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Rehoming Horse Advice

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    Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by findthedistance View Post

    If you have not been this direct with the rescue, do so now. "There is no wage earner in my household and we have no hay for winter" will get attention. It sounds like you can self-foster until the grass quits for the season, and hopefully they can help you place her before winter. But you are going to be in an emergent situation in a couple months and it's okay to say that. It's IMPORTANT to say that, and to say it clearly and succinctly so the rescue hears you through all the distractions of life.

    The rescue may also have resources for emergency hay help or euthanasia assistance, if they're just maxed out and can't take her in your time frame.
    Unfortunately, I was vaguely direct I think when I checked in on how their situation with space was going. I mentioned the fact that my father doesn’t have any money saved for winter hay, but I didn’t go into detail. I feel like I’d be pulling the pity card if I did.

    I’ll have to get in contact with her very soon again and talk with her.

    As for the contradiction of me saying there was literally nothing wrong with my mare but she had physical faults, I meant to me. Of course she’s got her flaws that wouldn’t work for everybody, but there is no other reason I would rehome her than the fact that I can’t afford to take care of her much longer (and that’s not her fault). She does her job of keeping me company and mowing the lawn perfectly with me.

    Again, to everyone, I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I was losing hope and starting to become anxious, but now I have some new ideas and some insight on what the best choice may be for my horse I, even if it means letting her go and never knowing how she’ll live out the rest of her years.

    Comment


      #22
      TwistedBeauty
      Edited to say I had something typed out with regards your last sentence but I'd just be repeating myself so I'll pass.
      One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
      William Shakespeare

      Comment


        #23
        Call a vet, tell them your situation and ask if there is any way that you can work off payment. As for disposal, check with your local landfill or if the rescue knows someone that could help. Usually wonky equals pain and sometimes a day to early is 10000x better than a day to late.

        Otherwise you you need to straight up explain your situation to the rescue, so they can help Now.
        "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten

        Comment


          #24
          I would make one more, very direct, request to the rescue as advised above. No hints. No starting your request with mushy words like "I hope...." or "I'm wondering if maybe you could possibly....".
          Just: "I need to ask if you will take xxx mare by xxx date. We have no money and will run out of hay by this date." Have this conversation with them tomorrow, don't put it off. It won't be as hard as you think.

          If they don't agree, or give you another mushy answer ("we'll see what we can do") then you have to consider that a firm "No". You've already asked a few times, and there's a good saying to keep in mind (in lots of life situations): If they wanted to, they would have.

          So then I would focus on assembling the funds to ensure euthanasia rather then ending up on a slaughter truck. Odds of finding a "good family" buyer out there for an old horse with limited use are about the same as winning lottery. Especially at this time of year, when everyone's winter hay has already been purchased. A slaughter-bound truck would be a terrible and drawn-out ending for this mare. Your way to prevent this is euthanasia. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it's reality.

          How to make euthanasia affordable: i you are in a rural area where guns are permissible, and if you have a *skilled* gun owner in your family/friend network, putting a horse down with a gun is one of the most humane ways to do it.
          Disposal costs can be reduced if you schedule in advance with a rendering company to find out when they're in your area.

          Ask your parents to pay for this and you'll pay them back monthly. Print this thread out and show them if they don't believe that selling her is not going to be realistic.

          Give up your cellphone for the next year and get a pay-as-you-go type phone for emergencies. And yes, get a job-- I know your 4.0 GPA is very important to you, but a job and good grades are not incompatible. (Having a job also makes it easier to say no to family caretaker requests that should not always fall on your shoulders). A 4.0 student would probably make a great part time employee for a vet-- see if the vet would let you work off the cost of euth.

          Good luck, and thank you for caring for this horse. This coming year will require a lot of sacrifice and hard work on your part to ensure that she doesn't suffer, but you seem like the kind of smart, strong young woman who can tackle this problem successfully.

          Comment


            #25
            Where I live there's a guy who will come to your horse, shoot the horse, and take it to the rendering plant. Costs a couple hundred bucks, maybe. A friend has unfortunately had to use this service twice and has had nothing but good things to say about this man, who is by all reports kind, sympathetic, and competent.

            I am fortunate in that I have a lot of acres, sandy soil, and a tractor with a front end loader and firearms of the correct caliber. I will probably call the knacker anyway but I have options.

            Ask around, you may well find someone in your area that can help you dispose of old girl if it comes to that. There are indeed far worse things than a well aimed bullet after a good grooming and a handful of sugar cubes.

