What started as a viable, ambitious rescue in the late 90’s has peaked and been in a state of decline and questionable governance for the past 7-8 years. With the unfortunate passing of the last local Board Member in May 2019, the organization is now run blindly by the two remaining board members who are both multiple time zones away. As a former Regional Director, I am aware that the corporate finances are suspiciously managed with zero transparency. Horses are not the priority of either board member and the way the executive level is set up, there is no way to challenge the poor leadership decisions being made.
Review from Guidestar
After volunteering with this group for ten plus years transporting equines in need, thousands of miles/fuel donated, managing a rehab facility so understaffed my spouse was there every morning to care for the equines, the executive leadership has let down the region in Virginia too many times. An organization cannot be effectively operated by an absentee board that has ZERO knowledge of the needs of a region half way across the country.
It's a draconian operation based on poor leadership. With the passing of one of the three board members, two people are making corporate decisions from Colorado and California for operations on the east coast. So, basically we no longer support the USERL since they have lost sight of the mission and worry about their fragile egos.....not equines.
Review from Guidestar
There is no better feeling to be part of an organization that does so much for the horse community in VA and NC. Every horse United States Equine Rescue League has saved you can see it in their eyes just how thankful they truly are to receive regular veterinary care, farrier care, attention, feed, hay and water. Volunteers work hard not just on specific cases but also daily care for all the horses in their program. I have worked as a volunteer for many years helping with social media, networking, fostering, rehab and whatever else is needed. We are always looking for foster homes and all cost incurred for horse care is tax deductible since they are a 501c3. Contact United States Equine Rescue League at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer, donate supplies, work on fundraising activities, help transport, help network or ask questions. Highly rewarding to be a part of such a wonderful organization that is trying to help as many horses as it can based on limited resources. Volunteer opportunities available in Hampton Roads VA and Northeast NC Thank you for everything USERL does for the horse community and the volunteers that make it work. Just a few pics of some of the horses before and afters.
In the last 8 years we have fostered 2 horses thru US Equine Rescue League. The 27+ year old buckskin, quarter horse mare we kept and will have a forever home with us. The 2nd horse stayed with us until his perfect forever adopter was found. He now lives, shows and gives riding lessons in North Carolina. My husband and I continue to support US Equine Rescue League thru fundraising activities and transporting donate hay to the rehab barns. I have found the volunteers at USERL to be dedicated and absolutely have the best interests of the horses in their care. To quote Tom Seay from Best of America by Horseback "these folks are the real deal". Tom was the guest speaker at the latest fundraiser - a showing of the movie "Unbranded". Our next fundraiser is a golf tournament in September. The Richmond area USERL has rescued over 200 horses since its inception.
I've watched this organization save horses from the brink of death and send them on to wonderful homes!
USERL is a large part of my life. I learned about it about 8 yrs ago and my roles have increased each year. I currently serve on the Board and direct NENC and VATW regions. This job is the hardest and most satisfying work I have ever done.
We have been working with USERL horses for five years - we adopted 2 and are now currently fostering/training another. The dedicated volunteers of the USERL are amazing. The time they spend on rescuing and rehabilitating horses is extraordinary! Both of our adopted rescues have turned out to be amazing. Many people told me not to trust a rescue for my young daughter. After 5 years and 2 rescues, my daughter has learned so much, and the horses have learned so much from her. They trained each other and both of our rescues are now sound and stable horses - both love barrel racing and love being around other horses and people. They are great in the saddle and comfortable around most anything. I have been recommending to people that they check out the USERL first about adopting - before purchasing a horse - the USERL comes across so many good horses that just need some TLC and training. USERL horses need forever homes :)
Review from Guidestar
I am a volunteer coordinator for the Central Peidmont Region of NC and I am always amazed by the committment and dedication of our volunteers. 100% of the money we raise goes directly toward helping our horses.
I first learned about USERL about a year ago. I had been looking for a group that I could help. I love horses and this was a great chance for me. This is a great group who loves horses and wants to give other people the chance to give a horse a forever home. I want to thank them for letting me be part of their group.
I have enjoyed my experience with the league. I learned alot about the care of horses, feeding and handling of horses. The barn days are well planned and organized.
I learned about USERL about 3.5 yrs.ago from an active volunteer. She and I met on a whim and got to talking and she told me about the League. I offered her my contact info. and that I had a trailer I could offer for use and one thing led to another and here I am now. One thing about our volunteers is their dedication to the cause of helping horses in horrific conditions. If there is even the slightest chance of helping an equine have a better life, well that chance is taken. I have been thru the personal loss of a beloved recued equine and had tons of emotional support from the volunteers and I have been able to foster and adopt "and make a difference". If I could dedicate my time 100% to something it would be to the USERL.
USERL has partnered with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in a number of horse neglect cases to ensure that abused horses are given a second chance at life and permanent, new homes where they can thrive. While ALDF is able to oversee the legal aspects of these tragic cases, USERL handles the hands-on rescue with compassion and professionalism. Here are some details about one current case in which USERL has gone to court, represented by ALDF attorneys, to rescue several severely neglected horses: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1006.