Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why have my owners not come for me?

I saw this post recently on one of my yahoo list groups.

Found @ 0630 this morning ( Sun 6/26 ) Two mares at the junction of St. Rt. 18 south and Porto Rico Rd. in New Milton, WV Looks like they have been traveling for a while, but appear healthy and well nourished. One Bay & one Buckskin. Neither wearing halters. I managed to catch the Buckskin and the Bay just followed us home. Both now safely in stalls while we search frantically for their owners. Please email or call us {304-873-2478} if you know where these ladies belong!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Maryanne

I noticed that the horses were located in West Virginia so I sent a note to an old friend. He assumed like most folks do why the owners had not been found.

He said, “It may be that they (the owners) don't want them back.”

Many people think that a found horse is an abandoned horse in these hard times.

Since he knew the people who had found the horses I asked him to forward our offer of help from Stolen Horse International / NetPosse.com to help find the owners. I also sent along an explanation as to why his above statement may be an incorrect assumption.

In his response he added the following note, “PS: If you are still writing your blog you should post the information in your last message there.”

What a good idea I thought. So, here is that part of my reply to my friend about “found” horses.

Why have the owners not come forward?

It may be that they have not been found yet. Believe me; I have worked enough of the found horse cases to know that it is frequently more complicated than that. In the cases where we have located the owners, we found many if not all of the following to be true:
2.   The horse was lost by a caring owner
3.   The owner contacted authorities (law enforcement, animal control, etc)
4.   The finder contacted authorities (law enforcement, animal control, etc)
5.   The above mentioned authorities told the owner no one had found a horse when the called. (In one case Animal Control had the horse in custody!)  http://netposse.com/view_report.asp?reportid=84
6.   The above mentioned authorities told the finder no one had reported having lost a horse when they called.
7.   The owner put up flyers and posted information in public venues
8.   The finder did the same.
All of the above was part of the cases where we were involved and the dots were not connected until we were inserted into the formula. I have to wonder how many more cases there are out there where the horses fall through the cracks due to miscommunications.

My guess is that there are many!


Angela Kirby said...

There is also the possibility that the owner is unaware they are missing. In Georgia a few years ago, a man went on vacation and had someone watching his horses that apparently wasn't too horse-savvy. The horses were pastured on a powerline right-of-way so he couldn't lock the gates. Some kids went four-wheeler riding and left the gate open. The horses escaped and the finders were unable to locate the owner. Upon his return, he was able to claim his horses just before they were going to be publicly auctioned! Most, if not all, states have estray laws for livestock, which requires law enforcement to impound the animals, post a notice in public places seeking the owner, and then sell horses at public auction after a certain time period. In Georgia is it 3 days. Fortunately, the letter of the law wasn't followed in this case because the man was gone for 7 days. Just goes to show that Found horses, are definitely not always dumped and perhaps an owner really wants them home!

Anonymous said...

Too many people presume a horse not in its corral or stall is abandoned. Quite a few years back I had loaned my brother an AQHA mare, one morning I went by the place because my brother was leaving and she was gone. I put up flyers, called all law enforcement, state, put out ads newspaper, internet, etc. I figured she was gone. About 25 days later a sheriff called and told me that this palomino mare might be at the sanctuary down the road, I immediately drove over and low and behold there was my mare. They said they found her tied to their gate (mare didn't tie). I said i would be right over to get my mare the next morning. The sanctuary told me no it was not my mare NOT to come over. I went anyway and took her papers, her parents papers. They informed me the mare was going out that day "they had received a sizeable donation for her". That they had seen the color flyers and the registration that was attached to the flyer but this mare was not 3 she was 5 and the markings were not a perfect match. After a long discussion I pulled some mane hair for a DMA. Mean while these people were charging me $30.00 per day, had vet bills (mare vacc/veted/wormed reg) at excess of $850.00 at this time. We then brought in affidavids of ownership from vet, shoer, father, nephew, etc. The refused any verification of ownership. "horse sold for sizeable donation" The DNA came back verifying horse was same horse and belonged to me. Refused DNA said I could have faked it. AQHA got involved and was great about writing me a letter. Had to hire an attorney at the tune of $7000. and the State Livestock got involved in this. It took me 2.5 months to get my mare back, attorney fees, court costs, restraining orders, and $$$$$. This mare was not valued at this $ but I was not going to let them steal her. When the court ordered them to return her. The person from the sanctuary came to my ranch and demanded to verify my property and check all my livestock. Now I already had a 2 vets, animal control, sheriffs, dept, attorney and a couple of trainer friends verify the quality of care my horses get. This sanctuary was told to remove themselves from my property. After all is said and done 3 months later the Sanctuary had to pay my attorney expenses and remove their attorney from their staff and the manager. All this hassle because someone that really takes care of their animals and a sanctuary that was going to get a Sizeable donation.