P.O. Box 910124
Lexington KY 40591
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 910124
Lexington, KY 40591
Phone (859) 881-5849
Fax 859 881-0061
Contact Name Karen Gustin
At A Glance
Former Names
Kentucky Equine Humane Center Inc
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Kentucky Equine Adoption Center is the foremost all-breed horse rescue in the horse capital of the world, providing humane treatment and shelter for abused, abandoned, neglected, or owner-surrendered equines, while seeking adoptive homes for them.  It focuses on promoting responsible horse ownership, horse adoption, and the value of horses in our state. In order to operate, it depends on special events, annual giving, donations and grants - no government funding is provided.   Between 50-55 horses are housed at the Center and staff rehabilitates and trains them so that they can be adopted out to suitable homes.  The Center accepts monetary donations in the form of Paypal, personal checks and credit card, and in-kind donations of supplies for horse/barn care and maintenance, such as hay, grain, medicine, fly masks, etc.  The Center holds four used tack sales a year for revenue from in-kind donations. The administrative office can use office supplies such as printer paper and ink, envelopes and postage. 
In order to volunteer, prospective volunteers must attend an orientation.   Help is always needed in the barn, around the farm, in the office, and for clinics and workshops that the Center hosts, as well as fundraising events.
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement 1) provide humane treatment and shelter while seeking adoptive homes and providing second chances for Kentucky's equines, regardless of breed, 2) educate the public and raise awareness for responsible equine ownership so that fewer horses end up in crisis, 3) work with and serve as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states: to save America's equines from inhumane treatment. Vision statement for 2023:The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center will implement substantial and continued growth of resources that will improve the rehabilitation, training, and adoption rate for Kentucky's equines. It will be the premier equine center in Kentucky for education, and be recognized for providing excellent and compassionate equine care at all necessary levels for all breeds.
Background Statement

The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center, formerly the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, was founded by 12 horse owners during the national economic downturn in 2007. The recession hit the horse industry especially hard, creating a tragic statewide increase in abandoned, neglected and abused horses. KyEAC offered humane shelter and care for horse that otherwise were bound for slaughter, or left to die from neglect or disease.

KyEAC has become the foremost all-breed facility which provides care for all levels of adoptable horses, including veterinary and farrier services, appropriate feed, rehabilitation, training, and a safe place. The 72-acre farm includes an 18-stall barn, dry lot, 80'x120' arena, three 20-acre pastures, and seven smaller 2- 2.5 acre paddocks. A ranch house serves as the administrative office.

The ultimate goal is placing all horses in adoptive homes. Some horses have never been handled, saddled, or trained. Almost all require some kind of retraining or rehabilitation, performed by the small staff. The result is putting the right horse with the right owner, requiring individualized care and training programs for each horse in transition at the Center.

Over 1,000 horses have been received and treated by the Center since it opened, and an average of 4-6 come in and go out each month. In order for a horse to be accepted by the Center, it must be surrendered by the owner or an agency such as Animal Control. Upon arrival, the horse receives an intake physical exam by a veterinarian, vaccinations, worming and put on the schedule for regular farrier care.

To adopt a horse, interested people complete an application and provide several references which are thoroughly checked by staff. After adoption, the Center requires that two vet checks be done, one 6 months and one 12 months post adoption. 

In addition to rescuing and finding homes for equines in transition, the KyEAC’s mission focuses on educating the public and increasing awareness of principles of responsible horse ownership, to help prevent horses ending up in crisis, and improve their lives. We hold workshops for horse owners and industry experts, have tours for the general public, and engage our followers in a robust social media and online presence with horsemanship tips, sharing of horse-related events around Kentucky, and the ability to answer questions from our website.

The third part of our mission statement was designed to foster cooperation and sharing of resources and knowledge among equine rescues. KyEAC seeks to lead this effort, and has been a prominent advocate for networking since its inception.

