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Our Euthanasia Policy


New Start Standardbreds operates on a custom care plan for each horse that is rehomed through the organization. Horses are evaluated to ensure that they are healthy and safe for rehoming.


In rare cases – such as dangerous temperament, chronic & severe pain conditions – adoption is not a suitable option for the horse, and New Start Standardbreds may consider humanely euthanizing the animal.




There are several circumstances in which New Start Standardbreds may consider euthanasia as a humane and responsible choice. Among the most common are:


      -       Incurable or progressive disease

      -       Incurable or transmissible disease

      -       Chronic or severe lameness

      -       Inoperable colic

      -       Severe debilitation in old age

      -       Severe traumatic injury

      -       Equines deemed to pose a serious danger to other animals, themselves, or the public

      -       Undue suffering for any reason

                  o   Equines who are suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally on a severe or chronic basis


Euthanasia of adoptable animals in our program will be avoided whenever possible.  This is accomplished by actively promoting to find these animals suitable forever homes. Euthanasia is to be considered only after reasonable and appropriate exploration of all other viable options. It is never a decision that is made without the utmost consideration for what is best for the animals.


If a horse is displaying behaviour related trauma or aggression, the horse will receive a full evaluation of a veterinarian, farrier and a professional consultation with a trainer. The horse will have 30 days with a professional, off property (or on property, dependent on the situation), before being assessed for potential euthanasia. 

The euthanasia process is initiated by a Director based on input and discussion from relevant sources: caretaker, veterinarian, trainer, farrier, and/or others involved in the equine’s evaluation.


Once all reasonable efforts have been exhausted, the euthanasia is authorized through the Board of Directors (unless in an emergency situation, where-in a Director can make the euthanasia call – they must present a veterinarian signed letter stating why the euthanasia was an emergency decision).


All animals will be given:

- A quiet, comfortable shelter to rest.   Food and treats, as prescribed by a Director;

-When appropriate, the equine will receive visits from volunteers or caretakers;

-When appropriate, volunteers will spend quality time with the animal.  This may involve giving the animal extra grooming, a walk in nice grass, or other rewarding activity the animal may enjoy;

-Comfort measures such as pain control and sedation may be administered as prescribed by a caretaker or veterinarian.


The euthanasia process will be conducted in a manner humane and respectful to the animal.  After euthanasia is completed, the animal will continue to be handled in an appropriate & respectful manner.


Euthanasia is often a highly emotional issue, yet it is important to address the situation from a practical standpoint. In all cases - whether dealing with an emergency situation, chronic pain condition, or a long-term illness – New Start Standardbreds volunteers consult with a team of veterinarians, reviewing any medical information to fully understand the horse's current condition and future implications as well as discussing available treatment and care management options.

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