Adopting a Horse from the Virginia Equine Welfare Society

VEWS Adoption Application 2016

Horse Adoption Contract and Conditional Bill of Sale

To Adopt a Horse, VEWS Requires:

  • Equine have at least one other grazing animal as a companion, preferably another equine.
  • Equine must have shelter; either a run-in shed large enough so that each equine has at least 150 sq ft for each equine to accommodate all the animals in the field without crowding; or a stall at least 10′x10′.
  • Equine have enough space outside to adequately exercise for the age, size and species of the equine.
  • The equine must have access to the outside for at least 8 hours per day (weather permitting.)
  • Equine must have fresh, clean water in a clean bucket and trough at all times.
  • Equine must be fed high quality hay and feed. No moldy hay or feed is permitted under any circumstances.
  • Equine must be fed appropriately for its age, breed and size to maintain a body condition score of no less than 4.5 and no more than 6 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale.
  • Equine may not be bred or raced for its entire life.
  • Adopter must allow a VEWS’ representative to visit the horse within 6 months of adoption and again 6 months later. If VEWS is unable to reach the adopter within a reasonable amount of time, VEWS’ representatives will make an unannounced visit.
  • If adopter wishes ownership after one year, he/she must request ownership from VEWS.
  • Until ownership is established, the adopter may not sell or give the equine away.
  • Once ownership is established, the owner may not give away or sell the equine until VEWS has been given the right of first refusal.
  • No barbed wire fencing is allowed.
  • Fencing must be in good repair.
  • Stalls must be kept clean and safe with no protruding nails, etc.
  • Adopter must have horse experience, or must be receiving instructions from a qualified horse trainer/riding instructor.

If you are interested in one of our horses:

  • Download an adoption application and once completed email to  Once received a VEWS volunteer will  contact you within a reasonable amount of time.
  • If you and the VEWS representative feel you may be a match for the horse, references will be checked and a visit to see the horse will be arranged.
  • Two separate visits of the horse are required.
  • If it appears you and the horse are compatible, a facility check will be arranged.
  • Please note: Many times we receive more than one application to adopt a certain horse. Until an adoption contract has been signed and the donation to VEWS for the horse has been paid, the horse will still be considered available to other applicants. All other applicants will have the same opportunity to visit the horse. After that process, VEWS’ Executive Director will make the decision as to the best situation for the horse.
  • If the facility check is successful, our Adoption Director and Executive Director will review all information and if approved, the adoption can go through.
  • Adopter is then responsible for hauling the horse to its new home; or, you may request VEWS to transport the horse for an additional donation (to be determined by distance), but this service is not always available.