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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2006
    Posts
    56

    Default OTTB Injured and may die due to police failure to respond (this is Good Lookin' Devil

    I need an attorney badly.

    Two weeks ago I called our local PD and asked to speak with the Chief of Police. I was trying to avoid a replay of a situation that happened last July 4.

    We have a neighbor 'exempt' from the law (very wealthy and aggressive) whose kids speed down the road 80-100 mph in BMW's. who has a PROFESSIONAL fireworks display every 4th of July (no permits are given in this town and every year I call the State Police and they go over and stop it eventually). Historically this town refused to respond - "Ma'am, everyone is doing it". But everyone wasn't doing the same quality as Mr. Paglia - his rivalled the ones in NYC and last longer.

    The Police Chief's secretary called me back to say the 'community liason' (a patrolman) would call me back that day. He did not and I kept calling for 4 days - he finally left a message at 8:45 at night. I called back - he wasn't 'available'. Two weeks passed and on Monday of this week I insisted on talking to 'someone in authority'. They put me through to a Sgt. I asked that he stop this firework demonstration before it started by going to the home and telling the homeowner it was not legal. He did not advise me that I could get an order of protection (I found that out from a lay person today).

    Problem is the last few horses that have retired here have bad legs and one in particular just came off 6 months stall rest and I didn't want him running in fear.

    The Sgt. told me he couldn't 'warn' anyone but that if in fact a fireworks event started I could call them and they would respond instantly.

    I called them after the first boom - 9:21 pm and the dispatcher said she was sending someone immediately. I then started checking on the horses and dogs - most of whom were freaking out. At 9:30 I called again - she said they were on their way. At 9:40 I called again to see if they were lost - she said they should be arriving at any minute. At 9:55 police still not here and the noise and lights were terrifying. Devil, an off the track thorobred - the one who just got off stall rest - ran/jumped through a solid 4 board OAK fence and took off. We managed to catch him at 10:10 - still no police - and he was critically 'hot', lathered and obviously injured. We hosed him down and put him in a stall where he slumped to the ground exhausted and hurt. Called the vet - called the police and was told that they didn't have enough people on to respond - never told us that before. The vet came and the horse has severe damage to his hind legs and to the front leg that had just healed. He may still founder and may still colic and the next 48 hours are critical for him. She gave him medication intravenously and left some for us to give tonite.

    I called the police and INSISTED that someone come here to take a report and to issue my neighbor tickets for illegaly using fireworks, disturbing the peace,cruelty to animals (any act, ommision or neglect that results in death or injury to an animal is punishable by a fine and up to a year in jail). I also want an order of protection to prevent this man from doing it again. I also want to charge the Police Dept with the same act of cruelty.

    The officer left and said he would call me within the hour to let me know if he 'could' issue a ticket. He has not called in 4 hours.

    I just called the Chief again and asked for a call back. I have not received one.

    This Police Dept. had been under a 'monitor' for 4 years (directed by the Attorney General's office for prior complainst about harassment, incompetence and failure to respond) and needs to be monitored again.

    Please Cross Post this e-mail to anyone you think might help us. I am sure this is newsworthy but would never get involved with something like this EXCEPT that an animal was injured and may pay with his life for this unbelievable neglect of concern.

    Sara Whalen
    Executive Director
    Pets Alive Inc.
    http://www.petsalive.org
    363 Derby Rd.
    Middletown, NY 10949
    845 386-9738



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2005
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    1,618

    Default

    I'll send this story on to my friends.....

    I am so sorry about this incident.
    Will get a dream horse!
    More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    6,130

    Default

    Sara, what PD are you under, Middletown? Wallkill? Did you try the troopers? Next time I would.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2005
    Location
    St. Simons Island, GA
    Posts
    6,466

    Default

    First off, I'm jingling hard for the horse!!!!

    Having worked in law enforcement before and having been harmed by a neighbor's dog, I can guess at what you are up against. One, this is probably going to be settled by the jerk-off neighbor under the table or from his homeowner's insurance if he's crazy enough to file, but I have seen crazier things. Get a printout of your outgoing calls to 9-11. Start getting names of officers, etc. Get the recorded phone calls too. Maybe call your state enforcement as well.

