Friday April 18, 2014

Report abuse if you see it

No one could be in favour of someone starving their horses to death.

But no one was reporting these horses, who were apparently visible to passersby, to alert
anyone to their bony condition until it was almost too late.

The SPCA has seized 11 horses from four owners in the past month — an unusual situation when winter hasn’t even arrived yet.

Typically, these kinds of calls are made in mid- to late-winter, when food supplies have dwindled and the horses have worn off their fatty buildup from grazing during the rest of the year.

The four being nursed back to health were almost half of what they should weigh; the flesh around their spines was sunken, their pelvic bones jutted out and their ribs were clearly defined.

Three other horses — in addition to the 11 seized — didn’t make it. They were suffering so much they were euthanized.

The community has rallied around these horses; they want to know what’s happening to them, they’ve donated to their medical care.

The Daily News has been checking in with the clinic to provide updates on their grave condition.

But the question remains: Why did no one driving or walking past these properties call someone? The distress these animals were in went on for weeks, even months.

The SPCA has said these horses were visible — they weren’t in a back field somewhere.

Sometimes people are reluctant to rat out their neighbour or call the SPCA because they think the agency is already overworked. Both excuses are understandable, but they are still just that: excuses.

There is no excuse for cruelty of any kind. If the owners of these animals couldn’t take care of them, they should have tried to find other homes or sought help.

There’s also no excuse for someone not to have reported the abuse sooner, before three horses had to be euthanzied and four others have had to recover from the brink of death.

The community is showing a generous interest in these horses now. Let’s hope that translates into more awareness and more reporting in the future so other horses don’t have to go through the same experience.

We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.

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