Starving Horses – Washington State

Gayle has given us a heads up on a dire situation.  She writes:   I came across this after hearing about it from my vet.  This is in Snohomish County in Washington state:  horses are starving and it’s a slow road before animal control does something about it.  Already a few have died from starvation. My question is how can we get the media’s attention on this?  Thought I’d ask you or anyone else that may know a way to get some action done.  People are willing to pull these guys out, but owner isn’t budging.  Thanks (link following):

I note on the Facebook page that there’s suppose to be an interview on a local station this evening.  Hopefully that will get Animal Control in gear.

33 thoughts on “Starving Horses – Washington State

  1. One country, completely different value system. It sucks to see situations like this where nobody who has power to change things wants to give a shit.

    • Yes and no. There are plenty of us who give a shit. But the way the power system in the US works, the politicians have the reins. The electorate has the reins of the politicians, but the electorate has become a fraction of what it should be. In other words, a huge chunk of eligible voters do not vote. Presidential elections bring people out, but local elections are a joke. Most politicians do good work, but very few of them serve for a term and then go back to the private sector, which is how this country is supposed to work. So they are not about to rock the boat and start enforcing animal cruelty laws when there are hungry children, homeless, etc. in their juristriction. And we who care about horses are the only ones to prod the power system to do it’s job.

      I don’t have the answer, but Gayle has helped by bringing it to our attention. This blog helps by educating people. I intervene when necessary. We all do what we can.

      • Why can’t there be a power player who will swim against the tide for these cases? It’s such blatant abuse and there is history of horses going down from starvation, unable to rise, then suffocated by this bat shit crazy woman in 2008! This would not happen where I live, the horses would be seized and the accused ordered not to own animals again. That’s my point, really, why the difference based on georgraphy??

        • Oh, ladies how about opening up another six cans of worms? LOL! Who do you think the government and organizations and agencies and, and, and, are? They are PEOPLE. Here are some things you can count on people to do:

          Be about their own self-interests
          Be willing to set ethics and morals aside for personal interests
          Take the easy way out and be cowards
          Talk out both sides of their mouths – usually at the same time
          Did I mention being about themselves?

          It takes a special (and rather rare) person to swim against the current and those people are so rarely encouraged or rewarded equal to their effort.

          I have always been a proponent of the punishment should fit the crime. In other words, if I was in charge, I’d stick this person in an 10×12 stall and not feed her…indefinitely. And I’d not lose one second of sleep, but I’m mean that way.

          • OK, I accept that. But not all animal control agencies are so difficult to work with. In my area, a really starved horse is immediately seized.

          • But it’s not the ‘agency’ that is being difficult, it’s the ‘people’ who make up that agency that are being difficult. At this point it’s appropriate to ask the following question: Why?

          • That’s not true. The voter can only vote for candidates put forward by the ‘system’ (run by people with self-interests). I’m a voter who rarely votes. Not because I don’t care, but because I DO care. I will not give any candidate my vote under the pretense of ‘he/she is the lesser of the all the evils’. Give me somebody I can trust, who I can believe in, who will paddle up stream when everyone else is riding the current downstream and I’ll have my butt at Elections Canada with bells on to vote and show my support faster than you can say, Hi.

            Here’s a related, yet off topic, example. NC state representives just passed a bill right under the noses of all N. Carolinians that prevents them from purchasing cars online directly from car manufacturers. Now, this isn’t a big deal in the scheme of things unless you want to buy a car from one car mfg in particular…the one that’s got NADA all in an uproar this past year – Tesla. Well, guess what? The people are getting wind of this and they are mad. But guess what else? The state reps don’t give a shit because their palms are being greased by NADA and not by Tesla. Fortunately, this is probably going to end up in Federal court and be overturned (who knows when…could be years from now) because the law being passed by these jerkoffs is unconstitutional. But don’t think this is a single example.

            The true power is in the hands of those with the money who can buy what they want. And to bring this back to horse topic: If the JC gave you or me our pick of next year’s crop of yearling TB’s to train and race, what exactly do you think our odds are to compete against the likes of D. Wayne Lukas? Even if we picked the best yearling in the crop. Do you have the funding required to get that horse to the races to compete at the highest level?

          • That speaks for the majority of people but not all. I’ve stuck my neck out several times right down to testifying in court to help horses. It’s my drum and I’ll dam well beat the shit out of it when it needs beating. What is that word, that thing, umm, er – oh yea, conscience, and those without it need punishment effective enough to keep them from testing the hot burner again. I, like you, have no pity for animal abusers (among other things) but would prefer the punishment be monetary in nature. That hits the greed and selfishness where people take notice.

