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Who We Are

Virginia Equine Welfare Society (VEWS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue located in Hanover County, Virginia.

We are a 100% volunteer run organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing horses in need.

VEWS is solely funded by caring supporters like you, and all donations go toward the care of our rescue horses.



To rescue and rehabilitate equines in need and to prevent equine abuse and neglect through education and community awareness. We provide safe housing, medical and rehabilitation services to abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted and other at-risk equines and eventually, at the appropriate time, place them into caring, compatible, adoptive homes.

This Mission is our heartbeat. It propels us to passionately do what we do every day. We dedicate ourselves to providing second chances for deserving horses.

"Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved."
-Jane Goodall

Our Story


VEWS was founded in 2011 when a group of horse welfare advocates decided to come together and save horses from the slaughter pipeline. Oftentimes horses being sent to auction end up being purchased by kill buyers who sell the horses to slaughter.

These rescued animals can range anywhere from ex-race horses, to former pets, to abandoned and neglected horses. The slaughter process is a cruel, horrific reality that must end. In addition to slaughter-bound horses, the group decided it would also accept horses from owners who could no longer keep or properly care for them. This prevents those horses from becoming part of the tragic slaughter pipeline.



Providing appropriate rehabilitation services for our horses is paramount to our Mission. Most of the horses that enter our program require specialized care. We work to provide each horse the proper nutrition, medical attention, and rehabilitation treatments needed so each horse can improve and recover both physically and mentally. 


Many of our horses also need to be trained or re-trained, not just under saddle but also on the ground. We believe trained horses have a much better chance of finding and keeping a forever home. We use a natural horsemanship approach when training our horses.


Once our horses are ready to be adopted, we place great care in finding them loving, compatible, forever homes. Once an adoption is complete, we maintain periodic communication with adopters to assure compliance with our adoption policies.

Meet the Horses

Meet the VEWS Team

We are grateful for all the dedicated volunteers who care for the horses and keep our organization and mission running. We have approx. 60 volunteers, and for each of them it is a true labor of love.

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