If you recall, on Monday we talked about the 34 horses seized in Nevada that belonged to a PSA. I promised I would update as it became available and we seem to have a lot of ground to cover today. First off, I want people to take a look at this YouTube video that was taken by Dorothy Robertson a year ago at her old farm. These are her mares and I want to point out that while they all appear to be in good weight, the feet are starting to get a little long and there is at least one horse in the video with severe blistering sunburn and the hide falling off it about 25 seconds in. Again, this video was from LAST year. They are also eating out of the sand and there does not appear to be any shelter from the sun or elements for them. At the 1:20 mark, you will note a horse in the background that appears to have some paralysis on the right side of her face. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHIydGccvyM)
The rescue is beginning to post some pictures of the horses as they are triaged and the one thing I do notice is that there hasn’t been anything horrifically skinny shown yet. However, the condition of their feet and other injuries are really bad. The mare pictured above can be seen on the video as well and she has lost some condition. Please note her back feet in the picture….there will be other closer views of them in a bit. For now, let’s hear from Dorothy herself, as she has managed to get back online tonight.
“Finally on-line. The house I am in has no power hooked up due to damage to wiring done by previous people….using generator to run well for water. Had to buy new computer and just getting the hang of it.”
– Did you catch that? This is the woman who could not afford to have her emaciated older stallion euthanized, has no power, yet she can afford to go out and buy a brand new computer. Judging by how many message boards she is a member of, it would seem the majority of her life is spent online. Priorities…..
“Yes…financial issues for the last year plus. Had renters in second house who didn’t pay rent/electric (one meter for entire place) for 7 months, did approx $5K in damages and hay prices went sky high….fed horses and lost the ranch eventually this last spring. NO mares bred for this year or next (unless they got preg with stalllion/yearling colts running with mares….posting photo of them in a minute). Offered horses for sale lots of places including local radio classifieds (for as low as $250 for registerable…all paperwork completed….4 year old with all ground work done, saddled, bridled, ground driven, trailers, ties, bathes, clips etc……so please don’t tell me I didn’t have reasonable prices…chihauhau pups sell for more than that!), craigslist, Dreamhorse etc. Do you really think it smart to just give away horses to anyone who walks up and wants them? Aren’t we told that this is dangerous for the horses? Besides, I could always negotiate down if it seemed like a good home….and did in a couple of cases…not sure I’m required to post any horse I sell and what I sold it for out there for the general public to discuss.”
– By several accounts, when people came out to buy horses from Dorothy, she would raise the price or back out of the deals. Now she is all concerned about what would have been best for the horses. She says no mares have been bred and I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks whether or not that statement is true, although she had this to say in April: “I’ve had the mares listed for on-site leases and got three looking like that will work…which will help…they will at least be bringing in enough to cover their costs. The youngsters will likely go to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit sales in the fall as well as possibly a couple of the mares (will be bred for 2 in 1 packages….one possible three in one….with foals by HZ son of res world champion/double bred Delta O’Lena/Nu Bar for guaranteed tobi foals)….”
“Old stallion had health issues off/on for almost a year….strangles in late summer, pigeon fever in late fall with last abscesses draining in Jan. Move here in late May was tough on him….had to pen and separate from bachelor herd…..paced and hollered for almost 2 weeks. Then sand colic and possible founder. On bute, SMZ, omeprazole (for possible ulcers),epsom salt soaks, 30 lbs alfalfa a day plus sr feed, calf manna….just kept loosing wt…eating eagerly and interested in everything. Blew out two foot abscesses during the summer. Drinking 30-35 gallons a day and peeing the same.”
– Founder, excessive drinking and peeing, advanced age? Sounds to me like this horse went metabolic on her and was in kidney failure. If that was the case, a high protein diet like alfalfa was probably adding to his issues. At any rate, if he was the downed horse in the news link posted on Monday, he was allowed to suffer far beyond what would have been considered humane.
