Providing refuge, rehabilitation, and placement for abused and neglected Maine horses.

Providing refuge, rehabilitation, and placement for abused and neglected Maine horses.


Good Bye 2017:

A Year of Success Saving Lives

Thank you to each person who has helped the Society protect and provide for the once-abused horses here; our mission simply could not be met without you, your generosity and kindness. May 2018 bring peace to all, prosperity where it is needed, and provide for the well-being of animals. Happy New Year!


Giving Thanks

The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, New England’s premier shelter for horses, like many social service organizations, is thankful year round for its donors and volunteers. Each day its community of individuals contributes to the resources that support the rehabilitation and rehoming of Maine horses who were once abused and neglected. Thanksgiving Day 2017 at the MSSPA was unique. In addition to all the daily chores taking place on the farm, one special volunteer, Jenna, coordinated a community Thanksgiving dinner at our River Road farm. With her husband Jesse and their young sons, Jenna organized a feast for fifteen around a seasonally decorated table to celebrate and thank everyone for their work on behalf of the animals. With direction from Jenna, staff and volunteers helped to prepare the traditional meal, which included many donated foods.

Special guests at the dinner included MSSPA volunteers from the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center. The incarcerated women, many of whom volunteer at the River Road farm each day, are an important part of the shelter’s work force and regularly participate in activities at the farm beyond daily chores. MSSPA staff work side by side with the SMWRC women caring for the animals and the facility. When time permits, volunteers who wish to learn more about horses and about themselves work with MSSPA staff to groom and handle select rescue horses in a program of equine assisted learning. Because horses are sensitive to those around them, volunteers working with the horses quickly recognize that positive interaction depends on controlling one’s emotions and understanding unspoken cues. Those same skills can help facilitate a successful reentry to life beyond the Center.

The collaborative relationship between the Society and its neighboring Maine Correction Center, which includes the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center, is mutually beneficial for the horses, the non-profit animal shelter, and the women. Some volunteers from the Women’s Center have been hired as full-time MSSPA employees and remain as part of the staff following their release from incarceration. Meris Bickford, CEO of the horse shelter, is thankful to everyone working to make the program the success that it is. “We are grateful to all the wonderful people who volunteer at River Road farm, in particular those women from the SMWRC, who help make life better for the horses. Rehabilitation from any type of abuse requires genuine caring among those involved in the process. The volunteers truly care about the animals who have suffered. The horses respond to that with trust and affection, which helps recovery. Everyone feels better when they can help someone else.”

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Fall 2017 Newsletter is available now. Check your mailbox in the coming days or view the digital version now by clicking here.

It is with great pride that the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals announces that it is now accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). The Society is the only equine facility in the State of Maine to have earned such an honor. To read the complete story, click here!

March in Maine means mud and that means spring is close upon us.  Seed catalogs litter kitchen tables and a red-winged blackbird has been seen.  Another sure sign of spring is the kickoff of the MSSPA’s annual Buy-A-Bale campaign.

Each of the many horses at the Society’s barn eats approximately one bale of hay every day.   Multiply that by 365 days and it becomes clear why hay is one of the largest expenses in the Society’s budget. Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of June, with your help, and fill the haylofts with more than 20,000 bales of hay. *

On behalf of the horses, thank you for your support.

*100% of funds raised go directly to the feeding and care of the animals


Neglected Nine Horses Safe
at the MSSPA

For Immediate Release

(Windham, Maine) October 27, 2016:

Nine (9) emaciated horses were removed from their neglectful owner by Maine law enforcement agents and placed at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. The herd was living in Washington County without food, adequate water or protection from the elements as required by Maine law. Today, the nine can rest easy as the Society has been awarded legal ownership. –Read More–

Our vision is to eliminate equine abuse and neglect.

The mission of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals is to provide refuge, rehabilitation, and placement of seized equines; support the placement of surrendered horses, and educate the public.


The Society uses its resources to provide direct care, rehabilitation and placement for horses who have suffered abuse.

The Society promotes humane treatment, training and use of animals through education and hands-on experiences.