New England’s largest horse shelter, the MSSPA, is located on River Rd in Windham. It is a rehab facility, a shelter, and an adoption facility for animals seized by law enforcement due to abuse or neglect. This no-kill shelter is open to the public every day.  On Tuesday May 9, Meris Bickford, Esq, Vice President and CEO of MSSPA told us about this nearly 150 year-old organization.
Founded in 1872 in Portland, the original role of the organization was to take care of the city’s fire horses and provide care for them during retirement. In 1974, due to the generosity of modern day founder Lawrence J. Keddy, the organization moved to a 124- acre farm in Windham.
MSSPA is a 501c3 charity, not a state agency. Their goal is to always say “yes” to taking any horse that needs help. Annually, the spend about $1.1M with about 40% coming from their endowment. They would like to increase fundraising so they can scale back use of foundations funds to insure support for the organization in perpetuity.
They currently have 56 horses, but that number can change quickly based on need. The organization runs with a small staff of 13 who mostly work directly with the horses. In 2016, volunteers provided over 7400 hours.  Their goal is to rehabilitate and adopt out all horses turned over to them. For any horse that cannot be adopted, they stay at the farm for the rest of their natural life.
From February to June, the MSSPA holds a fundraiser that is priced so a wide variety of people of various means can help. Buy-A-Bale fundraiser cost $5 per bale.  You can help by going to or by calling  207-892-3040. The farm is open daily from 1-4PM.