Barn Drama.....rant rant rant
So I am still a bit bummed that Cinny ended up with his fungus. We were supposed to move to a nice equestrian center yesterday, with an indoor arena, dressage trainer, hot and cold running water....heaven. But because of the fungus we have to wait, boo hoo.
So today I show up at my current barn and the SHERIFF is there. Turns out someone complained that my BO is neglecting the animals there. Soooo not true! I may have issues with her, but she DOES NOT neglect the horses or dogs. She has a bunch of Pomeranians that a breeder sort of abandoned with her months ago and has been slowly getting them healthy and placing them in loving forever homes. She has been keeping them in her spare barn 3 to a stall. Apparently somebody complained that the dogs were being kept in horse stalls ????? Anyway, Sheriff comes out, goes to check on dogs in a stall and steps right smack in doggie doo. Now she cleans the doo out 3 times a day, I've seen her...those stalls are spotless but.....Sheriff decides that they are unclean, unsanitary and the dogs are in horrible conditions...because he can't watch where he puts his pretty boots.
So now....we are talking animal seizure!!! I'm really scared they are gonna take Cinny too because last night it stormed and his paddock got muddy and the Sheriff asked why we made the horse stand in mud. The whole state of Nebraska is currently covered in mud!!! Tomorrow the dept of agriculture is coming out. I have been talking to the new barn owner trying to bump his move back up even though we aren't sure if his fungus is gone or not. I can't see fungus on him, but I didn't know it was fungus before so I probably have no clue what to look for.
I'm just soooo mad that somebody would have to pick on this lady who is basically a good person trying to help out some poor little ex-breeder dogs and give them good homes. I've seen hoarders on Animal planet...she's not one. Those dogs have way better living conditions than SHE does!! These dogs have way better living conditions than most people!!!
GRRRRRRRR and cookies and carrots to you for reading this whole thing. Thanks for letting me vent!!
That's terrible. Ignorance! Bahh! I would be mad too. Don't they know horses would rather be outside in mud than inside confined to a stall??
Wow what a situation!
I hope it can get cleared up!! :(
Honestly, they can't take the animals on a one visit basis, unless it is OBVIOUS that they are being neglected (no food or water nearby or even on the premises, near death, skin and bones, eating their dead, etc etc) What they WILL and can do is fine the BO and schedule a follow up visit, or they may just pop in randomly. If they dogs and horses aren't in "better" conditions, then they would start talking about seizing animals or getting them signed over (its what you do when you're nice). But they could not seize your horse, because you own him, not the BO. They would also have to get statements from other boarders or neighbors saying that she was neglectful in order to have any kind of case against her, and not just have to return the animals and be done.
So worry naught, Cinny and the BO should be alright.
How many dogs are there? If the Department of Ag is coming in you could have a problem. I did dog rescue for many years and you are only allowed to have X amount of unaltered dogs before you are required to be licensed as a kennel and subject to USDA regulations.
Here's the advice I can give you:
1. Take pictures and video. LOTS AND LOTS of them. These could end up saving you a bunch of grief in the long run.
2. Get all vet records rounded up for ALL the animals. If you have animals that are NOT up to date, get a vet excuse as to why they aren't or GET THEM OUT. Rabies is the only thing you are required to be UTD on, but some USDA officials can be real horses arses.
3. Video tape them from the time they arrive until they leave. That way you have everything ON VIDEO and AUDIO. I have seen MANY rescues thrown under buses because promises made to them by USDA officials verbally were then denied.
4. Get proof of SOME KIND that this breeder dumped these dogs. If not, it's going to look really bad for your BO.
5. Get the males and females apart if they're not already.
6. DO NOT MAKE IT LOOK TOO CLEAN! Poop is normal! A "too clean" enclosure is a red flag for these people!
I am not trying to scare you but some of these people REALLY abuse the system and play people... If you have any more questions, please ask!
There are vet records for every animal on the place including Cinny, the BO's 4 horses and the 5 horses there for training. A vet comes every 2 weeks to take a peek at every animal and they do weights on all the dogs to make sure they are gaining appropriately because many were emaciated on arrival, and there is record all of that.
I believe each animal has a day one picture of what it looked like on arrival. They all have rabies vaccines. I think someone is just mad because she never got her paperwork in order to be a licensed rescue.
A lady came last weekend and adopted one of the Poms. Her sister was with her and the sister was poking around EVERYTHING and asking a ton of questions. I caught her outside petting Cinny even though we have a "do not pet" sign on his stall. I told her that she needed to wash her hands immediately because he had a contagious fungus that he was being treated for and she went off on me saying "why didn't you tell me sooner." The first time I saw her she was nuzzled up to my horse so how could I? Anyway I think it was HER because even though her sister adopted a dog, she herself was pretty pissed about petting a horse that was contagious.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I would photograph the stall with the do not pet sign on it just for $h!ts and giggles.
If all the animals are altered, USDA can't do anything about the number really. Just make sure you have ALL vet records on hand. Heck, even have your vet on hand if you can.
Please don't take this as me being over reactive. I have seen SOOO many of these situations go HORRIBLY wrong because the USDA agent was power hungry. The USDA agents would take photos of unused cages/stalls etc and claim that's where the animals were etc. If you have your own set of photos etc, you are more likely to win if they try to fine you and you need to appeal. I pray you get a level headed agent but just in case, CYA.
Well the department of AG guy and a vet came today and pretty much said the Sheriff was being too picky. For one she lives in an Agriculture Zone with over 40 acres so by law there is no limit to the amount of animals so long as they are healthy and well cared for, which it was confirmed they are. I also pulled the Ag guy aside and told him my concerns for Cinny and he said that he see no reason to remove ANY animal from the property and if they did it would only have been the dogs as the horses do not appear unhealthy, neglected or in any danger whatsoever.
Whewwwww I am still moving him Tuesday as planned, however...indoor arena and hot and cold running water, here I come!
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