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Vet working neglect case is stuck with the bill..

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Beck View Post

    Really? How much hay do you think a Mini gets in a day? !
    we have three miniatures, they equal one Large horse in care, maybe a little more....so the 72 head would equal about 24 full sized horses in overall care.

    Hay is minimal as I feed from a round bail that we store and just unwrap as needed.

    The big cost... Labor. It takes longer to clean up after the three miniatures than required for a horse I could not face 72 head as that must be a disheartening thing to do everyday (plus not getting paid?)

    As for farrier...72 head would take one farrier working nearly continuously as the little things are a pain in the back to work on

    As a note the BLM pays $5 per day for a corralled mustang .... so a year and half for 72 head would be about $200,000

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by clanter View Post

      The big cost... Labor. It takes longer to clean up after the three miniatures than required for a horse I could not face 72 head as that must be a disheartening thing to do everyday (plus not getting paid?)
      Absolutely!

      No matter where you go, there you are

      Comment


      • #43
        One of the fundamental Constitutional principles is that if the State takes your property they have to be responsible for it.

        If the taking is permanent then, unless the property is contraband, they have to pay for it.

        If it's temporary then they have to pay for the maintenance of the property until a legal determination is made on disposition.

        I've seen this play out in seizures of horses, cattle, and dogs. Under TN law the OWNER is liable for the costs as long as they are the owner. If they surrender ownership then the responsibility passes to the new owners. If the siezure is upheld then the former owner can be billed for the costs of the matter. BUT if the owner is found to be NOT in violation of law then the State will be liable. And not only under State law but also under Federal law.

        All this means that seizing a herd of anything without a good plan on what to do next is a monumentally STUPID thing to do no matter how bad the conditions of the property in question might be.

        Put another way, act in haste and repent in leisure.

        The facts are NOT clear in the reports given and actual ownership seems to be in question. Once that question is answered in a court of competent jurisdiction the vet. can look for payment. Until then they are responsible to care for the property they agreed to accept.

        Moral of This Story for most of us: Put not your faith in Princes.*

        G.

        *Psalm 136:3
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

        Comment


        • #44
          Just saw this on my Facebook feed: https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/...VW9ZYgSWu-79KU

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Bloomsday View Post
            Somebody is stretching the blanket.

            If title to the horses is in the name of the Humane Society then it is THEIR duty to get the placement ball rolling. If the person in possession refuses to cooperate in the venture then the Humane Society, as the owner, has to pick them up and move them to where they can do what they wish to do. The BEST way to do this is with a court order. That means a hearing. In courtroom, in front of a judge, with a reporter. I've seen humane groups work quite well and I've seen a couple who resemble the cast of Monty Pythons' Flying Circus. I have no idea that this group is or isn't. Or whether or not the vet is a victim, a nut case, a scammer, or just doesn't "get it." But there IS a way to make things happen and I've outlined it.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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            • #46
              I don't get it. According to the article Bloomsday posted, the ponies can go to new homes. If the vet has been able to adopt out the ponies since August 2018, why hasn't she? Does she just want to keep collecting money? Is she attached to them? Does she not understand that she can place them? Is she holding them hostage to get more money?

              If I was boarding way too many animals and was told I could find them homes, I would be calling everyone I know and advertising. She gets to keep the money from the sale! Heck, if I had too many ponies and could rehome them, I'd do it for free so the ponies can go on with their lives and I have less work.

              Hey, Dr. Kittleson, place the ponies in new homes!

              I'm sure there have been inquiries. Is this vet turning into a hoarder?

              If the vet was putting the ponies first, I think many would have homes by now. All she has to do is keep good records about when and who left her property and she can continue to pursue more compensation. Keeping these ponies 8-10 per stall is less than ideal. Where are her priorities?

