Horse left in care of another who neglected & starved it, what now?
 
 

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Horse left in care of another who neglected & starved it, what now?

This is a discussion on Horse left in care of another who neglected & starved it, what now? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Caring for a neglected horse
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    03-05-2012, 12:53 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Horse left in care of another who neglected & starved it, what now?

Hi all, I just received my stallion back last Friday evening in horrible condition. I had him listed for sale last fall and was contacted in December by a woman wanting him. I explained to her that the most important thing for me was the home he was going to. I have been very specific & turned away buyers who would not be able to provide for him as I have. He's had a huge stall (15X16) and his own 1/2 acre pasture. She promised he would have the same accomodations at her place. Told me how she'd rescued animals and rehabbed them so to make me believe she could provide excellent care. She wanted to trade hand made furniture for him. We settled on an agreed item. She wanted to go ahead and take him even though the item would not be delivered until easter. I agreed thinking a trial basis would allow her the time to see if they'd get along and I'd be assured that he was in the right place for sure. I wanted to provide an easy out if they didn't like him.

Well that did not end up being the case at all. I asked several times to come to see him. All were not acknowledged. This upset me greatly because we'd agreed that I would be able to visit and see him anytime. Still she kept a positive tone to the conversations. Finally I just showed up one night and before I could knock on the door her and her husband were out of the house. Her husband was very rude and stand offish about why I was there. I was extremely friendly and said I just wanted to stop by and see him & how he's doing. She was friendly in her response but told me that seeing him would not be possible. I couldn't believe that I was standing there staring at the barn but was told I could not even see him. I knew something was wrong. She told me that nobody could get to the barn and showed me the paddock - that was supposed to be his privatly- filled with other horses and about 2ft deep of mud. She said nobody can even make it to the barn right now. I immediatly retorted "then how are you feeding him?" She assured me he was being fed. Realizing I didn't have proper shoes to push the issue further I relented. We agreed that in two days I would return with proper shoes to cross the mud and see him.

That morning she called me and said something came up she'd be gone. I told her we still wanted to see him. She said ok. I said please call when you return so we can come when your home. She should have been back that afternoon. No call came. My husband went on without me to see him. He called me and says its bad. He told me my stallion was standing in a stall that was just as deep as the pasture - except of manure. His stall was a mere 8x10! Barely enough to even stand in. He said he's lost a lot of weight. No water. No food in sight.

I called the sherrif because I was done with the whole thing after hearing this. The sherrif said they could not force them to give him back since we'd entered the sale willingly. But that they could choose to relinquish him which would terminate the sale. He said he could go to keep the peace but nothing more. I said ok these are the conditions of the place and I'm concerned for his safety yes but also that of the other horses. Who do I report all of this to? He called the aspca and set up a time where the aspca, himself and I would all meet at the property. If the aspca determined his conditions were unliveable they would seize the horses. They could choose to release my stallion to me if I was there to pick him up. I showed up at the specified time and only a sherrif came to site. The aspca was nowhere. They relinquished the horse. She said to do so willingly, and the husband continued to run his mouth the whole time. He yelled at the officer nobody goes into my barn but me! I asked the officer to please go into the barn and take photo's of his condition since the aspca did not show up. He said he could not do this it was not why he was there. So they handed the once beautiful horse now skinny and barely walking over to me.

The vet met me at home and we recorded the horse from the time he walked off the trailer through the vet exam. The vet weighed him and he weighed a mere 730 pounds. He'd lost over 300 pounds in two months. His legs were covered in wet manure and urine that was a foot and a half high. His feet were all swollen just above the coronary bands. The vet pushed fluid out of his legs just by applying pressure to the swollen areas. His hooves were so rotten with thrush and his frogs eaten away with infection so high the horse could not stand to stand on his feet. One of his front shoes had actually broken off and the shoe began to grow into his hoof. The vet said it was amazing he was even alive. Given the rate of weight loss in another month time (the time easter would have arrived and the sale closed) the horse would have weighed less than 580 pounds. The end result is that the horse would have died from malnutrition, neglect, and starvation before the sale was to close.

We are trying to move forward and bring the horse back to health. We were told to feed hay nothing else until his system can recover. No worming yet and no shots yet. Vet said it'd kill him because his system can't handle it. How long should we wait to worm & vaccinate? What type of exercise is acceptable? I can't leave him just locked in a stall. I've been trying to hand walk but he gets tired after a few minutes and just drags his feet. He won't hardly pick up his head. How do I get him even interested in us? When I go in he moves away from me. When I try to touch his sides he kicks his feet. There are large wounds above both eyes that you can tell were healing and busted open a few times. He's not head shy so I believe that while he was trying to move in that tiny manure filled stall he was falling and banging his head into the walls. He allows the wounds to be treated easily. I just haven't been able to get a brush on him yet. Vet said wait awhile. But his coat is covered in the manure too. I understand it would hurt if I put a curry or something because there is no fatty cushion. We washed his legs first night with warm water from the house. Vet said don't do anymore because its too much and its too cold. We have two blankets on him to try to keep him warm.

They told the sherrif they wanted to press trespassing charges because my husband went to see him that day. More or less because they got caught. I don't care what they do. The cop told me we should go after them for the neglect. But how do I go back through the aspca now since they didnt show up? I have pictures of everything, the decayed hoof trimmings, the manure packed tail bottom that I had to cut off. Anyone with any advice on the issue for helping him to recover and heal and trust again to where we go from here with pressing charges...all advice appreciated.
     
