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Warmblood Import Nightmare

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  • I feel so bad for this horse and family. That's so much money spent, with basically nothing to show for it. For an average middle class American family (I don't know if they fall into this category, just an example) that's a sizeable sum.

    Honestly, I'd cut my losses and put the horse down. Odds of him ever testing 0 seem to be slim and it's terrible to keep a horse confined to a stall in quarantine for months on end.

    I think $25,000 is a high fee for euthanasia, even including the managing of biohazard risks, but then again, I don't know much about the actual costs involved...just seems high to me, a layman.

    I do hope something can be learned from this very unfortunate situation. Whether it is process improvement or something else.

    Comment


    • Devastated to hear this. Poor horse, poor family. Euthanasia costs seem ridiculous. For anyone that has imported before, is any of this spelled out in the contract when you sign? I think this will keep me from ever importing a horse.

      Frankly for $10k more, I would do whatever I could to ship him back.

      Comment


      • I wonder what the possibility is of having the US CFT test available overseas? Or if one can hand deliver blood to the USDA or a lab to have it tested?

        Even if you pull the blood in a foreign country, then fly back to the US and hand deliver it to the lab to be tested, it would still be FAR cheaper than what this family has been through.

        Would a foreign agency be willing to ship the horse back cheaper with fewer quarantine protocols if the horse tests negative on THEIR test? Just an idea. Once the horse is on their plane I would think their own country's procedures would apply.

        Comment


        • How sad and tragic.

          I can't believe Jet Pets wanting that much for euthanizing the horse? I'm assuming they must cremate?

          Given all the horses that are brought into this country (or any country for that matter) whether permanently or just for attending shows, no other horse has ever had this situation happen?

          If tested at the departing end was all good, how can a horse contract Glanders inflight, especially a flight that is less than 24 hours, assuming this was a straight thru flight from the departure point to the arrival point. If it was exposed in route then any other horses would have also been exposed. How would one know if good quarantine practices were in place at the shipping end thru all the travel points, i.e. horse trailer (or box), holding facility at the airport, airplane scrubbed after every flight etc.?

          If there were other horses on the flight with this particular horse? Then the other horses on the flight would have also been exposed and be going thru this exact problem or wouldn't they now that this horses has tested suspect? Wouldn't they need to be re-quarantined and retested.

          It's a bad situation. It is a shame the horse wasn't returned to Europe straight away, maybe the situation for him would have had a better outcome.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by iJump View Post
            So sad for the horse.

            Is it not required to test for all of this pre import? Did I read someone's comment where one horse on their horses flight did not test pre?
            it is, it is mandatory. the horse was tested using the euro approved more accurate test before export. he was negative.
            Let me apologize in advance.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

              it is, it is mandatory. the horse was tested using the euro approved more accurate test before export. he was negative.
              Why isn't the USA using the more accurate test? Testing should be exactly the same at both ends; otherwise, there is room for error with different testing, as we are seeing in this case.

              Comment


              • Does the $25k include a necropsy to determine whether the horse did in fact have glanders?

                Comment


                • I wouldn't be terribly surprised if this turns the kid off horses. She must be absolutely crushed.

                  Such a devastating situation all around. How many times / horse does this happen in a given year? Statistically speaking.

                  Comment


                  • It's my understanding that cremation in "normal" situation would generally run $1000-$2000 depending on size, location, etc. Add in cost of the drugs/vet call and transportation to the cremation location of say $500-$600 and you are still under $3k. So Pet Jets is apparently saying the protocols they need to follow will run another $22,000??? Un- f...ing- believable!!

                    Our general instinct is to fight all this, get lawyers and all that. I'd be thinking that in moments of anger and frustration. But realistically this is a middle class family who spent $30,000 or so to buy and import a horse. Since then they've run up bills that are in excess of that that amount so in the hole something like $70,000 ish and still counting. IMO they need to get out as fast as they can and move on. It sucks. The process is flawed. But to quote Kenny Rodgers "know when to fold 'em". Paying another $10k over euth costs to ship back is not just another $10k. They would have to pay some type of board/training until this horse is ultimately sold.

                    Not a lawyer, but realistically the two antagonists are the US Government and Jet Pets, with which there was no contract. Trying to sue under these circumstances is likely to be a long and losing process.

                    Appaloosa Dressage, who went through this and posted here, was rounding up signatures to petition for a change in the protocol used by USDA; not sure what ever happened to that.

