They called Animal Control on us!
A few days ago my stables got an anonymous phone call from a group of Chicago ladies who have a vacation home in northern Indiana. They said in the message that they go by our stables everyday, and they said they see big round things of hay (round bales) behind the fences, but they only see the horses with little piles of hay. They said that if we do not start feeding our animals right they will call animal control on us.
First off, there's tons of snow in the paddocks and it's sand not grass, so we can only feed them hay. Our tractor hasn't been working b/c it's a million years old, so instead of trying to push in the round bales by hand, we've just been giving each paddock of horses 2-3 bales of hay in the morning and 2-3 bales at night depending on how many horses are in each paddock and weather they're horses or ponies. We spread out the hay into piles. This way each horse gets a chance to eat. We even do this with the round bales. If one of the horses can't squeeze in next to the feeder, we'll pull off a section and put it out further so they get something to eat.
It shocked me that anyone would actually call about it because all of our horses are fat. Besides a few of the older horses, which are probably at a more healthy weight, most costumers that come to our barn ask me all the time if one of our horses is pregnant. (Especially our pony Max. I'm like "No, he's a BOY. He's just big-boned and pleasantly plump.":lol: )
So we finally got our tractor working and we pushed in the round bales. A few weeks later, they ate the round bales all up, so we started to feed them square bales again until the manager could come out and push in more round bales. Not one day later, and we get a call from animal control. :roll: I hope these city girls know who they're messin' with because we're good friends with the animal control people. lol
thats so crazy that people who know nothing would get you in trouble, but the good thing you are in with the animal control people. How would anyone driving by know what you feed your horses, especially if they are fat. how silly. hopefully if they call again the animal control people will inform them the animals are fed just fine and ignore them, but they probably have to check it out by law
The nice thing about animal control is that if you can prove to them that the horses are getting fed and proper care they will smile, apologize for any inconvenience and leave peacefully.
You can't fix the city dwellers ignorance but I'd rather have people concerned than just see possibly starving horses and do nothing. Know what I mean???
If you're doing the right thing, you have nothing to worry about. AC usually is very kind.
Yep, it's a pain when non horsey people think they know what they're doing isn't it? As someone said, if you explain to animal control what the situation is they're usually very understanding and will roll their eyes along with you. We've actually gotten a few calls when people drive by and see the horses laying out in the sun, "i think your horse is dead!!!". siiighh....
This is a little embarrasing to admit, and I am SO glad I ddin't do anything (except learn to have more facts before I jump to conclusions) but when we first moved up here, we went past this smallish lot with 2 healthy looking horses, and one emaciated, bony thing. They did have a round bale, little barn and all, but I remember griping about the skinny one, oh how could people let that happen, blah blah blah (embarrasing again to even remember.) We went past that place about a month later, and the skinny emaciated horse was replaced by a much fatter creature, and the healthy black horse that had been there was gone, replaced by an emaciated palomino, and I realised to my shame that they were a rescue. I felt so bad, I really did. I wudda REALLY been embarrased if Ida called anyone, but I think part of me knew it needed to get the rest of the story. Now I KNOW to get all the facts I can before I go making judgements or assumptions about people. Good lesson.:oops:
Then, when I had this REALLY bad off OTTB that had been dumped on my place and left, the first thing I did was have the sheriff come down and take pics and file a report, to prove the horse came to me like that, and that it wasn't thru my negligence. (That horse is now fat and shiny and lovin her adopted home thru USERL).
I already know the Animal Control people around here cuz I rescue. They are good types, I would vouch for most of them.
I would get a guard dog to greet those ladies if they ever "stop by" again. I wouldn't worry about it. For any charges to be laid animal bylaw needs to come and take a look at the situation first. Once they do that it will be evident those ladies don't have the first clue about animal care and they will go on their way.
Keep in mind that if they do end coming by, that they are doing their job by doing a follow up visit. Just be nice and pleasant and explain the situation. There is no reason for anything else to happen.
Blegh...city people. Those are the same type of people that will stop on the side of the road to "pet the ponies" and give them treats...all with a camera for pictures of course. I worked at a barn a few years ago that had a subdivision pop up next to them...joggers stopped by all the time and wanted to ask me stupid questions and pet the horses. We finally posted signs "Horses Bite."
Low and behold...one of the neighbors was feeding the horses treats over the fence line...almost had her finger bitten off because she didn't know to hold her hand flat. Ran to the hospital...tried to sue the barn...and the horse had to be quarantined for a month. Freaking lunatic city people. Why don't they just stay in the city.:-x
That turned into a rant...sorry:oops:
I also wanted to add...after that incident the barn manager put our somewhat huge compost pile upwind from the subdivision :lol::lol:
He was HUGE, and his favorite place to sleep was the first stall you see when you walk into the barn. I think he did on purpose because every time someone would walk by they'd just about have a heart attack. :lol:
But the truth was Ralph wouldn't hurt a fly.
Unfortunately, Ralph died a few years ago.
Now we have a boxer named KeKe who will just lick you to death, and just run laps around the barn when she's excited. lol
I would be glad they stopped and took notice. Okay, they didn't know enough to make a good assessment but at least they cared. If more people were willing to take notice of the horses they see around, neglect cases would be caught faster.
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