The Bad: Neglected Horses – Seeking Help by raftert

Below is a comment posted by raftert to the Hooves Blog.  (In future – everyone – feel free to put together a short article on such subjects of interest and submit to:  thehoovesblog@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to post them for comments)  The comment is entirely off topic and rather than see it get buried or pull comments away from the article it’s posted under, I’m posting the comment here to be discussed.  Note that advice is being asked for.

This is off topic, but I’m hoping someone on here can give me some advice. I just heard about a group of horses in British Columbia that are in pretty dire straits. The SPCA visited there a number of times a few years ago but none of the horses were seized at that time. As is par for the course in our area, the SPCA is not really interested in helping horses, so I’m not surprised that nothing was done then.

There is approx. 30 horses on the property, many of which are young stallions. The stallions are kept in stalls, 24/7, in a very old barn without much light. The last time there were shavings on the property was in November. The horses don’t get trimmed, but their feet do rot off in the stalls, which are basically never cleaned. Halters are not removed as most of the horses are now unhandled, when the stalls do get cleaned, the owner simply herds the horse into a different stall. Some of the stallions have been inside for almost 20 years, and there has not been any turnout for approx 10 years now. The young colts are moved into the barn when they start breeding the mares, there are new foal crops every year and no idea who is bred to who. I would imagine none of the other basic care is being done, such as deworming, as most of the horses haven’t been handled.

20 years or so ago, this owner ran a really nice barn and the stock (AQHA) was quite high end and well cared for. Her mental health has apparently been declining (obviously) and she will no longer allow people she doesn’t know to even enter the property. So, while I would love to get in there to blow the lid off this, I can’t. As for the weight of the horses, I was not told they were starving or even significantly under weight, so I’m confident that the SPCA will not be of any help now either.

Because I am in a very small town, I also don’t want to be in the limelight. I can accept critisism for that, and it is what it is, and it’s not going to change. All that said, how does a person go about getting attention on this, when the society that’s supposed to protect these animals doesn’t and you can’t get onto the property to get the pictures which could force action from the society? Any advice would be appreciated!

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63 thoughts on “The Bad: Neglected Horses – Seeking Help by raftert

  1. Where in BC is this farm? I’m fairly certain that our rescue in Prince George travels great distances for horses in need..Do you know anybody that has access to the farm? Perhaps there is someone that could convince the owner to give some up?

  2. First -Mercedes, thank you for posting this for me!

    I’m not going to post publicly where the farm is at this point. However, I do know who the lady is from PG equine rescue, and I will contact her right away, I hadn’t even thought of her. I know only one person with access to the farm, that person has had no luck even purchasing the one horse she has tried to get out of there, so I don’t think the owner would surrender any. I believe there is something of a hoarding type of mentality happening with these horses.
    I doubt that the lady from PG equine Rescue will gain access. 😦

    • Well, you have step one now – see what PG can do to attain access. If this fails, you will need to expose the farm and its location. You will need to contact the media or any other rescue in the area who may take the reins and pursue action. Thing is, you have to ask yourself a simple question. Is my reputation more important than the welfare of the horses? I speak from experience here, I’ve been all the way to the courtroom to help put someone behind bars. I didn’t need to get involved but there was an odd situation I found myself in that smelled rotten. And it was. I have zero regrets for defending the horses. They were better people than the POS that we put away.

      • Without having seen the horses first hand, even with the info coming from a source I trust to be accurate, is it reasonable to contact the media? We don’t have any rescues in the area, the closest one I’m aware of is PGER (who I haven’t heard back from yet).

