The ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team is currently on the ground in Spokane, Washington, assisting Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services (SCRAPS) with the sheltering and daily care of 63 horses seized Nov. 15 as part of an animal cruelty investigation.
ASPCA responders will remain in Spokane, an ASPCA Partner Community, for at least the next 30 days to nurse the horses to health before their placement with various rescue groups for adoption. The ASPCA is also providing a $5,000 grant to SCRAPS to help cover expenses related to the horses’ care.
SCRAPS officials discovered the severely emaciated and dehydrated horses, who had no access to water or acceptable food, on an abandoned property. Eleven horses in critical condition were taken to a local veterinarian for immediate medical attention. The remaining horses are being cared for at the Spokane County fairgrounds by SCRAPS and ASPCA responders. Agencies assisting the ASPCA with care and sheltering include: Days End Rescue (Woodbine, Maryland); Code 3 (Longmont, Colorado); Equine Emergency Rescue Unit (Overland Park, Kansas); and Washington State Animal Response Team (Enumclaw, Washington).
Local authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of the property owner on charges of animal cruelty in the first degree and transporting or confining animals in an unsafe manner. The suspect has a history of animal cruelty charges, but has ceased appearing in court for proceedings related to these prior charges. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
Max, a former champion living in Arizona, was healthy and happy before his owner was forced to give him up.
As the deadly snow storms that have already hit the Great Plains illustrate, winter is coming. It won't be long before much of the country is buried under a blanket of white.
This is the time of year equine rescues, sanctuaries, and community hay banks serving needy horse owners stock up on hay for the entire winter. The ASPCA assists these groups through grants made possible by our members’ compassion and generosity, ensuring that horses don't suffer and starve.
One such group is the Arizona Coalition for Equines (ACE), which received a $3,000 grant from the ASPCA in November 2012. These are just a few of the lives ACE was able to touch with that funding:
Slammed by foreclosure on her home and forced to move after the death of her mother, a woman living on disability ran out of money to feed her two horses. She turned to ACE for a helping hand, saying she would rather feed her horses than herself. ACE responded with a month’s worth of hay and settled her unpaid feed bill, giving her time to get back on her feet. Her horses remain in excellent condition.
A disabled veteran on a fixed income asked ACE for help when his horse became unable to walk. Sometimes feeding his horses before himself, he was desperate to get veterinary care but unable to pay the upfront costs. With ACE assistance, a veterinarian did a complete examination and diagnosed thrush, a front hoof abscess and a possible pelvic injury. Treatment provided immediate relief.
The greatest success story belongs to Max, a 30-year-old former champion show horse (pictured) who had been owner-released to a commercial stable due to financial hardship. His former owner was devastated when he went to visit Max months later and found him close to death—he had been left to starve. The man reached out to ACE, which rescued Max and covered the cost of his foster care until a new forever home was found.
The ASPCA is saddened by the loss of one of Congress’ most dedicated animal welfare advocates: Representative C.W. Bill Young (FL-13). As the longest serving Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Young led a career filled with compassionate actions for animals.
Rep. Young was well known for his dedication in the fight to stop the brutal practice of horse slaughter. In addition to his consistent support of authorizing legislation, like the SAFE Act, to ban horse slaughter, Rep. Young was also a staunch ally to horses on the House Appropriations Committee. In June of this year, Rep. Young cosponsored an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2014 that would prevent federal dollars from being spent on horse meat inspections, language that would keep horse slaughter plants from reopening in the United States. Thanks to his leadership, the amendment was swiftly adopted into the FY 14 Agriculture Appropriations bill by the committee.
Rep. Young, a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, advocated for many animal welfare issues during his 42-years of service in Congress. A longtime leader on legislation to combat puppy mills, Rep. Young joined as an original cosponsor of the PUPS Act this Congress, legislation that would close loopholes in the existing law and improve conditions for dogs in commercial breeding establishments.
In addition to his leadership on these key efforts, Rep. Young supported many other animal welfare initiatives over the course of his career, including legislation to combat animal fighting, stop horse soring, and protect America’s wild horses.
The ASPCA is grateful to Rep. Young for his many years of compassionate service in Congress, and remembers him for standing up in defense of our nation’s animals. His memory and legacy will long be cherished.
“I am interested in long-term humane solutions to manage our horse populations. Our land is precious to the Navajo people as are all the horses on the Navajo Nation. Horses are sacred animals to us.” – Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation
Phenomenal news! Horse-welfare advocates just gained an important new ally in the fight to stop the brutal practice of horse slaughter. As reported earlier this week in TheNew York Times, Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, announced that the Nation opposes the practice of horse slaughter and has stopped all horse round-ups on the reservation.
This statement follows two important developments for horses on Navajo lands. In September, a coalition of Navajo elders and medicine people passed a resolution to oppose horse slaughter, and a Navajo Nation chapter opted to suspend round-ups in its territory for fear the horses would be sent to slaughter.
The ASPCA applauds President Shelly’s announcement, which underscores the fact that the inherently cruel practice of horse slaughter is never an acceptable end for a horse.
President Shelly’s message on behalf of the Navajo Nation confirms the building momentum for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would forbid the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad.
It happened again: Yesterday a terrified carriage horse bolted down a busy New York City street, flipped over and was pinned to the ground. As traffic ground to a halt, rescue workers and good Samaritans labored to free the equine from under the wrecked carriage and prevent further suffering.
This is unacceptable. Carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban settings. From congested city streets to startling noises, New York City is a nightmare for these animals—and current City laws do not afford working horses adequate protection to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
"How many horses and people must be hurt before New York City wakes up and realizes we are in the 21st century?" asks Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA New York City Legislative Director. "Let’s change with the times and push for a safe, humane alternative."
Take Action! Your help is urgently needed to protect our city's working carriage horses. The ASPCA has been working hard to pass legislation that would take the burden off these horses and create a more humane attraction for tourists. If you live in New York Cityplease urge your councilmember to support and cosponsor Intro. 86A, legislation that would phase out horse-drawn carriages in New York City, replacing them with vintage electric cars. Yesterday’s accident is only the latest reminder that the time has come to get these sensitive animals off our streets.