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The Horse Protection Society of BC has been a Charitable Organization since 1984


Registration No. BN89180 0575 RR0001


The Horse Protection Society of BC (HPS) was incorporated in 1984 by Melva MacLean, Editor of the original Gait Post magazine and dedicated leader in the horse industry. Since inception HPS has been an active force in the horse community; some of the ways we have been able to contribute include:

1. Publishing articles to raise public awareness of the plight of horses.

2. Establishing connections with other like-minded organizations.

3. Working to educate the public on proper horse care.

4. Sponsoring hardship and/or hard to place horses.

5. Creating a coalition of horse welfare charities for the purpose of raising funds for veterinary care for the horses in our charge.

6. Development of programs for seniors and special needs people of all ages to participate in the outdoor, farm experience.

HPS is currently operating from a small facility where we are able to take in a limited number of horses to be cared for and eventually placed in approved homes, or used in our educational programs. We have now begun to execute many of our initiatives; we are able to offer education programs and clinics using rescued horses, and we have opened our horse hospice services to the public.

Guiding Principles

We vow not to judge but to educate: To help people learn how to care for their horses and to facilitate the partnership between equine and human.

By partnering with those that share our commitment to horses, and to all animals, we can better serve the needs of many.

We lead by example, setting standards for other like minded groups.

We embrace the need for constant growth and improvement, for ongoing learning and re-evaluating of ourselves and the needs of our equine charges.

We maintain the highest levels of integrity in dealing with others and we hold ourselves always accountable.

Our Golden Rule:
We treat all creatures, human and animal, with kindness, compassion and respect.


The Horse Protection Society of BC is dedicated to establishing higher standards of horse care, and public awareness of horse issues, through knowledge and learning. 

We pledge to inspire society to create a world where horses, and all animals, enjoy as a minimum these five essential freedoms:


  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst.

  2. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease.

  3. Freedom from distress.

  4. Freedom from discomfort.

  5. Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being.




There have always been abandoned and abused horses.  However, recent economic conditions have put so much stress on horse owners and breeders that the situation has reached epidemic proportions.

Today, in our own communities, horses are standing in fields with no food or water.  Some are locked in dirty barns so no one will see them. Their basic needs of safe, clean shelter, food, hoof care and worming are not being met. Indiscriminate breeding is occurring with alarming frequency because people cannot afford to geld their colts. Old horses are abandoned or taken to auction because the price of feed and stabling has gone up dramatically and costs to euthanize these animals are prohibitive.  In addition, the racing industry is in crisis and racehorses are being cast aside at an alarming rate.

It takes a lot of space to house large animals; coordinated efforts are needed to care for special needs cases, and to foster animals while suitable permanent homes can be found for them. Educating the public is the long term solution to reduce the numbers of unwanted horses, and to raise the standards of care. Yet facilities will always be needed to coordinate programs and to offer support to horse owners and authorities, as well as providing a bridge between homes.

Currently, there are limited organized, coordinated efforts within the horse community of BC to deal with the growing equine problem. This lack of rescue strategy has meant that unscrupulous horse rescue groups operate within the province. Not only are horses terribly neglected and suffering needlessly in their care but the public is not able to distinguish them from legitimate horse rescue operations. Additionally, the scale of the problem of unwanted horses exceeds the ability of any one legitimate rescue group to address on its own, and many hardworking and genuine horse rescue groups are facing closure due to lack of funds and overwhelming need. 

HPS has a number of programs in place and under development to address the serious issues facing horses today. We are encouraged by the great response and support we are seeing and look forward to even more success in the coming years. Please check out our "Programs" pages for information and pictures.

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