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What to do? Starving horses?

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  • What to do? Starving horses?

    Alright so my boyfriend's sister has been riding horses just as long as i have. His mom was working at her store the other day when an old friend popped in. He is a roofer. He was telling her this story about how he was roofing a backyard barn for a lady in my town (turn out shes is less than a miled from me). She has some grade quarter horses. He said she was there one day and she has stopped feeling the horses! its chilly out now and they are in a relatively large pasture with swamp water in the center for a drink. The pasture's grass is eaten down to the roots.

    he said the lady has stopped feeding them and the horses are now being left to fend for themselves with whats left in their pasture. I have always noticed the horses were kind of underweight with shaggy looking coats and just not happy at all. I dont know this roofing guy, my boyfriends mother does. WHAT DO I DO???!!!

    since i know for a fact by driving by that these horses have never had a decent meal fed everyday; i dont know if i should call someone or what in the world to do. Winter is comming fast and its very cold at night already here and the grass has literally stopped growing due to the incomming winter. these horses are already malnurished; and if this lady really has left these horses to starve...they are going to go downhill fast. no clue what i should do. Any ideas?? I am on my way to make a pass-by of the property on my way to class right now.

  • #2
    The only thing you can do legaly, unless you want to stop and (NONCONFRONTATIONALLY) speak to the owner, is call animal control and tell them you have a suspected neglect case. You cannot enter her property without permission, you can't accuse her of deliberate neglect when you call (as you have only hearsay evidence that she's stopped feeding). Even photographing from the road is a gray area, though I don't *think* it's illegal (but I would not swear it isn't.)

    If the horses are being starved, it's a matter for animal control and/or the police.
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    • #3
      Is there an animal control you can report this too? Call your local non-emergency police number & ask for contact information or who to report it to.

      Honestly if you have seen the horses already looking thin, you need to act sooner rather than later. And if you do report it & see nothing happening, follow up on it.

      ETA--personally I wouldn't bother with asking the owner. Report it & let the authorities handle it. If she has road front property, odds are you aren't the only one seeing her skinny horses.
      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


      • #4
        Originally posted by danceronice View Post
        Even photographing from the road is a gray area, though I don't *think* it's illegal (but I would not swear it isn't.)
        As long as you are on public property or public right-of-way such as a road, you can take pictures of whatever you want that is visible to you from that location.


        • #5
          Turn it over to animal control. You are going on hearsay, based largely on another person's word. Nobody can say for certain if she is stopping by after dark and hucking hay into the paddock, for example.
          So yes, have the authorities get involved, and yes, keep an eye on them and photograph them too. It's not illegal to do that. It may mean a few calls to AC to keep them on it and to find out exactly what's happening. I would not confront this person either.
          I hope for the horses' sake it gets resolved. This has become all to common a scenario.


          • #6
            Call the local animal welfare authority and urgently


            • #7
              What Thomas_1 said. However, because you have only seen them from the road, not as clearly as the roofer, it would be best to encourage roofer also to report them.
              Last edited by sdlbredfan; Nov. 18, 2009, 07:28 PM. Reason: clarity
              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


              • #8
                Depends on what your state laws are. There are still some states who don't seem to care if horses are starving...sometimes it's a law problem, sometimes it's an enforcement problem.

                If there is a rescue in your county, I'd start with getting their advice. They should know what legal protection those horses may have.

                Good luck to you!
                Veterinarians for Equine Welfare