A CHARITY is looking for loving homes for horses of all breeds, ages and sizes in their care.

The RSPCA is continuing its Adoptober rehoming campaign this month and is urging people to get in touch if they can help.

New figures have been released showing that although 328 horses were found new homes last year, 886 remain in the charity’s specialist equine centres and private boarding stables.

Dr Mark Kennedy, equine welfare specialist at the RSPCA said: “We have been dealing with the effects of the horse crisis for almost seven years now, seeing sick, dying or dead horses up and down the country being neglected or dumped like rubbish.

“It’s heart-breaking that we had to rescue more than 1,000 horses nationally last year.”

In County Durham, the charity rescued 55 horses from neglect and suffering last year and rehomed 48.

In North Yorkshire, it rescued 71 horses over the same period has hundreds across the country looking for loving homes.

Dr Kennedy said: “We and other charities are struggling to cope with the large numbers continually coming into our care.

“We need help from fellow horse lovers.”

Over-breeding, the high costs of vet bills, the rising cost of hay and feed and falling demand for some types of horses have all contributed to the horse crisis which has left charities like the RSPCA struggling to cope.

The RSPCA has three specialist equine centres, Lockwood in Surrey, Gonsal Farm in Shropshire and Felledge in County Durham, and equine rehoming facilities at Millbrook in Surrey, Southridge in Hertfordshire and Leybourne in Kent.

The charity’s centres are full with hundreds of rescued horses and ponies, and many more are being cared for in private boarding stables or looked after by foster carers.

Dr Kennedy said: “Please, please, please consider adopting your next horse from a charity instead of buying.

“Not only does it mean you won’t be inadvertently funding irresponsible breeders and dealers but you’ll be freeing up a space in our specialist centres for another needy horse, helping us as we work to rehome the hundreds currently living in private boarding stables.”

Anyone in a position to offer a home to one of the RSPCA’s rescue horses can visit the charity’s rehoming pages at.rspca.org.uk/findapet/rehomeahorse