History of HAHS

The Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) is a Non-Profit 501c(3) organization,Room to roam founded in 1971 by six concerned and committed citizens. It is HAHS’ mission to promote the humane treatment of hooved animals through education, legislation, investigation and if necessary, legal intervention (impoundment). We provide physical rehabilitation to animals that have endured severe neglect and abuse and then adopt them out to compassionate forever homes.

Our farm is located in Woodstock, Illinois on 53 acres with five barns, including a rehabilitation facility and an Educational Center which also houses our office. HAHS receives no federal or state support. We are totally dependent upon contributions from fund raising activities, membership donations, grants and endowment gifts. Hooved Animal Humane Society’s contributor base exceeds 70,000.  Catherine, pictured here, chose to donate her birthday money to HAHS.


HAHS was the first humane society established in the United States to focus specifically on large animals, primarily horses. Unlike small animals (dogs and cats), hooved animals had little representation until the formation of the Hooved Animal Humane Society. In 1973, HAHS was the driving force behind the passage of “The Humane Care for Animals Act.” Through the Illinois Department of Agriculture, this Act gives HAHS the legal authority to investigate claims of abuse and neglect and intervene when owners do not comply with notice to remedy the situation. The Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act is recognized as the legislative model for other states when drafting similar laws.

Since the organization was founded 44 years ago, it has responded to thousands of calls requesting investigations of facilities housing horses in dire need of help. With the assistance and expertise of volunteer state licensed investigators, we are able to respond to calls within a short period of time. HAHS provides hundreds of referrals throughout the United States each month.

With the 1996 release of the powerful expose “Big Lick Walking Horses”, HAHS has been instrumental in raising the awareness of the unacceptable methods used by some trainers in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. In addition, HAHS’ involvement in the controversy surrounding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro population control methods dates back to 1987. We have continued to offer alternative methods to control and protect the living monument.

One of our key objectives is the focus on education in order to prevent abuse and Where it all happensneglect of hooved animals. Great strides are made toward this goal, especially since 1995, when our Educational Center was completed. The Center has become a place where people can learn first hand how to properly care for hooved animals. Each year we host seminars with equine professionals such as veterinarians, farriers, attorneys, and resistance free trainers.