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    03-05-2012, 01:02 PM
  #2
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by pebbs    
We are trying to move forward and bring the horse back to health. We were told to feed hay nothing else until his system can recover. No worming yet and no shots yet. Vet said it'd kill him because his system can't handle it. How long should we wait to worm & vaccinate? What type of exercise is acceptable? I can't leave him just locked in a stall. I've been trying to hand walk but he gets tired after a few minutes and just drags his feet.


...all advice appreciated.
Your vet has examined the horse - your vet is your best source of advice.

Personally I would allow him some turn out for fresh air and sunshine but not a huge area so he burns too many calories at this point.

As far as attitude, it's all he can do to stand right now. Give him time. He'll come back.
     
    03-05-2012, 01:09 PM
  #3
Trained
He will recover under your care. Keep him in his stall and clean it as often as possible, preferably 2x/day. I clean around my 5yo geldings in their stalls. Consider his stall "bed rest." He won't associate your stall with "THE stall from hell" where he was being kept. He would appreciate straw to lay on, since he's bony right now.
His hooves will heal the best if they are kept as dry as possible. I suggest cleaning them out, gently, of course, and bandaging them with disposable diapers taped onto his hooves with duct tape. Just change the diapers when they look like they're about to come loose, and, if your Vet suggests topical medicine like Nitrofuricin, follow that regimin, too. I would want to keep ALL urine and feces away from his frogs for several months. (Go to a dollar store and buy them cheap.)
IMO, you'll want to get him on the road to recovery and, at the same time, look for a buyer. I'm assuming, though it makes me an axx to do so, that the costs are prohibitive keeping this stallion, but here you are, spending money. SO sorry!! **hugs**
Get several pairs of pebbled gloves and hand brush him with them. He'll enjoy the attention, and will look to you for comfort. The healing experience will probably make him very docile--you said nothing of his temperment before this incident.
As you emotionally recover, please consider "throwing the book" at these people, if possible.
I got my 5o QH from a reputable rescue. They aren't saints but they give their charges good care. I don't believe that THESE people deserve to own a stuffed horse in the future. **Corporal rants in fury at the thought of this abuse and neglect"
GreenBackJack likes this.
     
    03-05-2012, 01:10 PM
  #4
Started
When we rescued Bones a few years ago, he was about 400 underweight, very weak, no muscle mass, skin sluffing off...After a vet exam, we drew blood to find he was also very anemic. We started giving him a blood builder(Lixitinic) by mouth daily and also free fed hay. We also started feeding him senior feed, he got 14 pounds a day, broken into 7 lbs at a feeding. It was easy on his system and started giving him some energy to want to eat.
     
    03-05-2012, 01:39 PM
  #5
Foal
He's 8 and I've had him since birth. He's always been laid back. There was a time when owning a stallion was what I wanted but now I have little ones of my own and I want horses they can handle. He's not a kids horse no matter how laid back he is. I loved him, still do. Which is why the right home was more important than the money. Why did I not just geld him? He was valuable as a stallion because of his breeding line & genetics (homozygous). I do have someone interested in him once he recovers but I don't know if I can let him go now after this. I'm hoping I can just work out a breeding arrangement where they'll basically lease him but I'll always own him so I can always look out for his care. After this it makes me soo...nervous!
     
    03-05-2012, 02:10 PM
  #6
Started
First of all, I am so sorry that this happened. What a terrible thing to go threw. Some people can be down right heartless and undiscerning. The vet gave you good advice. Give him some time, he will come around. I would also lean towards letting him outside to have some sunshine and fresh air in a small paddock if you can. Good quality hay at free choice is the best thing you can do for a "rescue". When you do start to ad feed into his diet again, go slow. The resuces here have diets that consist of a low starch/low sugar/high fat pelleted feed, beet pulp and flax seeds. Rice bran and corn oil help too.


I have also dealt with animal control not taking things seriously, this doesn't surprise me unfortunately. Good luck!
     
    03-05-2012, 02:20 PM
  #7
Showing
Doesn't matter how great his bloodlines are or that he might be homozygous. I'll bet there are plenty of horses out there with his same attributes, and they're in homes who can handle stallions.

Instead of taking a chance on letting him go again, geld him and keep him for yourself. There's no real reason he needs to remain a stallion.

You said yourself you're not set up for nor have the experience to care for a stally long term. Even letting him go out on a breeding lease doesn't take care of the problem, as he'll have to come home at some point.

He'll be much happier as a gelding, he can be a true family horse for you, and you'll never have to worry about someone else mistreating or abusing him.

There are enough breeding animals out in the world. One less won't make a difference, but it can very well make a difference in how this particular horse's life turns out.

I'm very glad you got him back. Now you have to think long term about what's best for him.
     
    03-05-2012, 02:30 PM
  #8
Trained
Pebbs, I was judging your stallion's character. As you know many stallions run on hormones and are hard to control. Then again, many mares do likewise.
SR, TOTALLY agree. There really are too many horses that need homes. Even though I've heard the arguement that Mountain Horses have low numbers, I decided to NOT breed my KMH mare, though I knew she'd let me play with her foal--she's like that. She's dropped 4 healthy and now registered KMH foals, and I'll look for a weaning from somebody else, when I'm in the market. (Probably it will be an Arab.)
Pebbs, if your stallion isn't trained to ride you can start the training while he is rehabilitating. You can do things like moving haunches and forehand, and backing--only one step is enough, at first. Just MHO.
     
    03-05-2012, 03:21 PM
  #9
Green Broke
As far as the Trespassing charges, I'd sit back and wait. I think they're threatening you trying to intimidate you into not calling the animal police.
Corporal, gigem88 and Nitefeatherz like this.
     
    03-05-2012, 06:03 PM
  #10
Started
Very glad you got him back! Keep us posted on his recovery.
     

Tags
abuse, aspca, neglect, rehabilitation, rescue horse

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