Equine Center Foster Program

The MSPCA Equine Foster Program is a life-saving extension of the Equine & Farm Animal Center. Our foster families volunteer to temporarily house and care for a horse, in varying circumstances, until the horse is ready to return to Nevins Farm.  Foster homes undergo the same application process as our adoptive homes, which includes a reference check and a site visit by an MSPCA staff person.  There are a variety of ways to participate in our Equine Foster Program:

* Emergency ‘On Call’
On occasion, we have the need for immediate housing and care for some of our available horses. In these instances, we have taken in a large number of animals requiring stall space, urgent care or animals that are being held as evidence for a pending court case.
Requirements: References, home check.

* Training
We all know young horses need regular training. In a shelter setting, consistent time can prove to be challenging. You can make an enormous difference to a young horse by teaching basic ground manners and riding skills. This makes the horse happy, healthy, useful and ultimately, more adoptable.
Requirements: Experience in training and starting young horses, references, home check, riding/training evaluation.

* Rehabilitation
Some horses in our care have encountered abusive people and/or situations. Often this creates emotional ‘scars’ or problem behaviors. We need experienced horse people to provide gentle love and understanding to help the horse through their problems. Again, this takes consistency, patience and a calm environment.
Requirements: Experience or adequate support in re-training problem horses, references, home check, riding/training evaluation.

* Medical
Horses with ongoing medical issues often require a place to heal and a care giver to tend to their individual medical needs.
Requirements: references, home check.

* TLC
Several horses in our care just need a place to just be themselves. Often they are the retired race or show horses. Sometimes they have medical or behavioral problems making them unable to be ridden but wonderful companions for horses and humans. Sometimes they were neglected and just need a little TLC to get back to vitality.
Requirements: references, home check, riding evaluation (if fostered horse is able to be ridden).

Financial Responsibilities

While in foster care, the MSPCA at Nevins Farm continues to provide medical care and farrier care (through MSPCA-approved providers).  Foster homes are responsible for providing housing, hay, feed, shaving, and general care on a day-to-day basis.  In many cases this is tax-deductible for the foster home, and we are able to provide you with an in-kind donation receipt (please consult your tax professional for guidance).

Time Commitment

Generally, for most foster situations, we are looking for an extended time frame of 2-3 months.  We’ll always have a pre-determined return date for the horse to return to Nevins Farm.
As with any horse, you’ll need to have time each day to provide appropriate general care and training time if applicable.

And lastly, you will need to be available for potential adoption appointments, which will always be conducted with an MSPCA staff member present.

How Do I Become a Foster Parent?

For more information on fostering for the Equine and Farm Animal Center, please call (978) 687-7453 x 6113 or email barnstaff@mspca.org.