Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Horse Cruelty -- Those Who Do It Must Be Caught!


The headline read:
2 Horses Stabbed To Death, 8 Others Slashed In Stable Attacks

It took place on December 7th, 1998, in Barling, Arkansas.

Two horses were stabbed to death and eight others wounded after being befriended in pastures and lured to the front of their stalls with food, police said.

Police had made no arrests though several people were to be interviewed.

"It's very impersonal to drive by and shoot a horse," police spokeswoman Victoria Harris said. "But it's another thing to be nice, befriend the horse and then stab it to death.

"Anyone who can look into the soft, brown eyes of a horse and then stab it has the profile of a serial killer."

The attacks took place early Saturday at three farms in rural Barling in western Arkansas.

"We are all very angry, upset, confused. I just don't understand," owner Ramona Bailey said.

The headline read:
Two horses appear to be stabbed in Sandy Spring

It took place on July 14th, 2001, in Sandy Springs, Maryland.

Two horses were stabbed the night of July 14th in Sandy Spring, resulting in the fatal injury of one and serious injury to another.

Vanessa Swartz boards horses at the two barns she owns on Norwood Road.

Because of problems with flies during daytime hours, Swartz said she usually lets the horses out at night this time of year.

On the morning of July 15 she found a 3-year-old Holstiner with a puncture to its left flank, with its small intestines protruding from the wound.

Swartz said that although she rushed the horse to an equine clinic in Virginia, the horse died on the operating table.

"He was a fabulous animal, to lose him this way is so tragic," she said.

Swartz said she had originally assumed the horse had stepped on a stick or a similar object, causing the puncture, but upon examination realized that another horse, the 30-year-old mother of the 3-year-old, had a similar wound.

Officer Herb Emerson of the Montgomery County Police Department's Animal Control Division confirmed the second horse had a puncture wound on the opposite flank that was about one inch in diameter and about eight inches deep.

Swartz said there is a $4,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the person responsible for the incident, $2,500 of which was donated by the United States Humane Society.

Dr. Ellen Buck, director of equine protection for the United States Humane Society, said the organization often offers reward money in cases of deliberate cruelty to animals.

The headline read:
Six horses found stabbed in Zebulon

It took place on December 3rd, 2012, in Zebulon, North Carolina.

Wake County sheriff's investigators tried to figure out who was responsible for stabbing a half-dozen horses over that weekend.

Andrea Hayward, who owns the animals, said that she believes someone jumped fences of two enclosed pastures near N.C. Highway 98 and assaulted the animals sometime Friday night or early Saturday.

She found them with deep stab wounds in their hind quarter legs Saturday morning. Some had been stabbed repeatedly.

Hayward said she believes blankets the horses had been wearing helped prevent the injuries from being worse.

The horses should recover, she said, but she is worried that one, 28-year-old Maggie, might have to be euthanized if her wounds become infected.

The headline read:
Farm owner denies cruelty after 49 dead horses found

It was reported on April 9th, 2014, from Lexington, Kentucky.

In what one investigator called the 'worst case of animal cruelty" he's seen, 49 dead horses and 15 others that appeared emaciated were found on a 70 acre Pendleton County farm.

Some of the horse skeletons on Larry Browning's farm were found still wearing halters. Some were so starved their ribs showed through their skin.

There was very little hay for the horses to eat, some of it in pools of water along with horse carcasses, county animal control officials said.

Browning told them he planned to sell all the horses, either to private owners or to slaughterhouses outside of the country, by May.

"In nine years, this is the worst case of animal cruelty I've seen," said Scott Pracht, the county's equine investigator.

Browning was cited Monday by Kentucky State Police on 49 counts of not disposing of an animal carcass within 48 hours. Browning was also charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty.

The Pendleton County Animal Shelter cannot house horses, so the 15 animals that were rescued were delivered to foster care in Kenton County. About three dozen horses were left on the farm, Pracht said.

At the farm, Browning said he has been buying and selling horses for more than 50 years and claimed that he did not do one thing wrong.

Larry Browning faces 15 counts of animal cruelty after investigators discovered dead and emaciated horses on his Pendleton County property.

Browning said people drive up to the farm and drop off their horses, leaving him to deal with them. He estimated about 100 horses have been dropped off in the last two years.

According to Animals' Angels, a Maryland-based advocacy group, there have been problems at Browning's farm before.

In a report on its website, the group said 10 horses had to be euthanized in 2011 because of their poor condition. The group also visited in 2013 and found what it described as poor conditions.

Pracht said he first started hearing complaints in late February and went to the farm in early March. Browning allowed him to take photos; the investigation lasted about a month.

Slaughterhouses are not allowed in the U.S., so traders such as Browning truck the horses to Canada or Mexico, Pracht added.

He said horse owners probably were getting bare minimum, maybe $100, for the horses they sold to Browning.

"Some people give them away due to the economy and the cost of caring for a horse," Pracht said.

In January 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture amended regulations for transporting livestock — including horses — across state lines.

Each horse must be officially identified and have a certificate indicating that a veterinarian has examined the animal and determined it is disease free.

Browning couldn't produce any paperwork showing prices or transactions, Pracht said.

"I don't think the general public understands about where they are selling their horses — people like Mr. Browning and the condition these horses end up in. He buys them and I assume tries to sell them for a profit and takes them to slaughter if he can't sell them," he said.

Beckey Reiter, director of Boone County Animal Care and Control, said these sorts of cases have occurred since slaughterhouses quit processing horse meat in 2007.

The horses are no longer profitable; the price to feed them is more than what the owner would make by slaughtering them.

