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American Horse Defense Fund


Washington, DC

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American Horse Defense Fund

Also Known As:
Physical Address:
Washington, DC 20036 
Web URL:
Blog URL:
Ms. Shelley Sawhook
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Legitimacy Information

  • This organization is not registered with the IRS.
  • This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

This organization has not appeared in IRS records for a number of months and may no longer exist.

This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.

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Basic Organization Information

American Horse Defense Fund

Also Known As:
Physical Address:
Washington, DC 20036 
Web URL:
Blog URL:
NTEE Category:
D Animal related 
D01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations 
D Animal related 
D34 Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge 
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification 
C01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations 
Ruling Year:
How This Organization Is Funded:
Annual Donor - $3,000
Membership Fees - $200
Donations - $200

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Mission Statement

The American Horse Defense Fund's mission is to facilitate the protection, preservation, and humane treatment of members of the Equine species. The AHDF works to address inhumane treatment of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and burros, both domesticated & wild, through education, advocacy, and litigation if necessary, in the state, federal and international arenas. Background: AHDF was founded in 2000 to fill the void of a national horses-only organization that is not afraid to tackle the tough issues surrounding the inhumane and unwarranted treatment that many horses are subjected to.

Leadership (GuideStar ExchangeThe GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more. May, 2012)

Ms. Shelley Sawhook


Since Sept 2006


Shelley Sawhook became the president and CEO of AHDF with the passing of our founder, Trina Bellak, Esq. Visit our website to read about Trina and her over 30 years as an instructor/trainer/owner. Trina, was an attorney and lobbyist, with a deep involvement in legislative and regulatory efforts to: improve the treatment of horses sent to slaughter; shore up and increase funding for the Horse Protection Act (intended to stop the soring of gaited horses); and aid and protect wild horses (founding member of the Wild Horse & Burro Freedom Alliance). Shelley brings to the table over 25 years of equine experience as trainer and owner. She has worked in the welfare industry for over 7 years after learning of horse slaughter through an online group attempting to save a large number of wild horses. She currently owns 5 horses, including 2 mustangs, a pony saved from a slaughter truck and a gelding that was the victim of severe neglect.

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

Officers information is not available for this organization.

Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.

Program: AHDF

Population Served:

Program Description:

We use a system of State Directors and volunteers across the country to help be our "eyes and ears" and to do outreach. We have noted authorities and practitioners on our advisory board, including: veterinarians; doctors; noted trainers; an Emmy Award winning film maker; and people with expertise on all of the issues: Current Issues & Goals: Horses to Slaughter: Monitoring the enforcement of the Federal Regulations governing the treatment of horses sent to slaughter; supporting Federal legislation, state laws and ballot initiatives to ban horse slaughter and dangerous double-decker trucks. AHDF is actively working on passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now being considered by Congress.

Program Long-Term Success:

Updating our book Alternatives to Auction & Slaughter: A Guide for Equine Owners (350 pages)

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

Published _Alternatives to Auction and Slaughter: Guide for Equine Owners_- a concise state by state listing of alternatives to horse slaughter Played a vital role in the passage of Congressional prohibitions against the use of taxpayer funds to inspect horsemeat and cleared a critical hurdle toward ending horse slaughter forever in the United States Facilitated the placement of many PMU foals and mares Secured the only large scale rescue and adoption of pregnant mares and young foals from one of the nation’s horse slaughter plants Safeguarded regulations protecting Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited horses from the cruelty of slaughter Launched an equine owner education website to assist owners in providing care for their horses Launched a wild horse education website so the public can better understand the wild horse and burro issues

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