If you go on FB search for "TD Hazen" and you'll see some photos.
The photos are pretty horrifying.
However.... at one point she was one of the "good guys" in the Morgan breed, helping to expose behind-the-barn breeding to Saddlebreds that got a bunch of horses expunged from the registry (including a World Champion Stallion who was proven by DNA to be half Saddlebred!) and a shyster by the name of Bruce Ekstrom permanently banned from doing any business with AMHA. (Google Chantilly Lace and/or FCF Rhythm Nation for more details.)
Morgan folks are saying that she has been battling cancer for several years, but if this was the case why did she not reach out sooner, before things got so bad? The Morgan world is small and fairly close knit. Her horses are very well-bred for sport, with lots of Pecos blood close up.
The older herd members would have been DNA tested & blood typed. Morgan Horse Assoc can possibly identify. That might help in finding homes, especially if people who sold her mares or stallions would take them back. Are the horses that were seized still alive?
Looks like she has been trying to sell the property for a couple of years... but if there are actually 24 horses on 2.56 acres methinks this is a no-win situation. Presumably all are in stalls?
Working with the owners isn't always possible, but I prefer that counties try that before seizures when it is possible.
I'm not commenting on the specifics of the case as I'm not there, but I am going to comment on generalizations that aren't correct.
In my 15 years experience these cases are long standing & working with owners does not work in majority of cases. Each case is different & requires investigation. However it is the owner's responsibility -legally- to educate themselves before taking on the ownership of a horse, a car, a house, etc. It is not the government or anyone else's job to educate or babysit. That ended at age 18 or legal age of majority.
As for Harrisburg Humane, yes it is their responsibility once they were made aware of the conditions of the horses. It is in their mission statement, they ask for money from the Public & government in furtherance of that mission, which includes enforcing the cruelty law. That is why they employ a humane society police officer.
The property is not 2.5 acres. It is 40 according to Dauphin County Records. Anyone who looks at the property on a map program can clearly see the area the horses are in, & it's not 2.5 acres. There is 2.5 acres offered for sale adjoining, which may be owner subdividing, probably in attempt to pay back taxes & other debt.
As for cancer eventually traveling to brain, it does not take cancer going to the brain to cause someone to neglect. The sheer amount of physical labor involved in caring for horses, let alone a breeding herd is enormous. Any illness that takes a person's physical strength or ability is enough. Just like an animal that is weakened by disease or starvation, apathy sets in. Out of sight, out of mind. None of this excuses her failure to care for these horses, & other animals, including at least one goat & flock of birds. Responsible owners contact friends, family, etc for assistance.
Let's face it, how many rescues would have helped her if she called stating she could no longer care for sound & healthy horses & selling them at auction not an option as concern for their welfare. Unbroken young horses at auction often do not sell well. If advised to put them down, how do you think an owner of well bred horses would feel? How would you?
How many welfare organizations help responsible owners when they reach out for help? More often than not they are turned away & told to put animal down. Guarantee you if she called & said she was going to shoot them, abandon them, or take them to killer auction the rescues would go into overdrive posting on Internet or rushing to auction to save them. Would anyone pick up the phone & notify humane society? If not, why not?
Welfare organizations aid irresponsible owners, rarely responsible owners who find themselves needing assistance.
Irresponsible owners need to be made responsible, held to the same standard as responsible owners. In this country when you become an adult, it's no more time outs, it is the justice system. People listen when their money or their freedom is taken away from them. Not so much when money is given to them or they are relieved of their problem with no consequence.
The conduct of Harrisburg Humane is par for the course & it's time they are held to task for failing to do their job & violating the law. If not, animals will continue to suffer & die because humane societies seem unable to understand the 4th amendment & rules of criminal procedure. As stated before, if you can't, or won't play by the rules of the game, then get out of the game.
Enforcing the law properly will go a long way towards preventing animals from suffering.
