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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2005
    Location
    summerville GA
    Posts
    3,219

    Default Epdemic of unwanted horses or what?

    I have only just gotten back from Canada and listening to my mail box almost made me ill.

    I thought for sure there had to be several people calling reguarding the same horses but alas not.

    After an article in the newspaper about our farm, I have recieved nothing short of 30 calls. Each and everyone the same. We have an old horse, unwanted horse etc. etc. But, this is mindblowing. 6 aged blind appaloosa, two being stallions. All I have is blind apps, this is definitely a growing problem.

    A gentleman going to jail, has five horses he could not sell, one a blind app stallion.

    A man dying of cancer, another blind appy, he can sell the others.

    Lame horses, old horses, sick horses, nothing that isnt simply going to cost me a good deal of money.

    There is no hay, there is no volunteers, there is no donations, I simply cant do anymore than I already have. There are no rideable horses here. There are no adoptable horses here. What is happening??????????

    I have a list a mile long of people needing to place there friends, there are no homes for those type of kids. It has become overwhelming. I simply dont know where or how this is all going to end. Is this from slaughter closing or is this simply that our horses are living much longer?

    Doesnt anybody want a pasture ornament any more? I love mine to death.
    Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

    Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,233

    Default

    There is a combination of causes, not the least of which is the rapidly rising cost of food because of dry weather and competition from bio-fuels and ethanol.
    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
    Winston Churchill



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    3,122

    Default

    I'm sorry Lori....

    I'm seeing it here too. :-(
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    292

    Default

    At least their owners are trying to "place" them instead of just turning them out for a wild herd like I have heard is being done. At least they're calling first before just dumping them!

    I do think it has to do with a lot of different subjects, slaughter included. Kudos to you for at least thinking of horses that are adoptable and potentially rideable - that makes it a lot easier to move them.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    There is a combination of causes, not the least of which is the rapidly rising cost of food because of dry weather and competition from bio-fuels and ethanol.
    Yep. I've been interviewed by several newspapers and a few magazines lately. They all ask: Are you seeing an increase in neglected horses or unwanted horses? The answer is yes to both. Then they ask is it because the Texas slaughterhouses closed down. The answer to that isn't so simple....

    We're better known now, so more people know who to call. That thanks to nearly 10 yeas of promoting rescue in the state.

    There's been a drought. And now there's a flood. Horses had no grass last year and this year they can't GET to the grass.

    Rescue itself is better known and despite the efforts of some individuals (the "bad" rescues) more people are trusting rescues.

    Cost of gas is higher, so the cost of -everything- is higher. Vet bills have gone up (thanks to increasing trip charges), feed costs have gone up, etc.

    We're turning them down here, too. Although we really haven't taken in donated/surrendered/dumped horses in the past year or so, we've been focusing on law enforcement cases.

    It is hard, I know.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wasagroom View Post
    At least their owners are trying to "place" them instead of just turning them out for a wild herd like I have heard is being done. At least they're calling first before just dumping them!
    I'm curious - has anyone actually SEEN this being done? Or actually SEEN the roving horses? I've heard from a lot of people who heard about it from someone else, but I'm interested to see if anyone's experienced it first hand...
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2001
    Location
    Trailer Trash Ammy!
    Posts
    19,520

    Default

    It's the draught, the economy, and TBH I think it's also the woeful lack of retirement facilities ANYWHERE around GA.

    Swear to God, if I ever win the lottery, that's what I'm starting: a reasonably-priced retirement facility where if the heese want to live out 24/7, they can, but if they have special needs or prefer to have a howse during inclement weather, they can.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2005
    Location
    Crestwood, KY
    Posts
    1,440

    Unhappy

    You know, I really wish people would just take the responsibility of owning an animal. If they can no longer provide for it (or don't want to), and it is not adoptable, PLEASE people-- just euthanize it! Why in the world would you send an unwanted horse (who will never be adopted) to a rescue? Why not save the rescue's space for horses who actually have a chance? Euthanasia is not cruel or painful, nor is it expensive. I really wish more people would consider that option when it is time to move on, especially now with how bad things are getting...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    56,015

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cowgirljenn View Post
    I'm curious - has anyone actually SEEN this being done? Or actually SEEN the roving horses? I've heard from a lot of people who heard about it from someone else, but I'm interested to see if anyone's experienced it first hand...
    A fellow told me the sheriff came by asking about several loose horses, that later were found to be abandoned, no one claiming them and that the sheriff mentioned that happening in several other instances, when word got out that slaughter was closing, not to take horses to the sale barn any more.

