Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The unwanted horse problem- is there a horse storm coming?

Today I was doing some research on the unwanted horse statistics and found that the 2009 Unwated Horse Survey has been issued. Click here to read survey

"The Unwanted Horse Coalition, a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council, is concerned that some horses may slip through the various safety nets within the equine industry. Too many owners are unaware of, or do not give enough thought to, the available options, services and assistance available in the industry to help them ensure that their horse has caring and humane support throughout its life. The Unwanted Horse Coalition will help educate the horse industry about this issue and help people learn to Own Responsibly."

Page 31 shows the most appealing solutions to the unwanted horse problem
  • Horse ownership education focused on buying and owning responsibly 
  • Increase ability of rescue/adoption/retraining facilities to care for unwanted horses
  • Reopening U.S. processing plants
  • More resources for humane euthanization
and along with the least appealing soluntions to the unwanted horse problem
  • Expand legislation or regulation to control horse ownership
  • Federal funding for carcass removal
  • Increase awareness of animal welfare rights
  • Federal funding to expand horse adoption
What I take from these statistics is that it is up to us. The general public who love horses and are corcerned about their welfare. We need to band together and start taking action on behalf of those who need help and those who cannot help themselves. Please take a moment to read our objectives for the Hay Bank, Low Cost Gelding Clinics and Euthanasia Clinics. We are taking a leap of faith in our efforts to form a Non-profit for the horses and we need your support.

What can we do today that will change the outcome for tommorow?
I confirmed with the owner of Roseville Livestock auction yesterday that they are closing their doors. The property needs too much repair to be brought up to county code, and the property owner is not interested in making the $60,000+ in repairs. So I ask you, where does that leave the desperate horse owners? Anywhere from 50 -100 horses a month were run through the Roseville Auction each month, many owners brought their horses to this local auction in hopes that they would be purchased and fnd a new home. Many brought their elderly or untrained horses as the last resort because humane euthanasia was too expensive and traveling to another auction 3 hours away is not possible. Owners who had no luck selling privately and where unable to properly care for their horses had at least this option, now what? Is there going to be an increase in horse abandonment? What can we do to help?

We hope our hay bank will help owners who want to keep their horses but are just struggling temporarily with hay costs. We also hope we can help owners connect with trainers to help horses with behavior issues through our rehoming assistance but what about the rest?

Although we would all like to help each horse find a new home and plan to try our best to help but the reality is there will be many who will not be able to find homes. BITS believes that many horses will be forced to suffer this winter simply because their owners are unable to care for them. We can prevent that suffering if we give owners the option of having their horse put down by a vet in a humane manner and at an affordable cost. It is not a wonderful option but until another solution can be found it is a neccesary one. We hope you understand it is in the best interest of horses that cannot find homes. BITS has formed a network of giving vetrinarians and disposal businesses who are willing to donate their time and equiptment, all that is left is the funding to make it affordable for every owner in need. Do you know someone who might be interested in donating to this worthy cause?


  1. As much as putting any animal down just plain sucks, many times it is the right thing for them, given the situation and the circumstances. Sometimes things just happen and that is the only reasonable option.

    Mixed feelings about the auction yard going under. Good in one way, but bad in so many others. Maybe you could get with the owner and see what it would take to get people to channel the horses through into either new homes or getting hay and donations.

    Divert the flow, rather than shut off the faucet.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  2. Maybe if we had some sort of warning that would have been a possibility but they have totally closed up shop and left.

  3. The property has to be owned by someone. Maybe they would be willing to get with you guys and let you host educational events or something there. You just never know.

    Not knowing what kind of improvements need to be made, sometimes the AC or local humane society organizations can lend a hand (or a check) and make the improvements to the facility in exchange for using it as a holding facility for livestock that has been seized. Just a thought...

    Either way ask if you can at the very least put up your signs on the fence or gates. Someone who shows up not knowing it is closed, it would be a way for them to find you and get the horse some help. It's worth a shot.

  4. What would really be a hoot, is to see a once KB auction lot turned into a rescue facility. Now that would be interesting to see!

  5. its not up to code so nobody can use it