"So people are keeping horses now because they are more companion animals than animals that are used for profit like cattle and hogs, chickens, things along that line," Reiter said.

Reiter said to sell a horse for almost any reason, it needs to be of a healthy weight.

But a worker at the Pendleton County Animal Shelter said most of the horses rescued from Browning's farm had a Henneke body score of 1 1/2 to 3. A horse with a body condition score of 1 is considered emaciated, according to the Kentucky Horse Council.

Healthy horses have a body condition score of 4 to 7.

Reiter said she has been in her line of work for 26 years and has seen plenty of animal cruelty cases, but has never seen so many deceased animals.

"I just don't understand it," she said. "I've seen large cruelty cases, but I don't think I've seen any where there has been more than half dead when you're talking about 100 animals."

The ordinance defines equine abuse and outlines consequences. It also cites an increase in equine neglect as the reason for its creation.

"Over the past five years, Pendleton County has addressed several cases where horses have suffered neglect or starvation by their owners," the ordinance states. "Such neglect and starvation has resulted in horses having to endure protracted pain and suffering ... that resulted in the need to humanely euthanize them."

When Pracht went back to the farm off Ky. 177 on Monday, he could see emaciated horses and at least one dead horse from the road.

Several horses were found entangled in barbed wire after trying to go through the fence line.

And really, how does Browning explain that? He can't.

The headline read:
Horses Injected With Gasoline

It took place on June 10th, 2014, in Marion County, Florida.

The report said that one horse is dead and another one is fighting for it's life.

And yes, the Marion County Sheriff's Office is investigating after gasoline was found in both animals.

"She is my baby, so I've had her her entire life," said Leah Greenleaf.

She tends to her six-year-old spotted saddle horse "Kate," after she just had surgery.

It all started when she noticed a strange lump on her horse on Monday night, so she took her to the veterinarian.

"When they did actually open up, the surgeons even smelled the gas, and that's what confirmed it for them," she said.

"The only way you get the smell of gas inside of a horse is if someone put it there."

Greenleaf's horse wasn't the only horse that was hit.

"The amount of gasoline they said they smelled was just unbelievable ," said neighbor John Hoogerhyde of his horse.

“[The person who performed the necropsy] said there’s so much gasoline, it smelled like someone had poured a five-gallon can of gasoline on her,” Hoogerhyde told WESH.

Hoogerhyde said that on Monday night, his horse started acting strange. The vet came out the next day, and by Wednesday the horse had to be put down.

"This person needs to be caught," he said. "Anyone that can hurt an innocent animal, they're nothing, it's just a cold-hearted person."

Both horses were on pastures behind each of their owner's property in Belleview when it occurred.

The owners believe the suspects might have gotten in from the back. They're just hoping deputies get to the bottom of what happened.

"Definitely, they need to be found," said Greenleaf. "I don't want them coming back and hurting one of my horses. I certainly don't want another horse hurt. Anyone who could do something like this is just a terrible person."

Greenleaf also noticed similar symptoms on one of her horses on June 4th.

Her horse had a place on its neck that appeared to be a bug bite, but then began to swell.

A trip to the veterinarian revealed that Greenleaf’s horse also had gasoline injected into its muscles. The animal is undergoing treatment.

Police are attempting to find the person or persons responsible for the poisonings. In the meantime, Hoogerhyde and Greenleaf say they have moved their remaining animals to other properties and set up surveillance.

“If you’re the person that’s doing this to our horses, just come forward. Stop it now,” Hoogerhyde said.

Anyone with information should call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

-- end articles.

Conclusion:

If we didn't already know it, the news articles above proves that the world has sick individuals so mentally deranged that they would have no compunction to stab, starve, or poison a horse for no reason other than some sick sense of gratification.

To knowingly allow animals to starve to death?

And if we give that man Browning the benefit of a doubt, and if he was right in that people were honestly dumping horses onto his property -- then why not do the right thing and notify animal control or the sheriff's office and get the animal to some rescue facility where they won't starve to death?

Why do nothing and let them starve to death? Where is the sense of care that farmers and ranchers all over America demonstrate on a daily basis?

To blame others for dumping horses and letting those animals starve is criminal in my book.

And to lure a horse to you just to stab and slash it? Most likely the slashes on the rear were done as the horse tried running away.  That shows determination on the part of the attacker.

The stabbings, I remembered them from almost 15 years ago, and the story of the gasoline reminded me of the stories about the stabbings.

When I first heard about the stabbings, I really hoped that the person who lured a horse just to stab it had died in some horrible manner befitting his crime -- preferably in a way that lingered.

Then I read that there were other stabbings across the country, and again I hoped that they would get theirs somehow.

To administer gasoline into a horse, inject it into a horse?

I remember reading about someone actually so evil that they would plot and plan and carry out a way to kill an animal -- all for no reason at all.

Remember Dr. Ellen Buck, director of equine protection for the United States Humane Society, said the organization often offers reward money in cases of deliberate cruelty to animals.

She also said, "We want the perpetrator caught, because not only are they a threat to animals, there is a significant link that people who inflict violence on animals often inflict violence on people."

Buck said. "It's in our best interest to catch these people."

I believe that anything that we can do to find these people, and at the least put them on our radar to watch their actions is important to all of us for our safety.

And yes, we all know who they are.

Criminal Psychologist tell us that those who are cruel to animals, those who inflict pain and cause death for no reason to helpless animals of all types, they are the same individuals who shoot up movie theaters or go on stabbing sprees in schools.

Like other predators, they are the worse of our society and should be found before they decide that killing a horse is not so much fun anymore and instead now they decide to up the ante to killing people.

That's just how I see it.

Tom Correa



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