    Are those horses being abandoned because those rumors that we don't have the outlet slaughter has been for many unwanted horses?
    That is anyone's guess right now, because horses are still being bought to go to slaughter, just not in the USA.

    I doubt that it is any kind of "epidemic" yet, because of the canadian and mexican slaughter needs still taking in considerable numbers of those horses.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    56,015

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mgfpaints View Post
    You know, I really wish people would just take the responsibility of owning an animal. If they can no longer provide for it (or don't want to), and it is not adoptable, PLEASE people-- just euthanize it! Why in the world would you send an unwanted horse (who will never be adopted) to a rescue? Why not save the rescue's space for horses who actually have a chance? Euthanasia is not cruel or painful, nor is it expensive. I really wish more people would consider that option when it is time to move on, especially now with how bad things are getting...
    If a horse is in it's last legs, fine, he needs to be euthanized.
    If a horse is healty and fine and just doesn't has anyone that needs it at all, you can't sell it or give it away, those horses used to give us one last good use thru slaughter.
    It is wrong to just kill and dump them wantomly, when they could have been used and several people had some use of that horse one more time, rather than become a liability to the owner, now that slaughter is closed and there are NO OTHER in place but waste that horse or send it to Mexico to slaughter.

    As wrong as is any abuse that may have happened thru the slaughter process, that was blown way out of proportion in all those animal rights stories and myths, it is no better to kill it without purpose and try to dispose of the carcass best we can figure, just to be sure in the eyes of animal rights fanatics, someone else doesn't get any benefits from that horse thru slaughter.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    292

    Default

    I agree with you bluey, but I didn't want to start anything about slaughter, lol, I get the impression that that's a whole different bag of bolts here at COTH, even though I haven't "lived here" long enough to experience it.

    You see this kind of disposal of animals of every sort, though, you know. We have a neighbor that buys dogs.... well they mess in the house so they get tied outside 24/7... well, they bark too much so let's just turn them loose, or take them to the next neighborhood and drop them off in the busy "downtown" section (did I mention this was a tiny chihuahua??), or SHOOT THEM.... or better yet - let's BREED them and hope they have a puppy we like better than the dog itself and when it doesn't have a puppy we like, let's drop the whole litter and mother off at the SPCA. And they keep getting more dogs!

    I think it happens as a general whole - I am just a young'un but I have seen a difference in oh... ten years, even, of the way that people regard animals - disposable commodities. It doesn't matter if it's someone else's problem... it doesn't matter if I don't feed it... maybe if I starve it it will go away?

    Rescues (god bless 'em!) can only do so much and I think it is in their best interests (and the best interest of the horses) to rescue "useful" horses that have the potential to move on to new homes where they can be USED and not just stand in the pasture to be neglected again and again.

    I know personally any horses we have here that aren't "useful" any longer have been here longer than I have and have given us the best years of their life - in that case, they are permitted a dignified death and burial on our property. A dangerous or out of control horse that I took on to try and help but could not do anything with and I would not sell to someone else because of liability is a different story.



  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snkstacres View Post
    I have only just gotten back from Canada and listening to my mail box almost made me ill.
    Is this from slaughter closing or is this simply that our horses are living much longer?

    .
    yep....while that fugly blog has it's humerous bits the fact is that I have watched horses just like these go thru killer sales since 1986....hundreds a week....

    about 10% had a chance at anything and the rest were bred for right where they ended up...all the claims of wonderful, useful, sound animals at the slaughterhouses have really not been made by folks who have spent much time at the sales.....

    the whole reason I ever wanted to train horses (not just be a "rider" ) was because of what I watched there...I thought maybe "fixing" a horse could get it a chance at something better....

    over the years however,I have realized that there is nothing I can do for them...as all the training in the world does not fix crappy breeding and wanna be horse men

    I spent nearly a year gettting a fancy un broke 5yo mare just right for her owners...light airy forward happy...on the first ride the ham fist kick and jerk husband mounts up and totally ignoring all the things I told him about her training said "oh it's ok we'll fix that when we get home"

    I don't think any sight has ever made me so sick to my stomach....all my work gone and the mare totally confused and trying her best anyway....at that point I decided there was not much need to train horses for outsiders anymore....

