Deaths of rescued slaughter bound horses a painful reminder not much has changed

HORSE SLAUGHTER (by Vivian Grant Farrell) — 2017 has been a tough year for many reasons. The toughest for me personally has been the deaths of two beloved horses.

Fourteen years ago, when Texans for Horses became the Fund for Horses I rescued four slaughter bound Quarter horses from a Texas feedlot. They had no papers. No one could or would tell us where they were from or how they had gotten in this hellish place.

Many of the horses in the feedlot had given up. They would not eat or drink, just crowded together for comfort staring vacantly ahead.

There were some however who still showed signs of hope crammed around the fence with terrified eyes beseeching someone anyone to help them. I picked four. It was all I could afford to transport home and care for. I named them after Texas cities — Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater.

Turning my back on the others and walking away from them knowing the horrific sufferings and deaths they were about to face haunts me to this day. And for what? So human beings can dine on their dead flesh.

I can feel the awful pain and anguish of that moment just as keenly now as I did that day, and I still hate that I did not find a way to help every pleading one of them.

Two of the four horses I rescued, the mares Houston and Sweetwater, passed away a few years ago. Austin died in February of this year and Amarillo died last month in November. Both geldings, they had made friends in that grisly pasture 14 years ago, ending up spending the rest of their lives together.

Their deaths seem to signal an end for me but of what I am not certain. At first I thought that it might be hope. Very little to nothing has changed. Slaughter continues to thrive on the horses it brutally preys on.

I wish I could say with the passing of those horses that I rescued that day and escaped slaughter, that slaughter had finally been outlawed and no longer threatened any horse.

God knows we have worked as smartly and diligently as we know how to ban horse slaughter as have many, many others. However, it still exists to satisfy the human appetite for horse flesh, and making the people who supply it for them very wealthy.

My Christmas wish this year is that you will do any or all of the following to bring an end to horse slaughter in honour of horses past, present and future.

Continue to work or take up the cause to bring an end to horse slaughter. It does not matter how or where or what. Please take every action you know and hear to bring it to an end.

Support those who rescue horses from slaughter. Adopt a rescued horse yourself or sponsor one. Pledge or make a monthly donation, any amount. Find your local horse rescue and ask them what is on their Wish List — many have one — and gift them something on their list, either individually or with family and friends. Deliver it to the rescue and meet and greet the horses you are benefiting. It will make you feel like a million dollars. I promise.

Make a pledge in your heart right now that this time next year horses will no longer be slaughtered where you live and take action inn support of that pledge every opportunity you get.

We can do this. You can be sure that Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater, and all horses like them, will be cheering you on.

Featured Image: AdobeStock_128452626.jpeg. Not for profit use.

Dr. Ann Marini to discuss the drugs the BLM gives to wild horses & burros tonight

WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION (Live Radio Program) — Join us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PST6:00 p.m. MST, 7:00 p.m. CST8:00 p.m. EST.

Dr. Ann Marini

Dr. Ann Marini will discuss the drugs that the BLM gives to wild horses & burros.

TO LISTEN CLICK THIS LINK

Or listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

The program will take call in questions during the 2nd half hour.

Morning Joe

In the mean time, watch this:

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/what-trump-s-budget-means-for-wild-horses-1086223939567

Featured Image
Horse in silhouette against a dusky sky. Unattributed Google search result.

Updated: 2:56 pm.

New York State lawmakers interested in tracking retired racehorses

Thoroughbred racehorse. Unattributed image.
Thoroughbred racehorse. Unattributed image.

HORSE RACING (via the Blood-Horse online). By Tom Precious, October 26, 2017.

An effort to mandate the tracking of retired racehorses in New York has now picked up support in both houses of the state Legislature.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo, a Queens Democrat who represents Aqueduct Racetrack, recently introduced a measure to create a seven-member Commission on Retired Racehorses to monitor the whereabouts and treatment of retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. The new Senate bill by Addabbo, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, is the same as one introduced in the Assembly earlier this year by Gary Pretlow, a Westchester County Democrat who chairs that chamber’s racing committee.

“Horses have played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States,” a bill memo accompanying the legislation states, noting that racehorses in New York have generated billions of dollars in economic activity in the state.

“Despite what they may have contributed, many horses at a young age (that) are no longer profitable or affordable for the owner, wind up in international slaughterhouses to be inhumanely slaughtered for consumption abroad where horse meat is a major delicacy,” the bill memo adds.

The bill puts reporting requirements on horse owners, requiring reports to be filed with the state within 72 hours of any ownership change of a retired racehorse, along with contact information about owners and other recordkeeping rules. The death of a former racehorse must also be reported to a state registry within 72 hours. Each violation of the measure’s provisions can be assessed a fine up to $500–if violators are a resident of New York State.

Using Jockey Club data, the NYSGC spent nearly two years compiling the whereabouts of every New York-bred Thoroughbred that raced between 2010 and 2012. Of 3,894 horses that raced in that period, the commission was able to locate 1,871 horses. Of those, 356 were deceased, three sold at auction and 1,512 were retired in some form, such as 604 retired as broodmares or 155 adopted.

Read full report »

Breeding kindness: No animal turned away at safe haven for horses in Elburn

HORSE RESCUE — David Sharos, freelance reporter for The Courier-News, writes:

St. Charles resident Kris Anderson doesn’t regard herself as a horse whisperer, but she does admit hanging around horses has made her a more sensitive human being.

“Being around them has given me more of a unity and connection with living things,” Anderson said.

The retired 4th grade teacher now serves as a board member and volunteer for Casey’s Safe Haven in Elburn, a non-profit equine rescue facility founded in 2011 that has been accepting cast off horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that are later adopted, boarded, or allowed to live out their natural lives.

Anderson said finding this new chapter of life at Casey’s was the result of “an angel guiding me in the right direction.”

Sister Darbie and Casey's Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.
Sister Darbie and Casey’s Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.

Casey founder Sue Balla of Elburn said she grew up in Downers Grove and that despite living in a horseless environment, they were always on her mind.

Changes in her life forced Balla to search for another outlet after the riding school closed. A friend suggested she lease a barn in Elburn and Casey’s Safe Haven was born, named after a horse purchased at an auction that became Balla’s friend for more than a quarter century.

Virtually no animal is turned away.

“Over the years, we’ve probably taken in about 50 animals and our mind set is to get them healthy and adopted,” Balla said. “On average, the animals need about two years to get healthy, but given that this is a sanctuary and rescue, some of them never leave.”

•  Read full article »

•  Visit Casey’s Save Haven website »

•  Find out how you can help »

Thank you Mr. Sharos for writing this story.

Featured Image: Casey’s Save Haven