    Honestly, you will eventually hear from the Chief, but he'll be loaded with all kinds of ammunition as to why they couldn't respond timely. Not defending him, just preparing you. You might be better off talking to a lawyer first instead of the Chief.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Location
    Dungeon of the Ivory Tower
    Posts
    20,394

    Default

    What can we do that don't live near you? Petition? Call? Please let us help. I'm not an attorney, not in the media, and I know that if I run out there and break your neighbor's legs or set fire to his house that won't help your poor horse, much as I would love to be able to do that...

    Please let us know. So so sick for you.

    Edited to add: I hope you can sue the police dept and the neighbor. However it needs to be done. Is there anyone here who can help with contacts regarding the newspapers?
    www.specialhorses.org
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2000
    Location
    Upper Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    My question is...is there a reason the horse couldn't be stabled before the fireworks took place if you were anticipating a problem? We have plenty of people around our farm who set off fireworks and we keep our horses in and if I was really worried about a horse, I'd make sure it was tranquilzed beforehand and had ear plugs in place.

    If you were located close to a place that was legally setting off fireworks, wouldn't you need to come up with a solution?

    I'm not saying this isn't a terrible situation, but if it is a situation that happens yearly, then maybe it needs to be addressed a lot sooner and a back-up plan of how to help your horses cope would be a good thing to have.

    Not going to touch on the police/neighbor situation - there are always two sides to a story. I find that trying to dictate to non-horse people what they are allowed to do/not do because it might scare my horses is not the best way to approach things - I'd rather discuss with them how we can work together to make the situation better for both of us.
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2000
    Location
    Ellijay, GA
    Posts
    6,033

    Default

    Is your police chief up for re-election this year?

    Call your local paper and see if they will do a story. Laws apply to everyone, not just those who cant pay them off.

    They are probably going to say its your responsability as a pet owner to secure your pet/animals, and it is.

    But, if you report a crime, they need to respond regardless.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"



  8. #8

    Default

    I'd say the horse may die because it wasn't properly restrained when the owner knew very well it should have been. Got nothing to do with the police.

    Its called being responsable for your livestock.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  9. #9

    Default

    I have to agree with the above posters. You knew this would be a problem and didn't put your horses in stalls or in a building to help protect them. I feel terrible for the situation you're in and feel terribly for the horse also but you can't control other people - you can however, control what happens in situations like that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2006
    Posts
    56

    Default Stabling a horse PRE ILLEGAL fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyS
    My question is...is there a reason the horse couldn't be stabled before the fireworks took place if you were anticipating a problem? We have plenty of people around our farm who set off fireworks and we keep our horses in and if I was really worried about a horse, I'd make sure it was tranquilzed beforehand and had ear plugs in place.

    If you were located close to a place that was legally setting off fireworks, wouldn't you need to come up with a solution?

    I'm not saying this isn't a terrible situation, but if it is a situation that happens yearly, then maybe it needs to be addressed a lot sooner and a back-up plan of how to help your horses cope would be a good thing to have.

    Not going to touch on the police/neighbor situation - there are always two sides to a story. I find that trying to dictate to non-horse people what they are allowed to do/not do because it might scare my horses is not the best way to approach things - I'd rather discuss with them how we can work together to make the situation better for both of us.
    Utterly ridiculous. This horse paddock is small - 1/2 acre and he has a run-in shed so it is not possible to lock him in.

    Aren't you trying to make the 'victim' responsible for someone else not observing the law.

    If what you suggest is necessary then all animal owners should 'intern' their companion animals 'in the event' that their neighbor is a criminal and commits criminal acts.

    The rest of our horses are retired carriage horses - bomb proof - Devil has the misfortune to be a thorobred who reacts quite differently to noise and 'lights'.

    Earplugs?

    BTW - these weren't 'just fireworks' - these were professionally done - not the sort of thing that any rational person would do in a rural neighborhood. We are still looking for some of the neighbors' dogs who went out windows - should they have been kept in windowless rooms with earplugs? NONE of them were outside or running loose.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2001
    Location
    Hotlanta
    Posts
    5,896

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PetsAlive
    Utterly ridiculous. This horse paddock is small - 1/2 acre and he has a run-in shed so it is not possible to lock him in.
    Yet it WAS possible to put him in a stall AFTER he was injured? THAT, my dear, is what's utterly ridiculous.

    As for the horse being "unfortunate" enough to be a TB, I have news for you. I own an OTTB who was turned out during some VERY big fireworks, and he didn't even look up from his hay pile. It has nothing to do with breed.

