• Phone: 770-464-0138
  • PO Box 328 * Bethlehem, Ga 30520

Georgia Equine Rescue League

Helping Starved, Abused  & Neglected Horses in Georgia

"With your help we...will make a difference!"

How Can I Help?

Frequently Asked Questions

The Georgia Equine Rescue League, Ltd., aka GERL, was founded in 1993.  Our mission is to help find solutions to the growing problem of starved, abused, and neglected equine in the state of Georgia.   GERL believes that through education, incentive programs for equine health, and funding of the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Equine Division and other law enforcement entities, that positive steps can be taken to help reduce and eventually eliminate this problem in our state. 

We work with the GDA Equine Division and other law enforcement agencies to promote enforcement of equine protection laws and to provide support to them when horses are taken from irresponsible and abusive owners.  This support includes providing feed, hay and other supplies for the four GDA equine facilities where horses are taken for care and rehabilitation after being removed from an abusive situation.  We also provide foster homes, sponsor vaccination and castration clinics, provide speakers to educate the community and help find permanent loving homes for horses that have been rehabilitated. We work with horse owners who, due to job loss or illness, are struggling to properly care for their horses. 

Thanks to this wonderful group of dedicated volunteers, we helped feed and vet over 87 horses last year.  We have assisted the GDA by providing funds for veterinary care, hay, feed and supplies needed to maintain the state equine facilities.  To date, GERL has provided the Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Division with over $560,000.

When the bottom dropped out of our economy in 2008, horses really began to suffer.  People with fenced pasture would wake up in the morning and find a strange horse that had likely been put there by someone who could no longer care for it.  Some owners reached out for help to organizations like GERL, but others just allowed their horses to starve and die. Just turn on the television or read a newspaper and it is likely there will be a story about horses being taken and owners being prosecuted.  The GDA Equine Division alone seized 139 horses in 2011.  This doesn’t count the horses that were taken by local law enforcement and animal control.  There are 9.5 million horses in the United States with approximately 300,000 foals born every year.  There are just not enough homes to care for all of the horses.

Yes, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.  We are always looking for people who want to improve the quality of life for our equine friends who are not being properly cared for.  You can do as much or as little as your time and resources allow.  Any help is very much appreciated.   The first thing you want to do is become a member of GERL so that you can be kept informed about upcoming events. Click on this link which will take you to a membership application.  You can pay the fee via PayPal, or print out the membership application and mail the fee to Georgia Equine Rescue League,
P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA  30620.

   We have a Volunteer Coordinator who keeps our members informed about what is going on and also about volunteer opportunities.  Our webmaster also sends out flyers to all of our members and posts status updates on our Facebook page.

    The following is a list of volunteer opportunities and things you can do to help GERL:

