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Here is a doozy for you all. Looking for suggestions or even reassurance that I'm not crazy and this is bad situation. This is going on in Minnesota. Sorry it's a bit of a novel.

I know someone that for a few years has been running her own 501c3 horse rescue/training center. Unfortunately her methods have resulted in at least four dead horses.

Some of which include:
Not offering horses (even malnourished ones) hay or additional feed because "wild horses only survive on grass", riding skinny horses (Body Scores around 2-3) will put weight on them, not offering water for up to 24 hours because she "forgets" to fill the tank, not seeking vet care for horses with severe colic symptoms until it was much to late, I could go on but you get the point.

Any effort to help with care/offer suggestions is seen as an attack on her business and she has tried suing anyone who makes any attempt to report her.

Animal control has been out to her property twice but always calls before they come and her excuse for horses in bad condition is that they are rescues and are in rehab. However, some of these horses have been on the property for YEARS with no improvement.

With 14 horses and at least a dozen other animals already on the farm she just acquired a morbidly obese pony with severely overgrown hooves. She does not have the money for X-rays and also does not employ a farrier on a regular basis, she does all the trimming herself (she has no training or experience as a farrier and basically makes it up). Several people have offered to adopt this pony to get him the proper care but she is refusing to give him up.

I don't know what to do at this point. I don't believe this woman should have ANY horses, let alone 15 with varying health issues. But no one has been able to bring enough evidence at one time to have anything done.
 

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Is there food and water on the premises? Shelter? Unfortunately, the way a lot of the laws are written, if she meets those criteria Animal Control can do nothing. All people can do, if a situation is bad, is to keep calling and reporting her. Eventually, if they go out enough times, they may get enough evidence to move forward with a case. Or not.

There are as many differing opinions on how to care for horses as there are horse people and just because we don't all agree, doesn't necessarily mean everyone is wrong. Take the farrier situation as a for instance. For a long time, I had a hard time finding a good farrier where I live. They would show up once or twice and then I'd never hear from them. I just had a farrier who, because of outside obligations, kept putting me off and putting me off. I found another farrier this time, but who knows next time? My husband did all the trims for a couple of years because I couldn't find someone I liked. Hubby has no training but did a pretty fair job of keeping them trimmed and mostly balanced. So were my horses neglected? I'd argue that point all day long with someone.

I, personally, don't agree with riding a horse that's a 2 or 3 body score, but others feel that light riding is ok. I don't like 99.99999% of rescues, I think they're mostly closet hoarders, but that's MY opinion. Unless you're currently working on the rescue property with those horses, you don't really know what (if any) underlying conditions the horses may have that are keeping them from gaining weight or even maybe make gaining weight undesirable.
 
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