            Comment


              #26
              Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post


              How to make euthanasia affordable: i you are in a rural area where guns are permissible, and if you have a *skilled* gun owner in your family/friend network, putting a horse down with a gun is one of the most humane ways to do it.
              Disposal costs can be reduced if you schedule in advance with a rendering company to find out when they're in your area.

              .
              I really wouldn't go this route - just because someone is a good target shooter (or even a good hunter) doesn't mean they have the knowledge and skill to put down a horse in one shot. I personally know someone who did this rather than pay to have the vet euthanize. Without going into detail, the vet had to put the horse out of its suffering anyway.

              OP, euthanizing a horse is really not that expensive in my area (can't say for sure about other places, but my vet only charges about $200, plus the farm call of $50), and I'm lucky enough to be able to bury on my land. Is that a possibility for you (it may not due to zoning and environmental issues)? I can't remember if you said you'd had quotes or not, but this is something to start looking into.

              I'm an educator and I totally believe you should focus on schoolwork, but if your parents are really where they are financially, you'll probably find that having a job of your own allows you to buy necessities for yourself, and you'll be better equipped to balance budgets (both time and money) when you get to college.

              Hugs and good luck, OP. You're facing decisions that many try desperately not to make, and doing it with maturity.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #27
                A little update on the rescue.. rescue owner posted in our member group. She basically said no one has offered to help with projects even though 3000 people saw her post and it was shared 40+ times. She said she’s buried and doesn’t know what to do next and it’s really preventing the rescue from moving forward. I can’t help but feel bad for her. I help her out when I can with events, fundraising, chores around the farm, but it is mostly I and another high school girl that do these things. The two of us can’t do much more as we too have responsibilities at home and at school. Reading this makes it even harder to directly tell her about my situation. Ahhh but I have to take a shot, no beating around the bush for the sake of my pretty girl.

                Comment


                  #28
                  The last thing you want to do is give a horse to a rescue that's in over it's head
                  _\\]
                  -- * > hoopoe
                  Procrastinate NOW
                  Introverted Since 1957

                  Comment


                    #29
                    ^^^^ I fully agree, this rescue does not have the resources to maintain the horses it already has. A well-functioning rescue operation has a board of directors and adult staff and responsibly limits the number of animals it keeps based on its finances. A "rescue" that takes in more than it can afford is not much different than a hoarder.

                    Walk away, and find a vet that will let you pay off the euthanasia costs. Or put it on a credit card. It's simply not that big a dollar amount that your family won't be able to come up with it.

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                      Walk away, and find a vet that will let you pay off the euthanasia costs. Or put it on a credit card. It's simply not that big a dollar amount that your family won't be able to come up with it.
                      Very, very few of us offer payment plans beyond taking care credit. Since I need to pay the bills for my business, I cannot trust people's promises to pay. I still have someone in collections who bounced a check for their dog's cremation--died at home and couldn't be decent enough to make good on the bad check. Meanwhile, I'm still out the cost of the cremation fee to the outside service.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post

                        Walk away, and find a vet that will let you pay off the euthanasia costs. Or put it on a credit card. It's simply not that big a dollar amount that your family won't be able to come up with it.
                        Or better yet get a job and save up the cost of euthanasia and call a renderer. I would not advise a teenager to go into debt or put their parents into debt. Work and save up and pay for your horse in the mean time.

                        Comment


                          #32
                          I know, and trust me I do not for a second think this is some vet's *obligation* to take on. Look, I'm just responding to the OP's dilemma, not some idealized scenario. Parents have no income and are unwilling to keep the horse. Her hay will run out on XX Date (OP hasn't shared what that date is). While I also think the OP needs to get a job, it does not seem realistic that a currently-unemployed high schooler can immediately find a job that pays enough outside of school hours to amass several hundred dollars to make a hay purchase, or pay for euth/disposal before her hay runs out. The rescue sounds like they're not legitimate/well-run, and they're not taking the mare anyway.

                          So, ya, there's no good solution here.

                          Comment


                            #33
                            IMO the parents have some responsibility here. The OP is 16 and has had the horse for 2.5 years, that means OP was 13 or 14 when she got her. Presumably the parents purchased the horse, or even if she was free/a gift they have likely been paying the bills since OP doesn't have a job. I know there are some kids/teens out there who work and pay for all their horse bills, but it doesn't sound like that's the case here at all. If the parents brought the horse into this situation, they should at least be helping toward getting the horse out of the situation by whatever means are deemed best.
                            Flickr

                            Comment


                              #34
                              PS If the OP identifies a vet that would euth, I would contribute a dribble to a gofundme that can be verified directly goes to that vet.

