October 2017 | Ryerss Farm is America’s Oldest Horse Sanctuary
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Ryerss Farm is America’s Oldest Horse Sanctuary

October 2017

Ryerss Farm, Pottstown, PA, cares for aged, abused or injured horses, providing a home for life.  The horses at Ryerss spend their days grazing and enjoying life with their friends.

Some are brought to Ryerss Farm by their owners, others are brought by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or Large Animal Protection Society for a temporary or permanent home.  With more than 350 horses on the waiting list, horses (minimum age 20) normally wait several years for an opening.

All horses receive farrier, veterinarian and dental care and routine inoculations and medications.

The farm is named for Anne Waln-Ryerss, an animal advocate from a prominent Philadelphia family. In 1866, Morris Waln helped to establish the Pennsylvania SPCA.  Anne’s husband, Joseph Ryerss, was a successful businessman also from a family of philanthropists and animal rights activists.

Anne stopped owners of mistreated horses to persuade them to send the horse for rehabilitation at her farm.  Those who could not return to work stayed for the rest of their lives.

Upon her death in 1888, Anne’s will provided funding to purchase an 80-acre farm and “Ryerss Infirmary for Dumb Animals,” was incorporated as a charitable institution “to provide a permanent home for old favorites whose owners, instead of destroying or selling them, desire to place them under good treatment for the remainder of their days.”

Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines is the oldest non-profit horse sanctuary in the United States and continues to provide a haven for horses of all breeds, sizes, and walks of life.

Visitors are welcome daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Group tours can be arranged by calling the office in advance at (866) 469-0507.  The cost is free but donations are most appreciated.  To learn more about Ryerss Farm, visit ryerssfarm.org.