    Tamara in TN



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,498

    Default

    I think many vets would have ethical objections to euthanizing a healthy animal.

    I'm seeing it here too. Increase in selling livestock. But with other species, you can send them to auction for meat, and if you take a loss, well at least you can work it out with your accountant at tax time, and you don't have to pay to feed them through the winter - which is going to be very expensive - more expensive than usual for the reasons already stated. (fuel, hay, ethanol, drought.....)

    Not to get into another slaughter debate - because they don't do any good. But I think the increase may be due to those factors, as well as the US plants being closed.

    We're all responsible for the animals under our care, of course. Often the responsible thing is to divest ownership rather than starve them. If you can get a vet to euthanize a healthy animal, that's one option.

    I've got a farm full of the unwanted - and have no intention of selling anything. But I don't have a family to feed, school clothes to buy, or sick relatives to nurse or bury. And I have my health. touch wood.

    Sorry rescues are full - it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Hopefully we'll all be able to muddle through the upcoming winter.....



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    1,369

    Default

    I think another part of the equation is that many folks either:

    1. Just do not want to be bothered.

    2. Don't know what to do for certain types of senior ailments and/or younger horse injuries.

    3. Cannot handle the thought of having to put the horse to sleep and THEN either make burial arrangments (more $$$) or don't have anyone "glue people" they can call in their area that will come and pick up the deceased animal.

    4. Don't want or can't afford the costs of these animals.

    5. All of the above.

    My blacksmith is great about catering to my 20+ gelding with EMS whose arthritis has exploded, but his comment to all of the "special needs" care and diet this horse gets? as he shakes his head in wonder, he says "I'm afraid if the handsome ole Fella was mine, he'd have to git tuff".

    For my part, I will do whatever it takes to keep the light in this horse's eyes. When that light fades, I will then tearfully call the vet, and the guy that "digs everyone's holes"

    Even my part time job is seeing a big strain on the expense of this horse and I have three more to take care of; another one of which is 21 and also has his own set of needs.

    Then there's the four dogs that are all rescue cases and let's not forget my six barn cats whom I took in and had them all fixed too

    I believe those of us that are "in and of this extreme horse care-giving mold", are a small percentage.

    Many folks that have it in their heart to keep the horse going, just don't have the money; and that is BEFORE the increase in fuel, corn, and all the by-products that these two things produce.

    Sad state of affairs, so it is



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2004
    Location
    N. TX...just N.East of paradise...
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    I'm in a very horsey area, so haven't seen this firsthand, though secondhand heard of more giveaways or unwanted horses, some of which do end up at our sales.

    I do wonder, though, the thought of putting down seemingly healthy, yet unwanted horses, why is that so abhorrent? As opposed to the alternative? There obviously are NOT homes waiting for these horses. Do you think the horse fears a kind death? Do we simply project our guilt in the situation onto the horse's 'feelings'?

    Perhaps vets might not ethically like this option, but given the other options - turing them loose, taking to a sale where they'll truck to Mexico/Can. to have a much worse death - I think it's the best one.

    We can't save them all, or make them all useful again. Why not decide, and help others, to kindly release them from their unfixable quandary?
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11,414

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J Swan View Post
    But I think the increase may be due to those factors, as well as the US plants being closed.
    FYI and also not to start that debate, but Cavel has re-opened, officially, under court order. Just saw a posting on that this morning.

    I just hope things re-align soon- rain, more food, etc. Seeing a post right here on COTH about a farm dispersal because they ran out of water was just frightening. And rescues were already turning people/horses away, before all these problems.

    I wish I had a solution, but short of doing lots of rain dances, and getting the ethanol boom under control (as in, why are we doing this? between the energy it takes to MAKE it, and the reduced efficiency, it's NOT the cure to our energy problems, and it will not only drive up the cost of horsekeeping but the costs of feeding cattle and other food supply animals... oh wait, different rant, sorry...)
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
    Posts
    11,958

    Default

    I think many vets would have ethical objections to euthanizing a healthy animal.
    But the same vets have no problem sending the same horse to slaughter???? The vet association does back slaughter, right? Something is radically wrong in this country!

    I would counsel people to seek euthanasia for these hard to place animals. If the vets can send a horse to slaughter they can put it down as well! If a person doesn't have the means to keep the horse and no home is imminent (due to the animals' handicaps) then it needs to be an option and the veterinary association is going to have to come to terms with that!