Why anyone would make excuses for a humane society that refused to handle a case that was handed over to them with enough probable cause already in place to get a search warrant to seize the horses that were clearly starving to death & kept in filthy & unsafe conditions, only to allow it to continue for 2.5 years resulting in more births, more suffering, & deaths is beyond me & quite frankly, not even worthy of discussion.
Rebecca L. Roberts, Esq. called her place "Shadowland Morgans," which is really creepy as so many indeed crossed into the shadowlands of death out there. I'm just sick that I've driven past that place dozens of times and never knew.
And so what is your solution? Harrisburg Humane & any other agency for that matter that fails to do their job needs to be accountable . How many horses need to suffer & die because they fail to respond when notified or they don't follow the rules & they lose in court resulting in animals going back to the same situation. Just what is your solution? Praise? Applause? Kudos to you because of your failure to act animals died. Great job! This is a repeat of past behavior. Tell me how many times are you going to defend them? Would you keep boarding your horse at a facility that kept turning your horse out on lush grass resulting in your horse foundering each time when they KNEW your horse susceptible? Or kept feeding them hay when they can't chew it & choke? Just how many times would you let it happen?
Go ahead keep supporting an agency that never learns & never changes
I don't think anyone here is defending Harrisburg Humane Society, or Ms. Roberts. Please re-read cowgirljenn's posts; she is extremely experienced with large-scale neglect cases and the ins-and-outs of seizure, working with owners, lack of funds/space for many humane societies and animal control agencies to keep large animals, especially in large numbers etc. She's in Texas, which isn't exactly known for being proactive in these cases.
There have been some large-scale rescues within the Morgan community in the past few years, and it seems most commonly the problem starts with older/ailing breeders not really understanding the realities of today's economy, or dying and leaving large numbers of horses to their heirs, who are unable/unwilling to care for them. The community *may* step up again, but many have taken on as many "extra" horses as they can and resources have worn thin.
Brain cancer, depression etc. are *reasons* for things like this happening, not excuses.
Okay - well, regardless of Harrisburg Humane's action or inaction, is there anything to be done for the horses that are left? I don't see any fundraising anywhere...
On Facebook the person who has some of the removed horses posted a link:
www.humanesocietyhbg.org and said to donate there, specifying the money is to be used for the "Hershey Rescue Horses." (For those not local, although the news reports refer to Palmyra, PA, this farm is just outside Hershey, PA and Rt. 743 is a busy 2-lane leading right into Hershey).
Bet cowgirljenn could also give Palmyra there a guesstimate on how much money and space is needed to seize that many horses at once. Humane Societies have facilities to take in dogs and cats, not livestock. How easy is it to transport, vet, and find places (ideally with quarantine paddocks/stalls) ready to take in sick and starving horses safely?
And while obviously it's not THEIR responsibility, if the Morgan community knew the owner's been sick...why didn't THEY reach out to HER? Assuming it's true someone dealing with a cancer diagnosis might not be in the mental place to be thinking about their animals or the physical state to do anything about it. My parents' neighbor's wife got sick very abruptly, as in needed to go downstate to UM's hospital, so my parents fed and watered and helped out neighbors' adult children with chores until it was over. Yes, it was a hassle for my parents and it was not something my neighbor would have wanted to ask about, but it's just what you do.
I happened to see this on CL Harrisburg this evening- they (HS) are looking for hay and grain
Harrisburg SPCA needs help for the "Hershey Rescue Horses."
Hay Farmers & Feed Dealers & Horse Lovers of Dauphin County. Five horses found dead-24 in horrible health-need hay, grain & supplies to help SPCA- please reach into your hearts & contact William Sandstrum at the Harrisburg SPCA to see what contribution you can make to helping these suffering horses.717-564-3320 extension 104. Thanks.
This is the group:
Donations - specify for "Hershey Rescue Horses"
Thanks, PA Rural and Justa Bob, for the info.
Still not on their website or FB page, but from what people tell me, CL gets more views than either. I'll pass on the info.