The Equine Rescue League was founded by Pat Rogers in
1990. In its first year at Chruchland Farm in Leesburg,
Virginia, The Equine Rescue League provided care and shelter
to over 100 horses and ponies. Most of these abused, neglected
and unwanted equines were placed in qualified homes.
Pat and Cheryl at an open house.
The Equine Rescue League is an organization that supports
the responsible use of working, sport and pleasure horses
and ponies. Our goals are to:
care, rehabilitation and training for horses and other
large animals at the ERL farm shelter, and to adoption
them to qualified persons.
transportation and holding facilities for animals
seized by county and state humane officers and for
educational programs (on the subjects of basic health
care and horse abuse) for horse owners, youngsters
and humane officers.
public awareness about horse neglect and abuse issues.
in coordination with humane officers, to reduce abuse
and neglect occurrences in the Greater Washington
humane euthanasia services for aged or ill horses
to prevent these animals from being subjected to the
horror of auctions and slaughter transportation.
Mare Who Started It All
The Equine Rescue League did not exist in time
for Bitsy, a 7 year old Thoroughbred mare who was so weak
she was whipped to make her stand and go through the auction
ring, where she brought $7.00.
probably didn't survive the grueling truck ride to the
the time this photograph was taken, Pat Rogers, ERL's
founder, was assisting with investigations into conditions
at auction yards. At this particular sale, she didn't
even have with her the seven dollars to buy Bitsy, nor
did she have a place to take her. Pat had to walk away
from Bitsy, but the memory is still fresh in her mind.
Rogers promised this mare with the pleading eyes that
she would devote her life to stopping abuse. In 1990,
Pat founded the Equine Rescue League in Leesburg, Virginia.
(Picture of Bitzy courtesy Gail Eisnetz for the HSUS.
Taken November, 1989, at an auction in Northern Virginia.)
Farm and Benefactor Program
The Equine Rescue League is currently located Promise Kept Farm, near the city of Leesburg, Virginia.
The Equine Benefactor Program's purpose is to guarantee the existence of
the ERL as an equine humane organization while at the
same time, honoring some of our supporters. The Benefactor
Program gives individuals, corporations and other organizations
a real opportunity to invest in the ERL's efforts to prevent
equine abuse and neglect. In recognition of your generosity
we will graciously dedicate a stall, barn, or field, or
the entire farm shelter in your honor or in memory of
a loved one. All dedications will be displayed at our
current shelter and will move with us to the new facility.
Following is the contributions schedule and their corresponding
dedications. (All are in monetary or its non-monetary
Benefactors names will be inscribed on a plaque
and displayed at the farm shelter.
of a stall which will shelter an abused, neglected
or wanted equine.
of a field used by recovering and adoptable equines.
of a barn which houses numerous equines in our care.
of the entire farm shelter facility.
note that all donations are tax deductible and that you
may designate whether your contribution is to be used
for buying a new farm, defraying the operational costs
of the shelter or both. If you would like to participate
in this program, please contact ERL at (540) 822-4577.
Thank you for your consideration of the needs of the equines
in our care.
IS an "equine?"
An animal referred to as an "equine" is any
member of the genus Equus.
(Equus grevyi, Equus burchelli, and Equus zebra)
Asses (Equus hemionous)
Horse (Equus przewalski) also known as the Mongolian
or burros (Equus Asinus)
Ponies, and Miniature Horses which are all Equus caballus
which are are hybrids of donkeys and horses
a Rescue Organization for Horses?
In today's society, many horses are owned as companion
or sport animals rather than as a working part of a farm
or other business.
As such, horses are subject to the same forms of mistreatment
as cats, dogs and other companion animals. They are victims
of outright neglect. They are sometimes abandoned in fields
or left locked in barns. They are whipped, beaten and
kicked into "submission". They fall victim to
poor health as a result of inadequate care from well-meaning,
but uneducated owners. And they are subject to one cruelty
our dogs and cats are not... the slaughter house.
ERL provides a haven for mistreated, neglected and abandoned
horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. We also take in horses
whose owners can no longer, for whatever reason, care
for them properly. In essence, ERL provides the same services
as a humane organization dedicated to house pets, just
on a "larger" scale.