    My feeling is the economy is in such bad shape that people need to cut expenses wherever possible. During the recent budget crisis here in PA my husband was furloughed (only for the day, but it could have been indefinite if the governor and the legislators failed to get their act together). I was seriously considering calling a rescue to see if I could get my horse in somewhere. The workers will get paid for that one day furlough but it's been up in the air for a couple of weeks--that one day's pay would have paid for two months rent for my horse! I have been sweating bullets for weeks and I am tired!!!! It's easy to say, "Get rid of the horse!", but it's not so easy when they're old, their eyesight is failing and they have a bum knee! Other than that she's healthy as a horse and you'd never know anything was wrong with her when she's out in the pasture. But I'm exhausted from worrying about her and my other animals! I'm sure other people have to be going through the same thing I am!!!! When you have to pay six dollars a pound for sliced American cheese and German bologna the economy is bad!!!!! That's outrageous!!!!

    I thought about putting my horse down but why should she have to die because some idiots don't care about how they screw with other people's lives and paychecks???? It simply didn't make sense to me to do that to her. As long as I know there's a paycheck we can make it but if it gets interrupted or stops I'm going to have to make some hard decisions!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,955

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    It's the draught, the economy, and TBH I think it's also the woeful lack of retirement facilities ANYWHERE around GA.

    Swear to God, if I ever win the lottery, that's what I'm starting: a reasonably-priced retirement facility where if the heese want to live out 24/7, they can, but if they have special needs or prefer to have a howse during inclement weather, they can.
    War Admiral, I think Lori, and the other rescues are talking about horses that are owned by people who don't want to pay anything to their retirement.

    The one drawback of running a retirement home is all the people who try to guilt you into taking their horse for free, for the rest of its life.
    Facta non verba



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    56,015

    Default

    ---"But the same vets have no problem sending the same horse to slaughter???? The vet association does back slaughter, right? Something is radically wrong in this country!"---

    Maybe YOU ought to get your facts right?
    Maybe is something wrong with those that wanted to ban slaughter nilly-willy, regardless of the consequences?

    The AVMA and so many other clear heads were AGAINST THE SLAUGHTER BILL AS PROPOSED, as it is definitely NOT in the best interest of horses.

    Something is radically wrong here and it is not "with this country", I don't think.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2007
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    4,696

    Default

    AS for the horses being turned lose, I do know that around here if horses get lose and they are not adored by their owners, nobody will claim ownership. Since they can't really find them and re-capture them on thier own, they just keep silent so when the horse gets hit by a car they don't get sued.
    Since the police--in general--have no policy or education regarding lose horses, they can interpret a lose horse however they want. In our local case--even they were not turned our intentionally but got lose, nobody will claim them unless they are caught and they don't have to pay a huge fine to get them back.
    Its cheaper to buy new horses at auction than pay the impoundment fees or court costs if they get sued. NOT condoning this behavior, its just that I know some police officers will jump to the conclusion the horses were dumped with no real idea of how or why they are lose.

    So, no, I have NEVER seen a horse that was just let lose. I have seen many horses that starved to death on site, but none that were let out to fend for themselves--which they could actually do for awhile. I have heard police officers explain lose horses as being abondoned, but thye have had no baisis for this explaination. They just took a good guess.

    AS for is there a new crisis? I don't think so. I remember the same thing back int he 70's when inflation was awful and drought made "self feeding" horses impossible. Back then there were no rescues--BUT--- I do feel there are just MORE horses now. There are millions of them! Cowboy a rural is fasionable. People that never would have considered owning a horse for pleasure now buy them on a whim. Most of the time, if the greass grows and hay is cheap, these horses are not a huge finacial burdon. They are just "there" somewhere in the back 40--or 30-or 5.

    I don't think it has a thing to do with slaughter becuase of someone wants to sell a horse at auction they still can--just for far less $$$$, but if they are willing to give it away then money would not be bar to sales.
    I do think it may be that people who never CARED about what happened to their useless horses may have been educated enough to try and find a rescue and care enough to look. I think thats a positive. Now if they would just donate money when they don't need hlep the rescues would be there when they do.

    I do not want to sound harsh, but aren't there zoos and hunts and other places all over that can give the horse a humane death at no expense to the owner? Maybe thats an East Coast thing.



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