If You Own Donkeys or Mules-They’re Not Safe

Source: The Donkey Sanctuary Right now, millions of donkeys from Asia, Africa and South America are at risk of being stolen and slaughtered for their skins – the gelatin in the hide being a key ingredient in the prized traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao (e-gee-yow). A new report by The Donkey Sanctuary reveals the shocking […]

via Under the Skin – Donkeys at Risk — Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Stolen Horse International can, if notified promptly, help with the search for stolen animals. The problem is that most people assume that law enforcement will do an exhaustive search. It’s not that they don’t try-they do. The problem is that they have so much to do and so little to do it with. The owner is basically left with a piece of paper saying ‘yes, your animal was probably stolen’ and that’s about as much-realistically-as you are going to get.

The result? The owner is left in the dark and the animal-well, who knows? It might be pulled out by a private buyer (we can all hope!), a rescue group might fight for it (again-that’s a hope), or it will go to slaughter (which none of us want, but is a reality). This whole thing is not good.

Oh, you can try to do this on your own-and lots of people do. I don’t recommend it for several reasons.

  1. No one person is going to have the incredible contacts and reach in social media that this band of volunteers has amassed over the nearly 20 years they’ve been working. That’s just a fact.
  2. No one individual has thousands of horse related email addresses already lined up and ready to go.
  3. They know who to contact and where.
  4. Using the tools that they will give you puts you ahead of the game. All you have to do is follow their lead. That’s great when you are frustrated, angry, and spinning your wheels.

The fees are affordable. If you can afford to keep a horse, you cannot afford not to use this service. It’s that simple. Be smart when the chips are down and your best friend is missing.

 

Busy Time of Year-and Not Because of Holidays

boloI used to get into the whole Christmas-holiday thing-decorating, baking, going to see people, buying gifts, and all the whoop-de-do. Then I got older-the money got tighter and tigher, the little kids became big kids, some people actually DIED, and just maybe I got smarter? I don’t know.

But the older I get the less I do and the less I need to do. Oh, I enjoy getting a Christmas card or two-simply because I enjoy hearing from old friends. But truth be told-you can do that any time of year. We just don’t and Christmas gives us a reason to reconnect. That’s fine and I’m not down playing it. I just don’t have the postage money. I suspect a lot of people are in the same boat.

However, there are a few, well, I won’t call them ‘people’ because of what they do, but the word ‘jerk’ will do-who decide that they will ‘make some cash’ by taking advantage of all the distraction caused by the holiday running around to steal other people’s horses, cattle, trucks, trailers, and tack. Then they take this to the sales (with forged bills of sale and other documents) and sell quickly. OR in the case of the trucks and trailers, they might ‘chop’ them and sell for parts or scrap metal for profit. Turnover is generally 3-7 days. It is, essentially, free money-unles you get caught.

That’s where the organization that I volunteer for-Stolen Horse International or ‘NetPosse’-comes in. We try to make it impossible for these jerks to have the opportunity to sell by blanketing the entire area in notifications via social media, regular media, people handing out fliers, putting up notices, calling auctions, notifying dealers, etc.about the theft and what to look for. In essence, we super-saturate the area. In one instance that I know of, the thief told his girlfriend that the ‘internet has just blown up-we can’t move the product anywhere.’ That was the reaction we were looking for. We got those horses back within a week and he and his accomplice were both arrested and charged. We don’t have  the authority to arrest, but we were darn proud of getting the horses back.

If you want to be a part of this fantastic group of volunteers or just want to support the work that we do (it is a 501(c)(3)), click here.

 

 

 

Chasing Stolen Horses

henrybuddy5050

This was in my home state practically ‘next door’ to where we live. It seems incredible to most people that someone would steal a horse, but they do-and, in many cases, they get away with it. Why? It doesn’t seem logical at first, but it really is very reasonable when you learn the facts.

  • Horses are surprisingly easy to transport and resale. There are supposed to be laws regarding this, but they are quite lax and easily worked around.
  • Most horse owners do not keep adequate records on their horses. By that I mean they do not keep bills of sale, registration papers, photographs, vet bills, Coggins, health certificates, farrier bills, show records, etc. organized and in one place. They can’t prove that a horse is actually THEIRS if their lives depended on it.
  • Owners rarely-rarely-do anything toward permanetly identifying a horse. I guess they think that they can walk out to a holding pen, point their finger, and say, “That’s my horse-give it back.” Nope-sorry, doesn’t work that way. Especially when somebody else is standing there holding a bill of sale that says that same horse belongs to THEM. Guess what John Law is going to do? That’s right-he’s going to side with the person who holds the paperwork. You lose.
  • Auction owners and managers do not know nor do they care where a horse comes from. What they care about is the consignment fee they get when the horse is sold. They want the animals run through quickly and get them off the property. That’s wonderful news for horse thieves, kill buyers, and horse ‘flippers’. Terrible news for horse owners. However-most of them will work with us. Being known as a place where this goes down is bad for business for the most part.
  • The public is genuinely unaware that this really does go on. Even law enforcement doesn’t have a clue on how to react or how to deal with it. We teach as we go.

