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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Default NEWS: Minnesota Farmer ‘Shocked’ After Horses Put Down By State Patrol

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/0...-state-patrol/

    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol had to put down two horses after they got away from their Faribault farm early Monday morning. They’d been trying to get the horses back onto their property when they say the situation just became too unsafe. But, as can be imagined, the horses’ owner is very upset — and has to foot the bill.

    Suzette Clemens didn’t even realize her quarter horses, Roper and Frenchie, had escaped when a tree fell on her electric fence, until a Rice County deputy showed up at her door in the middle of the night. He told her the horses had to be euthanized.

    “I was shocked, shocked, you know,” she said. “They didn’t even spend more than 19 minutes trying to catch them.”

    Around 2 a.m. Monday, the horses made it to Interstate 35 near Mile Marker 55 in Faribault, a couple hundred yards from Clemens’ home. When Rice County Deputy Jason Witt first arrived, minutes after the call, he said one horse was on the side of the road and the other was on the freeway. He said once a State Trooper arrived, they unsuccessfully tried to get the 1,100-pound animals back over a 5-foot-high fence. Witt said there were some near-misses with trucks when the horses crossed into the lanes of traffic.

    “It was chaotic, I guess, that’s the best way to describe it,” Witt said.

    Witt said the brown horses were hard to see in the dark and got more and more agitated as the minutes went on. At one point, one of the horses kicked his squad after the noise of a semi slamming its brakes.

    “It’s obviously a situation that we recognize will be tragic for the owners of the horses,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “It’s not something we take lightly, but at 2 in the morning, in the dark, it’s really just a matter of time before something happens that ends in death or injury to a motorist.”

    As for using a tranquilizer on the large animals, Roekse said, “We’re not vets, we don’t have the capability to do that.”

    Clemens questioned why troopers or deputies didn’t try to stop traffic.

    “I’ve seen people stop traffic for a turkey on a highway, why didn’t they do that,” she asked. “Why didn’t they come get me. It just takes 10 minutes to walk here.”

    Roeske said interstates are dangerous enough in the middle of the night. He recounted a story about a trooper hitting a horse last year and ending up seriously injured.

    “We’ve seen firsthand how damaging and dangerous it can be,” he said. “At two o’clock in the morning, in the pitch dark, it becomes a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.”

    About 20 minutes after the first call came in, the state trooper, along with the deputies present, decided it would be best to put the horses down. The trooper shot the horses with his rifle in the median.

    “It’s a horrible, horrible thing,” said Clemens. “They’re part of your family. It isn’t like they’re a cow.”

    According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Clemens will be held responsible for the removal of the horses in the median.

    Clemens said she expects a bill sometime within the year and her insurance company will not be able to cover any of it.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 8, 2001
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    Default

    Well that sucks. So sorry for her and the horses, and through no apparent fault of her own. I completely understand why the troopers had to make the decision they did too.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Default

    So sad for the owner, but yeah, it sounds to me like the police had to act in the interest of public safety. Shame they didn't have a grain bucket to rattle, their methods may have made things worse. But very glad no people were hurt or killed.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    midwest
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    Default

    Yes, a bad deal. Weird though, some states have fencing all along the interstate while others do not. Hope she can invest in something besides electric wire fencing in the future.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLW View Post
    Hope she can invest in something besides electric wire fencing in the future.
    That was my thought, too, but any other fence would be pancaked as well when a tree falls on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Mar. 3, 2012
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    Default

    It says the deputies were trying to get the horses back over the 5 foot fence? Hard to imagine the horses would have jumped that though they could have. I feel that they took the easy way out and if either one of them had any kind of 'horse common sense' it could have ended in a better way.
    http://www.horsez-r-us.blogspot.com
    Blog of an ordinary and every day horse lover!


    17 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I thought they took the easy way out too. Just another illustration of why law enforcement is not too bright at times. Shoot first, think later.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Well if the article is written properly OF COURSE the animals were getting agitated if in fact those derps were trying to chase , corral them back over a 5ft fence.
    If they shot the horses after less then 20 mins worth of attempts sounds like they A took the easy way out and B were more then happy to get to shot something.

    As per the owner being held responsible , since the tree falling on the fencing was an act of nature . Can she be ?
    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


    4 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
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    NE Indiana
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    Sad all the way around. A couple of years ago my husband was going to get a horse for me down in southern IN and saw a trooper on the side of the highway (I69) with his arms around the neck of a loose horse. He pulled over, and headed toward him with a halter and lead and the trooper waved him off and told him, "I got it"....my husband was like, ummmm, okay. Since my husband is a man's-man, he did what the officer said, and left (I would have sat there to be sure it was okay even though he waved me off). I don't think police are trained at all in what to do with animals of any kind, so they are left to make split decisions.

    I'd be upset if this happened to me, but once the shock wore off, I think I'd realize the danger the horses posed. I always wonder how people along major highways with their horses behind ANY fencing, can even sleep at night.


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  10. #10
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    Oct. 12, 2010
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    After recently having three escapees with one that didn't make it after getting hit by a car, I'd have to agree with what the officers did especially given these horses were loose on a highway.
    Alis volat propriis.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Aug. 18, 2003
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    VERY sad for the horse owner. I understand why they did it but in 20 minutes they couldn't have made a call to get halters, grain, etc.? NO WAY a horse is going to jump over a 5' fence to get back into a field (and it was unclear to me if that was even the horses' pasture.) How could they think that was going to work? I certainly see how they got the horses MORE agitated.

