Rescue Me: After the Finish line

After the Finish Line TM is a horse protection organization who help Thoroughbreds transition off the racetrack into a second career through the funding of qualified rescues and retirement organizations that support, rehabilitate and retrain them. The organization’s name was inspired by the book called “After the Finish Line: Race Against Slaughter” by Bill Heller.

Their belief is our Thoroughbreds have the right to live a fulfilling life when the purpose for which they were first bred has come to an end. This wonderful organization is committed to making that happen, and feel it is a privilege to be associated with these “magnificent Thoroughbreds.”

The Thoroughbred race horse is central to the existence of the racing industry and we owe it to them to give back as much as we can when their careers are done. It should not be the end of the Thoroughbred just because it is the end of his or her racing or breeding life.

Dawn MellenBased in San Diego, California, After the Finish Line is run by its president Dawn Mellen. Dawn was so committed to establishing the organization she personally paid all the expenses of its start up costs.

They are an all volunteer organization and have Board Members and Officers located throughout the United States. To date, all of the funds they receive directly benefit the Thoroughbreds in the form of grants or emergency funds.

After the Finish Line relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to support its commitment to help the horses. They are establishing a loyal following of supporters who realize the significance of the work they do.

Some of organizations they have given grants to are Friends of Ferdinand, Indiana; Tranquility Farm, California; Heaven Can Wait, California. Emergency funds have been provided to CANTER, Ohio; Equine Rescue League, Virginia; ReRun, New Jersey; and Bright Futures Farm, Pennsylvania. These funds were given to help pay for board, veterinarian, feed expenses, to provide supplements for equines in their late 20’s, and help rehabilitate seized horses. It is their goal to give emergency funding on a monthly basis.

After the Finish Line received their tax-exempt status from the State of California and are awaiting their federal 501(C)(3) non-profit designation. All donations are tax deductible as provided by law.

To be considered for donations or emergency assistance from this organization there is an application form and review process. Their current funding options are yearly grants and funds for emergencies.

Dawn asked me to let everyone know their url has a hyphen in it. Their website address is There is another website without the hyphen, and she believes people are getting confused between the two.

After the Finish Line has many plans in the works to help the Thoroughbreds they are so devoted to, and a summer fund raiser is planned for August.

© Chastity Weese 2008 for Tuesday’s Horse

CHASTITY WEESE is a mother of 7 with a passion for writing, researching and saving the lives of animals. Chastity has managed a horse rescue for over 5 years, and recently began taking in dogs and other animals. In addition to writing, her greatest joy is spending time with her children, husband, and horses. Visit her website at Heartfelt Stables.

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