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30 horses seized in Western PA!!!

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  • 30 horses seized in Western PA!!!

    I just recieved this email. 30 horses were seized from a farm in Washington, PA (30 minutes southwest of Pittsburgh). They are currently still on the original property, but at least help is now available to the survivors.

    The Washington Area Humane Society received numerous calls of concern about a horse farm in North Franklin Township where the animals have been starved by their absent owner. Newly sworn-in Humane Officer, Matt Walsh’s first encounter at the Bedillion Road farm on Friday, February 20th left him horrified at the sight of the emaciated frames. Worse than that were the horses that were no longer standing, several of them dead on the frozen ground.

    Walsh and WAHS manager and Humane Officer Lorie Schooley, quickly put their hands on some hay bales and hauled them to the starving animals. As soon as the government buildings opened in Washington, PA this Monday morning, Walsh obtained a warrant that is a “seizure in place” version which allows for help to reach the horses without the necessity of moving them immediately, while simultaneously barring the owner from setting foot on the property.

    “Although a creek runs through the property,” explains Walsh, it has been contaminated by the decaying carcasses of the dead horses.

    WAHS is seeking emergency help from the public. Any hay that can be spared — the 29 remaining horses can easily chew through 30 square-bales per day — and help with relocation of the horses is badly needed. Monetary donations will be used to purchase hay as well, while homes are sought for the animals..

    Anyone who is willing to foster, adopt or otherwise house any of these unfortunate horses should call the Humane Society at 724-222-7387. Please leave a message with your name and number if you get voicemail.

    Charges of animal cruelty are pending against the owner.

    Warning: Pictures are graphic
    Last edited by seeuatx; Feb. 24, 2009, 12:03 AM. Reason: 3rd try for picture links

  • #2
    Wow, I was unable to open the links, I had not heard of this, but I was in NY for a show this weekend. I live 10 miles from Washington PA....hay is in short supply in this area, but I will put out the word among my friends to see if anyone can help out.

    Does anyone have a link to a news story?
    West of nowhere


    • #3
      I'm so very sorry to read that.

      The "newly sworn" ACO shouldn't be feeding those horses hay until a vet evaluates them, though. He could kill them.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        Has USERL been contacted, I wonder? Poor things. Thankfully, the links didn't work for me either.
        Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Rocky View Post
          Wow, I was unable to open the links, I had not heard of this, but I was in NY for a show this weekend. I live 10 miles from Washington PA....hay is in short supply in this area, but I will put out the word among my friends to see if anyone can help out.

          Does anyone have a link to a news story?
          I just checked the Observer Reporter paper's website... no update yet. I'm assuming they will have something up tomorrow. The email I pasted is the press release the humane society is sending around (my BO is on their email list... she forwarded to me).

          I'm trying to figure out the links... they were pictures on the email that I tried copy image location, will try to get them working


          • Original Poster

            Tried to fix picture links that came attached to the email... let me know if they work


            • #7
              Oh how sad. Damn I can't understand how anybody can let these things happen.
              Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
              Come join us at - TheMuckBucket


              • #8
                See, the links still aren't working....

                This is sad, but I'm with JSwan--more than one horse has been killed by good intentions (death by refeeding).
                "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                • Original Poster

                  I ended up saving the pictures to my computer and then uploading to photobucket... should work (?)

                  I worry about over feeding starved horses too. The local humane society (the one involved) doesn't deal a whole lot with horses to my knowledge. Hopefully they will be getting some good veterinary advice on how to rehab these guys.


                  • #10
                    pictures working!

                    Such a sad sight. Have to wonder how many other cases will come up like this. Wish people would ask for help before things get this bad.


                    • Original Poster

                      Should be more on the news tonight from what I have heard. My B/O lent her trailer and one of the barnworkers I guess is taking it to help move some of the horses. That's all I know for now.

                      News article from today:


                      • #12
                        Oh my, I am from McMurray and I have a cousin in Washington. Will have to follow this story closely.
                        Lori T
                        www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep


                        • #13
                          Oh man. I'm just down the street practically and I had no idea!!!

