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To whom should one report cruelty at livestock auctions?

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  • To whom should one report cruelty at livestock auctions?

    If someone saw a horse, down and thrashing and laid among the bodies of dead horses, in back of a livestock auction house, to whom should she report such a thing? Of course, she went immediately to the auction manager, who said there shouldn't have been a live animal out with the dead bodies for pickup and promised to send someone out. When no one ever came, she tried contacting the local AC but couldn't get a working number for that agency.

    This happened to a longtime internet friend from one of my border collie boards, where she posted about it today with pictures. She was vacationing in Amish country and had stopped at an open-air market with a livestock auction around the back.

    The horse was skinn and bones and I guess might've been sent to auction by an owner who couldn't/wouldn't get veterinary treatment or euthanize. I don't think the meat man would've bid on this poor critter.

    My friend's understandably pretty upset and wants to know what she might have done to get someone to end the horse's suffering sooner, and what she might do now to report this auction facility for bad practices. I told her I'd try and find out for her. Can anyone advise? Thx
    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

  • #2
    Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
    If someone saw a horse, down and thrashing and laid among the bodies of dead horses, in back of a livestock auction house, to whom should she report such a thing? Of course, she went immediately to the auction manager, who said there shouldn't have been a live animal out with the dead bodies for pickup and promised to send someone out. When no one ever came, she tried contacting the local AC but couldn't get a working number for that agency.

    This happened to a longtime internet friend from one of my border collie boards, where she posted about it today with pictures. She was vacationing in Amish country and had stopped at an open-air market with a livestock auction around the back.

    The horse was skinn and bones and I guess might've been sent to auction by an owner who couldn't/wouldn't get veterinary treatment or euthanize. I don't think the meat man would've bid on this poor critter.

    My friend's understandably pretty upset and wants to know what she might have done to get someone to end the horse's suffering sooner, and what she might do now to report this auction facility for bad practices. I told her I'd try and find out for her. Can anyone advise? Thx
    Here, if the sale manager didn't do anything, incredible as that sounds, because they have attended to anything we brougt forth, I would try our state animal health department and they will investigate.
    Be sure to have them let you know, follow up on them also, until they have a good explanation or do something about it with that sale barn or manager.

    There are plently of cases of horses given euthanasia medications that came to again, much more rare now, but it used to happen long ago, supposedly dead horses coming right back to the barn, scaring everyone.
    They should have tended to that horse immediately, can't figure why they didn't.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
      There are plently of cases of horses given euthanasia medications that came to again, much more rare now, but it used to happen long ago, supposedly dead horses coming right back to the barn, scaring everyone.
      Geez, that story sent a chill down my spine.

      I can't imagine why the auction manager wouldn't have done something - you'd think such a spectacle would be awfully bad for business, wouldn't you? I'm not sure what state my friend was in when this happened - I've sent her a message to ask her. I guess jurisdiction over these things varies by state?
      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

      Comment


      • #4
        I own an auction and have had this happen to horses that are trailered in.
        (OK before I get bashed for allowing the horse in-What would happen to it if I turned it away? Go back to the farm and starve? Travel 5 hours to the next auction? I figure here it has a better chance. One because if it doesn't get a bid I handle the situation.)
        OK back to when this has happened to me. We are within town limits so I can't have the animal shot. The owner is not going to pay to have it euthanized ($120 is much more than this horse is worth). Animal control may come and shot it if I beg enough. It is a tough situation. I've hauled several animals to the landfill this year.
        I also work for a several vets we had a horse that came back to after 200cc of euthanasia solution here a few weeks ago. It tried to get up and run. Yes it was given with a catheter IV. It does happen.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Sugarcreek Livestock Auction in Ohio

          My friend says that's where she was.

          (I misread her earlier post - the auction was near a bulk foods store, not in the back of an open-air market.)

          Anyway, I did a quick google and apparently my friend is not the first to have a complaint about this place. One blogger who complained to the USDA says she was told USDA says they do not enforce anti-cruelty laws at auctions - but of course that's secondhand info.

          Does anyone know what agency has authority over Ohio livestock auctions?
          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by smilton View Post
            OK back to when this has happened to me. We are within town limits so I can't have the animal shot. The owner is not going to pay to have it euthanized ($120 is much more than this horse is worth). Animal control may come and shot it if I beg enough. It is a tough situation. I've hauled several animals to the landfill this year.
            Thanks for giving us a view from a different perspective. Not to tell you your business, but could you use a captive bolt instead of a firearm?
            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

            Comment


            • #7
              Sugar Creek is right up there and may have passed New Holland on poor treatment of animals. There is another in Kentucky that has become the hub for kill buyers when people started making comments on New Holland. I have tried the last two years to do the best I can but I am closing in December. The state vets will not do anything. I've tried using them myself as owner operator to no avail. Getting the owner to allow you to put the horse down is another touchy subject. If he can get $10 for it he is going to try.

              Comment


              • #8
                so sad!

                Very sad all the way around. Smilton, would you mind to identify the one in Kentucky. Given that I'm in KY, I'd really like to know. Thanks!
                Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by smilton View Post
                  I also work for a several vets we had a horse that came back to after 200cc of euthanasia solution here a few weeks ago. It tried to get up and run. Yes it was given with a catheter IV. It does happen.
                  Did anyone bother to put a stethoscope to the heart afterwards? I've witnessed so many horses euth'd now (my own and others) and this is always standard procedure - then we bury them. It chills me to the bone to think there is a slim possibility we could bury a horse alive but all of my vets have assured me that this is why they listen to the heart afterwards. I'm hoping you're going to answer me that "no" as in the heart was not listened to afterwards.
                  Susan N.