    Hopefully they will re-think their procedures so any future situations can be handled better.
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    ^^^

    Which is why a horseman always wears a belt.

    Weird that the cop didn't accept the offer of a halter.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Oct. 25, 2012
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    One thing we've done is to have "training days" for our local Animal Control officers to interact with horse owners and learn under their direction, in a controlled setting, the most effective ways to catch, lead, tie, and secure a loose horse under various common conditions. This familiarizes the personnel with the behaviors of horses and the realities of physical contact with such a large animal.

    We show them the safe knots to tie, what can be improvised, how to tie a horse to a tree if it must be left, what NOT to do (chasing, etc.) and even, sadly, the right way to euthanize with a gunshot should that become necessary. At the end of the session, we give them the ropes, halters, feed buckets, and pre-measured plastic-bagged feed to keep in their vehicles at the ready. The confidence of all concerned is greatly improved!

    Unfortunately, any time it comes down to horses vs. public safety, public safety must be the cops' first priority. There was a horrific accident near here many years ago when a whole riding school's worth of horses got out on a major highway in the dark. I can tell you the human carnage it can cause. Sounds like here the people on site had little choice.

    It's also a good idea to have a SOLID perimeter fence around your night turnout areas if that is at all possible. I never trust hot-wire alone if there's nothing behind it.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I think it was a very hasty, unnecessary action. I wonder if the owner has any legal recourse?
    Don't cops carry flares and lights to warn motorists in the dark?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I agree, very sad for the owners and not the ideal way to handle a situation.

    But "horse sense" is not a requirement of police work, and in the middle of the night, on an Interstate with near-misses already happening and God knows what kind of set-up (I assume the fencing meant they couldn't just chase them off the freeway into the yonder), I don't blame them one bit. Human life/safety comes first.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Default

    That's such a shame. I had horses get out into the next door neighbors a couple of winters ago when straightline winds took out a section of four board fence...snapped it right off at the ground.

    The neighbor decided it was time to re-landscape, on my nickel. My insurance company turned it down and said it was an act of nature. The neighbor did admit that we regularly checked the fence and that it was in good repair, so no negligence.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I think it was a very hasty, unnecessary action. I wonder if the owner has any legal recourse?
    Don't cops carry flares and lights to warn motorists in the dark?
    There are instances of cars being struck on highways when parked on the shoulder, in broad daylight. I remember one where someone stopped to help a motorist, they were off on the shoulder, and the helper got struck and killed.

    "Warning motorists" with lights about 2 horses wandering around the highway in the middle of the night? If the 2 options presented to me were this and shooting them, I'd personally squeeze the trigger.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2007
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    470

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    From the local paper:
    http://www.southernminn.com/faribaul...r-comment-area

    "One state trooper and two sheriff’s deputies tried to catch the horses while workers from MnDOT controlled traffic, they said. But a concern for public safety — authorities reported a few near accidents involving the horses as well as one horse showing some aggressive tendencies — led to a trooper’s decision to shoot the two horses at 2:17 a.m".

    "“A trooper arriving on scene would certainly like to resolve this situation with no harm to anyone,” Sticha said. “But the circumstances called for the trooper to act at his discretion.”

    "In a 70 mph zone in the middle of the night, authorities reported witnessing several near accidents. One semi nearly hit the horses while another stopped just in time, yet causing an SUV to swerve into the left lane of traffic to avoid a collision, Sticha said....."

    "And though there is no local animal control, Sticha said records show that dispatch tried to contact area veterinarians for assistance but didn’t hear back from anyone until after the horses were shot".

    "One of the horses also reportedly charged the state trooper on the scene, and Dunn reported that a squad vehicle was kicked".
    Last edited by Sail Away; May. 9, 2013 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Added quotation marks around last sentance.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Oct. 14, 2010
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    At least just the two horses are dead as opposed to the two horses and the driver (& passengers?) of a car that could have hit them going 70 mph in the dark.

    Sad for the owners, but I can't fault the troopers.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    One thing we've done is to have "training days" for our local Animal Control officers to interact with horse owners and learn under their direction, in a controlled setting, the most effective ways to catch, lead, tie, and secure a loose horse under various common conditions. This familiarizes the personnel with the behaviors of horses and the realities of physical contact with such a large animal.

    We show them the safe knots to tie, what can be improvised, how to tie a horse to a tree if it must be left, what NOT to do (chasing, etc.) and even, sadly, the right way to euthanize with a gunshot should that become necessary. At the end of the session, we give them the ropes, halters, feed buckets, and pre-measured plastic-bagged feed to keep in their vehicles at the ready. The confidence of all concerned is greatly improved!

    Unfortunately, any time it comes down to horses vs. public safety, public safety must be the cops' first priority. There was a horrific accident near here many years ago when a whole riding school's worth of horses got out on a major highway in the dark. I can tell you the human carnage it can cause. Sounds like here the people on site had little choice.

    It's also a good idea to have a SOLID perimeter fence around your night turnout areas if that is at all possible. I never trust hot-wire alone if there's nothing behind it.
    LE, how did you arrange for those training events? And did you hold them? I'd be interested in having something like this in my community but don't know where to start.



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