Fortunately, in this case, the owners came to us immediately so we could get to work to stop the resale before they really got started with their plans. That is critical to making a recovery happen. They never got the horses more than about 100-150 miles from their home.

We blanketed the entire area with notifications on social media and emails. People were putting up that flier everywhere in Georgia and the rest of the Southeast. Auctions were being called. TV stations were doing stories. It became impossible for them to ‘move the product’.

Those horses disappeared on 9/21, but they were back home by 9/26.

What’s going on with the thieves? Don’t know-that’s a question for law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office as the case is still under investigation. Our job is finished.

Now-did we get paid for all this? Well, there is a filing fee of $25. That got them 3 unpaid volunteers working 10-12 hour days for nearly 5 days. I will let you do the math.

Satisfying? Immensely so. You can watch the videos on the Stolen Horse International Facebook page to see the pure joy and relief captured on the images there.

Atlanta Journal Constitution article

Henry County Herald

NetPosse YouTube

captureFundraiser shirts Remembering Idaho

All proceeds raised go to supporting Stolen Horse International, 501(c)(3) organization. 6 styles, 5 colors each $19.99-$34.99 Sale ends soon! Pay it ahead-support what we do. Victim support, horse recovery, education, liaison for law enforcement, valuable resource.

Backyard Breeders

Before anybody gets their undies in a twist, let me be clear. Yes, I have owned both stallions and mares. Yes, I have done some breeding. Not a lot, but some. I have raised foals-and I have re-trained horses that other people raised in their backyards who turned out to be dangerous hellions. Seriously dangerous. So yes, I do have some very real knowledge to back up my thoughts. Whether or not you agree-totally different thing.

Of the foals born here, only two left. I have always regretted that. One filly I have no idea where she went. I traded her to a friend for a TWH filly that I still own 19 years later. The other one, also a filly, was part of a deal to get my Arabian broodmare. She was given back to the girl who sold me the mare. If I had known she would turn around and sell her, I never would have let her go. She went to a woman who was a known horse hoarder in FL. I have often worried about what happened to that filly. Hoarders are notorious for not being able to feed their horses.

The others? The two colts grew up and died here. I still have their half sisters. I have the daughters of one of the colts. They’ll be fine mares in their own right soon.

Why am I writing about backyard breeders? Because I’m a rarity. I only bred for those who I thought would keep and use the foals for their entire lives. That meant that my stallions didn’t see many outside mares or get much around here.

My rationale? Well, if you go to the sale barns, you’ll see weanlings, yearlings, and 2 year old-REGISTERED horses-not plugs and these are healthy, sane, lovely animals-being sold for $50-150 each because they didn’t sell for the breeders. Gorgeous babies-not a thing in the world wrong with them. They just bred too many of them so they dump them.

You know what happens to them? They go to slaughter. Don’t like reading that? Then don’t be breeding your mare just because you think foals are cute, you like your mare, or your neighbor has a stud colt. I’m serious. Every time you do something like that-you put another horse on a truck.

Comments on WordPress are welcome. I remind the reader that this is my opinion. I’m not trying to persuade anyone-just saying what I think. Do I have a solution? Well, I have a “proposed” solution, but I have no illusions that anyone would take me up on it. I’ll save that one for later.  Enough for now. To quote Scarlett O’hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”

 

The Way We Think About Equine Reproduction Sucks

It really does when you get down to brass tacks.

Now everybody thinks that “my horse doesn’t have any flaws”. Yeah, well, every cotton-picking six year old girl with My Pretty Pony thinks the same darn way and, if you are still in THAT mode, brothers and sisters, we’ve got a serious problem. I haven’t seen much in the stallion or broodmare catalogs lately to write home about. Conformation flaws abound in every breed-and I’m not going to pick on any particular one because I don’t feel like starting WWIII.

Don’t go getting into that huffy ‘well, if you had a stud or a mare….” thing either. I’ve owned stallions and I currently own five mares. I’ve raised foals-the five mares I raised from foals actually.  Don’t go there. I speak from experience.

Breeders of all stripes-commercial and backyard-need to totally revamp the thought process. You should not put the stallion to the mare unless and until you have somebody committed to raising and caring for the resulting life for the next 25-35 years from beginning to end including breeding, mare care, etc. If we  did so, all of the over breeding and excess  horses would simply cease. There wouldn’t be any. There would not be any horses available to be abused or go to slaughter. Quality would be better because people would think about the matches more. They would care-I would think-for the horses better.

Why are we breeding and breeding and breeding horses when we are simply shipping them out to auctions?