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.