                    Comment


                    • I have been following this thread. Shocked and devastated for the family. I understand how once committed and so heavily invested it is hard to know when to stop and cut one's losses but that this went on so long and incurred so much expense is mind boggling.
                      Without treatment how was the horse expected to recover? I know nothing about Glanders but if the horse actually had it wouldn't the second/third/fourth results have shown an increase in the test result, not basically holding steady?
                      On the other hand why does the horse continue to test positive for something?

                      I am so sad for the family, caught in a red tape nightmare!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                        It's my understanding that cremation in "normal" situation would generally run $1000-$2000 depending on size, location, etc. Add in cost of the drugs/vet call and transportation to the cremation location of say $500-$600 and you are still under $3k. So Pet Jets is apparently saying the protocols they need to follow will run another $22,000??? Un- f...ing- believable!!

                        Our general instinct is to fight all this, get lawyers and all that. I'd be thinking that in moments of anger and frustration. But realistically this is a middle class family who spent $30,000 or so to buy and import a horse. Since then they've run up bills that are in excess of that that amount so in the hole something like $70,000 ish and still counting. IMO they need to get out as fast as they can and move on. It sucks. The process is flawed. But to quote Kenny Rodgers "know when to fold 'em". Paying another $10k over euth costs to ship back is not just another $10k. They would have to pay some type of board/training until this horse is ultimately sold.

                        Not a lawyer, but realistically the two antagonists are the US Government and Jet Pets, with which there was no contract. Trying to sue under these circumstances is likely to be a long and losing process.

                        Appaloosa Dressage, who went through this and posted here, was rounding up signatures to petition for a change in the protocol used by USDA; not sure what ever happened to that.
                        While we did gather 2000 + signatures and were met with overwhelming support and concern for our boy who was stuck in quarantine in Miami, what we did not have was the backing of an attorney to present the petition and the collaboration of other individuals who had been in the same boat to go to court with us. And, by the time our colt (thankfully) was released from quarantine we were so emotionally and financially wiped out by the experience all we wanted to do was rest and enjoy the horse we fought so hard for.

                        If the family wishes to take this issue to court or organize a petition, my sister and I would be more than happy to contribute to the cause in anyway we can.

                        Comment


                        • I am so so sorry for both the family and the horse. It is truly horrible for all concerned.

                          I've been thinking quite a bit about the trainer in this situation. Though I don't know anyone involved, the fact is non horse-savvy families often rely heavily on trainer advice in shopping for a horse. It is likely that in this (or similar) situations, the trainer recommended importing as a means of finding a high quality horse at a good price.

                          I feel very bad for the trainer because it seems like it would be a very painful situation for her as well.

                          Without in any way suggesting that the trainer here did anything wrong (because who would realistically anticipate this rare situation), now that we are all aware it can happen, I think it would behoove trainers advising families about importing to apprise them, in discussing the risks and benefits, that this type of situation can happen and can be financially disastrous. You don't want to be the trainer who told the family, "You can save money importing from Europe!" now answering to them about an unexpected $50k+ bill.

                          I imagine there are other snafus that can arise with importing that should also be disclosed to families in advance, but I'm not familiar enough with the process to know what those are.

                          Comment



                          • I do understand that this is a sad and terrible situation to read about. And my heart goes out to this horse, child, and family (who are no doubt experiencing a horrible financial hit). it sounds like an AWFUL experience to go through emotionally and financially. And the poor horse has been stalled for two months... only to likely be put down.

                            HOWEVER...

                            One quick glance at the trainer’s public FB posting today tells me that there is quite a bit to this whole story that is simply NOT readily apparent yet. I have no idea what - there are now some pretty serious allegations going back and forth now.

                            So before anyone piles on the USDA... pause. I’m not saying that their protocol might not need updating... however... it seems like there are other major issues going on that made this situation into the ultimate nightmare that it was for the horse, young rider, and her family. I don’t know why all this went so terribly wrong, but it seems like the trainer, jetpets and horseflight all had roles in it. It’s unclear as to what role each played... but something has gone way off track here.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

                              it is, it is mandatory. the horse was tested using the euro approved more accurate test before export. he was negative.
                              Well, that's a head scratcher. So, he contracted Glanders in flight? Or...

                              And why can't they use the same rest on both ends. Or, simply, why can't the US use this more accurate test?

                              I know the answers to these questions aren't so straight forward.

                              Comment


                              • I have been silently following this since the initial post, and I was really hoping for a positive outcome. My heart goes out to all involved - especially poor Waffles and Gabby.

