Northeast Equine Sanctuary

Northeast Equine Sanctuary

Northeast Equine Sanctuary (NES) is one of four state-licensed animal shelters that is operated by GFAS-accredited Peace Ridge Sanctuary (PRS). In 2020, PRS was presented with the opportunity to build on our already successful equine rescue program, which has been run alongside our farmed animal and companion animal rescue programs for more than twenty years.

With a generous gift of a nearby 640-acre parcel and another substantial capital contribution for major facility buildings, NES built a specialized equine rescue and rehabilitation center to expand our essential services for horses here in Maine. Developing a horse rescue facility of the scale we envisioned was no small undertaking, but we hit the ground running and completed phase one in our comprehensive shelter development plan, which included building a large horse barn with surgical space, smaller run-in style barns, and a multi-use building providing housing for a live-in steward and around-the-clock care attendant. Thus, Northeast Equine, our fourth animal shelter, was born and has been in operation since 2022.

At Northeast Equine, our primary program goal is to build a safety net for vulnerable equines here in Maine by providing comprehensive rescue, rehabilitation, emergency, state services, and high-quality adoption placements. We want equine welfare to be supported in a way that horses receive the help they need, when they need it, before it is too late. We carry out this critical mission work by investigating local cases to ensure horses aren’t starving and suffering to death in backyards, that victims of domestic violence can place animals and flee their abusers, that local and state welfare officers have safe, reputable placement and rehabilitation options for equines in need, and by strategically trying to keep horses out of the auction and slaughter pipeline to begin with through direct interventions at the ground level here in Maine.

Our team takes great pride in our superior shelter management and is highly skilled in medical care and supported by a team of local and regional veterinarians and specialists who ensure each of our residents receives the highest level of daily, individualized attention. Once valued only for what they can do for humans, our rescued horses are given the space to recover and thrive. Our adoption ethic focuses on placing animals in loving homes, but every animal who comes through our doors is offered a safe home at our shelters for as long as they need it. Our adoption contracts stipulate that any animal we have placed cannot be passed around and must always come back to us if needed. Our commitment to each horse is for the rest of their lives – no matter what.

As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come,” and as soon as we opened, the messages immediately started flooding in for help. So, we prioritized the most pressing emergency cases, welcoming home as many new residents as we could, while also building a wait list of others needing assistance. With the major capital infrastructure pieces now in place at Northeast Equine, we are seeking much needed operations support to increase our capacity.

For more information about this project and how you can help please contact us at


Introducing Northeast Equine Sanctuary

originally posted: June 2021

A dream is very rarely realized on one's own.

That's true for us as individuals, and for non-profit organizations too. Everything we do at Peace Ridge Sanctuary absolutely depends on those who choose to get behind us- in small ways, in large ways- it's the driving force behind maintaining and growing any organization. It's what makes this work possible in every sense.

Every time we have set out to make more happen for animal welfare in our state, it's come with the necessity of public involvement. And we do not take the relationship between public involvement and being able to carry out our work rescuing those in need lightly. Being able to show our supporters measurable outcomes- happy animals given health and reprieve forever from whatever cruel torments or uncertainty they endured before is crucial. We've done that every step of the way- with your help.

For over 20 years we've maintained a budget that is honest, transparent, and carefully used for PRS's legal mission- we're very proud of that. With public support we're able to do more for animals- this is the absolute focal point for PRS. There are so many animals- it's true we can't save them all, but we will *always save as many as we can.*

With all that said, here is our exciting announcement:

Peace Ridge Sanctuary will be working to develop a brand new, third shelter, devoted to equine rescue and rehabilitation on a 640-acre property in nearby Freedom, Maine. This property was recently gifted to our organization- raw land mixed with fields, forest, and a whole lot of amazing potential. The new facility, which is currently in the planning stage, will be called Northeast Equine Sanctuary.

This is amazing news, of course.

We’re sure you have lots of questions, so here is what we want you to know:

The land is a blank slate and there are no barns, fencing, or utilities yet, so we need support to break ground and start building. We are looking for special donors- both those who can give small gifts that add up, as well as those who can give larger donations to make our first shelter buildings possible.

Creating a facility that can help meet the need for equine rescue here in Maine will require extensive philanthropic support. We have a waitlist of animals in desperate need of rescue and to get them the help they need, we hope to break ground this fall. To start utilizing this new shelter as quickly as we can, we are phasing development to move animals in as soon as possible, with a plan to grow the facility over time.

Developing our new equine shelter in Freedom won’t just help equines- it will also help our farmed animals at the other two shelters because as our equine programs shift to a new property, it will free up space to rescue more farmed animals in need at the other shelters. And just like we have done at the two current shelters, we will be stewarding and protecting undeveloped forest habitats in Freedom for the direct benefit of wildlife.

This is a win-win no matter who your favorite animals are.

Peace Ridge management will be operating this shelter separately from our farmed animal shelters. We understand there are many people who have a special place in their hearts for equine rescue and rehabilitation and any monies collected for this effort will go straight to it.

Gifts like this 640-acre property are few and far between and we are excited to seize the opportunity to build something truly special for equines. If you’ve been following us for any period of time, we hope that you’ve seen that when people give more, we do more. While our shelters and programs have grown over the years as funding has allowed, the last thing that we want to do is give people the impression that with this exciting project happening that Peace Ridge is all set and doesn’t still need support- because we very much do.

Why are we building this new facility? Quite frankly, we are tired of seeing so many backyard "rescues" pop up only to do shoddy work, basically flipping equines who are in need.  Equines need better resources, authorities need trustworthy help, and we want to join the effort in an even bigger way. We know how to do right by the equines we all love so much and we're happy to take this project on for the future benefit of equines in Maine. This is a legacy project- it's not going to happen overnight. But with diligence, we will set this shelter up to be a resource in our state forever- just as we have done for farmed animals.

What do we need from you? We need you to join us.

If you want to make helping equines in need part of your legacy, we’re asking you to help get behind this project. Together, we can build a special place for rescue and rehabilitation that we’ll all be proud to leave for generations to come. Not everyone has the financial resources, but we're asking those of you who really understand why this needs to happen to give us what support you can so that we can turn this vision into a reality.

For more information about this project and how you can help please contact us at


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Contact Northeast Equine Sanctuary

Are you looking for placement help for your equine(s)? Fill out the following application and we'll be in touch to see if we can help, can put you on our waitlist, or offer any other suggestions.