Sunday, May 2, 2010
The previous owner of one of our resident geldings is apparently uphappy that he received a visit from an Animal Control officer shortly after one of his horses was moved to TREES.
In seven years, TREES has asked law enforcement to look into only two situations. For the most part, we feel owners respond better to advice concerning elder management than to any sort of "threat." In addition, we don't want to have a reputation with local Animal Control officials as The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
However......when we take in a skinny lame horse, and when a sanctuary respresentative tells us she observed other thin horses on the property, we get concerned. When a mutual acquaintence says the horse we accepted looked far worse when we got him than when she saw him only a few months before, the concern heightens. And when, after being offered feeding advice, the owner himself tells us he "has no intention" of doing anything differently for the horse, that tips the cart.
In this case, the advice was merely to change from a generic whole grain general livestock feed to any pelleted or extruded complete feed that could be softened for a dentally challenged senior. No recommendations for a "top of the line" formula, just something that this particular horse could actually chew and digest to get some calories into him.
"I have no intention of getting a different feed for this one horse" was the wrong answer. § 3.2-6570 of the Virginia Code states "A. Any person who:............(ii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment;......is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor." Knowingly giving an animal something he cannot eat seems to be depriving him of food necessary to his survival.
We understand that horse owners run into hard times and sometimes need to ask for help. We do not understand the declaration "I have no intention" of doing anything different.
No apologies here.