Horses lose in bad economy

Another sad commentary on the state of the economy: the efforts of horse owners to get rid of their horses. While riding last Thursday we saw two colleagues, a husband and wife team who own an animal clinic in a rural area. She does the small animal work and he does the large, plus shoeing horses. They said business was slow, especially now that people are trying to sell their horses.

Hay is expensive, so is grain, and so is veterinary care. I do not think that animals and their care come under the heading of disposable income that isn’t spent when times are tough. Why not hold back on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages?

One thing that hit me hard was a piece in the February issue of Equus Magazine. It reports that a horse rescue offers a “last act of kindness.” The NorCal Equine Rescue (NCER) hosted its first free euthanasia clinic in November. People brought their unwanted horses in to be put down.

NCER’s primary focus in to find homes for rescued horses, and all were evaluated for this. However, all horses were over 20 and had medical problems. The VP, Tawnee Preisner said, “Some of the horses could hardly walk, and they should have been euthanized a long time ago. But the owners didn’t have the money to do it.” Thumbs up to NCER for offering help. Thumbs down to horse owners who, for whatever reason, don’t take proper care of their animals.

There are so many people who oppose horse slaughter for meat that the two facilities in the US were closed due to public outcry. Now, horses are smuggled into Mexico under shady conditions for this, when horses could have been slaughtered under humane conditions and serve to feed the hungry and those in other parts of the world that consider horse meat a delicacy.

I shudder at the thought of horses going to any kind of mass slaughter, but reality sets in. What do you think?

2 Responses to Horses lose in bad economy

  1. Marleen S. says:

    I have always wanted a horse. Maybe, now, would be a good time for me to adopt one that needs a home. I know I can afford it, but I am concerned about finding a good boarding facility and the time commitment. And, I guess it would help if I actually learned to ride first! Is there a resource you can recommend for a potential, newbie, horse owner without a lot of knowledge about horse ownership? This is something I have been thinking about for years…..

  2. marycarlsondvm says:

    This is a good time to find a horse, Marleen, as many people are trying to “get rid” of theirs. We’ve emailed about where to find one. Leasing a horse is a widely done option as well. If others out there are interesting in getting a horse, great, let’s talk. Do know that it is a great expense and responsibility to have a horse. Good luck!

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