    You failed to safely contain this horse. You failed to sedate him, plug his ears, or do anything else to ensure his comfort and safety. If anyone is at fault here, it's you, not the neighbors. THEY are not responsible for the safety of your animals, YOU are.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2000
    Location
    Upper Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PetsAlive
    Utterly ridiculous. This horse paddock is small - 1/2 acre and he has a run-in shed so it is not possible to lock him in.

    Aren't you trying to make the 'victim' responsible for someone else not observing the law.

    If what you suggest is necessary then all animal owners should 'intern' their companion animals 'in the event' that their neighbor is a criminal and commits criminal acts.

    The rest of our horses are retired carriage horses - bomb proof - Devil has the misfortune to be a thorobred who reacts quite differently to noise and 'lights'.

    Earplugs?

    BTW - these weren't 'just fireworks' - these were professionally done - not the sort of thing that any rational person would do in a rural neighborhood. We are still looking for some of the neighbors' dogs who went out windows - should they have been kept in windowless rooms with earplugs? NONE of them were outside or running loose.
    What's utterly ridiculous is not taking every precaution you could to make sure the horse would be okay because you KNEW the fireworks were going to happen. You said in your first post that you hosed him down and PUT HIM IN A STALL after he had injured himself. That's why I asked why you didn't put him in a stall before the fireworks started.

    There is a professionally done fireworks display about 15 minutes from our farm. The place were this legal firework display (which rivals any display I've seen) is SURROUNDED by horse farms. These horse owners don't have any option of telling this place NOT to do fireworks, so horse owners have to take proper precautions.

    My mom's dog was terrified of fireworks, so yes, every year on the 4th of July, we put the dog in a windowless bathroom in the middle of our house with a loud radio playing so she would not be nearly as scared. Worked like a charm. And yes, if I had a horse that I was worried about, I would do everything I could to make the experience better - ear plugs are a simple and effective first step in that direction.

    Illegal acts/bad neighbors/horrible police aside - there are always going to be situations that upset horses (ask me about the hot air balloon going over a farm two weeks ago) and we have to anticipate and deal with them on our own terms and not depend on others. Sure, the neighbors/police might be in the wrong, but I certainly am not going to let my horses get injured waiting for them to do something about it.
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2003
    Posts
    823

    Default Guys...hello....do you know who Pets Alive is??????

    She is the ONLY place where NYC Carriage horses are allowed to retire. She keeps all the animals others would disregard! I know all the animals are tremendously cared for, but I am sure there is no way she could have enough stalls for every horse. www.petsalive.com

    What some of you are failing to address is that the police FAILED to respond! They neglected their duty to protect and SERVE. That MEANS EVERY CITIZEN!

    How could she possibly TQ all of her animals when her neighbor is breaking the law??? Why should she spend her limited resources on TQ when her phone calls were ignored!!!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2002
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC USA
    Posts
    291

    Thumbs down

    I have to agree w/ the above posters. While this is tragic for the horse, this was YOUR responsibility to make sure the horses were safe. Either putting them in a stall, sedating them, finding them elsewhere to be...it doesn't matter. Surely ALL of them weren't crazed by the fireworks.

    Was your neighbor wrong? Quite possibly. Was he responsible for your horse's injury. No.

    Edited to say: I'm terribly sorry for this, especially if you provide a "rescue" situation, however, that does not alleviate your responsiblity to these animals. If you can't provide for EVERYTHING that ALL the horses' you have need...then you have too many horses. Despite your best intentions. Sorry.
    Do what you like and like what you do!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2001
    Location
    Colorado, a suburb of Los Angeles
    Posts
    6,660

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by displacedyank
    I have to agree w/ the above posters. While this is tragic for the horse, this was YOUR responsibility to make sure the horses were safe. Either putting them in a stall, sedating them, finding them elsewhere to be...it doesn't matter.

    Was your neighbor wrong? Maybe. Was he responsible for your horse's injury. No.
    I don't blame you for being really angry, but I have to agree with the above.
    Morons who shoot fireworks off no matter what are everywhere.
    I always make sure all my animals are locked up and secure every evening early around the 4th. Like at least a week before and a week after.
    It is a huge PITA, but better than the consequences.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2005
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,681

    Default

    You have my sympathies...But you really should have taken precautions.
    Jen Evans & DaBear




  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Brenham, TX
    Posts
    4,719

    Default

    I do sympathize but I also agree that if the horse was put in a stall AFTER he was injured, he could have been put in BEFORE the fireworks started. And could have been tranquilized. That does not excuse the police for their actions but it seems you knew there was a good chance the police would not stop the fireworks.

