Equine Safety & Ambulance Program

Founded in 1868, the MSPCA Equine Ambulance Program has evolved into the nation’s pre-eminent service in equine emergency response and rescue. From the early years of a horse-drawn carriage to today’s specialized ambulances outfitted with innovative equipment, the MSPCA has revolutionized the level of expertise available to companion horses and equine athletes in need of urgent veterinary care.

Equine Safety & Rescue Training

As the national authority on equine emergency response and rescue, we travel thousands of miles annually to train veterinarians, human organizations, public safety officials, and event officials in rescue and transportation.

With our innovative rescue equipment, including the Original Rescue Glide® and our horse mannequin Lucky, we conduct hands-on workshops for professionals throughout North America. With the wealth of experience that comes from performing hundreds of real-life rescues, MSPCA staff is able to re-create scenarios that may occur when handling horses and other large animals. Trainings may be tailored to a group’s specific needs, and will include material on large animal body language & behavior, general equine safety, and use of equipment. An average training is conducted over a two day period, however training programs may be customized as appropriate for the group size and level of expertise.

Trainings are conducted throughout the country, but are also held regularly at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm Equine & Farm Animal Center, in Methuen, MA. The 40 acre property and onsite facilities permit groups to practice in an environment conducive to learning, and when appropriate, with the Center’s current animal residents.

The MSPCA’s expertise in the field of equine rescue has been crucial in the start-up of over two dozen equine ambulance programs throughout the country. As a non-profit agency that is dedicated to the protection of horses everywhere, the MSPCA lends its knowledge and experience to humane organizations, state animal response teams, and others who wish to create similar ambulance programs to serve their communities.

The 2016 Equine Safety & Ambulance Training Course Registration is now open

These classes are open to first responders, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, barn owners and other individuals who have a vested interest in learning how to move large animals safely and quickly.  Class size is limited to 40 people, to allow each attendee the opportunity to participate in hands-on sessions. Courses are held at the Rogers Education & Training Room at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA . Click here to learn more and register.

Equine Emergency Response and Rescue

The MSPCA’s emergency response & rescue service has changed the lives of countless horses in the equine world. Horses that previously may not have been survived can now be safely transported to an emergency hospital using the MSPCA’s specialized equipment.

To help horse owners deal with emergencies, the MSPCA is available through a Referral Service from local veterinarians and public safety officials. This lifesaving service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Upon being contacted by a veterinarian or public safety official, we dispatch an ambulance with staff specially trained in equine emergency rescue and transport. This service, provided with your veterinarian overseeing the disabled horse’s care, is offered throughout New England.

With its specially equipped ambulances and the innovative rescue Glide, the MSPCA Equine Ambulance has helped rescue over 400 horses since its inception. We have pulled horses from muddy bogs and icy ponds, removed horses from trailer accidents, drawn them from ravines, and even coordinated an aerial rescue from a steep mountainside.

View a video of a rescue of a Belgian Draft horse named Buddy

Additional Services

Original Rescue Glide

vermont-horse-council-trainThe MSPCA developed the first Rescue Glide, changing forever the way that downed horses can moved. With this stretcher came a more humane, streamlined way to get horses out of almost any situation. Lightweight yet maneuverable, the Original Rescue Glide can accommodate the largest horses, and can be used by just two people. Horses are able to be transported to a veterinary hospital without ever having to stand up. Today, the Rescue Glide is used across North America.

The Rescue Glide has been an integral part of the MSPCA at Nevins Farm Equine Safety & Ambulance Program since its design. We have moved down horses off of fields, out of bogs and through stall doorways into our equine ambulances using the Original Rescue Glide.

The most flexible glide available will never lose its original shape. All metal pieces are aluminum to prevent rusting and the screws are countersunk for safety. As part of the MSPCA’s Equine Ambulance Program, it is used to take horses out of stalls, therefore it needs to be flexible enough to fit through a stall doorway.

Our Rescue Glides are being used at humane societies, municipalities, private companies, veterinarians and universities throughout North America.

Some of these institutions include:

Click here to see a video of the Original Rescue Glide in use during a recent rescue, by the Colchester, Vermont’s Technical Rescue team.  Thanks to the Vermont Horse Council, this team received a gift of our Rescue Glide as well as sponsored training from the MSPCA.

For more information about the purchase of a Rescue Glide or training classes, contact:

Roger Lauze
Equine Rescue and Training Coordinator
MSPCA at Nevins Farm
978-687-7453 ext. 6124
rlauze@mspca.org

Sport Horse Ambulance Service

For more than a dozen years, the MSPCA’s Sport Horse Ambulance Service has protected horses competing in events across North America. For all types of accidents and injuries, we help on-site veterinarians provide the most effective, humane treatment possible.

Approved by Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) veterinarians at the 1996 Olympic Games, our ambulances are equipped with state-of-the-art rescue and medical equipment. Our highly trained staff has played a key role in safety operations at major competitions worldwide, including the Pan American Games, Rolex Kentucky, and Fairhill International. Because of our expertise, the MSPCA has been chosen as the official Equine Safety & Ambulance Service provider for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The WEGs, held for the first time ever in the United States, drew over a half million spectators and some of the finest equine athletes in the world.

Clients of the MSPCA’s Sport Horse Ambulance Service include:

“The MSPCA has set the standard for rescuing and protecting equine athletes at sport horse competitions across North America.  We simply feel safer competing at events with personnel trained in their FEI-approved techniques and specialized equipment
~ Karen and David O’Connor, U.S. Olympic Equestrian Medalists

“The MSPCA’s services are integral to our event.  We couldn’t put on Rolex Kentucky without them.”
~ Jane Atkinson, Event Director, Rolex Kentucky

Ensuring our Future

The MSPCA Equine Safety & Ambulance Program is funded by the generous financial support of horse owners, equine enthusiasts, and other friends. To ensure the continuation of this lifesaving program, please consider a contribution. To find out more about the Equine Safety & Ambulance Program or to make a donation, click here or contact us at:

The MSPCA at Nevins Farm
400 Broadway
Methuen, MA 01844
Roger Lauze, Coordinator
(978) 687-7453 x6124 rlauze@mspca.org