                  Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sometimes auctions are controlled by a state agency. For example, and I had no idea until I had to do the contracts for one, in SC we have a departmet at Clemson that is authorized under the SC code to inspect, approve, and regulate any barn that sells animals. There is a similar code for auctions.

                    There are rules and bonds that must be talen out and inspections and a procedure for complaints. I fthey lose thier license they forfiet the bond and are shut down.

                    I find all this in our code under animlas, welfare and also in the county codes for sales of animals.

                    So now I know that if I saw something horrible at an auction in SC I could report it and make sure it was followed up on.

                    I aslo found out that if you are not a resident of this county you must apply for a permit to sell a horse here. The laws are full of useless and sometimes useful crap

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We gave the horse 3x the dose and were watching it with stethescope in hand when it tried to get back up. We had not declared it yet. Unfortuantely with pneumonia and horses with circulation issues it can take awhile. I've worked with baby calves that did not have the circulation to be euthanized with solution and we have to bleed out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks smilton - that makes me feel a little better, knowing lack of heartbeat hadn't been verified at that point.
                        Susan N.

                        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Horses in certain stages of starvation with weak hearts and murmurs also have problems pumping the euthanasia solution through their bodies. It is not uncommon for it to take time and require more than the usual IV... strange that a horse would "come back" though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We had to shoot a holstein cow at an auction once- she had stepped on a rake and came in to the sale with it still in her- 9yes stupid farmer brought her to the salebarn) meat buyers would not bid on her- so we had to shoot her. Imagine my surprise when about 10 minutes after we shot her in the forehead with the 22 at close range, she came walking up the aisle way munching hay. We had to do it again- and we slit her throat to bleed her out too...strange things can happen...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                              My friend says that's where she was.

                              (I misread her earlier post - the auction was near a bulk foods store, not in the back of an open-air market.)

                              Anyway, I did a quick google and apparently my friend is not the first to have a complaint about this place. One blogger who complained to the USDA says she was told USDA says they do not enforce anti-cruelty laws at auctions - but of course that's secondhand info.

                              Does anyone know what agency has authority over Ohio livestock auctions?
                              Since this is breaking a LAW, couldn't the police be involved? They are often the ones to call Animal Control (or what passes for it there) also.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Horse euth'd in CA survived and lives today

                                Originally posted by Luckydonkey View Post
                                We had to shoot a holstein cow at an auction once- she had stepped on a rake and came in to the sale with it still in her- 9yes stupid farmer brought her to the salebarn) meat buyers would not bid on her- so we had to shoot her. Imagine my surprise when about 10 minutes after we shot her in the forehead with the 22 at close range, she came walking up the aisle way munching hay. We had to do it again- and we slit her throat to bleed her out too...strange things can happen...
                                A few weeks ago I was sent photos of an older TB found in Lassen National Park in CA very emaciated and with a hole in his forehead consistent with a .22
                                It seems someone had brought him to the open space area, euthanized him and left him, but he was not dead (poor trajectory, and it went thru his sinuses and back out). The horse was rescued and is being rehabilitated now. The bullet wound was probably a good week old when hikers found the horse wandering the woods.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  All kinds of circulatory problems can cause confusion in the euthanasia process.

                                  We put my dog to sleep 2 years ago. SHe was old and sick, and we let her go on her first "bad day". They gave her the euth, listened to her heart, and it stopped...and a minute later, started again and she came to. They injected her a second time, and only got half the dose in before her heart stopped and she was gone...but it can happen, and was pretty traumatic. You think it's over, and then they blink...

                                  Our vet said it was because of her health conditions, and the heart was weak and when the first little bit of solution reached her heart it stopped, but then jump started it self. Of course that's a best guess... we will never know for sure, but she said it's not unheard of.
                                  Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The USDA is only responsible for determining infectious deseases.
                                    The state vet assigned to this auction should have been the one to take charge of this situation, but we all know how things work at Sugarcreek.

                                    If your friend would like to know how to proceed further with the information she gathered, have her contact Animals Angels through their webiste. www.animals-angels.com

                                    They have been able to get LeRoy Baker (Sugarcreek) hit with a fine more than once.
                                    ************************
                                    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have had something similar - though not as dramatic - happen. Witnessed a very badly injured horse being sold at an auction. Gaping, awful wound on its leg, could hardly walk, absolutely no care for the wound. I checked his teeth and guessed that he was only about 3 years old. I talked to the auction management - they pretty much just shrugged their shoulders. It is ILLEGAL to sell a horse in such condition. So I called the animal control, and they did come out to the auction. Not sure what happened after that because I had already left by the time they got there and it's kind of a "good old boys" town anyway. Sad.

                                      By the bye, Sugar Creek is terrible. I have never been there but am well aware of it and it does deserve to be put up there with New Holland in the worst of the worst. I would still call local authorities (even though they probably have received calls in the past) and keep bugging them maybe they'll eventually do something. Animal control, sheriff's office, Ohio Dept. of Ag. You can also see about rescue groups in the area - some attend auctions, some do not. They don't have the authority to do much, but they can document incidents and may have a relationship with the auction managers that they could convince them to euthanize a thrashing horse, or convince them to allow the rescue to take the horse. Pure Thoughts, a rescue in Florida scooped up a bunch of horses at Sugar Creek not too long ago. Just some thoughts.

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