                                Initially, I had sympathy for Jet Pets. It appeared they were caught in the middle, stuck holding a suspect horse since the family would not ship the horse back and the horse could not be released. That said, out of curiosity I started reading through the public posts on the trainer's Facebook page, and I was somewhat shocked to see a post by a Jet Pets representative denying the prices quoted by the trainer and accusing the trainer of lying. The trainer then responded with a screenshot of an email from Jet Pets confirming a day rate of $1,250 (screenshots attached with names blurred, although everything is public on Facebook for anyone that cares to see more details).

                                Seems like Jet Pets really needs to bring in a lawyer and/or a PR agency as this is story is gaining publicity. What a mess!!
                                Attached Files

                                Comment


                                • Firecracker, that’s interesting in a bad way.

                                  The whole situation is a disaster for everyone involved.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by firecracker View Post
                                    I have been silently following this since the initial post, and I was really hoping for a positive outcome. My heart goes out to all involved - especially poor Waffles and Gabby.

                                    Initially, I had sympathy for Jet Pets. It appeared they were caught in the middle, stuck holding a suspect horse since the family would not ship the horse back and the horse could not be released. That said, out of curiosity I started reading through the public posts on the trainer's Facebook page, and I was somewhat shocked to see a post by a Jet Pets representative denying the prices quoted by the trainer and accusing the trainer of lying. The trainer then responded with a screenshot of an email from Jet Pets confirming a day rate of $1,250 (screenshots attached with names blurred, although everything is public on Facebook for anyone that cares to see more details).

                                    Seems like Jet Pets really needs to bring in a lawyer and/or a PR agency as this is story is gaining publicity. What a mess!!
                                    Yeah... I’m seeing those posts as well. But the trainer’s posts raise lots of questions. The screenshots she is sharing are NOT detailed invoices. They are of e-mails. It does appear there was a discussion of raising rates... but we do not actually know what they have actually been charged at this time.

                                    The trainer has alleged a lot of REALLY ugly things on the part of jet pets. Essentially, a conscious plan to overcharge everyone and essentially create this whole situation out of nothing, or conspire to gain ownership of this horse and resell it in Europe for personal profit. She’s alleged this multiple times in a variety of ways in multiple comments.

                                    I have a hard time believing that they targeted this horse and this trainer and this family, and that this whole situation is some sort of shake down. It seems like if they wanted to run a scam like that... they would have targeted a higher priced horse or a higher net worth party involved as the owner of said horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • firecracker

                                      The trainer also posted this comment within the last 24 hours as part of the discussion with Jet Pets about ongoing expenses and how this matter has been handled...

                                      “ I will say right now, that I am willing to broker a deal with Jet Pets and Horseflight! If they would go in together and pay us 50k, we would sign the horse over to them, they can fly the horse back at cost and sell in Europe. My client and I can find an equitation horse stateside for the 50k. My client would be out 15k, and Jet Pets could make money. When Hireno flew in the entire plane, 22 horses total, were held at jet pets, which they invoiced over $100,000 for the 15 days......just an idea! My kid gets something, Hireno gets to live, and Jet Pets and Horseflight really don’t lose, but potentially make more money! Thoughts????”

                                      I am unclear as to what Jet Pets did right or wrong... but this post just blows me away. We are not aware of the whole story about what is going on here, and in my opinion, there is a reason the USDA vet and staff requested no more contact from this trainer. Maybe her heart is in the right place... but this is not a professional way to handle this situation.

                                      In the end... the horse and the clients will pay the biggest price for everyone who was supposed to be a “professional” watching out for them doing a questionable job of that. I’m not sure where the fault lies, but there is obviously a lot of blame to go around.

                                      Comment


                                      • Virginia Horse Mom

                                        Wow, that post from the trainer seems insane to me. I completely agree that it is unclear where the fault lies - it seems that mistakes have been made by many of the parties involved.

                                        Comment


                                        • I will boycott JetPets and tell everyone else to do so. That company also imports and exports dogs and other animals

                                          Sonny Perdue is not your friend or the friend of any animals. The b*****d defeated my friend, the sitting governor, by promising to put the rebel flag back on the state flag. As his redneck voters said later, “Sonny lied .” And Sonny’s cousin David is the same. Don’t expect anyone in the USDA to help horse owners who haven’t donated big bucks to their Pacs.

                                          Poor horse is going to die because our government is incompetent and doesn’t give a damn. His owners should be all over TV and filing in federalcourt for a TRO.

                                          I’m in for a dribble if the owners can stop the killing.

                                          Comment

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