A horse is led around a barn at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in Windham. Credit: CBS 13

WINDHAM, Maine — New England’s largest horse shelter just got a new facelift.

The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals opened its new Equine Rehabilitation Facility on Saturday.

Barn manager Jeff Greenleaf says the two million dollar expansion will help horses that are turned over from police and animal control officers.

“Most of the horses that come here are fairly emaciated, full of parasites,” said Greenleaf, “They haven’t had any hoof care or teeth care. It takes anywhere from three months to a year to get them back to full health again.”

Currently, the nonprofit has 41 horses on the property.

The new facility will allow the animals to go through training seven days a week during any time or weather. Previously, only a few months out of the year could be dedicated to that.

The goal is to get them adopted once they are back to health.

Chief Executive Officer Meris Bickerford says the expansion is a game changer for helping the animals.

“Honestly, for the last week or so I’ve had to pinch myself every morning when I would turn into the driveway because I just can’t believe how beautiful this is,” said Bickerford.

The new facility also has a learning and observation center for school field trips and office space. She believes the change would not have been possible without donations and community support for the project.

“We are grateful. We know how fortunate we are to be located in a community like Windham which has been so supportive of this expansion.”

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