Saturday, June 2, 2012

When Neglect Becomes Cruelty


I usually don't do this. Between my job and volunteering for rescues, I see a ton of animals in need, and I'm only too painfully aware that no matter how herculean the effort, they can't all have happy endings. However, this was in my news feed, and I just can't ignore it:

Here is the link if it's too small to read.
Whoever owned this horse is beyond reprehensible. From what I can see in the pictures, other than the eye this horse looks relatively healthy.
Owning a horse is not cheap, no matter how much you slash your budget. Feed prices are astronomical, the constant costs such as hoof care and dental have to be budgeted in. And there's physical work involved in horse care. I figure for every hour I spend in the saddle, there's at least 3 hours work involved before I can think about tacking up. Rain or shine, it must be done daily, no matter how you feel or what the weather is like.
I always tell potential new horse owners that if they aren't passionate about horses, it's not worth the trouble. Everyone I know who has the passion drives a used vehicle and budget shops for clothes. And emergency vet bill can mean several months of ramen noodles for meals. All for the passion. If you're not willing, don't bother.
It sickens me that this horse's owner didn't get veterinary care long before the eye got this bad. I can't think of a vet who wouldn't either donate their labor or take payments on the bill to help this horse if money were an issue. Instead this piece of garbage does nothing, and leaves it up to a rescue. Run by an awesome woman who is stumbling under the weight of responsibility for caring for the residents who are already there, she has to clean up the mess of someone who couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone and call the vet. In this bad economy prices are up and donations are down, and she's struggling enough to take care of her own. But she and others like her that truly have the passion, she's working on a way to help Duncan.
Stay tuned either to this blog or on the TIER Facebook Page for updates on Duncan. I'm hoping that very soon I can post some positive updates, especially when he's ready for adoption. I'm sure that eye will have to be removed, but that doesn't mean that Duncan can't live a good life and have a job. There's lots of people who have one eyed or completely blind horses (I was one of them), missing an eye doesn't mean the end of a career-or a life.
To help Duncan, or any of the TIER residents, click here. All donations are tax deductible.

I have just been notified that Duncan's problem was beyond medical help and he was humanely euthanized. He was a young horse and a perfect gentleman. The update is here.
I would like to thank the tireless volunTIERS at TIER for their hard work in trying to make a difference to Duncan. This is the hardest part of rescue, getting them out of a bad situation only to have to euthanize. Duncan's last moments before crossing the bridge were filled with gentle pats and kind words from people who cared about him. And sometimes, that's all we have to offer.