Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I don't know if "endangerment" could be argued at all, probably just neglect. Horses get injured all the time in the paddock, my horse was kicked pretty badly about a week ago, I wasn't endangering her by putting her in a paddock, stuff just happens. The owner may have been neglectful in not providing care after.
I don't know a lot about the law but just a guess, I think there could be a problem because either you argue that a) she has to pay the bill because the inlaws were put in charge of the horses care, in which case the inlaws were negligent in not addressing the wound sooner, or b) they're her horses and the inlaws only covered the bill because she wouldn't, but in such case she didn't give them permission to call a vet, nor did she ask them to, so she may not be obligated to pay. As she doesn't have money, you could just accept the horses as payment.
If she has nothing written up (like a boarding contract) I'd imagine she could just rock and take her horses with her bill of sale.
It's a tricky situation because I have never really heard of anyone being charged with either endangerment and abandonment, just neglect or abuse. And while she's not being a great owner, these horses aren't being neglected or abused. They're fed, watered etc.