  • Become a friend to Georgia Equine Rescue League on Facebook.  Be sure to check our Facebook page often and “share” the stories with others in your network.  Ask them to “share” too!
  • Make GoodSearch.com your home page and list GERL as your charity.  Every time you search using the GoodSearch search engine, GERL will receive money.  This can add up fast!  Just go to www.goodsearch.com and from the menu bar at the top select Tools->Internet Options; From the General tab click on “Use Current” button located under the Home page section.  This will put the GoodSearch website address into the box.  Click on “OK” at the bottom of the window to save changes.  Goodsearch.com should be the page that appears when you open up your browser.  Don’t forget to register and list GERL as your charity!
  • We have periodic auctions, and you are encouraged to bid.  We have frequent online auctions and we also have live auctions at some of our fundraising events. You are invited to attend these events and bid on items in person. You can also donate new or gently used items for the auction.  Click here(swrensen@comcast.net)to send an email to our Auction Coordinator if you have an item to donate.  All donations are greatly appreciated and the fair market value of your donation is tax deductible.
  • GERL sponsors trail rides as fund raisers, so you can have fun while riding with new friends and help GERL at the same time.  These events will be listed in our newsletter, our website, and will be promoted on Facebook.
  • Hand out brochures at GERL events in order to promote the work that GERL does in Georgia
  • You can volunteer your time at the GDA impound lots where horses are taken when they are removed from abusive owners.  Click here to go to the Georgia Department of Agriculture website to volunteer to work at the equine impound facilities.
  • If you have a horse trailer, you can let us know that you are willing to help transport horses to a foster home. 
  • If you have room to store hay for the winter, that would be a big help.  Please contact the Area Coordinator for your area and let he or she know that you have a place to store hay.  Please click here to view a list of Area Coordinators. 
  • If public speaking is your skill, you can contact your local 4-H clubs, Scout Groups, Rotary Clubs, etc., to educate the community about the plight of many horses in our state. Click her(gerlvolunteers@gerlltd.org) to send an email to our Volunteer Coordinator
  • If you have a barn with an empty stall, you can foster a horse or adopt a horse and provide a loving home for a horse that really needs one.  To find out more about our Foster Care Program, please click here.  To find out more about our Adoption Program.  You will find documents that will answer your questions. 
  • You can become an Area Coordinator for GERL and inspect potential foster or adoptive homes as well as work more closely with GDA, law enforcement and others in your community to sponsor clinics and to spread the word about GERL.  Click here to find out more information about becoming an Area Coordinator in your region.
  • You can donate hay, feed and equipment to support activities to stop the abuse and neglect of these beautiful animals. 
  • Donate dollars so that GERL can continue to rescue animals in need.  We have several programs that need funding such as our Foster Care Program, Stallion to Gelding Program, and the Winter Hay Program. Click here to donate via PayPal or you can mail a check to Equine Rescue League, P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA  30620
  • The one thing that everyone can do is report suspected abuse cases to the GDA To report a neglect or abuse case to the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture’s Equine Division call Monday – Friday / 8:30 am – 4:30 pm: 404-656-3713 or 1-800-282-5852

We are a non-profit organization with 501 (c)(3) status. All donations are tax deductible.

The membership fee is $25.00 per year for singles and $35.00 for a family.  When you become a member, you will receive a quarterly newsletter to keep you informed about what is going on across the state of Georgia as it relates to equine rescue and events.  If you provide an email address, we will notify you via email as well.

Your funds will be used for a variety of programs that GERL supports such as our Feed A Horse Program, Stallion to Gelding Program, and Winter Hay Program.    You can donate via PayPal by clicking here, or print out the donation document and mail to Georgia Equine Rescue League, P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA  30620.  You can also donate to GERL by making GoodSearch.com your home page and listing GERL as your charity.  Every time you search using the GoodSearch search engine, GERL will receive money.  This can add up fast!  Just go to www.goodsearch.com and from the menu bar at the top select Tools->Internet Options; From the General tab click on “Use Current” button located under the Home page section.  This will put the GoodSearch website address into the box.  Click on “OK” at the bottom of the window to save changes. Goodsearch.com should be the page that appears when you open up your browser.  Don’t forget to register and list GERL as your charity!

Here’s a wish list of items we always need:  weight tapes, paste wormers (any type), gift certificates to Staples or Office Depot.  For smaller items, you can mail them to Georgia Equine Rescue League, P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA  30620.  For bigger items, please send an email to GERL at: reply@gerlltd.org 

To donate items to the auction please contact GERL gerlpatty@yahoo.com. Our online auction has recently been automated and works similar to eBay.  Each bidder will have to register with their user id and password.  Specific bidding instructions will appear for each item listed. 

Without dedicated individuals who are willing to foster and adopt these animals, many of the horses who need to be rescued would have nowhere to go and GERL would not be able to save them.  To find out more about our Foster Care Program, please click here.  To find out more about our Adoption Program, please click here.  You will find documents that will answer your questions.

Each winter, we struggle to store enough hay to last us through the winter.  Please contact the Area Coordinator for your area and let he or she know that you have a place to store hay.  Please click here to view a list of Area Coordinators.

