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Is this animal abuse/cruelty?

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  • Is this animal abuse/cruelty?

    There are two horses in a field along the interstate that (out of habit) I'm always looking at as I go by. Back in late December the owners put blankets on them and I thought how nice, because it was really cold & we were getting 2' snow storms. For the last month+, one of the horse's blanket has been hanging 1/2 off it's side and no one ever fixes it.
    Well, spring has sprung here and it is 70 degrees outside right now. ....in the shade! These horses still have their winter blankets on! And it's still hanging half off of the poor animal.
    Can horses have heat strokes?
    Do you consider this animal neglect? Should I call animal control?
    I just think it's ridiculous that people are so irresponsible.

  • #2
    Where do you see them?

    Originally posted by chancy deal View Post
    There are two horses in a field along the interstate that (out of habit) I'm always looking at as I go by. Back in late December the owners put blankets on them and I thought how nice, because it was really cold & we were getting 2' snow storms. For the last month+, one of the horse's blanket has been hanging 1/2 off it's side and no one ever fixes it.
    Well, spring has sprung here and it is 70 degrees outside right now. ....in the shade! These horses still have their winter blankets on! And it's still hanging half off of the poor animal.
    Can horses have heat strokes?
    Do you consider this animal neglect? Should I call animal control?
    I just think it's ridiculous that people are so irresponsible.
    I'd try finding the owners first. Where in the Valley are you seeing these guys? Anywhere near Staunton?
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Well to put this into perspective, some blankets are rubbish and no matter how many times someone straightens them the minute the horse goes and rolls they fall over again, so you can't really use that as anything to go by I don't think.

      Unless you physically go and check these horses how would you know they are too hot? Maybe the horses are old or underweight. Maybe the blankets are rain sheets and don't have much padding.

      There could be many reasons for the owners leaving the blankets on and if you are really that interested in the horses welfare then try to find the owners and ask them. No I would not consider this animal abuse and I wouldn't be calling AC if the horses do not appear to be in distress and are well fed and have water available to them.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        They're just north of Harrisonburg. You can see them along I-81. On the east side of the road. They're just past exit 251.

        I'm not one to confront people. I also think people that will neglect an animal, arent really good people and I dont need to be cussed-out today.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Cloverbarley View Post
          Unless you physically go and check these horses how would you know they are too hot? Maybe the horses are old or underweight. Maybe the blankets are rain sheets and don't have much padding.
          This would be trespassing and Im not doing that.
          They looked healthy, not underweight, when the blankets went on in Dec.
          And they look like heavy insulated blankets. I havent trespassed on their property to take a close look at the type of insulation the blankets have.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is there a house nearby that you could knock on the door and ask about the horses? I've stopped and straightened a blanket on a horse before. I would hope someone would do the same for me.
            Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmm that does not ring any bells

              Originally posted by chancy deal View Post
              They're just north of Harrisonburg. You can see them along I-81. On the east side of the road. They're just past exit 251.

              I'm not one to confront people. I also think people that will neglect an animal, arent really good people and I dont need to be cussed-out today.
              I wouldn't worry too much, firstly it is fully possible that the folks who own them put them on when they turn out in the am, are at work and can't get back to remove them, it is still pretty chilly at night/early in the am.
              Plus it's my experience that when horses get fed up with rugs on they just rip them off.
              They have good teeth and are easily capable of tearing up a blanket no matter how well made.

              They won't suffer for very long! If at all.
              Yours
              MW
              Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
              Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
              New edition of book is out:
              Horse Nutrition Handbook.

              www.knabstruppers4usa.com

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Melyni View Post
                Plus it's my experience that when horses get fed up with rugs on they just rip them off.
                They have good teeth and are easily capable of tearing up a blanket no matter how well made.

                They won't suffer for very long! If at all.
                Yours
                MW

                Thanks Melyni. That is true. I guess I'll just forget about it and quit worrying.




                bird4416, there isnt a house nearby. Not one sitting "right there" where it's obvious that they are the ones who own the property.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow, I'm just amazed its in the 70's in the shade in VA. but in Ga. its 58
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hate to see blankets left on horses. They get too hot in the afternoon, sweat, and then come the nighttime chill, are standing in a damp blanket with all their fur mashed down so they have no insulation against the cold. I've known horses to get pneumonia from being left in blankets all day.