              Comment


              • #47
                Allegedly it's the Humane Society that won't sign off on the transfers as the owner. That's what I mean when I note that we've got two, different stories being told. The ONLY way to get a clean deal is to let the judge decide.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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                • #48
                  So, the vet's story is that they are not signed off? Is the HS holding the registration papers, but allowing them to be adopted? Maybe there is a no breeding stipulation? I hope they do get it sorted out in court soon. Poor ponies.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Adopting out that many minis and ponies isn't easy nor does it happen fast.
                    And should it? Shouldn't it be assured that they are safe, when they find new homes.
                    IOW those homes should be able to prove they are suitable and responsible.
                    How much of a market is there in Minnesota for a mini or pony anyway?
                    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                      we have three miniatures, they equal one Large horse in care, maybe a little more....so the 72 head would equal about 24 full sized horses in overall care.

                      Hay is minimal as I feed from a round bail that we store and just unwrap as needed.

                      The big cost... Labor. It takes longer to clean up after the three miniatures than required for a horse I could not face 72 head as that must be a disheartening thing to do everyday (plus not getting paid?)

                      As for farrier...72 head would take one farrier working nearly continuously as the little things are a pain in the back to work on

                      As a note the BLM pays $5 per day for a corralled mustang .... so a year and half for 72 head would be about $200,000
                      Since these lil things had overgrown hooves, so their hoof care was not just a normal trim, I imagine trimming them back in stages was also an added time consuming and costly burden.
                      Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                      http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Moonlitoaks View Post
                        So, the vet's story is that they are not signed off? Is the HS holding the registration papers, but allowing them to be adopted? Maybe there is a no breeding stipulation? I hope they do get it sorted out in court soon. Poor ponies.
                        This is what we DON"T know. There's a lot missing from the story and the there's only one place where all the parties can go "on the record" and get this resolved.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          The article stated the minis WERE released to her in August of 2018, and she received the notice, but she has continually submitted boarding bills to *someone* and has neither placed them nor will she release them to someone else who will begin the placement process. So she IS THE OWNER, and therefore is NOT boarding them any longer, they are on her feed bill. I'd be selling and giving away ponies so fast their forelocks would spin.
                          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


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                            The article stated the minis WERE released to her in August of 2018, and she received the notice, but she has continually submitted boarding bills to *someone* and has neither placed them nor will she release them to someone else who will begin the placement process. So she IS THE OWNER, and therefore is NOT boarding them any longer, they are on her feed bill. I'd be selling and giving away ponies so fast their forelocks would spin.
                            Well, does "released to her" mean she now holds title or that she is free to act as agent for the title holder, probably the Humane Society, to place the horses with third parties? And if she is an agent, not the owner, how would a person taking possession from her obtain title? This really is a Big Deal and it's unclear from all that's been said as to what her role beyond person in possession is.

                            G.
                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Article does make it seem like they were released to her, as in she can now do with them what she likes. Esp if the law isn't involved when the AHS tried to ask for them back to keep her from billing them, and she could lawfully refuse?
                              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


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

                                The BEST way to do this is with a court order. That means a hearing. In courtroom, in front of a judge, with a reporter.

                                G.
                                Agreed! They need a neutral 3rd party to figure out who owns the ponies now, who is responsible for them and who has the authority to place them...
                                I would assume that when the AHS placed the ponies with the vet that they established in righting who was responsible for what - particularly as it doesn't sound like they usually work with her (and that they only got her involved since the original owner of the ponies only agreed to relinquish ownership if they were placed with her - since he knew her and, according to the "gossip" on other local horse rescue FB pages, since she is dating his brother?). That would have been a lot of red flags in my book and all the more reason to get things in writing.

                                It sounds like the vet tried to charge the Sheriff's office first? https://www.stjamesnews.com/news/201...-QaedP0ZGH_HwA

                                Yep, they really need a court hearing...