          • Okay, but what happens when they don’t have the money? Realistically, a lot of times the horses don’t get fed because the people don’t have the money to feed them.

          • I’d like to continue this because I think it is at the heart of Gayle’s problems with animal control. Mercedes, if you think I am going to upbraid you for not voting, I am not. I tell people that it makes my vote all the more powerful. Yes, money is deeply involved with politics. But short of voter fraud, the voters elect the politicians. My states last governor’s race is a case in point. The losing candidate outspend the winner by many millions. The people did not buy it. An informed electorate can make it’s voice heard. And this brings up another important topic. We have to be an informed electorate. If you only use television commercials to inform you of what to vote for, you are not informed.

            blondemare, I am impressed that you would go to court to testify to help horses. My hat’s off to you.

          • In a few cases a person is a bigger dink than their wallet, but often it doesn’t matter.

            No, voters do not elect the politicians. Political parties put forth candidates that THEY decide on, AND THEN, the voting public gets to choose. Example: Liberal Party of Canada has a new party leader in Justin Trudeau. He wasn’t chosen by the people of Canada, he was chosen by the Liberal Party.

            The US worked a bit differently, but not much. The Republican Party decided who would be put up as candidates to lead the party, THEN the American people got to decide from that short list whom they’d prefer to represent them. The voter ‘thinks’ they are in control of who leads, but they aren’t. They are being handfed predetermined candidates by the political parties.

            I usually refrain from talking religion and politics because they divide people and are often the subject of wars. Not to mention I don’t typically have anything positive to say about either. You’ve sucked me in. LOL!

          • about that car company, lots of good things happening outside of the NADA attacks. Felicitations to all involved.

          • Thing is trailrider, if WE (you, me and everyone reading this blog) don’t get involved personally then there is no hope for the horses. I have strong convictions and am knowingly pigheaded and passionate. Combined in the right circumstances those traits have made a difference for many horses. How many people reading this have done the same? How many ranting, raving and complaining here have disrupted their own lives to make a difference when they see/hear abuse? I’ll bet the numbers are lower than anyone wants to admit. It’s not just up to the agencies, it’s up to the people to hold the agencies accountable for doing their jobs. Mercedes is point on in stating that agencies are just people. If they aren’t doing more than collecting a paycheck, kick their asses out and start over.

            As far as politics go, only the rich will ever be voted to office Very few on a normal salary can afford to run for office, nobody with middle class, authentic religious values will be representing me in the near future. I say religious because that value system (thou shalt not kill…..) are good values to live by whether you pray or not.

          • Well, what a can of worms we have stirred up! I will just add that most of the time (and I have missed darn few even small local elections in my life) there is a blank space that you may write in a candidate. There have been times (I’m in the US) when I have voted for a republican or democrat, but I have never voted for someone that I did not take the time to consider. Most people will say that I am throwing away my vote. I’m not.

      • Is there no way that your governing method would allow for the setting up of a federal based, pan- US, body for cruelty to animals? I know it seems about face but the RSPCA came before the NSPCC (and the NSPCC is very proud of it’s “National” status and turned down the “Royal” offer, btw, but still came after the RSPCA) it is a matter of what “speaks” to people and cruelty to animals does just that. Show them a starving child in Africa and they can switch off their mind, somehow, show them a starving dog, or, would you believe, the fact that SWITZERLAND (believed to be “civilised”) allows restaurants to serve cat and dog meat(!!!!) and all their buttons get pushed at once. The RSPCA generally speaking cannot find their backsides with both hands in a well lit room but they DO have the power, if they can only be made to use it, and, occasionally, they do get it right. Grass roots level they are wonderful, once you start climbing the bureaucratic ladder ….not so much, but th4e power to act is theirs in law, duly passed over seven years ago, I know, I was involved!

  2. Community service or prison depending on how serious precisely what they did.

    No different to any other crime.

  3. My monetary punishment includes seizure of assets right down to the farm itself. I fume when I read stories like this, repeat offenders, where the town/county/state has to foot the bill for the legal actions and care, rehabilitation of the horses. That runs into a lot of money. Yet, the offenders get to stay in their home with just an occasional slap on the wrist?? They are a burden to society and it’s not right that the decent people have to continually foot the bill. Funds from the sale of the property could be used to cover costs of horse rehab, court fees and to start a fund for future neglect cases. Of course, silly me, there will be support for these poor, poor people who just stumbled on hard times. Sniff, sniff. NOT. Put them out in the street and let them scurry for scraps to feed themselves. I won’t miss a wink of sleep worrying about them.

