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I called the SPCA today....

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  • I called the SPCA today....

    I'm currently in Houston for a funeral and earlier today, when driving to a relative's house, I passed tons of fields of cows and horses. Well, I was passing one field and noticed a horse who was literally skin and bones, (I could see every rib, protruding hips, etc.). Since I saw no water in sight, (pretty small field of dead grass), and the horse looked like it was about to keel over and die, I called the SPCA and they told me that someone was coming out right away. I just can't believe anyone would treat an animal so poorly. And the really sad thing is that the neighbor's a few fields down had beautiful, healthy, seemingly happy horses and this poor guy already had one hoof in the grave.

    IMO, if you can't afford to properly care for a horse, you shouldn't have one. Anyways, that's my rant for the day

  • #2
    I have a friend with a 32 year old appy, wearing a mask because he has uveitis and is mostly blind too.
    He has spells where, with the best of care, he looks like a skeleton and then he picks right back up.
    Her pasture is by a highway and she too gets calls all the time about the starving horse.

    She was going to put a sign saying "yes, he is old and blind, but still runs in for his feed".
    He passed away a year ago.

    It is good when you see a horse that may be in trouble to call in so they check, but it may not always be a neglected horse.


    • #3
      Good for you!

      I am so glad you DID something. Well done!
      Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


      • #4
        It's better to err on the side of caution and call the SPCA. That way, if there is a legit explanation (maybe they rescued him yesterday and he's in a better place), the owners can give it and hopefully all is well. Thank you for calling, on behalf of all the ignored neglected animals out there.


        • #5
          There is a horse down the road that is a bag of bones and has been for a couple years. People are always calling AC because of his condition. There are a couple other horses in with him and they look well taken care of. Apparently he is old but his owners don't want to let him go. Anyway someone decided to take matters in their own hands and locked him in the feed room one night with the grain. Luckily their wasn't a bunch of grain or he could have been in real trouble.
          RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
          May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
          RIP San Lena Peppy
          May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


          • #6
            Though it hurts me to say it, I agree with Bluey. Just this once.

            I currently lease one of my boys out to a home who takes great care of him. They are always on top of things - initially they insisted on still taking him after I had to pull him from a former lessee who had allowed him to drop 200lbs or so (he's not that hard a keeper, this 'reputable' and 'high end' facility was clearly negligent and even claimed to my face that 'he was at an appropriate weight'). I acquiesced and we worked out a deal whereby they 'rehabbed' him and used him appropriately. I checked in on him regularly and he was soon up to a proper weight and looking fabulous. Recently, he dropped weight on them again (not nearly so much, maybe 50lbs) as we entered fall/winter, so they immediately took action and moved him to their other facility and shoved lots of feed down his little throat so that he picks up weight. So I know they are responsible and know how to handle weight fluctuations appropriately. Furthermore, every other horse they care for or own are always in great shape. Yet this summer they had two oldies whose weight I watched fluctuate and at a couple points, those horses looked like hatracks. However it was never long before the horses were back up to a healthier weight. Then they would drop again. These horses were on thorough and extensive vet-based diets and constantly monitored. They constantly have been consulting with their vets and figure these two horses may need to be euthanised this winter, that this was likely their last summer. However it was crystal clear the situation was far from one of neglect. So I just keep such situations in mind when I see a thin horse. There are certainly situations where I will call AC, however I am cautious and I certainly never jump to conclusions myself.
            ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


            • #7
              Well, I have to say, I don't think it's a bad thing to err on the side of caution.

              I have an oldie that's been very hard to keep weight on, and you can see ribs and some spine and hips, but he doesn't look like a 2, with hips, spine and tailhead showing.

              Alone with no water would be bothersome too.
              Ring the bells that still can ring
              Forget your perfect offering
              There is a crack in everything
              That's how the light gets in.


              • #8
                Doesn't hurt and may help ~ to check ~ IMHO
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • #9
                  Reminder: Horse appeared to have no water in the field.

                  Hopefully the poor guy is okay.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Across Sicily View Post
                    Reminder: Horse appeared to have no water in the field.

                    Hopefully the poor guy is okay.
                    And no grass, and no, an old horse does not have to look like it has one foot in the grave even though it happens to the best of horse keepers. Thanks for caring enough to make the call. Better to be safe than sorry.
                    "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by Across Sicily View Post
                      Reminder: Horse appeared to have no water in the field.

                      Hopefully the poor guy is okay.
                      exactly. The fact that he was in a pasture full of dead grass, on a hot day, with no water and looked quite sickly, made me call. Oh and I forgot to mention that his feet looked bad as well. I'd rather make the call to the SPCA, (which, luckily, I've never had to do before), then let the poor guy rot away if he is in trouble.


                      • #12
                        In this case, I am glad you made the call indygirl.