        Disclosing the location won’t be an issue for me, I just want to wait until the SPCA has had a chance to get in there, so they can see things the way they are, without a potential ‘heads up’ for the owner. If I knew that wasn’t a concern, I would be happy to post the location right now. Would that be better? Maybe if it was public it would spur action more quickly? Or might that get back to the owner who could clean things up enough to satisfy an inspection, then things revert back afterwards. I don’t want the SPCA to see it any way other than how it is, they are the only ones who can actually enforce some laws on this. I don’t kow these answers which is why I’m on here. Looking for the best course of action to get things moving…

        • There aren’t a lot of people ‘here’ at this point in time. The blog has only been ‘online’ for two weeks, but I do understand you not wanting to give the owner a ‘heads up’. But if the horses have been kept locked up in a barn for all this time (we’re talking years it seems) and are unhandled, untrained, not getting their feet done, are typically standing in their own manure for weeks/months at a time, etc… then even the most inept SPCA person should? be able to determine they aren’t getting proper care even if the barn is spic and span and has fresh bedding. These horses have to be wild, have thrush, overgrown feet, may be suffering from skin conditions from not having sunlight and other medical conditions from the stress of being locked up for so long etc…

          While you’re waiting for the SPCA, perhaps you can try and get more detailed information from this person who has access to the barn about the actual condition of the horses? Another tactic might be to go knocking on her door and say that you heard she has horses and you’re interested in buying, or you’re new to the area and looking for a job with horses, or go as a Jehovah Witness handing out pencils…

          • OMG, a Jehovah’s Witness handing out pencils! I literally snorted my second sip of coffee! The last time they came to my door I was in the middle of crushing doxy doses in zip-locks. I think they thought I was a drug dealer and haven’t been back since.

            Sorry, had to share. I purchased a stunted QH filly 2 years ago that had been locked in a stall with another baby for 18 months. She grew to 13 hands with all the elegance of a 16 hand horse. She was a seizure, some of the seized horses had frogs that rotted right off from thrush. Cruel confinement is a crime of moral and physical abuse. It not only destroys the body but the mind as well. I don’t believe a case of this apparent magnitude can be corrected before a visit by the SPCA or veterinarian confirms the suffering. Thrush certainly doesn’t heal in days and wild horses don’t allow hooves to be trimmed. Why is it that this type of hoarder KNOWS how bad the situation is and then goes into lock-down mode to prevent anyone from seeing? There’s a way to get this resolved if the right person takes a deep breath and documents the conditions. She may be blackballed but it is the right thing to do.

          • Blondemare’s reply has just reminded me that the person who told me about this also mentioned that some of the older colts, 4 and 5 year olds, were the size of small yearlings. 😦

            I have found that the place is still listed on line as an Equstrian Center, just with a simple Google search. While there is no website, I think that may be enough for me to be able to say I found her online and came to inquire about horses for sale, or riding lessons, both of which used to be provided there. I will probably get shut down at the house and not make it to the barn, but I’m headed out to give it a try anyway.If nothing else there should be some mares outside the barn that I can see, it would give me an idea of whether or not they are being fed.

          • I know from personal experience with the RSPCA which is the direct equivalent, that they are all too happy to accept what they are told, so long as what they can actually see is not screamingly horrendous. Case in question was when I called them out to three horses who were on my property, with written notice to quit, and being deliberately starved to death as a ploy to try to force me to feed them out of my own pocket. They RSPCA would not come and inspect the horses, even though they were on my property, without the owner present and, in fact contacted the owner and made an appointment without telling me,. thus they came, without my permission, onto my property. Of course the owner made sure there was food and water in abundance, and, even though the mare had aborted due to her not being correctly fed, and the horses were obviously thin, the officers told me, and I had to phone them, they did not report to me as agreed, that everything was fine. I told them I had arrived three minutes after they had left having been given a heads up by a neighbour, and the owner actually SMIRKED at me as she took all the food and water out of the field! I asked them to come back, then, at that moment, and they refused. They have zero interest in helping horses as, if they are seized, they then have to look after them! I begged them, I pleaded, I offered to keep the horses for them, so long as they paid for their hay alone, if the seized them. They never came back.
            I am not sure of the financial status of the SPCA but the RSPCA is the richest charity in the UK, last time I looked it had over EIGHTY MILLION POUNDS- in the BANK!!
            What finally moved the horses, in my case, was my feeding them and putting them up for sale. As soon as that happened they were removed, by cutting the fence down. I reported them as stolen but the Police are actually less use than the RSPCA!!

          • Yeah, well, Jehovah Witnesses always seem to have impeccable timing, don’t they? I’ve either been in the shower (and my aren’t they a persistent, non apologetic bunch even when you’re standing in little more than a washcloth dripping all over the floor), doing housework naked (please, it’s the only way to clean an oven and you know it), or having sex (usually with my husband…sometimes alone…bet that made you snort your coffee).

          • Sounds like the RSPCA and the SPCA were separated at birth… cut from the same cloth… you could just change out the org name and you’d have true statements.

            They have done the same thing here (Ontario) with a huge local issue (Markville, Ontario) – 20-30 horses, apparently had been dying from starvation since October – owner buying more etc. It took a local rescue group and the media to get it any attention and even then no seizure, another rescue took on 14 starving horses, and a few more when to other barns/rescues. There are still some in her care (though the numbers keep changing as no solid info seems to be coming out- stated from 8-18 left in her care) Still no charges from the SPCA you can bet they are not helping with the removed ones.

    • Recently there was a situation (on-going) in Markdale, Ontario that is very, very similar to that one. The exception being that some of the horses starved to death before intervention and then some had to be put down due to extremely bad health. The SPCA here wouldn’t do anything either, standard reply “It’s being investigated”. It’s much easier to look after dogs and cats then horses. Anyway, people in the know finally contacted a television station who came out and videoed the property, then of course the SPCA stepped up to the plate, but it was a local rescue who took at least 20 of the horses. The people who called the media did allow their names to be used, I’m not sure if they had the option of remaining nameless. Something to think about at least. Good luck, it’s a tough decision at best.

  3. Get better evidence: photos and video if possible. Get the media involved. Write every day to the SPCA. Use social networks, forums and blogs to get others to do the same. Get in contact with every animal rescue place within 60 miles and elicit their support. Get local vets aware and on board.

    • Kirri, I’ve got to say that your story as an example absolutely shocked me.

      The RSPCA aren’t exactly an organisation I’m a huge fan of. IMO they spend way to much on administration and pratting about and way too little on investigating and prosecuting where there’s real suffering.

      But having said that YOUR story makes me think “no wonder!” The RSPCA aren’t there to be used when there’s a civil dispute about paying bills!

      If you permitted horses on your property then YOU should have had a contract with the owner that ensured the horses were effectively managed and looked after. IF they’re not then YOU become responsible and it’s normal and proper to ensure the contract says so and that it also clearly states how YOU recover any cost you incurred. If necessary that means taking action through the civil courts.

      The law in the UK is VERY clear on such matters.

      Frankly I find it appalling that you should abuse the services of the RSPCA and the police for what is a civil matter. IMO you’re bloody lucky that you didn’t get charged with wasting police time!

      Furthermore I find it disgusting that you could allow horses on your property to be starved and thin and to such an extent that they’re in poor health and aborting! The RSPCA aren’t there to bale out people who don’t want to take responsibility or do things properly.

      • As harsh an awful as this sounds, it IS NOT and NEVER WILL BE Kirri’s responsibility to pay for the care of someone else’s horse(s) unless otherwise dictated by a legally binding contract. Why are you assuming she didn’t have a contract outlining the required care to be provided by the owner for the horses to be eligible to stay on her property? She never said either way, so there’s no way to know for sure the exact circumstances.

        Also, who said that she was passive in allowing the horses to be starved? Just because the BO or landowner makes threats or pushes the owners to take better care of their animals, DOESN’T mean the owner is going to actually DO what they’re being told to do.

        • What it comes down to is that the animals didn’t read the Contract. There would never be a time that any horses would be on my property starving. They would eat until such time as I can arrange a legal arrangement that will compensate me for the owner’s abscense. I knew someone who refused to feed a dog during a divorce. No, sorry, NOT acceptable.

          • If they had been my animals, or had once been my animals, I should have continued to feed them. In point of fact I did feed these animals for over a year, and continued to do so even though I told the owner I was not and made sure their nest were empty whenever she came down, but it made no difference. Of COURSE I would not allow them to starve, but they were thinner than I should have liked as I had to move them out of my herd or they would have been eating as mine ate- and this had not worked the previous year,. I was, by then, desperate, I could not afford to feed three horses more- I was cutting down on my own herd and this free loader had three horses that were costing her NOTHING! So I gave her written notice to quite (the year before) and then harassed her every time I saw her- water off a ducks back! She really did not care if the horses starved- what sort of mentality takes hay OUT of the field after the officers have gone and SMIRKS at you?? What sort of low life could even think of acting that way??
            So, all of you can afford to pay to keep three extra horses? Hoof- you are the most outspoken here, leaping to conclusions and pointing fingers indiscriminately- you would be happy to keep three extra horses free of charge? Because in that case, I might just pay you a visit and you can keep three of mine for me! It’s been a long winter, I think I should just give my responsibilities to someone else and let them take care of the horses, whilst expecting to retain ownership, of course!

        • I wasn’t actually assuming she didn’t have a contract at all. I said she SHOULD have had one and it SHOULD have clearly laid out what happens if the owner fails in their obligations.

          In those circumstances the normal process in the UK is to go straight to a small claim and which is a quick and simple process. PROVIDING you have that typical contract.

          Here there’s no obligation to have to keep and sell the horse to recover your money at all. You simply feed the horse and then once the court has substantiated your claim which ordinarily takes no more than 6 weeks, it makes an award against the person who defaulted on the contract. So the owner is compelled by the court to pay the bills and to remove the horse from the premises.

          If the court feels it’s appropriate it will order the horse to go to the jurisdiction of a welfare organisation rather than be returned to the owner.

          Sometimes, some contracts do have clauses that say IF the owner defaults then the horse is kept and sold. Some of my contracts say that. BUT they only say that IF I think the horse is viable and is of the sort I could do something useful with, or could gainfully and easily sell it. And frankly that’s not normal nowadays.

          So Groggyduck I don’t want to assume you don’t live in the UK but if you do then YOU have it wrong. IF a horse is on your premises then YOU do have a responsibility at law to ensure it’s welfare is taken care of. This is enshrined under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act whereby there’s obligations on owners of premises that do livery, even if it’s DIY.

          When I’ve had an owner default on payment or duty of care, then I manage it quickly and successfully through the legal process. The horse doesn’t suffer. I don’t lose out (for long) and I don’t waste the RSPCA’s or the Police’s time and effort!

      • NOT a dispute about paying bills- please stop jumping to conclusions! The horses had been dumped, to all intents and purposes and were being deliberately starved- I no longer cared if she paid me for all the back fees, only that she actually feed them (which was NEVER my responsibility) and remove them.
        You might try getting a few facts straight before you jump on people in future- you seem to be making a habit of this sort of thing!
        So NO abuse of the RSPCA and it is TOTALLY what they are there for, 100%, otherwise, what are they for? Seizing animals form people who do not know their rights and making a mess of finding errant and wounded water birds, by the look of it!

        • Maybe I’m missing something but how can a year or more go by with no help from the law? Are things that slow in the court systems of the UK? In the US, at least local states, after a certain amount of time the horses become your property and you have the right to sell them to recoup your costs.

          • No they most definitely are not! I posted earlier to say as such.

            Suffice it to say, my version of the truth and evidence of experience is polar opposite to hers!

        • You have my sympathy in that it was a tough situation… a similar thing happened to a friend of mine who has a small boarding operation. Boarder abandoned her horses and stopped paying the bills. The legally-available remedy is to seize the horses and sell them, you can pay your outstanding bills plus any costs you’ve incurred for care of the horses from the sales proceeds. However, these particular horses were old and unsound, the only people would have bought them would be kill buyers, and my friend didn’t want to send them to slaughter. She was close to paying out of pocket to euthanize and dispose of them when eventually she worked it out with the owner.

          Since most of our laws here in Canada are copies of laws of the UK I am sure you must have a law allowing to seize and sell the horses if their owner hasn’t paid you. I don’t think it’s morally right to not feed animals regardless of the legalities. And I think if you chose to get into the business of boarding horses, it’s a part of that business that some people won’t pay their bills and you have to be prepared to deal with that. I would not feed three of someone else’s horses for a year, but I would feed them for a couple of weeks while I was going through the legal process of doing a seizure and sale. If they were horses that no one would want except the kill buyer, like in my friend’s case, then I’d take ownership of them myself, euthanize them humanely and sue the owner in small claims court.

          • A friend of mine had a unique way of dealing with a boarder who wouldn’t pay up. She took the horse to the owner’s home and left it tied up in their carport. I’m sure their are various ramifications to this, but on this occasion it solved the problem at hand. Kind of thinking outside the box…..

  4. Sorry, I don’t have any advice for you. But I do understand how you feel. I have never identified myself when making a call to animal control. I would not feel safe if these people knew I had finked them off, that’s the situation in my area.

  5. What a shame that such a situation should go on for so many years and no one thought enough of the horses (or themselves) to step in and put a stop to it. I understand your position of wanting to remain anonymous, and doesn’t that just say so much about our world today that we feel an overwhelming need to protect ourselves when doing what’s right by innocents.

    I concur with hoo4hearted. As written here this is all second-hand (plus) information. There’s no ‘proof’, so that has to be obtained, some way, some how. This person who does have access…slip them an iPhone and have them get some photo and video evidence, then take it to the media, to healthcare professionals and to people who aren’t afraid to stand in the middle of the room and shout at the top of their lungs.

    Please keep us updated on information about this situation.

  6. I guess my first question would be what sort of ‘security” is on the property? Big, mean dogs, yappy little dogs, electric fences, winding road, isolated from public view….. would there be any way to slip in and out quietly, snap the photos, avoid the main house or what? Someone has to bring in feed at various times, correct? Maybe you could hitch a ride or be in the vehicle with a telephoto lens. When I was a kid we used to go look at people’s horses througn the back woods and along streams etc, just a couple of horse crazy kids in anothr state. Lots of trees and stuff.

    I agree that in small towns you have to watch your back, but if the owner has mental health issues, maybe you could contact adult protective services, not leaving a name if you don’t actually want follow up. That is how it can be done stateside….. But then again maybe she would like something from a friendly committee…. it does sound a bit rough to have to work with.

    • Trespassing isn’t usually a good idea. If the photos are used for evidence, that can open a counter-suit for trespassing on private property, or get the case dismissed for wrongful actions. Technicalities are king around here.

  7. So, here’s where we are: since the local branch of the SPCA can’t help, I have called the main BCSPCA and made a report to them. Apparently they will be sending someone to investigate, at some point. I did give them my information, as that allows me to request follow-up information. I will certainly be contacting them again to make sure there is an investigation started.

    I will make a call to Mental Health regarding the owner, but I can’t do that until Monday.

    I haven’t been on the property myself for close to 20 years, so I don’t know if there are dogs, etc. I do know that the property is very secluded. There is a neighbour on one side and gov’t land on the other two. The barn and house area are not visible from the road or any of the other three sides. 😦

    The hay is delivered to the hay barn, which is before the horse barn, so the driver would not gain access to the barn at all. The same with shavings deliveries, although that doesn’t occur much anyway. Since the majority of the horses are inside the barn, you have to get right in there to see anything of substance, which she isn’t allowing anyone to do.

    I have no issue exposing the barn/location, the only reason I’m not doing that right now is that I have no way of knowing if the owner or people who know her might read this. Right now I’m not interested in giving her a ‘heads-up’ of any kind. Our SPCA has enough trouble getting a leg to stand on, they don’t need to arrive there to find the barn freshly cleaned up because she knew they were coming. Then they leave and things go right back to where they were.

    The person who does have access won’t take pictures for me. Although I will say that her reasoning is that she’s worried about getting caught and then not being able to get back on the property. She’s one of very few people allowed in there at all anymore.

    • I don’t see the point of this person who has property access not getting evidence. At the very least she’s an eyewitness. What good is access to the property and doing nothing with it? I don’t get it. At some point you have to take a stand and stop being party to the poor treatment of these horses. It’s not helping the horses for her to have access and not trying to do something about it. Or am I missing something? Is this person in the middle of ‘talking down the owner’? Is she there every day feeding and watering the horses?

      • You’re not missing anything Mercedes, you’re right that access alone doesn’t help the horses at all. Maybe I’m not being persuasive enough with her or maybe she’s apprehensive about getting caught taking pictures with the owner not being so mentally stable. Whatever the reason, I haven’t had any luck convincing her to take any. I’m still trying to figure out some excuse to gain access myself. I know if I could get pictures that I could get a lot more happening and I have no issue with the owner catching me doing it (as long as it’s after I manage to get a few!). I just haven’t managed to find any reason that might get me in there.

        I think the person who told me about this has know about the situation for quite some time, maybe even a number of years, and this morning was the first I heard of it. She’s not there very often, maybe once or twice a year, and even that’s not been every year. The topic came up today because she has had one of the owner’s horses on a lease basis for about 4 years and now the owner wants her to bring the horse back. We were talking about that when the conversation became revealing when she told me why she didn’t want to take the horse back there. I’m really shocked that this person has known about this for ANY period of time and not done anything about it. I really don’t think that the conditions there are widely known around the area, the owner is not one that I ever here about in conversations in the horse world here. In fact, I didn’t know there was still anyone there with horses, I thought the place had been condemned a bunch of years ago.

        • How about taking the tack with her that you are worried about what will happen to her when the manure hits the windmill and she has obviously not made any attempt to help? How about telling her that she will be culpable and you are worried that she will face charges if she does not make some sort of stand? Obviously dress it up a bit- you know her, I don’t and you want to scare her enough to get her to cooperate but not enough to make her “freeze” on you.

          • Interesting idea but she’s well enough educated to know that she’s not going to be held responsible. It’s hard enough to get charges against the neglectors, the SPCA certainly isn’t going to go after her as well.

  8. I think this is an interesting topic. What do you do when animals are being abused and when do you get involved? I have it pretty well worked out where I live. It has to be something that I know animal control would get involved in. Things like horses kept in a stall would not, however, if their feet were in such bad shape, that would do it. You have to be aware of what authority will do in the situation. In every case I have reported, I was not the only person doing so, I found out later that other neighbors had also reported, and that helped put the pressure on. Because this case seems to be based on one persons reporting, I would put pressure on her to help you.

    • If only there was a basic three step plan that people could follow, but the reality is that each situation is different and that all these ‘authorities’ are run by ‘people’, and ‘people’ just aren’t always good at their jobs or don’t always care to do their jobs. There are also people out there who’d report others out of turn and I think that often makes agents of the authorities a bit ‘dull’ from too much ‘wolf crying’.

      I think in the end it boils down to what each of us knows in our mind and heart to be right and wrong and our personal levels of tolerance for the wrong and wronged. I know that I place a great deal of importance on fairness, in all things. That’s just how I’m wired. If something is unfair, (like the treatment of an innocent) and even when I know logically that things are sometimes unfair, that life is unfair, it pisses me off and almost always spurs me to some kind of action. Granted, that action isn’t always constructive.

      As has been said, there simply isn’t any evidence at this point. We need some proof. Something to provoke action. If the situation is as it’s thought to be, and we’ve got a person who has access, I agree, turn the pressure up on this person to get the proof.

  9. You really do need more evidence. At the moment it’s all just heresay. I don’t know what makes you believe that the person telling you all this is credible. But I presume there’s something.

    In these sort of cases it really is a matter of making yourself a pain in the arse to the authorities. Make it so it’s easier for them to go out and investigate and report back than it is to have to deal with you day after day after day.

    I’m far from being a fan of the RSPCA in the UK but I have used them and have never had the experience that Kirri described. But I tend not to bother them when it’s merely a civil dispute and for sure I never give up and I do precisely what I suggested in my first post.

  10. Unfortunately I am far from alone in my experiences. That also was only one example of my own, personal, experiences with them- I could go on and on and on. I actually find it easier to get off my backside and do something about the situation myself now.
    The last time I called them was a few years back when I was concerned about some gypsy ponies that were going to get out of their tiny field because the idiots that owned them fed them one round bale a month- whatever. They ended up being, on one occasion, ten days without food,which is when I called the RSPCA. They came out, assessed the situation and then came back and built them a new fence! Now, I have fences need doing, but, since I am not a gypsy, the chances of the RSPCA building me a new one, instead of prosecuting me for leaving my horses without feed for ten days, are ZILCH…..
    Another triumph for the RSPCA!!!

  11. Good luck, lots of good tips here. The only thing I’d like to add, as a possible explanation of the SPCA, is that many SPCA branches are set up with house pets in mind and their staff don’t have any training or experience with horses and other large animals. A lot what seems obvious to us as a horse people isn’t neccessarily obvious to someone who only had experience with dogs and cats. Also, intervening in dealing with 30 horses including unhandled stallions may well be entirely beyond the capability of this particular branch of the SPCA. It’s a hugely signicant project compared to say, taking in a litter of kittens. I don’t mean that as an excuse, but I do mean that if there is anything they can possibly rest on to think that things aren’t so bad, they’re going to take it. And it means that I think you need not only evidence, you need expertise – you have to get those pictures/video and then take them to a well-respected equine vet who can indicate that these conditions are not acceptable for these animals.

  12. So, as of today, here’s where we’re at. Like Chestnutmare mentioned, this branch is not set up to deal with the situation. There will be an officer sent out to the property from one of the two larger branches. I don’t know yet which officer is going, but I’m crossing my fingers for one in particular because he’s reputed to be a real hard a$$.

    As far as getting pictures, the SPCA won’t accept them as evidence even if I get them myself, because they can’t say whether or not that means the conditions are always like that. I think that the conditions ever being what’s reported are reason enough for SPCA involvement, but I don’t get any say in what they will accept as evidence.

    What I am hoping for right now is that they will take into account the fact that this is not a first time offender and will take action quickly.

    Is there anyone on here who is from the Cariboo region of B.C.?

    • They might not if that’s all there is. But they corroborate your story and are persuasive particularly if you need to elicit support of media and other organisations.

    • The fact that this is a repeat offender ought to light a fire under someone in SPCA. Locally, this elicits a strong response from the wronged officers and there is little sympathy for the ownerhole. Keep us posted raftert and good for you getting this rolling. The horses thank you!

  13. Don’t give up. I have a hoarder with a herd of horses next to me with more or less the same conditions as those you mention. It has been ongoing for some ten years. The SPCa were excellent the first 5 years with many improvements. Half the herd was shipped and a no breeding contract was signed. Then there was a staff change and a beyond worthless investigator took over for some five years. Everything was again ignored and the higher ups in the organization went along with her. She is now gone and an excellent investigator has taken her place. The owner gets regular unannounced visits so has to keep the horses fed. If you are lucky enough to have Kent in your area I am sure he will do his best.

    • Interesting….Kent is oneof the options for who may be attending. Apparently it will be either him or someone from Williams Lake. He’s the one I am hoping for. 🙂

  14. Does anyone ever wonder if the very owners we conspire against (due to neglect/abuse) are sitting at home reading our comments and laughing to themselves?? Or do you think it’s more likely that threads like this encourage the lazy to get off their asses and do something about their situations? I wonder if people can learn and change their ways or if they need to be stopped from ever owning animals in the future. So many repeat offenders….

    • Not a chance. I just know that they’re either too stupid to read and work a computer OR they don’t have a clue they’re doing anything wrong so it can’t be about them. 😉

      • I have to agree. If they read it, it’s definitely not about them AND they are likely to vehemently agree with general sentiment. I’ve also never known a lazy person to suddenly be spurred to action; that’s usually a long process of change that requires several baseball bats to the head (for encouragement only, of course) along the way.

      • Denial is a safe place to hide for these types. I know of one case where an educational visit produced a favorable outcome. One. I’m a cynic, I know this, and I’m afraid that Mercedes is right about the baseball bat encouragement for most. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    • Well in my area I can answer that. It’s a “cultural thing”. They’ve always “done it that way”. Any contact I have tried to make is answered with a friendly “we just got this one”, “we don’t own it, it belongs to my son”. That’s why I have to turn a blind eye to a lot of things, and only fink off when I know that animal control will intervene.

  15. You could also contact PETA and see what they recommend. I know a lot of you hate them but they actually have some good ideas and people that are more likely to help. More likely than the SPCA dog & cat pound/store.

    The other thing is that we do have a Mental Health Act and if she is becoming a danger to herself or others then action i.e. legal action can be taken and she could end up removed and in care for a minimum 30 days.

    I would go directly to the media and whine about how crappy the SPCA is that is the quickest way to get action from them even though they don’t really give a damn.

  16. Just for the record *one* *more* *time*: PETA is NOT about animal welfare. They really do not give a damn about the animals’ care and condition: they want to see all animals ‘set free’ without any sort of human intervention – good or bad. If they get involved, they will be in it strictly for the publicity. That is not a recipe for a good outcome for the horses.

    • With you 200% on that! PETA have never done anything particularly constructive or remotely near helpful to do with animal welfare!

      They’re a bunch of whackos on the extreme fringe.

      I’d not wish them on my worst enemy.

  17. This is the definition of an exploiter hoarder the most extreme category. “They acquire animals purely to serve their own needs and tend to have sociopathic characteristics or personality disorders. They lack empathy for both animals and people and are unable to recognize the suffering their actions are causing, even with dead or injured animals in plain view. They can have a superficial charm and charisma, but believe their knowledge of the animals is superior to all others and they have an extreme need to control. They will lie, cheat or steal without remorse to acquire animals or to avoid the law.”
    In the article where this was taken from Marcie Moriarty of the SPCA states, “The reality is that there is no court-mandated counseling for these people. communities must become more aware of the animal hoarding issue and begin to look at the human dimension to ensure the help is there for the people and the animals”.
    A good investigator that cares for animals will do something to improve conditions. With the worse than useless investigator all she had to do was keep 6 bales piled out front in full view and it was taken for granted that the horses were being fed.

    • I have been told many times that as long as there is feed on the property, the SPCA can do nothing about the situation – other than to come back to check at intervals. Their hands are tied.

  18. You’re right Walknuk but they should still have enough common sense to look at the horses and if they are skin and bones put two and two together and come up with the idea that the animals are not getting enough food. Regular monitoring is working great in this case. No longer are they going without hay for days at a time.

    • Would that common sense were more common! During a seminar I was asked to give on horse keeping for the inspectors of one of our local SPCA’s I took them all right into a stall bedded in straw. I mentioned that a stall should not *squelch* underfoot. Two of them looked at each other and asked me to repeat myself. “A stall should not go ‘squish squish’ as you walk on the bedding.” They looked at each other again and one said, “I guess we had better go back to that place we were at yesterday”. Ohhhh boy. But then…that may have been why I was asked to talk to them!

  19. I had the spca called me once. But they called the owner of the land who told them there was no way I was starving my horses. I think it was just city folk as I kept my horses Almost in town. They ate grass thru the snow and I forked hay to them early morning and afterdark so the people probably assumed I never fed them. (or bothered to notice the pitchforks and diminishing bales). So i do think the calls that go no where can get tiresome.

    • Been called on as well and actually had the SPCA come out to check. It seemed someone thought that horses shouldn’t be outside during the winter, especially without blankets on. Yes they had shelter and food and water, but not my fault they liked to lay down and fall asleep when it would snow. It took about 15 seconds for the SPCA to realize it was a false complaint. Asked me if I had a stall for every horse, which I did – not that I ever used them – and left.

  20. Kamloops SPCA is very good. For a few years, we had a do-gooder (or an enemy!) that would call the SPCA that our horses are not being fed. Nope, they were not being fed in that field, they were being fed in the adjoining field. And the gate was open between the two fields! We also had a brahma cross cow, and she looked like a bonerack against the herefords. SPCA officers were very professional, and knowledgeable. They had a look at the welsh ponies, asked if the cow was a dairy cross, and asked about water, feed and shelter. Some years they came twice! Nice visit, and but they did say that they had to check out every call, even though there was nothing to look at except for cute ponies!

    If animals have food, water, and shelter, there is not much else they can do.

  21. Did the SPCA ever get out to see these horses. It would be nice to get a follow-up on the progress if any.

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