BO Do you have a Animal abuse clause for boarders? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-18-2011, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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BO Do you have a Animal abuse clause for boarders?

I will try to keep this short.. I did not have anything in my boarding contract to cover this situation.. and do not want this to happen again..

I do have the standard clause that states if I can not reach the boarder I may contact a vet and have them treat the horse and payment to be made by the boarder up to ___$ amount.... etc...

But this is what happened.. 40+ years, I have never had a "new horse owner" totally "blow my advise off!" These people were brand new horse owners of 60 days. The horse had been in my care by the previous owner for 3 years.

On the Sept 3rd the rider's saddle had slipped, and the rider(250lbs) had pulled hard while falling off the horse on a 45% incline. On Sept 10th I recommended that the horse see a vet do to a slight lameness I observed... and the barn vet was going to be onsite. They declined saying that they thought the horse was fine since he trotted away... For additional 2 weeks, I continued to ask that the vet check the horse.. I had already ruled out abscesses, laminitis, and felt it was now a shoulder injury. A farrier stated he thought the shoulder might be broken. The horse's lameness declined to the point of being immobile.

Finally, I aggressively demanded that the horse be seen by a vet and/or chiropractor, he agreed to the chiropractor. Chiropractor stated possible EPM symptoms as well as a shoulder muscle problem. Both of us stated to owner to immediately contact vet for EPM medication. Boarder delayed, refused advice. The previous owner even called and told him she would pay for the treatment $110. for the month... A vet call was finally agreed. The vet recommended that the horse immediately start meds.. he declined, and wanted to wait for the exposure blood result! That took 6 more days. Too late, horse had to be put down on Oct 6th.
I have now filed a animal abuse case.

Do you have a contract clause in any of your contracts that would give the Barn Owner a option if a border refuses medical treatment for their horse? I need a "animal abuse clause" in my boarding contract for boarders/owners?

Bridlewood Equestrian Oklahoma
Boarding, Equestrian Education, Event Facility
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-18-2011, 03:28 PM
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I'm can't answer your question directly -- just offer condolences and an anecdote showing what one BO has done in a similar situation. You're not the only barn owner in this boat. A horse at a barn I was boarding at colicked. The owner was one of those people who didn't "believe in Western medicine" and refused to call the vet. The vet would not treat the horse without the owner's permission. The BO was demanding the owner forget her daft beliefs and call the ****ed vet. Finally, she said that the owner needed to either call the vet or the horse would be kicked off the property then and there, as the BO would not have a horse suffering like that at her stable. Owner conceded, called vet, horse was saved.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-20-2011, 10:46 AM
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Had I been BO in this situation, I would have called the state on this person. Withholding necessary medical treatment is abuse in the eyes of the law.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-20-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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The animal welfare investigator came yesterday.. Stated that it was not against the law to be "stupid" or a "as#hol%" ..?? I commented that I would understand if the horse had been in his backyard and he was unaware of EPM symtoms, but this man was told by myself, a chiropractor, farrier, VET, other boarders, and printed material off the web, and still did nothing! At what point does it become neglect and abuse instead of stupid?
I also ask the investigator if I had called them sooner, what could he have done? He gave me no answer....
The investigator was going to visit with the vet next..

Bridlewood Equestrian Oklahoma
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 01:18 PM
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I have the following in my boarding agreement:
Section 8. Standard of Care
(a) If medical treatment is needed, the Stable will call the Owner. In the event the Owner is unavailable; the Stable has the authority to secure emergency veterinary care totaling $_______________ in fees. However, the Stable has no responsibility to pay for such care and is authorized to arrange billing on the Owners behalf.
(b) The Owner guarantees that the said horse(s) is properly vaccinated, sound, healthy and has no other medical conditions than listed above and that the horse(s) is not contagious of any diseases. The Owner agrees to pay any incurring cost of care or treatment in affect an illness occurs to said horse(s) or said horse(s) infect other animals.
(c) The Owner agrees to abide by the Stable's standard of care or be charged for services deemed necessary to care for the horse such as, but not limited to extra feed, hay, worming or ordinary veterinary care. The Stable will give notice before services are rendered at the expense of the owner.

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Starline, thanks for your post. Do you interpet your (c)clause to mean that a boarder could refuse treatment, and be made to pay for treatment? Do you think a court would uphold?

