7 Best Horse Rescues in Arizona! (2024)


Horses are versatile and intelligent animals. They’ve been beloved companions, workers, and competitors for thousands of years.

Although exemplary animals, caring for horses takes a significant amount of energy, time, and money. Not everyone is fit to meet these needs.  

Unfortunately, this lands innocent horses in neglectful living situations, rescues, or even worse, slaughterhouses. 

As part of the southwest, Arizona is brimming with horses that need rescue. Luckily, multiple upstanding horse rescues in Arizona work tirelessly to ensure the safety of these animals. 

If you’re looking for a trustworthy horse rescue to adopt from, volunteer with, or support, then keep reading. We’ve compiled a list of the best horse adoption agencies in the state.

Other articles you would like: Miniature Horse Rescues and Rabbit Rescues in Arizona.

Why Do Horses End Up in Rescues?


Sadly, there’s a surplus of unwanted horses across Arizona and the United States. The Rutgers University Equine Science Center lists the most common reasons for unwanted horses as follows:

  • Illness or injury 
  • Old age
  • Inability to meet owner’s expectations
  • The owner cannot financially support the animal 
  • The animal has a challenging mentality

Another reason may include a significant life change, such as a move, that makes it hard to bring such a large companion along. Unwanted equines are often retired working horses no longer capable of working, as well. 

When an unwanted horse doesn’t end up in a rescue, they’re neglected, abandoned, or shipped to an inhumane slaughterhouse across the border or overseas. 

Luckily, horse rescues work relentlessly to stop such cruelty and love in-need horses while doing so. 

If you’re interested in joining forces with one of these rescues, you can learn more about the top seven below. 

The Top 7 Horse Rescues in Arizona 


Rescuing horses isn’t solely about re-homing them. A rescue worth supporting will also make efforts to rehabilitate previously abused, abandoned, or neglected horses.

Additionally, any rescue that specializes in adopting horses out should ensure the animal goes to a loving home that will prioritize their well-being and continued rehabilitation.

Finding a horse rescue that checks off every box can be difficult. Lucky you—we did it for you! 

Below, you will find seven horse rescues in Arizona that adhere to the above standards.

1. Wildhorse Ranch Rescue 


First on the list of horse rescues in Arizona is Wildhorse Ranch Rescue. Wildhorse Ranch Rescue is a nonprofit that strives to save animals from neglect, slaughter, and premature death by providing them with a safe place to live until they find their forever home through adoption or at a sanctuary. 

The well-known agency is a registered equine rescue under the Arizona Department of Agriculture. This ensures they provide their horses with the utmost care. 

The equine rescue cares for wild mustangs, all domestic horses, retired U.S. Calvary and U.S. Forest Service horses, horses from Havasupai, and more. In operation since 1995, the rescue is well-equipped to guide you through the adoption process. 

If you’re not ready for adoption, Wildhorse Ranch can help you sponsor a sanctuary horse or find a safe home for a horse you can no longer care for.

Wildhorse Ranch Rescue Details:

2. Whisper’s Sanctuary 


Whisper’s Sanctuary does not list horses for adoption. Rather, they provide a forever home to formerly abused, unwanted, retired working, or unadoptable horses.

The sanctuary rehabilitates equines by providing a safe and comfortable environment they can gain meaning from.

One of the primary ways the sanctuary accomplishes this is by assigning each horse a job. Duties can range from providing companionship to participating in psychotherapy programs.

Although the horses on site are not adoptable, there are plenty of ways to get involved. For instance, Whisper’s Sanctuary offers a Humane Equine Retirement Option (HERO) educational program that teaches children the ins and outs of responsible horse ownership.

Anyone interested in partnering with the sanctuary can donate to the nonprofit or select a horse to sponsor.

Whisper’s Sanctuary Details:

3. Healing Hearts Animal Rescue 


Healing Hearts Animal Rescue specializes in rehabilitating severely abused equine, allocating 80 percent of its resources to caring for victims of animal abuse and neglect.

The agency partners with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the sheriff’s department, and other local law enforcement agencies to locate horses in need of saving.