“Was on new place less than 5 weeks when deputy came saying there was anonymous complaint…..only person who could see pens/mare field is neighbor to the south (wife works dispatch for sheriffs office and he openly told me he wanted the runoff/excess water from the irrigation system that feeds the pond on my back field….neither piece of land has irrigation rights so this would not be a legal move on his part). Sheriff’s deputy at that visit said “no evidence of neglect…several issues, not serious, being addressed with plans and treatment”…he did two more drive by checks and testified last week that he didn’t think anything had changed for the worse.”
– I’m wondering how he did two drive by checks on her horses when she clearly states nobody could see her pens or field from the road.
“Told him that if the old horse didn’t show improvement by Aug 1 I would be making decision to put him down. Several mares that had sand colicked (place is 10 acres and at least 12 feet deep in fine sand) were pulled from the field, treated, put in separate pens and given more feed to help gain back what they had lost. Vet testified last week that they could dramatically loose wt with sand and it could take a long time to regain…stated gain rate of 1 to 1.5 lbs a day so even a 75 lb wt loss could take more than 2 months to gain back. He also testified that if that was the case with these horses it was not an indication of neglect.”
– Again, go back to the video posted at the beginning of this entry. Why would you allow your horses to grub around in the sand for their feed? You’re asking for trouble! Also, 1 to 1.5lbs of grain a day is supposed to help them gain weight? My at rest horse gets more than that for his LUNCH. She states her place was only 10 acres and we know for a fact that 34 horses were on that property. Think about that for a minute….
“Regarding foals (long yearlings)….they boarded out for winter/early spring in exchange for two breedings to perlino stud to a couple mustang mares…gal had river bottom land. Got the mares covered early spring and then the boyfriend of the gal called to say they had had a big fight and split and she’d left, leaving horses. Got them back late April (don’t remember exact date) with pot bellies, bad feet, no handling, no worming, thick, matted coats with burrs etc. Moved here immediately after that bringing foals with. Spent some time getting them haltered and treated for worms and feeding. Used Safeguard first..not much effect. Then used a generic Ivermectin and two had really nasty photosensitive sunburns within a couple days…progressed to peeling, cracking, bleeding on legs. Since they weren’t broke to stand tied yet and handling caused severe pain reactions I elected to let legs heal before grabbing and holding feet for trims. Treated legs with sprayed on diluted aloe vera and they were gradually healing.”
– She clearly states she got her horses back in April. It is now nearly October and they still have infected cuts on their legs, blistered skin and elf boots.
“Meanwhile, sand colicked horses were doing better (and all horses were on feeders….got a few from some nice people by way of local radio classified ads….to keep them from eating on sand). Old stallion continued to go downhill and I called vet regarding putting him down….was told price and that it would be required to be paid in full at the time including disposal fee if done at the clinic. I had just put almost $1500 into getting a new pump, pressure tank, generator to get water on the place (other than pond for the mares)….was hauling about 1000 gallons a day for the penned horses for the first two months I was there.”
– I do not know of a single vet that wouldn’t put the horse down if it was suffering. I’m wondering if there was an issue with outstanding bills Even so, why not call a neighbor, animal control, or rescue for assistance doing the right thing for this horse?
“Should have had $ for putting him down early Aug….and then my sister died….colon cancer and went downhill much more rapidly than anticipated. Put horses, tack, harnessing, carts, blankets, etc for sale, begged for work, had fliers around town, even put them on Craigslist. I had $ for feed (buying 40 or more bales of 105-115 lbs each every week) but not for additional things that all came at one time.”
– I really have no comment on this. I don’t live anywhere near Nevada so not sure if any of this was done. All I do know is that the people that came forward since this happened, have said she wanted to put her prices up on the horses as soon as anybody showed interest.
“Lots of things very wrong with this whole thing. Nevada brand inspectors actually taking part in seizure (head inspector said this was not to be done) and one (Deveny Nelson) posted within an hour of leaving my place to the “rescue” that she had a big bunch (can’t remember exact wording…have a screen shot saved) for the rescue…using her position as brand inspector to hustle for a rescue? She belongs to several animal rights groups.”