                        I just wanted to point out it isn't necessarily negligence in all such cases (or even this one, who knows the story), but dead grass, hot day, no water, feet in terrible shape, well that might amount to a call. I am usually of the wait-and-see camp, but it is often better safe than sorry for sure.
                        ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                        • #13
                          I definitely agree with calling... my old barn owners had a similar situation with rescue horses; they'd take in a horse who was skin and bones and have AC called the next day on *them* for starving the horse. But the SPCA knew them, had already dealt with the horse and the previous owners (and sometimes had placed the horse with my barn owners to foster), and were able to reassure callers that the horse was a new rescue and was being cared for properly. But my BOs always joked about having to build a new hidden pasture for the rescues far away from the road, because they were horrible advertisements for their boarding and training business!

                          So I say it's always better to call, because if there are extenuating circumstances, chances are AC is already familiar with the case and will either reassure you or not harass the owners--but if it really is a case of neglect (and this does sound like one) at least now they're aware of it and can follow up.

                          And at least the Houston SPCA seems to have their act together with farm animals, judging from the Animal Planet show on them!
                          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                          • #14
                            Absolutely make the call. If a lot of calls are made on a horse, and it is being cared for appropriately but something is wrong or its old etc. etc, the animal control peoples will know that animal already. I kept getting a call on a very very old man next door to me. I worked with his owner and this horse for almost two years, (owner was first one to call on herself). The old guy was 35 when she put him down this year and no amount of feed, beetpulp and chopped alfalfa put an ounce on him anymore. He was knee deep in grass he couldnt eat. He was well tended to by the vet but this guy just lost it all and was easily a 2 on the BSC. It just was but.............by about the 5th call, I didnt need to run out and check on him all the time. Always always make the call. A good owner is not going to care, they will or should be grateful that someone cares enough to call. A day can make a huge difference to an animal in trouble.
                            Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

                            Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement


                            • #15
                              Kudos for making the call. Too often people don't and the results are long and hard for the horse.

                              If it is an aged horse that the owners are working with to keep healthy, at least someone cared enough to call.

                              I always make the call. I ALWAYS follow up too. I've had to call several times on one incident before an investigator went out. A few times AC hands have been tied because there is food & water on the premises, but at least the horse is in their records and on their radar.

                              Making the follow up call on the status of my original call has helped push investigators out to a location. For me, a follow up call is imperative.

                              Strangely enough, this last year, AC has begun giving me return calls on the status! Yay! But I don't wait for it, I do the call requesting an update on the status.
                              Be kind to the animals for they are the True Innocents!
                              True Innocents Equine Rescue: www.tierrescue.org
                              Join us on Facebook!


                              • #16
                                I applaud you for making the call.
                                I would also suggest you make a follow up call to ascertain that someone from the spca did in fact go out and make an inspection.
                                you don't need the details but a yes or no they did inspect and who it was keeps aco's on their feet.

                                easy for a message to get misplaced, etc and your phone call for naught. I always follow up. just in case.
                                save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                                • #17
                                  I mentioned that it is good to always call, just in case, but not to fret before knowing "the rest of the story", as the OP seemed to be very alarmed.

                                  A local fellow went ahead letting his old horse go, because he kept having people calling on him. The horse was and looked ancient, but really still had a good quality of life.
                                  When he and his vet could not make him look better, they made the decision to let him go.
                                  I think it is a shame that some are now pushed to make those decisions on the looks of the horse, or suffer the consequences of being called abusers for having a horse looking poorly in their pasture.

                                  I would say that most horses that look bad are neglected, so we should always call when we see one.
                                  My point, there are a few that may not be, so reserving judgement until we know more makes sense.


                                  • #18
                                    What Bluey said

                                    We too had an old girl (30) that looked 30, but was otherwise healthy. Non-horse people didn't know that when a horse reaches that age, they don't look like the others. I didn't mind the questions or even if anyone HAD called, since I had the vet records etc. to back me up.

                                    However, we decided (vet & I) to let her go this past spring before the heat & flies set in. We had to convince her owner that it was time and I have come to peace with my decision.

                                    I say - if there is nothing to hide, what harm is there? I'd rather know that someone cares enough to question than to possibly let a horse starve to death in front of everyone.
                                    "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren


                                    • #19
                                      No water.
                                      Weight may be a matter of opinion.
                                      Water is not.


                                      • #20
                                        Good thing to do.

                                        I am also just south of Houston. There is a mare about 2 fields away from me in horrible shape. I had AC out 2 years ago. I have spoken with the people and tried to help them, even got the vet out and handled the mare and they paid the bill, but still didn't correct how they were treating her. She's maybe around 12 and still her has colt, who is maybe 4 and a filly who is around 2, in with her - never taken off, so the poor mare and filly could well be preggers again. I called AC about them again about 4 months ago, but the guy didn't know anything about horses. I offered to help educate but he didn't take me up on it. This mare looks awful, the younger ones don't look great, but not desperate. AC won't do anything because the other 2 look OK and the folks that own her say that she "just old" - at 12, that mare is NOT OLD, just is never ever wormed and probably has never had her teeth done.

                                        Good for you again. If the horse is just old, then the owners should take solace in the fact that someone cared enough to phone.