The agency also acts as a bold advocate in livestock legislation to prevent animal cruelty and treat victims of animal cruelty.

Healing Hearts Animal Rescue has a refuge in Cave Creek and Wilcox where rehabilitated animals can spend the rest of their lives on. The nonprofit also has adoptable horses.

If you’re not interested in adopting from Healing Hearts Rescue, you can volunteer, donate, sponsor an animal, or become a foster parent. 

Healing Hearts Animal Rescue Details:

4. Desert Star Horse Rescue 


Desert Star Horse Rescue exists to make the world a better place for horses. The nonprofit organization takes careful measures to ensure every horse they take in finds the best-fit home.

To do so, the staff requires potential adopters to visit their property and meet the horse they’re interested in before taking them home. You can browse adoptable horses on their site or call to inquire.

If you’re not ready to commit to rescuing a horse, you can choose one to sponsor. Desert Star Horse Rescue is unique as they allow sponsors to spend time with their residents by helping them feed, water, and ride the horses.

Alternatively, you can donate to the organization. Desert Horse Rescue relies on monthly donations to provide a comfortable and peaceful environment for rescue horses to live in until they’re permanently rehomed.

Desert Star Horse Rescue Details:

Other articles you would like: Best Horse Rescues In Pennsylvania and Best Horse Rescues In Georgia.

5. After the Homestretch


After the Homestretch is a nonprofit that reconditions, retrains, and eventually rehomes retired racehorses.

While the organization specializes in former racehorses, they also take in horses from Arizona’s Department of Agriculture.

The rescue agency recognizes these animals’ need for meaning and works tirelessly to place them in homes that can provide that.

After the Homestretch has successfully gifted a safe forever home to over 70 horses and continues to prepare countless animals for rehoming. Their utmost concern is and always has been the health and well-being of their current residents.

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can schedule a day to visit the site or sign up to volunteer, as the rescue agency operates entirely off volunteers.

After the Homestretch Details:

6. Good Shepherd Healing Ministries Horse Rescue 


Good Shepherd Healing Ministries strives to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, neglected, and abused horses through companionship, nutrition, medical care, and a safe, loving environment.

The nonprofit agency relies solely on volunteers and ranch hands to care for upwards of fifty horses at a time. Therefore, they are always looking for more volunteers.

Many of the agency’s horses come from auctions destining them for slaughter. If you’d like the opportunity to provide one of these horses with a loving home for the duration of its life, you can contact the rescue center to express your interest.

However, the Good Shepherd Healing Ministries enforces strict guidelines that many interested parties cannot meet.

For this reason, they offer a sponsorship program. In this case, the horse remains on their farm, but you can support, visit, and care for it whenever you’d like.

Good Shepherd Healing Ministries Horse Rescue Details:

7. Karuna Horse Rescue 


Last on the list of horse rescues in Arizona is Karuna Horse Rescue located in Tucson. Karuna Horse Rescue exists to rebuild trust between horse and man. The residents at Karuna were previously abandoned, neglected, abused, or destined for slaughter.

The nonprofit does not offer adoption but acts as a sanctuary that prohibits working or riding horses. Instead, they practice liberty horsemanship. Liberty horsemanship essentially mimics the horses’ natural environment.

First and foremost, the staff works to build a genuine connection with each one of their residents. They do not employ dominant behavior over their horses.

Through patience and flexibility, they take on the role of a lead mare. They build trust by learning about each horse’s unique communication style and steadfastly offer positive reinforcement.

Email the horse rescue to visit or volunteer.

Karuna Horse Rescue Details:

Conclusion For “Best Horse Rescues in Arizona”


If you have the heart to sponsor, support, or adopt horses that have been abused, abandoned, or neglected but aren’t sure where to start—start here!

The above horse rescues in Arizona have developed a stellar reputation for themselves.

They understand that committing to a rescue horse is a significant responsibility that requires time, money, and energy.

Rest assured, each of the above agencies strives to prepare horses for your loving support while aiding you along the way.

You will also like:

For more information about Horses, check out the video down below: