The Bad: Georgia Mare Has Twins

Anyone here from Georgia that could find out some additional information for us?  This 20-something Paint mare gave birth to twins recently.  It was featured on NBC and the result was an outcry from the public on the mare’s condition.

Here’s a link to the FB page of Horse Plus Humane Society that has a bit of an update.  The link to the actual NBC coverage is on that page as well, but I’ve linked it below for the Internet challenged.

NBC Coverage

I’m not entirely satisfied with the follow-up information.   An ‘accidental’ breeding can be ‘purposely’ looked after with a few medications so there’s not an ‘accidental’ foal.   Guess it was also an ‘accident’ she had twins, right?  And an ‘accident’ she’s so underweight and depressed.  As in, you were too cheap to ‘purposely’ have her ultra-sounded, and then ‘purposely’ have the twin pinched off, and finally to ‘purposely’ feed her appropriately?  There is a reason why twins are rare in equines and why we ‘purposely’ try to avoid that possibility. 

Grrr…

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48 thoughts on “The Bad: Georgia Mare Has Twins

  1. I’m glad you posted this. I put this up on my FB too. I was so outraged by all the comments about how she just looks like this because she had twins. That kind of attitude just makes me *rips hair out* crazy!! It’s the same as saying a horse is skinny because it’s thin.

    I’m going to go punch an animal abuser in the face now. That should help settle me down…

  2. the news covereage shows the mare to have food and water, pretty much the standard for taking a horse, if it doesn’t have food and water. That she is too thin and was probably struggling throughout the pregnancy would not have mattered if she was being given food and water. Tifton is in the south of the state, a small town not too far from Florida. It is not a progressive kind of place. The foals, for being twins, looked in pretty good shape. State Agriculture Department is where complaints can be made, but I doubt they will take a horse that has food and water. I’ve made complaints before, doesn’t go far unless the horses are out right abandoned without food and water. Quite frankly, sending the woman some high quality food for lactating mares would probably do the horse more good in the long run.

    • Completely forgot you were there. Duh!

      Well, that’s not the kind of news I wanted to hear, but sending the woman quality food is an interesting tactic I hadn’t thought of. I confess, I got stuck at thinking about kicking her between the eyes.

      I too thought the foals looked really good under the circumstances, but they sucked a lot out of the mare to be that way. I was at least relieved to see that they were getting the foals on a formula. Maybe along with that mare food, sending formula for the foals would be prudent?

    • What the hell would you send her anything for? She looks well dressed enough…don’t be an enabler! She can feed her own horses, she needs to be involved and care enough on her own! Figures we’d get a liberal spin from NBC on this situation…

      • I agree. I am sick to the back teeth with enabling these people. Hard as it may be, letting the mare and foals die would be a much more sensible thing to do- in a high profile situation like this, if one of the foals, or the mare dropped dead an inquiry could be demanded. Sending them donations? Not me! I have horses of my own that need feeding, thank you. I rescued a mare, with foal at foot (well, I say “rescued” I actually got home to find my local friendly knacker had dropped her off for me, so he rescued her, technically!) I did NOT go in the newspaper asking for donations. I got on with it, and it cost me quite a lot of money. That is what you do, you suck it up and you feed the animal. They know enough to supplement the weaker foal (but not enough to know they should be supplementing the stronger one and letting the small one nurse) so they should know enough to feed the foal. Accidental breeding my arse!!!

      • I’m totally with you on that. The moron needs to put her hand in her pocket and pay for a vet and pay for appropriate feed to provide proper nourishment for the mare AND the foals.

        I noticed that one of the foals isn’t moving well (got a twist on a leg)

        I used to work as a co-ordinator and inspector for the ILPH and that included providing respite care for horses that were confiscated from their low life owners pending litigation. Hence I well know from sad experience that mares in poor condition carry to full term and they suffer and massively compromise themselves.

        • I also noticed the twisting to the gait on that foal. The video made me sick, so much ignorance in one place and on the news to boot! They are encouraging this by putting it on the news!

          • With you on that entirely! I sincerely hope they learn from all the negative feedback they’ve had. But I doubt it!

      • because unfortunately, I know more about the state’s ability and willingness to take horses in poor condition, and how little ass kicking matters to most rural southern folks, and the reality is, almost no one takes well to outside interference. What she was wearing looked like scrubs from dollar general, which run under $20.00 if you catch them on sale and about $25 if you don’t and they looked new, probably bought when she knew she was going to be on tv. That area has had about two years of drought, hay is probably high, and like everywhere else, feed is really high. No, she shouldn’t own horses if she is that hard up, but I have heard plenty over the last 20 years of people keeping horses on a shoestring on the boards, people who couldn’t pay bills, etc. What I have found out after years of preaching on the internet is that it rarely changes anything, people don’t want to learn and they blow up when even mild criticism is offered. Help when help is asked for. And since I am pretty sure those horses simply won’t be taken away, then helping the horse is really the best choice. Not being a smug moralizer about something that won’t happen.

        • Again, I really, really DON’T give a rat’s ass about HER situation. Just in case anyone missed that subtle inference.
          I started out over 20 years ago on a shoestring budget with horses, doing a minimum wage job and odd work wherever I could get it, and you know something, my horses STILL did not want for food or care because I worked my ass off for it and studied as much as I could so I would know what and where and when and how to do things. Hay prices, et cetera are all convenient excuses for the same old tired stories.Where there is a will there is a way and I am sick to death of the “entitlements” group and their whining. 20 years later and I am in a MUCH better place with my own property, nice truck and trailers, great care for my horses and I want to punch anyone in the head that tells me “You’re so lucky!” Maybe luck had a LITTLE bit of a hand in some things but busting one’s ass every day pays dividends, absolutely. So this woman needs to get off the boob tube and get that shirt dirty doing something caring for those horses and NOT make any more babies from that mare!

          • Now I’m all for giving a person a hand up if needed, but the reality of my situation is similar to yours. I grew up poor, worked hard and never asked for or received any help from anyone. I now have my horse on my own (paid for) property, a decent rig, and the best of care for my old guy. And my feeling about people like this person with the skinny mare is that they will never have the peace of mind that you and I have. She will always be pissin and moanin about what she’s “entitled to”.

          • and at minimum wage, if one of your horses had needed extensive vet care, you would have had to put it down because the local vet hospital rarely does charity. It is not so much that I think this woman needs help that I care to give her, but then this isn’t about her. I am not so high and mighty any more with my opinions about the failings of the ‘entitlement crowd’ which, by the way, you clearly have no idea of the legal meaning of entitlement or you wouldn’t use the phrase disparagingly, so ignorance abounds in so many ways, doesn’t it? What I think is the horse needs help, and I am not some self righteous prick that would deny the animal help because of who its owner is. That is the difference. You don’t approve morally of the owner, so you think of revenge against the owner through the law or whatever thrill you get from being sanctimonious on the internet is what is important. For me, the horse needs help now, I am unlikely to change its owner, I have the advantage of knowing the law down here and the attitudes, so I can choose the practical course over outrage that does nothing. In the long run, I really don’t care, it is not for me to judge that person as a human being, I’ve been there, done that and it never made life better for the horse. I am always suspicious of people who phrase their discussion around how wonderful they are, the ‘Monty Roberts’ syndrome. People who think in terms of “I” aren’t good for horses in my opinion.

          • So jrga, how long are you going to feed and pay the vet bills for that horse and her babies? After that diatribe, it had better be for the rest of their lives if they stay with that owner because that is what it will; take.

    • I know that this could have been prevented, ect, but…just maybe the fact that the mare was underweight at the time of birth helped her pass these foals. Getting the correct feed into this old girl NOW and to supplement the foals is what’s important. From the follow-up news it sounds like this will happen just because everyone made the proper waves!

  3. Animal control have attended and report there’s several violations. They’ve not removed the horses but have enforced veterinary attention nd are following up later.

    • lol! I like the idea of kicking her in between the eyes; take the horses, kick the woman. Sounds good to me! I can understand someone, who seems rather horse illiterate, doesn’t know that having twins is very dangerous for horses, but it shouldn’t take a genius to realize a pregnant mare that skinny isn’t normal. Letting that poor mare carry one baby to term, let alone two, was lazy and selfish. It was very lucky everyone survived.

    • That’s good to hear because that poor mare is being taxed harder now than she was in foal. If she doesn’t get on a healthy weight gain diet, those foals will pull her down to nothing – even with their buckets of formula. Why is it always the idiots whose half starved horse can deliver 2 healthy foals unattended??? It would NEVER work for any of us…one or both would surely die.

      • You hit on a sore point for me with that last, since I’ve lost mares and foals under the crappiest circumstances totally out of my control, while this ignoramous and her ‘accidental’ breeding can have a 20-something drop healthy twins. REALLY?!

        • Sorry, my lucky comment was a bit of sarcasm. It isn’t very lucky for that mare to have to support not one, but two foals. Its rather infuriating. That mare has nothing else to give those babies 😦
          If it was an accidental breeding it could have easily been solved by either feeding the mare or pinching the embryo. Which again just goes to show the owner is stupid, lazy, and selfish, but since she didn’t feed the mare before she got pregnant, I’m going to go back to Mercedes idea of kicking her in the head.
          It definitely isn’t fair this stupid twit gets two beautiful healthy foals over the heartbreak responsible breeders have to deal with.

        • Exactly! Even Rachel Alexandra, with her entourage of caregivers, suffered a serious tear with ONE foal, let alone two. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she can never carry a foal to term again.

    • do you have a link for that, because horses aren’t under local animal control rules, they are under State Agriculture control. The violations they can enforce are limited, failure to have a valid coggins on the mare, lack of food and water.

  4. I just love how she says..”the miniature one..” Anyone else catch on that? Thankfully those foals dont look as awful as their mother! Hopefully some help is set up and the mare gets the care she needs so she can take care of her two lovely babies!

    • I’m sure no one thought of emergency colostrum replacement to be sure the foals get what they need despite their mother being a rack of bones.

      • The video and the article said that both foals were suckled by their mother so that means they will both have had colostrum from the milk the mare produced for that first suckling.

        Immunoglobulin level can of course be checked but in all likelihood it will be o.k. providing the mare allowed both foals to suckle.

        But as I said AC have enforced veterinary attention so all will be in hand…. one hopes!

        • We’ve seen from the Fugly blog how good “enforced veterinary attention” can be (not) and that would be making the assumption that each foal got enough colostrum and that it was up to par, especially for the runty foal. It can be hard enough to be sure a newborn foal gets business done without being born runty and then have to nurse an emaciated mare!

          I guess these animals would not be getting the proper attention had the media not blabbed it all over the television, but still, I wish they would do a more informative follow-up rather than such a kittens-and-puppies chirpy spin on it.

          • As someone who lived in Cordele, Georgia for 27 years, I was appalled at the interview with Lori Tucker. I hope she is not as ignorant as she sounded. The neighbors should be commended for caring more about the pregnant mare than the “owner”. She should know those foals need round the clock feedings and the mom needs to get on a high calorie, lactating diet. Thank God her interview was aired and the mom and babies will get the attention they need.

        • Not necessarily- if two foals are suckling the colostrum will go a lot quicker than it is meant to. Technically it is there for 24-48 hours but that is with one foal nursing, not two. I know if it is dripping for any length of time you can be in trouble- but Hey, this is M/S lucky here, she will get away with it!!

        • The article also says that the foals were born twenty minutes apart, but the owner admits to being obliviously asleep when the foals were born, so…

          • Yes, why weren’t the neighbors interviewed? It makes me sick that a vet was not present at the birth or shortly afterwards. I feel sorry for the mare and the foals. If I could afford to, I would gladly take them off her hands.

          • She did but then she was saying some things that were somewhat inconsistent.

            She says she didn’t even know she had twins until her neighbor called her but she somehow knows which one was born first and how far apart they were born!

            Mind you IME owners like her are just lying gobshites!

            The stupid bitch tells us she had a foal previously from this mare and it was stillborn!

            I bet she didn’t know her mare was skinny and starved till someone told her but she’ll know what she feeds them and how often and when those bony things started poking through!

            Heck she might even have had 2 pregnant mares that both foaled and 1 died overnight so the other mare is doing the job of fostering both…. It’s been known.

            But “I just killed one mare and my other poor skinny one is doing her job” doesn’t make such a cutesy story !

            The stupid woman also says she’s (ONLY) feeding the foals 7 times a day!!! When I’ve hand reared, I’ve been feeding them every 2 hours!

          • As someone who has cameras mounted in their barn and sat up “foal watching” for weeks, it makes me sick!

  5. IMO the media were just stupid parties to it. They just went willingly like lambs to the slaughter to do a “cutesy twin babees” story and then got slam-dunked by people who saw that starved mare’s hatrack ribs!

    They also put 2 + 2 together and knew the owner’s story didn’t stack up. She says she was surprised by the twins and her neighbour called her but then she goes on to say which one was born first.

    The comments on the broadcasters web site and via facebook meant that the alert button was hit and a lot of folks called AC – myself included and we called and called again till we knew they were doing something.

    The horses may or may not get great veterinary services and management. I personally doubt they will. It’s not the vets responsibility to ensure the stupid get everything for free or with discretionary effort.

    I’d like to hope that AC will take the lead on this and ensure everything has been done properly and with effective follow up.

    But heck I’m cynical so I’m just hoping the owner gets some karma!

    • I used to be a reporter for a paper in a semi-rural, very horsey type of area. Paper got a call one day from some folks whose mare had twins. They were so cute, and twins are rare in horses, so wouldn’t we like to come out and take pictures and do a story? I told the editor that I didn’t want to do it, as there is a reason why twins are rare in horses, and I didn’t want to give these people attention for their poor breeding practices, or have to do the sad follow-up if one of the twins died. I said I’d only do it if I could also find a vet to quote in the article about why it’s dangerous for horses to have twins and that the preferred practice is to ultrasound and pinch off one twin for the safety of the mare and the health of the other twin. Editor thought that would just open a giant can of worms, these people would be pissed at the paper for making them look bad, we’d probably get anti-abortion people mad at us for talking about baby-horse abortions, all in all more trouble than the story was really worth. So we simply declined to feature the twins in the paper.

      The competing newspaper, of course, put a big happy picture of the cute babies right on the front page with the “cutesy twin babies” story that you’d expect. To be fair, that mare was in much better condition, well fed and cared for with the exception of that no one bothered to get her an ultrasound. I still imagine that horse people must have been cringing at the photo and saying “thank goodness it worked out okay”.

      • Bonus points for not doing your ‘job’. LOL! I’m subtracting a few, though, from your editor for being a coward for not opening the can of worms.

  6. From the Humane Society’s facebook page:

    Update on the emaciated mare and her twins-

    Some of you feel that we were out of place in sharing the news story about the twins born on Easter, asking for people to request an investigation in the mares welfare. From the video it is clear that she is extremely emaciated and her topline is very depleted, she appears to be a body score of 2. What we have learned since the story aired is that …Animal Control did visit, the mare is over 20 and supposedly the pregnancy was an accident. Animal Control will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that she is given everything she needs. Barring extensive medical problems, a 20 year old mare, who has just given birth or not, should never look like she does. The TV station that did the story should have questioned why she is so skinny and given an answer to the public in their story.

    • Thank you for the update. I’m praying for that ignorant woman who said she is the owner. It seems like the neighbors care more. God intervened so these beautiful animals could get help.

  7. The good thing is people reacted and something was going to change. GA Dept of Ag and Animal Control are now involved and people are watching. If the poor mare had one foal, they may both be dead because the owner doesn’t seem to know much about horse care. GA has laws against abuse and neglect of horses but getting then enforced is a hard thing to do. If a horse dies, cases are closed. End of story. Really? Horse is dead, someone starved or neglected it. Sad but true. I have a horse rescue org in GA since 1998. Working hard to educate horse owners.
    I hope the mare and twins get the nutrition they need and the owner is ashamed of herself for not caring.enough to care for that pregnant mare.

    • Don’t you think it says a lot about the news people, especially the crew(s), that interviewed Lori Tucker that none of them apparently reported that the mare seemed underfed? I don’t understand how friends, family, neighbors, etc., could look at that beautiful mare and not see that something was wrong. Maybe something will come out of this story. I hope the owner gets some education on how to care for her horses. I bet she thought she had hit the lottery, never thinking about the crap that was going to hit the fan.

      • Of course she thought she had just hit the lottery! She had one horse and now she has THREE – for FREE! And she gets to be on TV besides!!

        As for the news crews: my thought would be that even IF they actually noticed something was amiss with the mare (not as likely as you might think!), they are under orders as policy to be very careful not to antagonise/upset/insult/whathaveyou anyone they are assigned to cover. They’d have far fewer calls if they did. They did their job and split. Not an excuse, but I’m betting it is the reality.

        I am SO sick of being told, “Everyone knows nursing mares are *always* boneracks”. (I bet that is what anyone was told here, too) That puts me in bitchslap mode. I have bred a few over the years and MY mares were never thin. Grrr!

  8. I would like to take this opportunity to say that my husband and I are just starting out and making about $2000 a month. And you know what? Our horses are fed. Even the 26-year-old hard keeper. If you really want to have horses, you can probably find a way to feed them. If you can’t, don’t have horses. Simple as that.

    Oh, and sex makes babies. It’s the same with everything that has sex. Including horses.

  9. I’m not a horse person but I am a mother of three living in Georgia.
    I just do not understand this excuse of a mare being emaciated because she had twins. If a human female looked this way after having twins people would be freaking out – the news story would have been about rescuing a malnourished mother of twins, not “aww look, cute babies!” No mammal should look this way after a birth. Very disturbing.
    “We’re not sure if she has enough milk,” the owner says. Well no, doofus, and I can tell that you’ve never been a lactating woman to make a dumbsh*t comment like that! You can make milk when you’re damn near starved to death, sure, but enough? No way.

  10. Is there any updates on how the three of them are doing? This is a come and go story and I couldn’t find a follow up any where.

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