Equine Advocates

Arnold and D.A. were rescued in 2007 and spent 31 days in a hospital recovering from neglect and starvation. Today they live in a section of Equine Advocates called After the Finish Line. Credit: Jim Craner
  • Services

    Sanctuary, Rehabilitation

  • Location

    Chatham, New York

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


Equine Advocates is a national nonprofit rescue, educational, and advocacy organization founded in 1996 in response to the issue of horse slaughter.

Structured initially as a rescue operation, the organization expanded in 2004 to include a 140-acre sanctuary in upstate New York, where horses of all breeds and backgrounds – including off-the-track Thoroughbreds – currently reside. Founder and president Susan Wagner estimates that thousands of equines have been transitioned into better situations through the efforts of those involved with Equine Advocates. Currently, some 80 horses, donkeys, ponies, and mules reside at the sanctuary near Chatham, which Wagner describes as “an equine village where they live out their lives in a natural environment, allowing them to socialize with one another.” Many residents have old injuries and special needs.

In 2006, Equine Advocates opened its Humane Education Center, where classes and seminars are conducted and where visitors can learn about equine issues and responsible horse guardianship. The group has participated in cruelty investigations and held symposiums for law enforcement in dealing with such cases.

Equine Advocates has received the highest 4 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid (GuideStar). In addition to being accredited by TAA, Equine Advocates is also accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and the American Sanctuary Association (ASA).

“We combine our rescue efforts with advocacy in order to effect change, educate people, and promote humane treatment of horses,” Wagner said. “In addition to providing sanctuary and a loving home for our rescued horses, we focus on teaching people how to become better, more responsible horse guardians.”

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