                              Comment


                                #35
                                OP, on facebook there is a group called horse angels that may be able to put you in contact with a rescue or permanent retirement home for your horse. I would post there.

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by furlong47 View Post
                                  IMO the parents have some responsibility here. The OP is 16 and has had the horse for 2.5 years, that means OP was 13 or 14 when she got her. Presumably the parents purchased the horse, or even if she was free/a gift they have likely been paying the bills since OP doesn't have a job. I know there are some kids/teens out there who work and pay for all their horse bills, but it doesn't sound like that's the case here at all. If the parents brought the horse into this situation, they should at least be helping toward getting the horse out of the situation by whatever means are deemed best.
                                  They may have some, doesn't mean they will take it.

                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                                    PS If the OP identifies a vet that would euth, I would contribute a dribble to a gofundme that can be verified directly goes to that vet.
                                    Count me in for a bit toward euth as well, should you go there; as a veterinarian, and one who has had to assist and testify in hoarding and neglect situations, I think an easy way out after getting treats from someone who loves you is a really good last gift. It beats the hell out of a lot of other endings.

                                    Let's face it--it is rare that a solvent, knowledgeable person takes on a geriatric horse with issues. She got lucky with you, OP. Most of the time it's either a plausible scammer en route to an auction or a well-meaning but overwhelmed rescuer who ends up with 50 horses, no hay, and a visit from animal control with a depressed veterinarian in tow.

                                    Ask me how I know.

                                    It's worth it to get quotes; bigger equine clinics may contract with a disposal service, which can cut cost significantly if you haul in for euthanasia--in my area, about $200 all told for euth and disposal, or equivalent to the cost of disposal alone should I have euthanized myself.

                                    The local rendering plant makes fertilizer, so I imagine my old man helping grass and flowers somewhere. I think he'd like that.

                                    As an employed honest-to-god grownup, that's doable, but I remember back when that was unattainable, so willing to chip in to give a nice horse an easy way out.



                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      OP, you seem to be thinking this through with maturity and a sense of responsibility to your mare, and you deserve some recognition for doing that in what is a very difficult situation.

                                      You say you've saved a little on the side for emergency vet bills. If you're facing running out of resources to provide ongoing care to an aging, only pasture-sound horse, that's an emergency and euthanasia could be the emergency vet bill that money has been waiting for.

                                      There are also humane euthanasia assistance programs offered by some non-profits in certain parts of the country. Googling for your area and for national programs might be prudent. Some of them require a dire diagnosis and I don't know that any of them offer full euth+disposal costs, but there might be programs in your area that could help offset at least part of the veterinary costs associated with a humane ending.

                                      You are too young to apply for Care Credit, and without knowing anything about the finances of your adult family members other than that they can't afford winter hay, I suspect this would not be an option they would/should consider. Else it would be a good place to look in this kind of situation.

                                      Can you shift the time and energy you are currently putting into the rescue into money-earning endeavors, at least in the short term, to try to solve the impending crisis? Dog walking, petsitting, equine chores, yard work, babysitting -- these are all things that I've seen teens quickly launch, and it's theoretically possible to earn a few hundred dollars doing these things a few hours a week for a couple months. Your time and help is a generous gift to the rescue, but it sounds like your horse might need your resources more than the rescue does at the moment. Any rescue worth its salt would understand your need to step back to fulfill your responsibility to your own horse, and welcome you back in the future if you're able to return. Regardless of how shorthanded they are.

                                      If all else fails, HungarianHippo is not the only one who would contribute a dribble toward a gofundme that can be verified to go directly to a veterinarian for euth costs.

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post
                                        OP, you seem to be thinking this through with maturity and a sense of responsibility to your mare, and you deserve some recognition for doing that in what is a very difficult situation.
                                        [...]
                                        If all else fails, HungarianHippo is not the only one who would contribute a dribble toward a gofundme that can be verified to go directly to a veterinarian for euth costs.
                                        I think this is a very thoughtful and very comprehensive post and agree with every bit of it. There's not much I can add that hasn't already been so well said here, but it does sound like you are in a tough position, OP, and I am sorry that you are having to navigate it with so little support from your family. You are doing an admirable job, and it's all that any of our animals can ask for - that we do the best we are able, to ensure their health, comfort, and security during their lives.

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                                          PS If the OP identifies a vet that would euth, I would contribute a dribble to a gofundme that can be verified directly goes to that vet.
                                          I would contribute as well, as I respect the effort that you are putting into this problem.

                                          Comment

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