Before you apply, you should ask yourself if you have the necessary resources to adopt and care for an equine. Please read this informed article written by the owner of Loving Equine Clinic, Nancy S. Loving, DVM.
Here are some things you need to know about adopting from West Virginia Horse Network Inc.
You may NOT schedule an appointment to ride or meet a horse until you have submitted an application and received approval to adopt from West Virginia Horse Network, INC.
When you apply to adopt a WVHN horse or a horse that we are placing through our network you MUST complete an adoption application. The screening process and application thoroughly examine the potential adopter's knowledge of equine care and handling and their willingness and ability to provide a permanent safe home.
West Virginia Horse Network, INC board members realize and acknowledge that the process can seem intimidating at first. However we assure you we will be fair and open minded when screening the applications. If you are unwilling to complete the application and agree to the screening process we will absolutely not consider placing a horse in your care. We must do this to protect our horses. It is a big responsibility that we do not take lightly. This is how it must be.
A volunteer will contact you and check all of your references. You MUST complete all parts of the application. Please advise your references in advance that we will be calling and advise them to return our volunteer's calls promptly. Failure to complete the application properly or to provide accessible references could result in your application being delayed or denied.
If your application receives preliminary approval we will expect you to visit the equine at least once before we will consider full approval. IF we notify you that your application has received FINAL APPROVAL you must sign our adoption contract and pay the fee in full before you may take the horse.
Occasionally we may give conditional preliminary approval of your application but not for the specific horse that you applied to adopt. Not all horses and potential adopters will be compatible. We hope that you will be flexible. If you are not willing to be flexible in these situations we may not be able to provide final approval. We reserve the right to approve you as a potential adopter but not necessarily for the horse that you requested.
In some cases numerous people will apply for a single horse. We do not necessarily adopt to the FIRST applicant we adopt to the BEST applicant for that particular horse. We hope that everyone can be courteous and polite and understand that we will not compromise the safety of our horses -- even if it means disappointing or upsetting a potential adopter. Our top priority MUST be the horse. Always. Don't take it personal.
If you adopt an equine from WVHN the equine will be current on shots, coggins, float, hoof trim and worming. If you are applying for a horse that is not officially IN our network (in other words a horse that we are placing for a private owner) it will be your responsibility to discuss the horse's health and vetting with the horse's owner prior to taking the horse into your care.
Here are the answers that you will likely receive from us after your application has been processed.
APPROVED (this will be proceeded by "preliminary approval"): We will offer you the opportunity to adopt as long as you sign and notarize the adoption contract and pay the adoption fee. We reserve the right to revoke, retract or re-evaluate your approval if ANY of the information included in your initial application changes. This includes your employment status, the number of animals on your property and/or the plans for where the horse will be kept, what the horse’s job will be or any other factor. Approval does not 100% guarantee a finalized adoption.
CONDITIONAL APPROVAL: We may offer you “conditional approval” if we believe the answers in your application that concern us – can be corrected. This may include required riding lessons or modifications to the pasture/shelter. We cannot agree to keep a specific horse for you while these matters are addressed. The horse will be adopted to the first FULLY APPROVED applicant. Conditional approval may also include a suggestion that you consider a DIFFERENT horse than the one for which you applied. While we may consider you a great applicant we may determine you aren’t the right match for a particular horse. We may suggest that you consider another horse in our network.
DENIED: We may deny your application for ANY REASON. We are not required to provide you with a specific reason for denial. We will not tolerate harassment or bashing from applicants that are denied. We at WVHN are all open minded modest people. But please understand we will NOT agree to place a horse in a situation that we feel is unsafe – for the horse, the adopter or the adopter’s family. PERIOD. If your application is denied initially we welcome you to reapply after 6 months.
Before you adopt a West Virginia Horse Network, INC. equine you must sign an Adoption Agreement. Here is a summary of the terms:
The adopter agrees to a Trial Period of one year. During that time the adopter will be required to provide West Virginia Horse Network, INC. with monthly updates about the adopted horse. During the Trial Period the horse will be closely supervised by WVHN. The adopter agrees to an additional two year Probationary Period. During that time updates must be provided to West Virginia Horse Network, INC. every three months.
If at the end of the one year "Trial Period" and the two year “Probationary Period” (a total of three years from the adoption date) West Virginia Horse Network, INC. at their sole
discretion, determines the adopter has fulfilled the requirements in a way that is satisfactory, West Virginia Horse Network, INC. will notify the adopter in writing that the adoption is final.
Even after the adoption is FINAL the adopter will still be required to provide annual updates to prove the horse is still in their possession and is receiving appropriate care. Even after the adoption is final, the adopter must still comply with certain aspects of the contract relating to quality of care, no breeding, no selling and other terms that you can read more about in the actual contract.
The adopter must also agree to give WVHN, INC. Right of First Refusal if at any time duration of the equine’s natural life the adopter wishes to sell, lease, trade, give away or in any way change control of the horse.
The agreement signed by the adopter is essentially a CONDITIONAL Lifetime Bill of Sale. This means that after the three years of close supervision following the initial adoption, and the offer from WVHN, INC. to finalize the adoption after that three years the adopter then "owns" the horse as long as the terms of the agreement are followed.
We plan to do everything in our power to screen adopters prior to offering the opportunity to adopt. WVHN, INC's entire board will vote on all applications. We hope that this will eliminate those who would do any harm to our horses and people who would be dishonest with us. While there are always "bad seeds" we want to offer HONEST, CARING adopters the opportunity to enjoy the privilege of "owning" their horse.
Read the entire agreement for yourself before applying for adoption. If you will not sign it, WVHN, INC. will not consider adopting to you.
Basically, if you agree to properly care for the horse for his/her lifetime, agree never to breed or mistreat the horse, agree to provide the agreed upon updates, and agree NEVER to sell, giveaway, lease or otherwise transfer ownership of the horse to anyone other that WVHN, INC. without written permission....then you will be able to enjoy your adopted equine for the entirety of his/her life.