Here is the clause in my contract:
M. BOARDED HORSE EMERGENCY CARE, ILLNESS OR INJURY I/WE AGREE THAT: Should the horse(s) become sick or injured, the facility shall attempt to notify the BOARDER. If the boarder does not immediately respond regarding measures to be taken, or if the state of the animal's health requires immediate action, Bridlewood Equestrian is authorized to request the services of a veterinarian and/or blacksmith care of its choice or to give any other attention that appears necessary. The BOARDER shall promptly pay all expenses for all services within fifteen days.. Bridlewood Equestrian is authorized to arrange direct billing by said care provider to the OWNER.
Preferred Veterinarian Name _______________________________ Phone_________________________ If boarder is unavailable
, the Maximum dollar amount of emergency services is $_________________. I authorize Bridlewood Equestrian and a DVM. to decide on a humane decision if necessary to euthanize, without my presence. Initial______

When I studied my clause, it was written "if boarder is unavailable." and in immediate emergency..?

I do like your "standard of care portion of the clause" I'm just not sure how to phrase going against a owner's decision of treatment??? (when it does not affect another horse on the facility)

Any more thoughts? Thanks again..

Bridlewood Equestrian Oklahoma
Boarding, Equestrian Education, Event Facility
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 05:10 PM
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I board at a private farm, no other horses but mine. My BO has not only my cell, my work, my husbands cell, his work, farrier # and vet #. It's in our contract that if she cant get ahold of me in case of emergency, she can auth. care by my farrier, my vet or if my vet cant get there in reasonable time, her vet. Gave my vet the address, name & ph# of my BO & told him, if she ever calls, do what ever needs to be done. I don't understand how people can not care for their animals when it needed, if you cant afford it, at least put them out of their missery

Cowgirl up!
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 07:22 PM
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My boarders had to agree to medical responsibility if I deemed it necessary to call the vet.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-24-2011, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by proequine View Post
I authorize Bridlewood Equestrian and a DVM. to decide on a humane decision if necessary to euthanize, without my presence.
Perhaps you meant it to signal the use of an acronym, but the period after the word DVM makes the next bit look like a sentence fragment. Things like that can matter if your contract is ever disputed.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-25-2011, 12:21 PM
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Refusing treatment because you cannot afford it is going to be tough to prove in court as animal abuse....which is termed as causing willful harm to an animal.

Many years ago, We had a horse with suspected EPM. he was in his mid 20s, with severe arthritis and blind in one eye...and we loved him and treasured every day we spent with him.

...two vet clinics were called, the EPM test was negative.....we chose not to do the EPM treatment, which was mega expensive back then and only SOMETIMES effective, we were told....but rather the horse was put on steroids to see if there was a neck problem causing his hind end progressive lameness that might heal ..... it did not. he continued to worsen until he had to spin to keep on his feet....despite mega doses of steroids. Our local vet did not have the necessary equipment to do a full set of neck x rays (which he advised were costly, and depending on the results, possibly not curable) so our horse would have to be trailered to New impossible option....physically and financially. He would never be able to stand in a moving trailer as he was using his stall wall to stay upright at all....

He further deteriorated to where his breathing was compromised and we had him put down.

His condition had all the earmarks of EPM, but the negative test was shocking because it SEEMED as if he had EPM.... vets said it could be a number of other things, including arthritis in his neck, neck bone fracture, pinched nerve, other neurological diseases....etc

Still...if he had had EPM, with the treatment cost at the time, and it's questionable success rate, and the fact that this horse had other medical issues and was in his mid 20's, which would lessen his chances of successful treatment with the meds due to his immune system.....i would not have chosen to try the treatment.

Prince.... RIP golden boy

He will never be forgotten. We loved our horse, and we did the best we could for him. But refusing the EPM treatment does not signify abuse or neglect just because you disagree with it.

Our BO agreed with our decision, she actually thought we should have put him down sooner....but we held out hope that the steroids would work and whatever was causing his lameness would it a pinched nerve in his neck or what....we stayed the course till it was obvious that ALL hope had gone.

And I thank GOD our BO didn't call the humane people on us. That would have hurt us more than we already were hurting.

Last edited by Beauseant; 10-25-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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