What do we do with them all? A euthanasia debate
CANTER (and I bet most rehoming groups) have been getting inundated with horse donation inquiries recently--more so than usual. Most of these horses are severely injured, or useful for pasture ornaments only. I know that my group (CANTER Mid Atlantic) has stopped taking horses from racetracks other than Delaware Park completely due to a lack of funding and I would imagine many are in the same boat, and even from Delaware we can take only two injured horses at any given time due to finances, manpower and room.
The question is, what do we do with these broken horses?? There are NO homes for them it seems. We have sound horses we cannot giveaway because they aren't 16.2, male, and showing at 3'. Very, very frustrating, but also a really big problem.
I've thought long about the issue as there are many facets. Euthanasia is expensive--really, really expensive by the time you factor in renderer pickup.
It's almost like Trainers/owners seem to believe that horses are all "fixable" if they just get to the right home--or they don't want to deal with the finality of putting one down. I've rarely heard of horses being euth'd at the track except in emergencies--is it done for non-emergencies?
We've had horses donated to us that were said to be "sound" or "fine with some layoff", but x-rays reveal what appears to be a pipe bomb having gone off in the joints. This just makes us feel like dumping grounds for owner/trainer problems, and it doesn't seem fair. So we've now got the responsibility to make the decision, and to hold the end of the lead rope and watch them hit the ground dead, and pay for the heartache in mental trauma AND cash!
Do any tracks offer low-cost euthanasia programs?
So, what say you? What do we do with these animals?
Obviously this doesn't apply across the board. I know some AMAZING trainers, some AMAZING owners who always--no matter the cost--do right by their animals. Lots don't. Worse yet, lots thing that just getting them out of sight absolves them of responsibility.
Very very frustrating.