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"Friends" Dump Bad Horsekeeping on Us Over the Holidays -- What Would You DO?

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  • #41
    God love you for being so wonderful. How the hell can people do that kind of thing with animals.
    I cannot even go on vacation for all the worrying I do.


    • #42
      Well then...I'd throw a dead deer in their pool.
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!


      • #43
        MistyBlue, if there was a COTH best poster award you would be my pick hands down!!


        • #44
          When she gets back I'd tell her never again, and I'd tell her why.
          I am going to be roasted..But no politely decline any other time she asks, keep it to yourself, gift her the extension cord and be done with it...or one better if asked again say you charge $20.per day plus mileage and you are currently booked solid for farm sitting...or your liability insurance won't cover you if you get hurt and can't work your regular job...


          • #45
            I am sorry that you are going through this nightmare.

            I would write a journal of each day's activities. i.e. Monday, 3 hours dethawing water trough, buying cord, herding dogs, feeding - cost of cord - $25

            Then tell them that the 48 (?) hours of work was an unfair request and that they owe you an apology (and one for their animals)


            • #46
              I'm a little surprised no one has asked this yet, but maybe I missed it.

              Are the horses in good weight?

              Feet done? Etc?

              Are they wearing blankets?


              • #47
                $20? .... it has to hurt, so at $100.00 /day


                • #48
                  BLess you for caring about those poor animals. The owners suck.


                  • Original Poster

                    MB -- you totally crack me up, but I suspect that if they had a pool there would already be several dead deer in it.

                    The horses are in good weight, feet done. They are beautiful, kind, dignified ladies. They had blankets in the garage of the house and I put them on the first day. I do cut her some slack on that as she had mentioned to me, "if they need blankets, those are in the garage."

                    Just want to add that DH has been such a good sport about this. He has helped every day and not once mentioned how I foolishly got us into this and ruined our holiday. In fact, he plots various solutions with me and fantasizes about our revenge, which gets me laughing! Because of him, this has been more of a challenge and less of a hardship.


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by blackstallion2 View Post
                      I'd say they never get the same person to care for the horses more than once..
                      I would just be honest and call them asap and tell them how overwhelmed you are by the inadequate care, NO WATER, no shelter, and attacking dogs. And tell them it's not at all what you agreed to be responsible for. It's not your fault those poor horses have to live in hell don't let the assshats off easy.
                      This is what I'd do, too. Tell them to come home! Who cares if their vacation is ruined...
                      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                      • #51
                        KR - geez. "Thanks," huh? Here's what I'd do:
                        Contact the owners and tell them they have exactly [how many hours you think reasonable] to drag their sorry behinds home and/or remedy the conditions on their property. Provide them with a list of required remedies, e.g. shelter, accessible water, etc.

                        Then tell them that if conditions are not remedied by your deadline, you have no choice but to contact the police and have them send an officer to document the conditions existing on the property. Make clear that you will inquire of that officer whether or not further steps can be taken under the applicable statute or code.

                        Be sure the communication is written and bears the date and time it was sent.

                        Tell the owners that you have no intention of being held responsible for the conditions their animals are being kept in, and this is the only way you know to protect yourself.

                        Because I think we have all known of the horse-sitter blamed for the owners' neglect. Heck, depending on how the law where you live is worded, you might actually be responsible! (Some statutes say, for example, the person in control of the animal, not necessarily the owner, is responsible when certain things happen.)

                        "Thanks" my foot. I'd be livid!
                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                        • #52
                          You're a good person, King! A very good person!

                          I know how much it sucks. I once housesat for people who had TWO stallions (who went out together) and three mares stalled across the hall. Three dogs (one blind, one deaf, and the other a husky who they tied to themselves while doing chores...), three cats, all of whom seemed to need 800 different pills each. The husky used to go into the basement to poop (they were okay with that and encouraged it). Something was ALWAYS going wrong. Stallions would crawl through the fence to hang out with mares. One (whom I actually quite liked, he would make a lovely gelding...) knew how to push his 100+lb sliding door halfway out of the hinges to come knock on the bedroom window at night. The filly got her foot stuck in between the bars of her stall one night and hung there while I had to call firefighters to cut her out.

                          They had bears in their woods. The husky was ALWAYS slipping his collar and running away. The cat peed on me every night, no matter where I slept. They had a beetle infestation in their bed. They had a two mile long driveway that was never plowed, and they didn't own a proper pitchfork. *sigh*

                          I finally just never returned their call. Never billed them for the last time I housesat. Ran. Like. Hell.

                          There is NOTHING more stressful than being a good person stuck in a crappy situation like that. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can, and I would read them the riot act when they get home, then never answer another phone call from them again. EVER.


                          • #53
                            gee, in these cases I would/might seek revenge... with my handy/dandy computer I can create a facsimile of an Animal Control Warrant making sure to put not a real warrant at the very bottom (sort of like those fake lottery tickets), print it out, stomp it in the mud some and then leave it with a note on their door saying I found this during one of the feedings


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                              Well then...I'd throw a dead deer in their pool.
                              Ahhhh LOL! Best solution yet!

                              Sorry op that these people are showing their a** to you through how they care /don't care for their animals and 'friends' too.


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                                God love you for being so wonderful. How the hell can people do that kind of thing with animals.
                                I cannot even go on vacation for all the worrying I do.
                                The OP is a wonderful person for taking care of the horses!
                                I can't leave on vacation either...last time I left a good friend in charge for 2 days I told him that if anything happened to one of my precious ones..I would never forgive him for the rest of his life.....however short that may be

                                I don't understand the lack of shelter and leaving the dogs run free...that's not right. My DH has been spending his free time adding insulation to the barn to keep his babies warm...I guess we all have different priorities.


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post
                                  The horses are in good weight, feet done. They are beautiful, kind, dignified ladies. They had blankets in the garage of the house and I put them on the first day. I do cut her some slack on that as she had mentioned to me, "if they need blankets, those are in the garage."
                                  Didn't they leave *during* the blizzard? And there are blankets in the garage if the horses need them? What part of "there's a raging blizzard, we should blanket our shelterless horses BEFORE we leave on vacation" did they miss?
                                  "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                                  -Richard S. Bach


                                  • #57
                                    Not quite the same situation, but had a friend ask me to 'top up the water troughs' while she was away.
                                    when I went for a walk through before she left, after we looked at the water situation she said, and 'oh yeah, the cattle get 4 bales of hay a day' Cattle? And the barn cats get this food, and the indoor cats get this food and the dogs get this...and this...and
                                    oh yes, and the ducks are fed this....and the chickens need this...
                                    What I thought would be a 5 min job when I agreed to it took me about 2 hrs!!!
                                    But at least I di know going into it (sort of)


                                    • #58
                                      I agree with pj - tell them they need to come home. Tell them that caring for their horses is ruining your holiday, and you will not just leave them to fend for themselves.


                                      • #59
                                        BTW, aren't you in Canada KR? no excuse about frozen water hoses etc...winter happens every year!


                                        • #60
                                          Some of these responses are very funny!

                                          I would just add that you could call AC, not necessarily to report them (because you said you didn't think AC would cite the owners) but to have a conversation about what is care is required by law, specifically regarding shelter. If it turns out they need shelter then you can either ask AC to cite them, or you can let the owner know that shelter is required and if they don't remedy the situation you'll be letting AC know.

                                          Good luck.
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