Impact Statement
Accomplishments in 2018:
1. Adopted out 59 horses and took in 65 in 2018.
2. Implemented the Heads Up, Hearts Open Growth & Communication Program, whose mission is to assist people seeking emotional growth and improved communication by incorporating the hardest-to-adopt horses into workshops designed to produce self-awareness and build relationships with others. This program also serves to showcase that even horses who can't be ridden have value and a purpose, and encourage their adoption.
3. Expanded the Take the Reins Education Program into four schools in two counties, resulting in 40 contacts/lessons/visits between the Center and the schools in a single school year. Expanded summer camps to two school districts, so that the Center served 175 students, with a total of 36 visits over six weeks. 
Goals for 2019
1. Increase adoptions to 60 for 2019.
2. Continue educational efforts through the implementation of various clinics and workshops.
3. Attain prominence by broadening our reach beyond Central Kentucky with a clear identity that differentiates KyEAC from all other equine adoption centers.
Needs Statement
1. Pasture management, mowing and weed control - $1600 per month, $9,600 annually
2. General veterinary/farrier care - Requires about $4,000 per month and  includes physicals, worming, vaccinations, teeth floating, and farrier.
3. A truck that can haul a horse trailer or flatbed trailer, so we can retrieve hay when offered, and take horses to the vet if needed. 
4.  Salary for a website and social media manager at $28,000/year.
5. Salary for a second part-time trainer at $12,000/year.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
As the Executive Director of this non-profit organization, I am humbled by the circumstances that our horses find themselves in and the way they come to us.  Our first priority is always the horses, getting them out of a negative situation, and to our farm where they are loved and cared for.  But, I have found that we are also helping people - helping people through what is usually a difficult transition in their life - whether it is because of divorce, a foreclosure on their property, or if they are experiencing poor health.  These people need our help, as do the horses.  It is a privilege and very gratifying to help people through a difficult time in their life.
For the horses that have been abandoned and neglected, shame on their owners.  These horses come to our attention, whether they have been seized by Animal Control, or whether a kind neighbor has taken it upon themselves to keep these animals alive.  Somehow these horses make their way to us.
We are an all-breed facility; however, over 50% of our horses are Thoroughbreds.  Because of our mission, we work hard to give these horses a new home through our adoption program.
I am always amazed at how quickly horses will respond, just to consistent food and shelter, and regular attention by people that care for them.  They are truly forgiving and open animals, and willing to give people a second chance.  I have seen horses come here that were withdrawn and aloof, just because no one really cared for them.  Within a couple of months they are coming up to the fence to greet us and showing an interest in what is going on around them.  That is what we do here, we give horses the second chance they deserve to be happy and to be companions to people that will love them.
Board Chair Statement
It is my privilege to serve as President of the Board of Directors for this much needed organization.  Each Board member truly cares about our mission and supports the Center through their efforts in fundraising and creating awareness.  As a retired veterinarian, I understand what it takes to care for large numbers of horses from many different backgrounds.  I understand the challenges of dealing with many individual horses that have in many cases, special needs.
Our success is that we have a record of consistently adopting out at least 50+ horses a year.  Our horses go to good homes and to good people that care.  Our challenge, as with any small non profit organization,  is to be able to continually ensure that adequate funding is secured for our operation.
For me, the highlight of what we do is very tangible.  A horse comes in, often in need of food and care, and through our program, becomes more comfortable and healthier.  It is a very concrete experience.  To see the joy and excitement on adopters' faces as they take a horse to its new home is gratifying.  We are giving back, to horse, to people, and to the community through the work that we do.
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit /
Tertiary Organization Category Environment /
Geographic Areas Served
KyEAC only accepts horses which are located in Kentucky, but adopts out nationwide and to Canada. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Jim Smith
Company Affiliation Hagyard Equine Medical Insttitute
Term Jan 2010 to Dec 2019
Board Members
Scotty AbbottRetiredVoting
Emily AlbertiCommunity VolunteerVoting
Aubri HostetterExcel EquineVoting
Meg JewettLV Harkness & CoVoting
Amy McCleanCrestwood FarmVoting
Laurie Metcalfe DVMRood and Riddle Equine HospitalVoting
Mike MillsAddington and MillsVoting
Dr. John Park DVMPark Equine HospitalVoting
Laura SchnettlerLV HarknessVoting
Dr. James Smith DVMHagyard Equine Medical InstituteVoting
Donna SturgeonJack Kain FordVoting
Dr. Laura WernerDVMVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 47%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 40%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Mike Mills
Company Affiliation Addington & Mills
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2019
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Affairs
CEO Comments
Challenges facing our organization are primarily centered around ensuring that we continue to raise adequate funds year after year.  Thus far, we have a good track record, and will work hard to continue to build our donor base and our capacity.  We have many opportunities available to us.  In addition to rescuing horses, we have the educational arena in which to expand.  This entails hosting clinics and workshops, serving as an on site learning laboratory for a wide variety of students, and participating in events that educate the public on responsible horse ownership. Our elementary school program, Take the Reins, launched in 2016 and has continuously expanded to where we will be coordinating with four schools across two counties for the 2018-2019 academic year. We work with teachers to enhance the curriculum of fourth graders using our horses via field trips to the Center and with speakers, incorporating critical and creative thinking into lessons in math, science, marketing, history, writing, public speaking, and art. 