                          I'll see what I can do - time to rally the troops!!
                          Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
                          *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***


                          • #14
                            What makes me absolutely sick about this, is they have been getting calls and "monitoring" the farm since this past summer! So why exactly did they have to wait until 3 were dead to do anything???!!!

                            I'm from the area and we are trying to make room to take in some fosters. Though perhaps if they would have stepped up sooner, they wouldn't be so far gone.
                            Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                            • #15
                              Nicole, great of you to offer to foster. You and seeuatx need more horses!


                              • #16
                                Hahahaha the last thing I need is another one right now, we just got our pony rescue a month ago! We're finally able to breathe again, because he is healthy and in good weight, and all the horses are getting along...

                                BUT I'm not sure I know how to function in a stress free environment we have a big 4 acre field thats sitting empty... soooo we will see... We're a good hike from where the horses are, and not in the same county, and would have to fix a few spots in the fence, thanks to the wind storm/twister that ripped through 2 weeks ago... but we'll see.
                                Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                                • Original Poster

                                  I didn't update last night because all I had was second hand info... most of that has been confirmed, just keep in mind that it is coming from a barn worker that was there:

                                  The story gets even sadder...

                                  A barn worker where I board took the Barn Owner's trailer to help transport some of the horses to a foster home. He describe the place as "a concentration camp". The horses were cut up by their barbed wire enclosure. Only 17 of the 30 were there yesterday (this is not confirmed, but what I was told by barnworker), which means someone came in the middle of the night and took some (cough evil owner cough). Most that were left were the worst off... a few friendly geldings, some older ones, and some barely halter broke pregnant (of course) broodies.

                                  The Humane Society in this area does not have much experience with horses... they deal with mostly small animals. And they say the road to hell is paved in good intentions, a few well meaning, non-horsey volunteers brought out bags of Omelene (the high protein kind, not 100) and had spread one of the bags in the field and had laid out alfalfa hay. By the time experienced horsepeople could stop them a few horses (one an old gray mare) had colic. Apparently the raid began fairly early, but there were no equine vets present until several hours into the situation. I don't know the fates of any of the colicky horses when I had to leave for work.

                                  The worst of the story is who the owner is. I did not recognize her name (which now I can't remember anyhow), but according to another barn worker who's daughter was active in 4-h, the "lady" (I use the phrase loosely) is or was a known and respected 4-h leader.

                                  Also apparently the Humane Society had originally investigated the situation in JULY!!!! But because of a law that they have to give the owner time to "rectify" the situation, they did not make any additional efforts until now. That really makes me sick, I understand a month with follow-ups to ensure that efforts are being made to "rectify"... but 7 freaking months.

                                  I just don't know what to think of this whole situation. The owner needs to be hung up by her toe-nails, but I am also quickly loosing respect for the local humane society over their mismanagement of the situation. Of course all of this is at the expense of the horses. Personally I would take one today if I could afford it, but until a better paying job than the current retail one comes along, it's just not feasible... that chestnut is so sweet looking. I'd throw him on my trailer in a heartbeat if I could.
                                  Last edited by seeuatx; Feb. 25, 2009, 11:44 AM.


                                  • #18
                                    Don't be too hard on the local humane society.

                                    Helping them get the word out is a good thing.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I'm definitely trying not to be too hard on the humane society (I wrote the above last night on another board when I was a little more emotional over the situation). I know logically that ultimate responsibility lies with the owner who is supposed to be a knowledgeable horseperson. She had the connections to get help if she had just asked... that is what I find so unbelievable. The horseworld is Western PA is small... and most people will step out to help you when you need it. She allowed it to get this bad, and continued to breed when she could not feed the horses she had

                                      With the humane society, I cannot blame them for not knowing horses... I know how much they do for the small animals, and they are a 90% a volunteer organization (only a few paid positions there). I just wish they had not allowed 7 months to go between inspections... I am not so much angry with them (still angry at owner lady though) but I am saddened for the horses


                                      • #20
                                        Usually local Humane Society's are not equipped to handle horses, also they are probably very overburdened now with everyone dumping animals due to the economy. I am about 5 hours east of where these horses are, but I would be more than willing to take a foster in (when they are healthy enough to travel). I would be willing also to pay for the shipping.
                                        If anyone is following up on the foster homes let me know.