    Last year my neighbors had HUGE fireworks for the gentleman's 40th birthday party in August. I had NO IDEA they were planning this and my horses were turned out. The fireworks were basically over my pasture and I'm sure the horses truly thought the sky was falling. 2 of my mares were running so much that there was no way I could catch them. I stayed out in the pasture until it was over and luckily they were just huffing and puffing but not hurt. After that experience, they stayed in last night. I knew there was a good chance someone would have a fireworks display last night since it was the 4th and I took precautions. The other event caught us by surprise because no one expects huge fireworks on a random day in August.

    I hope the horse pulls through and good luck with the police.
    Triple J Ranch Sporthorses
    www.triplejsporthorse.com
    Member - OMGiH I LOFF my mare(s) clique



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    ...right where I want to be
    Posts
    1,618

    Default

    I have to agree with KellyS. You KNEW the fireworks were going to happen, we don't always know what our neighbors are going to do, but in this case you did. You failed to prepare the horse for what was going to happen. If he was put in a stall afterwards, why wasn't that stall available prior? What about the stall he spent 6 months on stall rest in? Fireworks are illegal here in VA, but every year people set them off anyway. I make sure to keep a close eye on the horses here.
    The "good ole boy" attitude that local law enforcement seems to have stinks big time. I would still consult with a lawyer, and next year be better prepared.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    4,182

    Default

    To me, this is sort of like driving: the last person who could have prevented the accident is responsible for doing so.

    Yeah, that idiot in the oncoming lane may have broken the law by turning left in front of you - but that doesn't mean you get to just keep driving along like nothing was happening and slam into the side of him. YOU have the responsibility to try and prevent the accident, too. Maybe you are still going to hit him, but you still have to put on the brakes.

    Yes, the neighbors appear to be jerks. Yes, the police appear to be idiots. Yes, both of those parties have some responsibility for the poor horse's suffering, and both should be informed of that (nicely - more bees with honey, and all that) so that they might consider their actions more carefully in the future. But the OP ALSO bears responsibility, because she was the last person who could have prevented the accident. No matter if the OP is Mother Theresa herself; she still didn't take action that she could and should have taken. Obviously, ALL the horses didn't need to be locked up. Equally obviously, one horse DID - and somewhere, there was a stall available to do so, since he was put into one AFTER the accident.

    We all make mistakes. We all make mistakes that affect our horses and we feel guilty for years and years. But we should not blame our own mistakes on others.
    Proud member of the EDRF



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2000
    Location
    Upper Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    2,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Levi's owner
    She is the ONLY place where NYC Carriage horses are allowed to retire. She keeps all the animals others would disregard! I know all the animals are tremendously cared for, but I am sure there is no way she could have enough stalls for every horse. www.petsalive.com

    What some of you are failing to address is that the police FAILED to respond! They neglected their duty to protect and SERVE. That MEANS EVERY CITIZEN!

    How could she possibly TQ all of her animals when her neighbor is breaking the law??? Why should she spend her limited resources on TQ when her phone calls were ignored!!!
    No one is "failing" to address the aspect about the police because the fact is, many, many horse farms are near fireworks displays (legal and illegal) and deal with the problem without having the police shut down the fireworks display.

    In this case, the OP said she was mainly concerned about one horse in particular - no one is saying she had to stable every horse. I just find it amazing that if you were really worried about one horse and knew the police couldn't do anything before the fireworks started, that you wouldn't take some sort of precaution.

    What we don't know is the whole story - has there been any effort to meet with the neighbors and find a solution? If the neighbors are being jerks, why wasn't this situation dealt with a lot sooner? If the police weren't responding, then go to the local paper and have a story run? Yeah, it is a lot of work, but if you really think a horse is going to be injured due to a fireworks display and you don't think you can do anything about it, then it is worth it.

    She says there were no police available that night - there is a good chance they were tied up in situations that didn't allow them to come (other emergency calls). I'm not defending them, but as someone who is very close to individuals involved in law enforcement, there is often another side to the story.

    I think it is wonderful what the OP does with rescue work. But it doesn't change the points above.
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



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