Many people choose to adopt rescued dogs or cats from animal shelters, but it is much more difficult to find safe homes for larger and more labor-intensive animals, such as horses. Equine rescue agencies have been established all over the country in the past several decades, and many receive federal grant money.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Foundational Program

This grant, awarded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is available for equine rescue and other agricultural organizations. This opportunity is posted on the government's website for grant listings in the early spring, but applicants can continue to submit materials and be considered for this grant until the end of the summer. This funding opportunity is open to a wide variety of organizations, and the government expects to award numerous grants of up to $750,000 each.

Nature Based Youth Outings

The Bureau of Land Management began offering this grant in 2009, after the creation of the Office of Youth in Natural Resources. The main objective of this funding opportunity is to grow programs that encourage youth to participate in outdoor activities. Nonprofit equine rescue organizations that employ youth volunteers and/or teach young people about proper care of horses, equine therapy or the basics of how to ride horses may be eligible for one of these awards (see Resources).

Challenge Cost Share Program

The Department of the Interior began the Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Program, which funds this grant, in 1985. It started with funds for wildlife conservation, but it has grown to encompass organizations and programs that protect and/or conduct research on public land, resources and their conservation, wildlife, plant life and recreational spaces and experiences. Equine rescue organizations that provide recreational activities (such as riding or horse care lessons) to communities may be eligible for this grant (see Resources).