The Horse Shelter Celebrates 20 Years Of Rescuing Abused And Abandoned Horses Throughout New Mexico

Polly was admitted to The Horse Shelter severely emaciated with medical issues and is now ready for adoption. The Horse Shelter is asking for the community’s support to help these horses in need. Courtesy/THS

President of the Board
The Horse Shelter

  • Support is needed to supplement pandemic revenue loss

SANTA FE — Twenty years ago, New Mexico’s first statewide horse rescue, The Horse Shelter (THS) kicked off an incredible ride to save neglected, abused and abandoned horses.

Founded in 2000 by Jan Bandler, THS is New Mexico’s largest non-profit rescue and is a no-kill shelter and sanctuary, with active training, adoption and volunteer programs.

THS also is the only animal sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in the state of New Mexico. Rescued horses are rehabilitated, trained and found adoptive homes whenever possible that support their well-being and future long-term care.

Over the course of 20 years, THS and our generous donors, volunteers and partners has helped support 411 horses, adopted out 329 horses, fed several hundred thousand bales of hay, spent over a million dollars on feed costs, invested in over 21,000 hours of professional horse training, received over 50,000 hours of volunteer time, and spent nearly $250,000 on veterinary care.

For some horses, THS will be a life-long sanctuary due to their history, age and medical condition.

THS is now able to serve up to 80 horses at the Cerrillos ranch at any time and are preparing to support as many horses as possible that may need to be re-homed given the economic downturn resulting from the current pandemic. Compounding this potential influx of new horses, the current drought conditions may significantly increase the cost of hay. The pandemic has also required us to close our resale store and forgo our fundraising events.

As president of the board and the daughter of the THS founder, I am incredibly proud of our mission and the outstanding ability we have shown to achieve success. The trajectory of the shelter and the impact we have had over these past 20 years is beyond admirable. Each of us—employee, volunteer, board member, donor and supporter-are proud to play a role in the betterment of horse’s lives and our state in general.

To illustrate the transformation THS services provide, is Polly who was admitted severely emaciated with medical issues and is now ready for adoption. This process of transformation takes time, expertise and resources to accomplish and Polly is just one successful transformation story of many. Feed expenses alone amount to well over $100,000 a year and due to loss of revenue in 2020 caused by the Covid19 pandemic, The Horse Shelter is asking for your support to help these horses in need.

To donate any amount, call 505.471.6179 or visit

Click here to watch our history video.

About The Horse Shelter is a 501c3 and public charity. It is also accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS.) Horses that have been found abandoned, abused or neglected, as well as state seizure cases are admitted, rehabilitated, trained and adopted into good new homes. Some horses have life-long sanctuary at the 127-acre ranch in Cerrillos, due to medical or behavioral issues. With an onsite training program, active volunteer program and committed supporters The Horse Shelter is grateful to be able to serve many of NM’s horses in need.

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