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I know there isn't a huge market for minis or ponies, but if she's had 18 months, you would think she could have found suitable homes for a least few of them. They are nice looking, not like the misshapen waifs I see on CL around here.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                    Article does make it seem like they were released to her, as in she can now do with them what she likes. Esp if the law isn't involved when the AHS tried to ask for them back to keep her from billing them, and she could lawfully refuse?
                                    That's what the article says. But how accurate is the article? The way I read the situation the issue of ownership was not at all clear. In TN the issue of ownership has to be decided before any disposition can be made. The issue of "release" does not necessarily mean "release for sale/lease." It could mean "released to the vet. by the Humane Society" as they were in lawful possession and now the vet. has lawful possession. This is usually done quickly because when the property in dispute eats time becomes important. If the vet. has obtained title in this "release" (and that's not at all clear) then all this is on her as she had the authority to dispose of the animals. But if the release were for care, custody, and control then then title remained elsewhere (arguably with the Humane Society) and her only authority was to feed and care for the animals. And the owner, again arguably the Humane Society, has to pay for it. An oral authorization to do something with them would not, IMO, at all be adequate.

                                    That the vet. had these for 18 months is not relevant if she did not have the legal authority to do anything but care for them. It is NOT clear that she did.

                                    This is all "he said, she said."

                                    G.




                                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Weirdness.

                                      Here's the humane society's version:

                                      "Kittleson began boarding the horses from this case in June 2018, and we released them to her for placement in August 2018. That notification was provided to her through AHS Humane Agent Keith Streff and later through our legal counsel.

                                      AHS has also offered to pick up and place the horses, but Kittleson has refused to place the horses or allow AHS to place them."

                                      I work for a government agency and sometimes have to seize animals.
                                      ​​​​​
                                      We create and maintain a lengthy paper trail that clearly demonstrates who owns the animals, who is responsible for the care/costs of the animals, and exactly when all changes of custody and legal ownership take place. And we get signatures on all transfer documents. (Of course we do. We're the government - we like our multitude of forms.) I can't even imagine how this mess could have occurred. If the humane society did actually legally transfet ownership, couldn't they have ended this by simply providing proof that they legally turned ownership over to the vet in Aug 2018, given that they say the "notification" was provided to the vet by their lawyer?


                                      And even if the vet wasn't fully paid at that point, why didn't she attempt to minimize her damages by either handing them back or rehoming them?

                                      The MN law only requires the animals to be held for 10 days after ownership is transferred (after notice and opportunity for hearing). Why on Earth didn't one of the parties involved stop the hemorrhaging much sooner?

                                      Again, weirdness.

                                      And somewhat off topic, but most of my seizures involve "exotic" critters. They're like hot potatoes. Kind of like large herds of seized horses! No one wants to deal with them so it's challenging to find orgs willing/able to care for them while we work through the seizure process.

                                      Like horses, they tend to be expensive to care for so everyone involved tries to get them permanently placed as quickly as legally possible. And while the law says that the original owner is responsible for all costs, it would realistically usually cost us more to try to recover than it's worth. The orgs who are willing to care for the animals while ownership is being decided are as eager to have them rehomed as we are because even when we compensate them, the animals are taking up space and resources that could be used for other animals.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Some of us are reading these vaguely-worded media reports as if they were definitive legal documents. They are definitely not.

                                        Inexact wording means whatever each writer and reader thinks it means, or wants it to mean: "released", "placed", etc. Those words can be interpreted in more than one way. They may have specific meaning in one jurisdiction that is not the same in another. They may also be used in the articles inaccurately, or just not intended to be definitive.

                                        Excerpt from the AHS link in earlier post ... nowhere does it say the 'partner' actually owns the horses.
                                        In these cases, AHS typically agrees to release the horses to a partner who boards them during the investigation and proceedings. Once the horses are released, the partner is free to sell or place them.

                                        AHS does reimburse its partners for veterinary and farrier services, and we have already paid Kittleson for all of the veterinary and farrier services invoiced in this case.

