There is a horse at my barn that has aparently been "left" there by the owners. What I mean is they just stopped paying board/farrier, and are not returning phone calls. This has been going on for three months. My question is this- Is there a point at which the horse will become property of the barn? Would they have the right to sell it or give it away? He is costing money in feed/hay/shavings for his stall, and the farrier is refusing to do his feet anymore without pay.
They can seek to place a lien against the horse and the horse would then be sold at public auction with the proceeds going to the barn. They need to seek legal counsel as it seems they must not be familiar with this scenario as of yet and would do well to have someone guide them through it.
I don't think that they are unfamiliar with the scenario, I think they are just hoping there is something going on with the owners. They were really good about paying on time just until recently.
I was just asking out of personal curiosity- I'm the one cleaning the horse's stall and feeding him every day, so I was just curious about what they could do if say, the owner never turns up again. I didn't want to ask the BO about it because it's really none of my business anyways, but curiosity got the best of me which is why I posted on here.
In Iowa the barn owner would file a lien at the courthouse. They would then have to sell the horse at a public auction. The barn owner can ONLY keep what they are owed, the remaining money must be sent to the original owners.
So record keeping is vital. In our contract we state that a lien will be filed after 60 days of no payment. With the horse market the way it is in Iowa, we would be lucky to sell the horse at auction and get enough money to cover costs.
Unfortunately, this seems to be happening more and more all over the country with the ecomony going down the toilet.
I can understand if people just can't afford to feed their horse anymore, but seems it would be easier to just be up front with barn owners and tell them the truth, here is my horse, I can't afford to feed him anymore, so do what you have to with him. Instead of just walking away. It would sure make it easier on the barn owners to be able to just sell a horse instead of having to file liens.
Happening with dogs and cats also, leaving them for boarding, then never showing up again. I imagine each states laws differ with what the barn owner can do. I think it is going to be happening more and more with the price of hay going up. We sold hay for $75 a ton last year for alfalfa/grass mix. This year it is going for $150 a ton and they expect it to reach $200/250 a ton before winter is over. So much rain that most farmers will not be getting a second crop.