ARCH was founded in 2009 by a small group of horse lovers, all of whom had experience working with rescued animals. Rather than follow in the footsteps of so many charitable organizations who take on far too many rescued animals – reducing their capacity to provide each case with maximum support – with our limited resources we chose to take on fewer cases ensuring each animal receives the attention they require.
Initially we tried to limit the numbers of rescues, thus ensuring that we could offer the best care and rehabilitation. When we opened we took in mostly abandoned horses and donkeys – they appeared tied up at our gate. However with the arrival of the financial crisis things changed, thousands of beautiful, fit young horses were sent to slaughter as their owners and breeders were unable to feed the mares or sell the foals. Lorries were queuing up at the slaughterhouse door.
Soon our policy of limiting our intake went out of the window as we desperately tried to rescue as many equines as we could, each one a victim of the economic downturn. During the first few years of our existence we often had to appeal to our supporters and sponsors for help as our rescue numbers grew. To everyone who has supported us over the years we are eternally grateful.
We anticipate a similar situation to the previous financial crisis once the impacts of the corona virus take effect so our mission remains as important as ever.
With the improvement in animal cruelty legislation we are able to prosecute abusive owners. Almost all our rescued equines now come from Seprona, the environmental law enforcement, having been confiscated or found abandoned.
We work closely with our animal rights lawyer, Aritz Toribio, Seprona, and local equine vets to rescue animals in danger and take their owners to court. It is an uphill struggle to ensure that judges and public prosecutors are enforcing the new laws as intended, but with time the message will get through that animals have rights and they must uphold them.
The legal process is time consuming, costly and ongoing – all donations are very gratefully received to help us fight for justice.
The ARCH team of volunteers has grown over the years and we are deeply grateful to each and every volunteer – we couldn’t do it without your support!