The disposal dilemma--- - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 03:45 PM
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Here we call an excavator, dig a hole and bury the horse. Usually we call an excavator first and dig a hole and put the horse down in the hole. Most experienced operators know how to dig a hole that human and horse will have no problems getting in and human getting out. I asked an urban boarding stable owner what they did with euth'ed horses. She said there is animal collection services, it's about $500, that's for pick up, if you choose to haul down to the incinerator, its way less. They do harvest parts of the horse, not used for consumption.
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post #32 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post

Not an option I would personally take, since I'd like my animals to die peacefully at home and not be subjected to unnecessary transport stress and anxiety, but far better than horses being run through auctions first and / or being sent on lengthy trips. Far better too than horses who aren't well being flogged off through a newspaper so someone else can deal with the problem.
Yes, never heard more sensable advice...the horse already suffered enough in it's life... horsie hospices are needed, if you will...if someone can't deal with an aging horseYOU HAVE NO BUSINESS GETTING ONE!!!!Like if you have kids and one is born retarded..do you shove him/her off?
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post #33 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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There was a local couple in the area for awhile, who would go to auctions, buy the old, lame, abused, and decrepit horses who would only go to slaughter anyway, bring them home, give them some love and feed and put them down. If they came across one who would get better with some rehab, they'd get him healthy and find him a new home, but most of the horses they had should really have been put down long before they ended up with this couple. They did a great service. Unfortunately, the bleeding hearts ran them out for being 'cruel' and 'killing horses who could have lived longer'. Yeah, no. The horses they ended up with were not ever going to have a good quality of life. What they were doing was a kindness, but American society as a whole has a huge aversion to anything having to do with death, and the crazies out there are only making it worse. There are far worse things than an easy death, but most people would rather pass the problem off to someone else or live in rainbow and butterfly land and shovel thousands into a suffering animal thinking they are 'helping.'


When I lived in Montana, there was a guy who had a sled dog business who would take old, lame, or crazy horses, cattle, etc. Feed them if they were still comfortable, put them down right away if they weren't, and feed them to his dog teams. He had a couple of big freezer trailers stacked with deceased livestock, and feeding time consisted of a chainsaw, bandsaw, and some grisly views, but his dogs were happy and healthy, he saved a lot of animals from going to a traumatic end at the slaughterhouse, and he was kind and compassionate toward the animals given to him for euthanization. Most met their end with a bullet to the head after a good grooming with their noses buried deep in a bucket of sweet feed. We should all be so lucky.
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post #34 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 04:35 PM
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That is one of the biggest issues with American Society - the majority of people will never own a horse but feel very entitled to tell a horse owner how best to feed,shelter, care for and ultimately euthanize their horse. Those folks want to believe (and it seems do believe) that these horses really do end up in homes that just want an old decrepit animal to mow their pasture down. What they do not realize for the most part is that elderly animals are like elderly people - many have health issues that require medicine on a daily basis or require other special needs (such as blankets in the winter etc) And retirement communities for horses do exist but it most are just boarding facilities for older horses - and like any other boarding situation require the owner to pay for the horses care.

Death is such a taboo subject here in the US, if we really looked at death as a release from pain or suffering for those animals then the view would change.
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post #35 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by carshon View Post
Death is such a taboo subject here in the US, if we really looked at death as a release from pain or suffering for those animals then the view would change.
I'd like to think that, but I'm starting to think that many people are so self-absorbed that their feelings are more important than another being's suffering. People will go to any lengths, and complete denial so they don't have to either make a difficult decision or feel distress. I see it with how humans treat their ill family members in the hospital all the time, so I have to believe it extends even more to animals.

You can tell someone that their demented mother having severe pain from cancer is suffering (the crying and moaning is not "being dramatic"), and that going to extreme lengths to keep them alive is going to make them suffer more. Yet so many choose to let someone suffer rather than face the sadness of loss.

People who sell off an old, sick horse want to pretend that it did not suffer, it just went to a beautiful farm to live in peace. A friend wanted to move away but her horse was too old and ill to move. She kept telling me she was looking for a place to retire her horse here so she could go. I kept telling her that when she moved, her horse would still be old and sick.

Since she was coming every day to give her horse special care and medicine, I asked if all that would be provided for the horse in "retirement." I asked her if she would be OK with someone deciding two weeks after she left that her horse was suffering too much and put the horse down. I kept shattering her romantic ideas with reality, and in the end she had to face the fact that she would have to put her horse down, or not move. She wanted to believe if she moved away, somehow the horse would be happy and healthy once out of her sight and mind. She stayed several more months and then put her horse down.

Was that cruel of me? I don't know, but the horse had good care until the end and I know she deserved that after being this woman's special horse for many years.
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post #36 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
The other is that I think a humane head shot is instant for the horse, and it doesn't have to have any needles stuck into it, which horses are never fond of.
Yep. Chemical euthanasia is overrated.
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post #37 of 56 Old 05-24-2018, 06:03 PM
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I have no idea where out county takes roadkill. I couldn't get a straight answer when I called. I suspect they are either taking them to the landfill and it's not reported so people don't start dropping off deadstock there,
That was my thought also. That corners are cut at the county or state level, yet private owners have to pay premium prices.
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post #38 of 56 Old 05-25-2018, 01:24 AM
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If one of my horses dies in the dead of Minnesota winter, there will be a fire that can be seen for miles. If one dies in the summer, I have a shovel and 14 acres. I dug a hole for a septic tank once, and even my big guy is not as big as that septic tank.
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post #39 of 56 Old 05-25-2018, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by carshon View Post

Death is such a taboo subject here in the US, if we really looked at death as a release from pain or suffering for those animals then the view would change.
Not just the US... Canada has plenty of people who want to think nature is all rainbows and butterflies too.

A few years ago, Toronto had a big problem with Canada geese overrunning its parks and waterfront. Geese are nasty, mean, and poop everywhere. They tried everything, even birth control. Eventually, because people freaked when it was suggested they might have to reduce the population, they actually shipped a bunch of them our way. We were the "farm where old Ginger can live out her life in lush green pastures".

Lucky for us, there are still hunters in Eastern Canada, and the population stays somewhat under control. But my relatives from Toronto were horrified when they found out people here are shooting and eating the geese they sent us! LOL

Kind of like my SIL who hates hunting, but has no problem eating meat from the store. Just as long as you don't remind her that it's still meat, ie, it came from an actual animal.
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post #40 of 56 Old 05-25-2018, 12:38 PM
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When down in the Rio Grande Valley,southern,real southern Texas... happened by a poor mexican cemetary...some didn't have even a coffin...smelling rotting human flesh is something you don't forget...but off topic,sorry.
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