Stray Horse - How to handle situation? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Stray Horse - How to handle situation?

A couple of people found a stray mini stallion wandering down the road.
They were able to walk him down to my in-laws house (the next nearest residence) to see if he was theirs, which he isn't.
They had to leave him there, and my in-laws asked someone they knew to own minis if he was theirs - also no.

They're going to ask around locally to see if anyone is missing him.
I advised that they NOT tell anyone what he looks like to make sure the right owner is able to describe him to take him home.

They have him set up in a borrowed horse trailer for the night, and if no owner comes forward, then he'll be coming to our house.
We have an empty pasture we can put him in to keep him safe and allow more time to find the rightful owner.

He's healthy, in good condition, but kind of mean - at the least, he bites.
It makes me wonder if he was a pet who was turned loose on purpose, or dumped at a nearby farm.

Here's my questions -

1.) How long do we give the owner to come forward?
We plan on contacting animal control, and listing him in the newspaper to see if anyone claims him.

2.) If he's not claimed within a certain amount of time, how can we declare formal ownership so someone doesn't turn up at our farm saying we stole their horse?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 01:51 AM
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I'd keep record of what you're spending on taking care of him. In the event that you end up taking on ownership of him and maintaining his needs for any extended period of time then the original owner steps back in and tries to take the horse back then you have some recourse to at least demand they repay what's rightfully yours.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 06:35 AM
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You need to contact the local authorities immediately. While they may set up ( with a court order ) a care and custody for you to take care of him and retain ownership ( most times 30 days), they may also already have a facility to handle him. You can request first dibs on him ( expect to have to pay a fee ). In many areas, the local auction house takes care of unclaimed problems.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 07:39 AM
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Contact your local sheriffs office to see if anyone reported him missing, and to let them know where he is.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 08:08 AM
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Calling the sheriff would be the first thing I would do.

Vets and all the Animal Control folks next, in case someone called him in as missing.

Even though he is in great condition, don't be surprised if he was dumped

I rescued a dog in 2009 that was in excellent health, was house broke, loved a bath, knew basic obedience, yet the woman was observed dumping him. The witness thought she was merely leaving the dog out of the vehicle to do his business --------------- until the witness came back thru from work that night and the dog was sitting at the corner of the state highway waiting on her

He is still holding down the recliner, is at the top of the list for intelligence and learns in the snap of a finger, does not have a mean bone in his body, gets beat up by the cat, yet his 90 lb self is a great watchdog. I'd take five more just like him, if I could find them and I've been rescuing dogs my entire adult life.

She was "business dressed" and in a newer, very clean vehicle, so go figure why apparently intelligent people do such "I-hope-you-rot-in-****" things

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 10:09 AM
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We have animals dumped near here because we are rural. Our neighbors have gotten a few license plates over the years so those were fined. Around here most animals dumped in good condition are because of size (they bought or adopted with no clear understanding of what size the adult may be), size restrictions if the owner has to move, moving and the animal cannot go with them, sudden down turn in income. All sorts of reasons. Don't be surprised if he was dumped for attitude and they couldn't afford to fix him and didn't know how to handle him.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolf View Post

2.) If he's not claimed within a certain amount of time, how can we declare formal ownership so someone doesn't turn up at our farm saying we stole their horse?
There is no formal way to claim ownership as far as I know. It depends on your local laws but generally speaking, as long as you make a "reasonable effort" to find the owner then after a few months the horse would be considered yours. Possession is 9/10ths of the law and that especially goes for animals because they need taking care of. Posting ads is a good idea but as long as you do that and keep the receipts for everything you spend on him, a judge would probably decide in your favor.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 05:55 PM
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Call the local vet's offices as well. Being a stallion he may have gotten out to go girling and wound up a long way from home.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 06:09 PM
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You can actually search the statutes in your state if you want to know what the law is about found property. It's not the same in every state. A horse is "chattel" so do a search on lost chattel.

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-21-2014, 06:36 PM
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Definitely contact animal control. Unfortunately people are either cruel or at their wits ends trying to pay for everything AND their animals, and people do dump them in the country. Walkinthewalk, SOOO glad you took that dog in! The past owner was just downright mean as dirt to do that to a good dog. =/

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