73 Horses Seized in Upstate New York—ASPCA Reports From the Scene

Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 3:00pm

On March 16, under the authority and request of the SPCA Serving Erie County (NY) members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team were dispatched to assist in the sheltering management and care of 73 horses seized from what is believed to be the area's largest farm animal rescue ever. The animals were found living in deplorable and extremely unsanitary conditions on a farm in East Aurora, NY (about 20 miles southeast of Buffalo).

Jeff Eyre, the Northeast Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, is currently on scene with other ASPCA staff skilled in horse handling. The group has been instrumental in helping to feed, water and clean the animals. For the horses' extended care, the ASPCA will grant $10,000 to the SPCA Serving Erie County and has provided a livestock trailer for transport.

“Our goal is to help the SPCA Serving Erie County rehabilitate these horses, both physically and behaviorally,” says Jeff. “We are glad to be able to provide support to the SPCA and the Erie County community.”

The following is the first in a series of field reports from Jeff on the ground in Erie County.

Field Report #1


Attended an early morning briefing with team leaders to set up a swing shift for the day to day operations—this will cover the early morning feeding and medications. Our goal today is to finish barn and stall improvements, provide handling for a vet visit and move or separate the horses.

After the meeting, we provided food and water for the horses, improved the stalls and cleared an area for the intake of new supplies and equipment. Later, we unloaded two tractor trailers full of supplies. We also created a staff office and site command center for operations planning and evidence organization.

A special event…this afternoon we watched as ASPCAs Logistic Manager Joel Lopez handled a newborn horse, moving him from one stall to another—great job!

Field Report #2


We were briefed in-route to the shelter in order to make our 8:00 A.M. shift.

We completed the erection of a fence to secure the area around the barns and set up a rental to supplement the Gator, an all-terrain vehicle, for use around the barns. Oil was changed in the Gator.

Moved another young horse without incident.

Field Report #3


Jeff Eyre, the Northeast Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, is currently on the scene in Erie County, assisting with the sheltering management and care of 73 horses. The following is the first in a series of field reports from Jeff.

We now report directly to the shelter to start our shifts at 8:00 A.M.—briefing is now covered during lunch breaks for updates and new changes.

Repaired front of stalls in small barn and began lead walking and lunging some of the horses within the fenced area—hopefully tomorrow we can erect a round pen.

I am amazed….at any given time I can look at someone here and they are smiling. The amount of physical work required to care for a horse is intense. But the joy a horse gets in a clean stall—they sniff, snort and roll just because! It can only make you smile. I am very, very proud of our team. More tomorrow…

Field Report #4


Today was a full day of cleaning and improving the barn for the horses. We added another Gator vehicle with a power lift for cleaning and moving supplies.

Due to the rainy weather conditions, the area is full of water and mud—we have decided to keep all horses in.

Today we received three more horses from the case; there are now 69 horses on site, four are being held at the SPCA.

For the latest information follow Jeff as he reports from the scene.