse you are looking for to expedite your application.
  • Please include a $20 Processing Fee with your Placement Application.  This fee is non-refundable.
  • Once your application is approved, you must make arrangements to finalize the adoption by executing the Conditional Adoption Contract, paying his adoption fee and arrange transport of your new horse within 7 days.  Until this accomplished, he will still be available to other potential adoptors.
  • If possession of the horse is not arranged within that 7 day period, adoptor will be responsible for the continued care costs of the horse.  If the adoptor needs for the equine to remain at HHER post-adoption, Adoptor will be responsible for the rescue-rate board, which is $385/mo or $13/day for the first month.  If the equine needs to remain at our facility longer than that, the board must revert to our host-barn’s “regular board rates”.  Please inquire for their rate sheet.
  • The Adoption Contract will be a “Conditional Adoption Contract”.  This contract requires vet checks, which can coincide with regular wellness visits, at 6, 12, and 18 months. 
  • The Conditional Adoption Contract stipulates that if unable to keep the horse, he is to be returned to HHER. IF the horse becomes more valuable thru training and/or a show record and Adopter wishes to convey the horse, HHER must be offered Right of First Refusal; and that the horse is never to be conveyed via dealer, auction, meat-man, etc. In the event of the death of the adopter, the estate is to return the equine to Helping Hearts. . .

    If we waive our right of first refusal, we do require that the subsequent owner/buyer also contracts with us, to ensure the horse's continued safety
  • IN addition, it is required that all Adopters adhere to Helping Hearts Equine Rescue’s “Standards of Care” in caring for their adopted equine.  A copy of our standards of care is attached to this Application for your review and understanding and it is made part of the Conditional Adoption Contract. 


Helping Hearts fosters out horses in very specific circumstances.  Specifically, we are looking to place companion-only types into long-term situations -- we refer to them as "forever fosters".  Many of our rescues just need safe haven to enjoy the rest of their lives. Young, trainable and/or rideable horses come directly to our facility to allow us to work with them and have them available to show to prospective adoptive homes. (Lisa M. Post, Pres. of HHER, is a USDF Certififed Dressage Instructor)
However, at times, we do look for short-term quarantine ("QT") situations that are local to us and our vet so that we have access for emergent care. These one-on-one QT circumstances might be for us, or for colleagues who need to quarantine horses prior to trailering them longer distances to their ultimate destinations.
We often receive offers of fostering Camelot Feed Lot horses so that we can pull horses to safety. Generally, we can't  just  'pull and foster-out' Camelot horses as Helping Hearts can only take on responsibility, financially &/or otherwise, for so many horses at a time.

 Ultimately, fostered  horses are STILL our responsiblity, and normally we've found that most foster-offerers are only able to assist in housing the horses short term, a month or so or less.  Please keep in mind that the average time a horse stays in rescue before adoption is 6 months.  Often it's much longer.   When/if they start 'coming back', fosters contacting us to 'return' horses (ie: the weather starts to turn), it can overwhelm our ability to house and care for them.  So sadly, we do have to limit the number of horses we can assist at any one time.

Helping Hearts DOES have a Foster/Quarantine Application and Contract procedure, just as we do for Adoption --- to protect the horses.  Sadly, there have been too many instances out there of Foster horses disappearing. . . If you are local to HHER and would consider fostering a companion horse long-term or quarantining a horse short-term, please contact us via email.  


The following Minimum Standards of Care will be required for equines housed at approved foster and adoptive homes:


  • Nutritious grain in sufficient quality and appropriate nutritive value unless equines are receiving adequate natural forage.
  • Diet shall be prepared with consideration for the age, breed/type, condition, size, work level and quantity of equine(s).
  • Equines shall have no less than a body condition score 4 and no more than 6 on the Henneke Condition Scoring Chart (BC) to be considered of adequate weight. Exceptions are made for arrivals on premises less than six months and showing continued documented improvement or for equines under the continued care of a veterinarian. 
  • All feed and hay storage and feeding receptacles shall be kept clean and free from contaminants, such as feces, mold, mildew, insects, etc.
  • If more than one animal is fed at one time or in one place, it shall be the responsibility of the owner/custodian to ensure that each animal receives nutrition in sufficient quantity.
  • Minimum hay requirements shall be observed with the quality of hay representative of choice grasses in the local area. Equines should receive a minimum of 2% of their body weight in high quality hay per day unless equines are receiving adequate natural forage.  Exceptions may be made for equines who need less to maintain an acceptable Body Condition Score or for those who are on a diet for weight loss.


Necessary Veterinary Care ~

An annual  vaccination schedule to be maintained and conducted by a veterinarian.   This includes a Spring Vaccination protocol to include Eastern and Western Encephalitis, Tetanus, West Nile, Potomac Horse Fever, rabies and tetanus and  a Fall vaccination protocol to include Eastern/Western Encephalitis and Tetanus.

 It is expected that the adoptor will seek immediate veterinary intervention in the event the horse shows any of the following signs:

·        Shock

·        Colic

·        Founder

·        Broken bone

·        Deep tissue wound

·        Inability or unwillingness to eat or drink

·        Blistering or burns

·        Irregular or abnormal breathing

·        Partial or total paralysis

·        Abnormal discharge

·        Severe bleeding

·        Continued symptoms of heavy intestinal parasite load despite adequate deworming

·        Weight loss

·        Abnormal skin condition

·        Hair loss

·        Temperature fluctuation

·        Diarrhea

·        Lameness


Standard Care

  • Hoof care maintenance and trimming every six (6) to eight (8) weeks or as directed by a veterinarian or a farrier. Hoof care shall be done by an experienced person knowledgeable in standard farrier practice.  Exceptions may be made for horses who are not yet tame enough to have their feet handled.
  • Hooves should be cleaned out at least once/week.  Exceptions may be made for horses who are not yet tame enough to have their feet handled.
  • Parasites kept under control through either a daily deworming product or by deworming every eight (8) to twelve (12) weeks or as directed by a veterinarian.
  • Annual veterinary procedures as outlined in the Standard Veterinary Procedures Policy shall be performed.


Dental care - Routine dental work (floating) shall be performed at least once/year by a qualified veterinarian or equine dentist.  Floating may be recommended more often for certain equines by a qualified veterinarian or equine dentist.

Non-routine dental work shall be provided as needed in a reasonable amount of time. 

Water -  Proper water is clean, potable water that is available at all times for all equines. Exceptions shall be determined by veterinary consultation of professionally accepted practices for the safety and well-being of the equine.

Equines that are being worked or are in transport shall be provided water as often as necessary for the health and comfort of the equine.  All water receptacles shall be kept clean and free of contaminants and be positioned or affixed to minimize spillage.


Space and Shelter for Each Equine -  Each equine must be provided with space that is safe.  The space for each equine must be free from standing water, accumulated waste, sharp objects, and debris. 

Any fencing must be well maintained and in good repair at all times.  Each equine should be provided with adequate exercise.  Exceptions are granted when equines are under stall rest per a veterinary recommendation.

Stalled equines shall be exercised or turned out daily.  Exceptions shall be made for times of bad weather, injured or ill equines, or equines who are not yet tame enough to be exercised or lead to turn out areas.

While not all pastures or turn out areas must have man-made shelter, man-made shelter consisting of a roof and a minimum of two sides must be available as needed for ill, injured, older, or underweight horses.  The shelter shall be in good repair and free of standing water, accumulated waste, sharp objects, and debris.  There should be adequate space for each equine that will be sharing the shelter at any given time.