We are expanding into clinics using our horses for equine-assisted therapy for military and first responders suffering from PTSD, spiritual transformation workshops, mindfulness training for corporate executives, and people suffering from addiction and anger issues. 
We are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which has strict and continuing standards to adhere to, and verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.  We also have a future opportunity to work with legislators and lawmakers on rules and regulations that protect horses from abuse and neglect.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Karen Gustin
Term Start Apr 2012
Experience Mrs. Gustin has over 30 years experience with the United States National Park Service, having served as Superintendent at six national parks.  Her experience in management has given her diverse skills in communication and building partnerships.  Her experience has been within the United States as well as internationally in Guatemala, Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Japan - working with protected areas managers to develop management plans for growing parks in other countries.  She is also a graduate of the U.S. Department of Interior Senior Executive Service Management Program.  During her career, Mrs. Gustin has worked with several non profit organizations that support national parks as well as special interest groups that serve in an advisory capacity to the National Park Service.  Mrs. Gustin is a private horse owner, and for the last 12 years has owned her own horses and competed.   Mrs. Gustin is an avid outdoors-woman and in the past, was a private pilot.
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 5
Volunteers 75
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Lori Neagle- July 2011
Tanya StalionAug 2011 - Apr 2012
Senior Staff
Title Barn Manager
Experience/Biography Over 30 years experience in training and boarding horses
Title Asst Barn Manager
Experience/Biography Over 30 years experience in the thoroughbred and equine medical field.
Title Director of Development
This program are trains/retrains horses so that they can be adopted out to new homes.  It involves getting the horses to the Center, giving them time to decompress after arrival, taking care of their physical and mental needs, and putting them in the training program.  The trainer gets them to a basic walk, trot, canter/lope level, and provides a foundation for new owners to expand upon.
Budget 126100
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Long term Success
Goal would be to increase the rate at which horses are adopted out and shorten their average length of stay.   Some horses are here for 6 weeks, and some for well over a year.  Because of this wide range, the average length of stay is 8 months.  It would be optimal to turn all horses around within 12 months, so that no horse is here for over a year, except for the very young ones, or ones who are born at the Center.
In addition, increase our capacity from 35 horses to 45 horses.
If that could be achieved, we could increase our intake and adoption rate by approximately 25%.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by equine records that include phsyical condition, medical expenses, date of arrival and date of adoption, and training progress.
Examples of Program Success Following is an example of how a horse's and its new owner's life was changed:  "Hershey's Kiss is a true success story, thanks to the kind heart of a woman named Trudi,  Following a mishap (flat tire) while hauling a horse, this good Samaritan walked to the nearest farm to ask for assistance.  Once there, she came upon a man who was about to shoot a horse he said he could no longer keep.  Trudi asked is she could have the horse, and thankfully, he agreed.  The horse was brought to KyEHC and turned out to be a 12 yr old dark bay Morgan stallion.  Trudi named him Hershey's Kiss enroute to the Center and the name stuck.  Within a month, Hershey, no longer a stallion, was adopted by a woman named Sheridan Puffer who has provided him with a  new and healthy home."
Program Comments
CEO Comments The biggest challenge facing our organization is fiscal, and ensuring that adequate funding is available on an annual basis.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
The Kentucky Equine Adoption Center consistently partners with Alltech, Kentucky Horse Council, Equine Land Conservation Resource, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, the ASPCA, Kinetic Technologies, Operation Horses and Heroes, Locust Trace Agriscience Center, Fayette County Schools, Jessamine County Schools, Eastern Kentucky University, Midway University, Asbury University,  and Safe Haven Equine Ministries.
Member Downtown Lexington Corporation2011
VerifiedGlobal Federation of Animal Sanctuaries2014
Certified as an Equine RescueKy State Department of Agriculture2013
AccreditedThoroughbred Aftercare Alliance2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $386,500.00
Projected Expenses $386,500.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$433,366$392,831$331,193
Investment Income, Net of Losses$339$288$205
Membership Dues------
Special Events$9,715$65,173$67,657
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$293,668$259,624$257,180
Administration Expense$70,263$59,961$61,268
Fundraising Expense$62,022$47,692$44,702
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.091.301.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses69%71%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$430,658$392,194$283,208
Current Assets$407,177$363,917$265,497
Long-Term Liabilities($141)----
Current Liabilities($141)----
Total Net Assets$430,799$392,194$283,208
Form 990s
2018 Form 990
2017 Form 990
2016 Form 990
2015 Form 990
2014 Form 990
2013 990
2013 990
2012 Form 990
2011 Form 990
2010 990 2010
2009 2009 990EZ
2008 Form 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration No
Address P.O. Box 910124
Lexington, KY 40591
Primary Phone 859 881-5849
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Karen Gustin
Board Chair Dr. Jim Smith
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hagyard Equine Medical Insttitute