    • I don’t disagree with this scenario, but I know people. Someone who would willingly and knowingly starve/mistreat an animal would have no qualms stealing/mugging/hurting people to survive on the streets. Desperate people do desperate things and when you take away their ability to feed/shelter/cloth themselves you’ve now turned an even more lethal person onto society. That’s why I feel the punishment should be a direct reflection of the crime. If I thought taking away this person’s possessions would reform them, I’d be all over it, but that just doesn’t seem to be what works that I’ve seen. I guarantee, though, sticking them in a stall and making them sleep in their own feces, while slowly and painfully starving to death would not only take care of this scum, but would set quite a precedent for every other scum who’s doing the same thing on the planet.

      I don’t particularly want to see such a person in jail. I don’t want to pay to feed/cloth/entertain someone who has so little regard for life.

      • The cases I’ve been involved with were about sloth/alcohol/drugs – no violence, that would take effort. In one case, the abuser was sleeping with a goat while rats ran around her bedroom. Really. One was believed to involve bestiality. He eventually lost everything he ever owned. Sick bastard. Your method would surely clean up the scum but would never happen – ACLU would roll in the pity party. Perhaps we can seize the assets and the ACLU could offer to house them for life with organizational funds. They seem to think there’s hope for all mankind, let them live with that and report back a year later.

        • Yes, I’m being unrealistic about what I’d want to happen. I just don’t think there’s a better solution. Seizing assets as you explain and dispensing them under controlled rules might very well work if it didn’t cost money for such a set up and if the organization in charge of overseeing it wasn’t run by people who might succumb to all sorts of temptations and corruption. What happens when the person’s assets run out and they still aren’t reformed? Who pays then?

          I apologize for my lack of faith and trust in mankind. I’m generally discouraged by what I see. If this person was banned from ever owning an animal again, that’d be a good start I think. But how do we regulate that? Who keeps an eye on this person for the rest of their life? We can’t even get the organization who should be on top of this to do their job and act. If we can’t stop this one person, how do we stop and regulate the hundreds and thousands of others? Heck, enough of us think it’s perfectly okay to run horses on Lasix and Bute, what’s a few skipped meals? Apparently, not that big of a deal to a lot of people. Somebody at Animal Control is responsible for letting this person carry on starving these horses. I want his/her head on a platter right alongside the offender.

          • Yes,” WHO keeps an eye on this person…” It is in the news now about a couple in PA who have allowed the second child to die because they believe in only healing by prayer. They were convicted after the first child died and were to see that their remaining childern received regular health care. Apparently no one followed up and now the second child is dead.

          • It’s trickier to have law supercede religion, but haven’t children been taken away from parents for less?? How odd that their conviction allowed them to keep their remaining children. I’m guessing, based on location, that the parents are Amish/Mennonite/Hutterites?

  4. What to do, right now, this minute, about these horses starving to death?
    Go at night, cut the fence and take them out of there. It has been done many times with research labs, and not always for the right reasons, but sometimes this sort of disregard for personal property is justified.
    At the very least cut all the fences so the horses can get loose and put hay down for them then call the Sheriff and report them loose, then call the local TV station and reprort all these starving horses that have broken out…..
    And please do NOT tell I told you to do it….well, maybe you should as I should like to see them try to “nail” me for it!

  5. I contacted the people/agencies on the list. It’s all I can reasonably do, given my location, time, and funds. I’ve already received an e-mail in return, as follows:
    Thank you for your email. The case is still considered an open, active investigation therefore we cannot disclose the details of the case nor all of the actions taken to date by this office so as not to compromise the integrity of the case.

    I can tell you that we recently served a search warrant for the purpose of taking the equine veterinarian on site, take blood and fecal samples and prescribe a treatment plan which included farrier care. There are 13 adult horses that were assessed by the veterinarian. The owner was issued an Immediate Corrective Action Order that he must comply with. The Animal Control Officers are in regular contact with the owner on-site and the case remains open at this time. We are working closely with our Prosecuting Attorney as well.


    Vicki Lubrin
    Licensing & Animal Control Services Manager
    Snohomish County Auditor – Licensing & Animal Control Services
    3000 Rockefeller Avenue MS 306
    Everett, WA 98201

  6. I came across this just recently – I’m a page admin on this site and I came to this way late. I ran across them when looking for property to buy. I had no idea this had been going on for FIVE years. Only one horse has been seized and the others remain. Recently, my co-admin has posted up more info on what’s transpired over the years (yep, YEARS). Please check it out if interested in how badly SnoCoACO’s have treated these horses and how horribly they’ve been treated by their owner. Thank you for supporting this little herd – they work hard to stay alive. He’s scheduled for arraignment on July 2nd.


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