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What to Do If You Think a Horse is Starving
 By Winniefield Park   •   11th Feb 2014   •   4,893 views   •   1 comments
Have you ever driven past a field, noticed a horse and then had your stomach drop as you think, OMG, that horse is so skinny! I know I have. If there's only one horse in a group of otherwise healthy herd, there's probably not a lot to worry about. There are horses that are hard keepers, have a disease, or are very old, and the owner is aware of the problem and probably doing all they can to maintain the horse in as good health as possible. However, if you see only one horse, or a large herd of horses that is seriously underweight you might decide there is a real problem. The temptation might be to drive on in and give the owner a good talking to. But, that might not be a good idea.

What to Do If You Think a Horse is Starving

Laws in most places make it illegal to trespass on property, even if you are trying to help by just checking or bringing a starving horse food or water without permission from the owner. Even if you do offer to help, your efforts may not be welcome. Many cases of starvation are caused by neglect and not intentional. The owner may have become ill, or otherwise incapacitated. They may not realize what they are doing, and not appreciate being told that they are mistreating an animal they may even love. So, it's probably not a good idea (for your own safety too) that you don't have any sort of confrontation with the owner.

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Your first step should be to call your local law enforcement-either the police, or county sheriff. You don't want to appear like an out-of-control nosy neighbor, so stay calm, don't blame, demand action or become emotional. You'll need to provide the police or sheriff’s office with information, so they can follow up. They will likely need your name, phone number, the location of the horses, the animals' condition and owner's name if you know it. The police or sheriff may decide to check out the situation themselves, or they may ask you to pass on the information to notify the local animal control or humane society. As long as you have good intentions and concern for the welfare of the neglected horses, calling the police is fine. However, don't call about someone who you've had previous bad relations with or call multiple times about horses you 'think' might be neglected, as that could get you in trouble.

In most places, neglecting animals is a criminal offence. So, if the owner of the horses is charged, they may have to surrender them until it is determined whether they can be returned. If there are court proceedings, you may be called upon to be a witness.

The laws differ in many areas, but if the owner is charged with neglect, and it is decided that the animals will need to be re-homed, the owner may have to pay for their upkeep or the horses can be sold to help pay for expenses. The owner may be fined, put on probation, prohibited from owning horses or even jailed.
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Dark Star  
Not really a good picture, since those horses aren't skinny. haha Good article though, DO NOT GET CARRIED AWAY. I know Tucker, my friend's rescued OTTB, is skin and bones. Her step daughter got screamed at at fair last year because he was so skinny, even though he gets fed triple the other horses do with many supplements. Don't automatically jump to conclusions and confront people aggressively.
  Feb 14, 2014  •  6,004 views
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