 We often receive calls from people who are struggling in this current economy, requesting that we take their horses because they cannot afford to care for them any longer. In fact, there are so many such calls that it is impossible for all of the rescue organizations and/or the Georgia Department of Agriculture to be able to take them all. Here are some important facts that you should know and some suggested guidelines to follow if you are trying to find a new home for your horse:

1. MAKE A FLYER:

  • Make a flyer with good pictures and a description of your horse. Include such things as age, sex, color, breed, and level of training (if any), temperament and any special needs. Be positive, but truthful.
  • Bomb-proof, child-safe horses are always easy to “rehome”. Is your horse good around kids? If so, take a picture with children on or near the horse (only if totally safe), and use that picture in your flyer.
  • Does your horse have a current Coggins and is it up to date on vaccines? State this information in your flyer. Note: It is illegal to transport a horse in Georgia without proof of a negative Coggins.

2. MAKE YOUR HORSE MARKETABLE:

  • It will be very difficult to find a new home for a horse that you cannot catch. If your horse is untouchable, do something about it. Search the internet and learn how to work with your horse. Be consistent with time spent with your horse.
  • Network with friends and family to get help if you are not physically able to work with your horse. We have found that there are knowledgeable people who are willing to help. Ask the folks at your local feed store if they know of anybody who they would recommend.
  • Rideable horses will be the easiest to place in new homes. Work with your horse to get them to, at least accept a saddle and bridle. If possible, move from there to accepting a rider.

3. ESTABLISH A PRICE:  

  • Free to a Good Home – Be careful using this method. It often attracts “kill buyers” and people who cannot afford to feed or care for a horse properly.
  • Do Not Overprice Your Horse – Things are different now. Don’t count on getting the price you originally paid for your horse. Horse prices are way down and you will probably have to settle for much less than your original purchase price.  
  • Do not Lose Sight of the Goal – To find your horse a new loving home. Be willing to lower or waive your price if you find the perfect home.

4. ADVERTISE YOUR HORSE:  

  • Post flyers –Make copies of your flyer and post them on the bulletin boards of your local feed stores, Tractor Supply Company, convenience store, etc.
  • Distribute your flyer on the internet – there are several “horsey” distribution lists available. Send your flyer to GERL at the email address below and ask that it be circulated. Georgia Equine Rescue League – info@gerlltd.org  Advertise – write up a short newspaper ad and advertise in some, or all of these publications:  Market Bulletin  Craig’s List
  • Your local newspaper
  •  Stable Mates

5. SCREENING POTENTIAL OWNERS:  

  • Fact: Most people care about what happens to their pets and want their horses to go to a great new home. How do you ensure that your horse(s) will go to a good home?  
  • Ask Questions! You have a right to know what kind of person or family your horse may potentially be living with. Find out as much information about them as you can in a casual manner by asking some simple questions. Most people will tell you more than you wanted to know if you will just let them talk. Below are examples: Name, address and phone number? Do you have other horses? If so, how long have you had them? Did you grow up with horses? Where do you live? Do you ride? And if so, what kind of riding? Who is your vet? (Name and address or phone number) Would you mind if I drove out to your farm to see where my horse will be living?

6. PREPARE YOUR PAPERWORK:  After you find a new owner for your horse you will need to sign a Release of Ownership or Bill of Sale. This does not have to be anything fancy and should state the following:

  • Date of transfer.  
  • Your name and address.
  • Name and address of new owner.
  • Description of the horse including horse’s name, sex, age, color and registration number, if applicable.
    Amount of money transferred, if applicable.
  • The original Coggins should be given to the new owner, as well as any vet records reflecting recent vaccinations, date of last farrier visit and other pertinent information.
  • Sample of current feed – Many horses have delicate digestive systems and drastic changes in their feed can cause colic. If possible, give enough feed for two or three feedings to go with your horse to his/her new home.

"With Your Help...We Will Make a Difference!"

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Contact

Georgia Equine Rescue League
P.O. Box 328
Bethelhem, Ga 30520

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To report a case of equine abuse, call the
Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Division
Monday - Friday | 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
404-656-3713 or 800-282-5852

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