                    Having said that, I doubt AC would do anything about it. Usually their criteria for "abuse" is not enough water, food, or inadequate shelter. If the horses have all those things, I doubt your AC would get involved.

                    Bad horsemanship? Definitely. Abuse? I dunno. I guess your AC is the only one who could answer that.
                    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Yesterday, in the middle of the day, they were out there with them on. Their heads hung low.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                        Wow, I'm just amazed its in the 70's in the shade in VA. but in Ga. its 58
                        I WAS JUST GOING TO WRITE THAT!!!!

                        I am so ready for seventy!!! And I just looked, ten day forecast does not show us getting up that high..rrrr...
                        Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have to admit - my kids have their blankies (light/mid weight) on today and it was almost 60. It is getting colder at night, and is supposed to be cold/snowy again this weekend. Of course, I'll go straight to sheets when I do strip their blankies off.
                          A proud friend of bar.ka.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not one for turning a blind eye.

                            My suggestion is to get someone from the SPCA over there. This group, at least in our county, is the group that is notified for animal abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

                            Horses kept in blankets in the heat could be neglect.

                            But the good news is that a good Humane Officer from SPCA will enter the property with the goal to first and foremost, educate. At least that is how it goes in my county.

                            If you try to find the owner, you may get lucky and happen upon a good situation that just needs tweaking. If you walk into a hornet's nest, imagine how bad you would feel if you had done nothing.

                            I have been known to enter a property under the guiss of looking for horses to buy.
                            ...don't sh** where you eat...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do it!!!

                              If the blankets were put on four months ago and not touched. no telling what kind of condition the animals are in underneath. This has been a COLD, exceedingly snowy winter in the Valley, so horses on pasture have a very hard time, and you say the horses llook lethargic and the blankets are in the same position always. Follow your gut and REPORT!!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                In my area, the animal control people would laugh at you if you called in to report blankets on horses when its too warm. Personally, I would get off at the closest exit and drive around until you find them. It shouldn't be too hard. You could pull over and try to coax them up to the fence. That way you can assess body condition and you may find a house nearby where someone knows something.
                                You could nicely tell people you are concerned about a horse whose blanket is hanging off and worried it will get hurt.
                                If the horses are in poor condition, then you can call your animal control with a problem they can address.
                                Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by chancy deal View Post
                                  I'm not one to confront people. I also think people that will neglect an animal, arent really good people and I dont need to be cussed-out today.
                                  Seriously I mean come on! You are a busy body dear. Just because it is something you would not do does not mean it is wrong

                                  I have blankets on mine right now to help them shed out for show season. I must be a dreadful neglectful person! And *gasp* my horses are always twisting sheets and blankets - i fix them they twist right back - come and arrest me for it.

                                  Some people leave for work at the crack of dawn when there is still a chill in the air and return at dusk when it is also chilly. They might not share your views.


                                  Because it is not YOUR way does not mean it is the wrong way. Because you are not watching them 24/7 - or are you? You have no clue what goes on after you drive by - you need to get over yourself.
                                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Woodland View Post

                                    Because it is not YOUR way does not mean it is the wrong way. Because you are not watching them 24/7 - or are you? You have no clue what goes on after you drive by - you need to get over yourself.
                                    My thoughts exactly.

                                    Gosh, I sure hope the OP does not drive up to NY and drive by my place. My mare is wearing a 'blanket' today. And she has lots of mud in her paddock too.

                                    I leave the house long before it is light enough that you driving by could see my horse. It is still cold then. When I get home in the evening I have yet to find her dying of heat stroke.

                                    How can you tell driving by on an expressway and not stopping if the blanket is a sheet or a winter blanket?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There is nothing wrong with checking things out. If the people are like the above posters, the horses will be in great shape under the blankets. No harm done. If the blanket has been twisted to the side for days on end I bet no one has been out to check on it. Seriously, Woodland, the difference here is that the blanket has been twisted to the side for days. When yours twists, you fix it. Big difference. Again, there is nothing wrong with checking things out further.
                                      Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Last week, I had to argue with a client to get her to take one of two med weights off her very fuzzy, sweaty, old pony mare. Yesterday, I was successful in talking her out of the second blanket. She's an older woman, and was just really concerned about the mare catching a chill at night (supposed to be 73 here today...)....it's just hard to get across to people sometimes that horses have a different idea of "comfortable temperature" than humans do.....

                                        Comment

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