Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I actually wanted to call this post "ANIMAL ABUSERS SHOULD DIE", but I decided that this was a bit strong for an opener.
(Warning #1: there are photos included in this post that some people will find extremely disturbing.)
Now, I don't rant much. I don't get up on a soap box regularly to announce my opinions on the latest controversial subject. I am, however, quite passionate in my thoughts on animal welfare and I need to share something extremely upsetting that is going on quite close to me at the moment.
Let me just begin by saying....
Animal abuse is a criminal act.
Animal neglect is -without a doubt- a form of animal abuse.
What this means to me is that people who do not care for, or allow harm to come to, their animals through inattention, malicious or benign, are criminals. Any person who fails to provide the most basic of needs (food, shelter, safety) to their animals should be arrested and tried to the full extent of the law. I do not see any gray area here. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it for me.
I simply expect people to do right by the animals in their care. If a person finds him or herself unable to care for their animals sufficiently, it is their responsibility to locate a new home for them. Sadly, people frequently shirk this responsibility. I am distressed, sickened, and furiously angered every single time I see or hear stories of animals being damaged by humans.
In the town of Scio, Oregon (the very same town where the Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary is located that my son and I volunteer at), a horse neglect case has reared its ugly head. The sheriff’s office was recently alerted to seven horses being kept in a pasture less than two acres in size. Three of the seven horses are malnourished and in very poor condition.
You can read a local news story of this abuse case by clicking here: Case of malnourished horses under investigation.
Here's your second warning, the pictures below will be very hard to look at.
What you will see below is emaciation (note protruding spine and pelvic girdle) and severe rain rot:
The rain rot is covering most of this horse's back. This is not generally heard of during dry weather. Rain rot is caused by a bacterial infection that usually is only seen during wet weather. Her hair and skin actually peels off:
Look at the despondence in the eyes of this beautiful boy. Who knows the last time he wasn't hungry. Look at the debris he is trying to live amid:
Our sanctuary was contacted early on about this case and Wayne Geiger, the President of the Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary, has been involved daily ever since. Wayne recently issued the following statement:
"On August 6, 2008, reports of several starving horses surfaced from a small pasture containing nothing but dried stubble and weeds. The Linn County Sheriff Dept. served a “Search and Seizure Warrant” to the owner on August 9, 2008. Two of the horses arrived at the Sanctuary and one was returned to a “previous” owner. The horses will be held in “Foster Care” until the case is resolved. During this time the horses will be rehabilitated under the directions of the Sanctuary’s Veterinarian and care from the Sanctuary’s volunteer Staff."
These horses now actually have a chance at survival.
Here is "Pepper" upon arrival at the Sanctuary last Saturday, 8/09:
Details on "Pepper":
Condition: Needs major dental work in about 2 weeks - will work on improving her condition a bit first, though, as she will probably need to be transported the clinic. Needs hoof trim to help with thrush in hooves. Needs coal tar base shampoo for rain rot. Good gut sounds, lungs clear, heart good - no murmur. Stocked up in the hind end. Vital signs all within normal range (temp., respiration and pulse). 200 lbs underweight (!!) Body score - 1 out of 10.
Here is "Jacks" upon his arrival at the Sanctuary last Saturday:
Details on "Jacks":
Condition: Minor thrush in hooves - needs trimming. Vital signs - normal. Lungs - clear. Heart - clear (no murmur) Good gut sounds, Body Score - 2.5 to 3 out of 10
Here is the new clean and safe area set up for Pepper and Jacks at the Sanctuary:
Pepper looks a bit better after her "spa bath" to treat the rain rot. Lots of hair and scabs came off:
Jacks looked beautiful, but still very skinny, after his bath:
Two sweet horses, safe again, finally getting the food they deserve:
I am so grateful the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary exists for, if it didn't, these horses would face an uncertain future. This abuse case is generating significant local attention which is wonderful for these two horses, but incredible for the 160+ other animals living at the sanctuary also. It costs a lot of money to feed and shelter all these precious creatures and funding, as you might imagine, is always an issue.
Please keep your fingers crossed that people hearing about this story will value this sanctuary as much as I do and decide this is a place they would like to support financially!
Click on any of the links below to see some of my other posts about the wonderful Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary :
11/14/2007: Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary - A place to behold
1/18/2008: A belated "Thank You"
3/21/2008: A night out for a good cause
3/05/2008: This and that...oh, and the coop.
Jacks getting a well-deserved mouthful:
Photo credit: Wayne Geiger