Illinois Equine Humane Center

Chapter 12 and Soul Machen, two of ILEHC’s adoptable Thoroughbreds enjoying play time in the paddock after a training session.


Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption

Location: Maple Park, IL

Founded: 2008


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 20


The Illinois Equine Humane Center was founded in 2008 specifically to address the need in Illinois to protect horses from cruelty, neglect, and slaughter. Illinois Equine Humane Center and its founders played a vital role in the closure of the slaughter plant formerly operated in nearby DeKalb, IL.

Since its inception, Illinois Equine Humane Center has rescued numerous horses of all breeds, including many Thoroughbreds, from undesirable situations, and has served as an outlet for responsible owners looking to place their racehorses into good homes.

While in the care of the Illinois Equine Humane Center, former racehorses receive the rehabilitation needed before being retrained for new careers as pleasure, dressage, trail, or jumping prospects. Potential homes are thoroughly vetted and inspected prior to adoption, and the Illinois Equine Humane Center contract provides a lifelong safety net for horses adopted through its program. Any horse adopted from Illinois Equine Humane Center can be returned to the organization, no questions asked, at any point during its lifetime.

While the vast majority of horses at Illinois Equine Humane Center are adopted into wonderful homes, the organization also serves as permanent sanctuary to several former runners who, due to special needs, are not suitable for adoption. In addition to accepting horses relinquished by racing owners, the Illinois Equine Humane Center also works to rescue Thoroughbreds from low-end auctions where horses are in peril.