Putting a horse to sleep (also known as euthanasia) is sadly something that many horse owners must face at some point when owning or caring for a horse, pony or donkey. There are many reasons why a horse may have to be euthanised, including illness, an accident, change in owner’s circumstances or because old age or a pre-existing condition has led to their quality of life deteriorating.
It is important for horse owners to be aware that due to serious injury or illness, euthanasia may have to be opted for unexpectedly in horses of any age. Dealing with an emergency is difficult enough without having to make some very hard decisions quickly and under pressure. By being prepared and understanding the processes and options available, you are making appropriate plans and this will help to make a difficult decision a little easier.
Equine welfare charities receive a high number of calls from owners seeking to rehome their horse, pony, donkey or mule. Unfortunately charities have limited resources and have to prioritise welfare and rescue cases. However, if they are unable to take your equine in, they may be able to offer you advice and support in what the options for re-homing might be for you. In some cases, owners are seeking to re-home their horse because they can no longer afford them. We have put together the following ideas to help in cases where sufficient savings can be made to enable owners to keep their horses.