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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Responsibility of Responsible Animal Husbandry

~When the time comes to die, I hope I'm ready to go.~
~Eve Thomas 1878~

There are no pretty pictures because this story isn't very pretty.

I know that I'm goin' to be preachin' to the choir here, but I guess I'm hopin' that gettin' this story off my chest makes me feel better.

Yesterday I made a trip up to the feed store. There was a man being waited on ahead of me, and I just waited politely behind him. His conversation with the store clerk came about that his 31 year old mare had died. The mare's mother had lived to 32. That's quite an accomplishment.

The man's next statement was something to the effect that "she just couldn't take the cold anymore...there wasn't any shelter from the wind, even though there wasn't much wind."

Excuse me!!!???!!! That's kinda your responsibility...to take care of the needs of your animals!

So, all I've been able to see in my mind for the past 24 hours is this poor ol' mare lying down and giving up on life...on a cold, lonely, dark night... The temps have dropped as low as -35 in some areas of the county. But let's just say it was -25 with a 5 mph wind...according to my wind chill chart the wind chill factor now reads -40.  Frost bite time at that temperature is 30 minutes.

How long does that idiot think anything can survive at 40 below! I just wanted to beat him over the head with a 2 x 4...knowing that he was laying comfy in his warm bed...as the mare died in agony...

Responsible animal care isn't overly difficult...

  • fresh, clean water
  • ample nutritious food
  • shelter from the elements

Throw in a lil' bit of vet care...

I don't feel any better yet...maybe I'll see that guy at the feed store again, and I'll get a second chance to knock him over the head with that 2 x 4...


23 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww, that just breaks my heart. That poor mare should have been enjoying a cozy retirement with all the comforts and warmth she deserved, after a lifetime of service.
Not only do mean people suck...but ignorant people suck, too.

Poor old girl :(

~Lisa

Crystal said...

aww thats horrible! Poor old girl.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Ya know, I just don't understand how people who have been around livestock their whole lives just cannot seem to figure this out when it comes to horses. Of course I'm assuming this guy was a livestock person?

More times than I can recall, I have heard life-long ranchers...people who normally take excellent care of their animals...say very similar things about an old horse they have kept around.

Obviously it's not ignorance, It's more like it doesn't compute that they would probably not let a cow (or sheep or goat) die under those conditions, but it's okay if it's a horse?

lisa said...

Want me to supply the 2 x 4 ;-)

Cheyenne said...

Its the same the world over, nothing changes, no matter what is done or said.

Mikey said...

Yep. My neighbors have no shade for their paint stud horse (and others) when it's 118 out. I want to take his beer drinking owner out and sit him out there for an hour. They also have a POS 20 yr old son who sleeps till noon and doesn't work. (if it was my child a barn would have built by now)
Their horses sit outside and suffer. Never clean pens or let them out, maybe once a year for the last 4 yrs. We've offered to help them put up a shade, and what's worse is all the stuff to build a shade is right there laying next to the pens. All they'd have to do is put it together. But NO... can't put down the beer long enough for that. The owner can't start his truck w/o blowing in a breathalyzer first, that's how many DUI's he's had.
It makes us so mad. But what else can you do? There is no law stating you have to provide shade for an animal. We watch this horse shade his head in the feeder, but that's all he's got.
Some days I just can't stand it. Your story is like someone letting their grandparents die on the street. WTF is wrong w/people?

SquirrelGurl said...

Wow.

My Dad spent HOURS out in the cold yesterday searching for a newborn calf that had slipped through the fence. He was worried sick about that little one, he wanted to make sure it was up in the shed, out of the wind where it could be safe.

I can't even imagine intentionally leaving an animal out in the weather with no way to shelter itself. That's just horrible. I don't know how people can sleep at night when they do things like this.

CTG Ponies said...

That sucks. Some people are just ignorant. Meanwhile I'm losing sleep when the wind howls, my horses are blanketed, and in their shelter plus a round bale to eat 24/7.

I'm with Lisa - I'll supply the 2x4.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Give him one for me.

Linda said...

Makes me furious when I hear things like this.

Rain said...

That is just heartbreaking. He deserves a hit alongside the head as well as many people's 'evil' eye. I am good at that one when I hear such a story! I feel so sorry for some animals at the mercy of heartless owners :(

C-ingspots said...

I don't believe it's ignorance or lack of good old common sense either one...I think there are just some evil people in this world that don't care. Maybe God can or will forgive them, but I don't think I can.

Maia said...

Hit him one for me girlfriend. That poor old mare. She should have had something better.

Paint Girl said...

Wow, what an idiot. Some people just don't get it. That makes me sad, that mare didn't have to die like that. Sad.
And I hope you do see that man again, cuz I'd like to hear what you do to him when ya do!

gowestferalwoman said...

oh for goodness sakes - how much does it really cost in time and money to put up a basic three sided shed? or even just a wind break? jiminy crickets even the wild animals have the ability to roam free and find shelter from the wind etc. what was this guy thinking, penning up a horse and then expecting it to handle all kinds of weather?

Rhonda said...

Oo-boy, yes, some folks still have a ways to go in learning "compassion."

ACountryCowgirl said...

I would have used the 2X4. I have no tolerance for treating an animal bad. So many people just don't care. It is so irritating. Especially older horses need a lot of extra attention. If you aren't willing to do it don't have them!! The story breaks my heart:(

DarcC said...

That poor old mare is getting her reward right now, and one of these days that man will too.

I picked up a starved, sick, soon to be dead kitten from the road a couple of weeks ago and nursed him back to health. If I hadn't it would've haunted me every time I drove by the old dairy farm he was at. The farmer told me "Oh, people dump them here all the time". Well, then, why don't you feed them??? Kibble is cheap enough! Aargh...

Rising Rainbow said...

Sad story. I can understand your frustration. It would have been hard for me to keep my mouth shut at the feed store if I'd overheard that story. You just have to wonder about some folks.

Celeste said...

Well if you do see him again, give him a shot with that 2 by 4 from me too please! Stories like that just make my blood boil.

CCC said...

Goodness that's too sad. I know so many people who are opposed to putting a horse down but sometimes it's just plain kinder.

Wilma said...

I'm willing to supply the 2x4's for this. I mean plural 2x4 cause I want to be involved too. You have a responsbility to the animals. All they ask is for is us to take care of them and they give us unconditional love. Bless you for being concerned and upset. I have 10 horses and 4 dogs and 2 cats and i dont think of them as animals I think of them as people in fur coats.LOL They are like my children to me and if I couldnt take care of them I would give them to someone who could and would give them a good home with shelter Mine are spoiled they have a heated barn but thats only because I have free gas on my farm.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Knock him once for me too..what a bum:(

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