                                        Kittleson began boarding the horses from this case in June 2018, and we released them to her for placement in August 2018. That notification was provided to her through AHS Humane Agent Keith Streff and later through our legal counsel.

                                        AHS has also offered to pick up and place the horses, but Kittleson has refused to place the horses or allow AHS to place them.
                                        Exact legal definition of the terms "release" and "place", re ownership? It does not say definitively.

                                        The vet's version, from the highly pejorative article linked in earlier post. Using words like "dumped" and "won't go home" isn't exactly the pinnacle of journalistic standards of objective reporting. There is no research by the writer, just endorsing the agenda of the vet.
                                        Shirley Kittleson has unwanted guests. They eat too much and they won't go home. But Kittleson's guests aren't holiday visitors. They're miniature horses -- a herd of 72 that was dumped on her after Humane Society officials took them from a farm that couldn't care for them. Now this small-town Minnesota veterinarian has housed the horses for 18 months, and she can't get anyone to pay for their care. brian.peterson@startribune.com Sherburn, MN Tuesday, December 17, 2019
                                        None of the articles are specific in their wording about legal ownership. My guess is that this is deliberate, because each party is pursuing their own agenda, and the agendas are different.

                                        My guess is that there *is* a trail of legal documentation that defines the current legal ownership of the ponies. Anyone with access to the court records could probably figure it out. (The local news outlets should dive in on that.) Everyone is dodging the specifics because each is worried about the consequences of where the real responsibility lies. And who could assert legal control of the ponies.

                                        Reading between the lines, I'm wildly speculating that the AHS has legal ownership, but can't handle that many ponies (otherwise why make such a long statement when they could just say that they no longer own them). So AHS parked them with the vet (as is their policy to use a 'partner'), who is now showing hoarder-ish tendencies.

                                        If the vet had ownership she could set up her own 501(c)3 and take in donations for them, or else pursue some private means of funds. Chasing the county and AHS for funds is a clue to me that the vet does not have legal ownership.

                                        Further guessing that without having the ponies under their own direct control, the AHS has no way of placing them in adoptive homes. And for some reason the AHS can't take just some of the ponies and at least reduce the numbers (sounds like the vet is blocking their access). We'll never know what has been communicated between the vet & AHS.

                                        Speculating that the vet likely figures that the AHS won't try to take them because it doesn't have another place for so many ponies. But since the vet does need financial help to maintain the ponies under her own control, she went after the county first, thinking those were the deepest pockets that she might be able to tap.

                                        The court assigning no responsibility to the county is a clue that the county that authorized the seizure does not have legal ownership. Guessing the county assigned ownership to the AHS. The AHS excerpt indicates that this is a regular thing among counties in that state.

                                        At that point, according to court documents, the county told her that the horses were the responsibility of the Humane Society.
                                        From the media article. Followed by speculative statements by the writer of the article, and statements by the vet clearly intended to frame the issue in a certain way.

                                        So that's my line of speculation.

                                        Very probably the real problem is that it is 72 ponies. If this were 10 ponies, I'm guessing the ponies would already have been removed by the AHS and adopted out, and this drama would not be happening.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Hoarding tends to neglect of the training and mental well-being of the animals. Even if the vet is feeding the ponies, if, as it seems, they are being kept in an overcrowded, unnatural situation, with little constructive contact with humans, that is not going to make them easier to to adopt into homes that are truly prepared to deal with whatever they will be getting.

                                          And that may also be on the minds of the AHS. If they did take back the ponies, in addition to finding a place(s) to put them, how long would it take to place them all appropriately? The longer the ponies go with little, if any, handling, the fewer adoptive homes that could truly handle them - or even just give them pasture sanctuary for the rest of their lives.

                                          Hoarder situations have a way of growing larger and deteriorating in quality, and continuously becoming worse. What if the vet doesn't get the financial support to continue caring for these ponies?

                                          These ponies are facing a very uncertain future, it seems to me.

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