– Yup, it’s always the fault of AR people. Nevermind the neglect and abuse, it’s a conspiracy by the AR people…
“She’s also posted that the place was a dump, that there were a lot of feral cats (not one seen in any sheriffs dept photos and unlikely to live well with the high coyote population around here)….yes….weedy and lots of trash…had been vacant/abandoned for almost 2 years with racoons, a single cat (one was all I saw) and some birds living in the open house when I took the place. Perimeter fence good but cross fencing/pens a joke…..I’ve raked and burned almost 4 acres, put up my pens (smallest 12 x 12…”too small”….with others ranging from 12 x 16 to 18 x24 for single horses and 32 x 46 for a couple of mares penned together).”
– I just want to remind everybody that there were THIRTY FOUR horses on this small place. Now she says that the house was open and had no electricity. I’m wondering why social services haven’t intervened on her behalf? This clearly does not sound like a place fit to live for any living creature. She also does have a lot of cats. She breeds and sells rag doll cats. She even has a Facebook page for that operation.
“Deputies approached with “concern about old stallion”….had my permission, request that he be put down as they told me they had resources to help out owners. Took him and kept him from Friday to at least Tues and possibly to Wed of the next week (I’ve not been told when he was put down and vet testified that he didn’t know when or which of the vets in his clinic did the deed). Dr David Faught of Lahontan Valley Vet Clinic (which which I had a client relationship and an earlier billing dispute this last spring) “assessed” the horses…..did not put a hand on a single one, was there maybe 20-25 minutes, testified a week ago that he didn’t need to touch to do a BCS, that visual was enough and that there were no horses above a 3 on the place. When asked about specific horses he said he couldn’t remember without a photo (which I had been prevented from taking once they were off the place).”
– Admits to the billing dispute with vet here. The following is a picture she took of the horses after they were seized from a distance. They don’t appear to be skeletal, but you also can’t see their feet or legs from the distance either. She has since taken her website down, but the pictures always cut the feet off the horses.
“Mares/fillies were hauled together with stallion(s) and brand inspector said they were separated at the sales yard…..not true as there are photos of 3.5 year old stallion and 1.5 year old colts with the mares and fillies in one pen. Horses were immediately free fed high quality alfalfa (sales yard feeds mostly cattle so much of the hay is probably dairy quality)….if the horses were truly in a starvation condition this would likely have killed at least several of them.”
– I would appear that starvation was not the primary reason for seizure, although that does not mean they weren’t headed that way. Should the authorities waited until they were actually dropping dead?
“NV law says clearly that a horse sold to cover a board bill must go through a board lien foreclosure process…..bill to the owner with 30 days to pay it, certified letter to notify of intent to foreclose, publication in three places in the county for 10 days plus one publication in local paper and sale to be held not less than 10 days nor more than 15 days after publication. No more horses can be sold than to cover the board bill…any oversale money goes to the owner (for example…10 horses, board bill of $450, 5 horses selling for $100 would be the max allowed to be sold with remainder of horses and $50 oversale to go to the owner). Owner also has option of having independent appraisal and the lien holder to take horses based on that appraisal to cover the bill with remaining horses to go back to the owner. “
– I’m not exactly sure what Nevada law is as far as horses that have been confiscated or seized. Although, there is board and vet bills accumulating on these horses daily so it’s probably digging a hole she’s never going to get out of.
“Now add in the legal obligation of the DA’s office and the sheriffs office to maintain “evidence” and to make the evidence available to the defence in a criminal matter to be examined directly…..and the horses are no longer available.”
– Which may also explain why the rescue is unable to field any adoption offers for these horses right now?
As of right now, all the mares and babies are at Northeastern Nevada Equine Rescue in Wells. I believe the colts and stallions will be moved by tomorrow. I’ve read a lot of people trashing this rescue and it’s chair. From what I understand this is a relatively new rescue. Personally, I’ve never heard of them good or bad. I’ve seen accusations that they’re breeding horses, they can’t handle the numbers, adoption fees are too high etc. I guess, I’m of a wait and see attitude about it. There has certainly been enough publicity around these horses that people will be watching closely. I can’t see that they’ve done anything wrong to this point as the horses were released to them. I have no problem with them asking for donations. Anybody that ends up with over 30 extra mouths to feed almost overnight would do the same. There are virtually no rescues sitting around with the capacity to take on that many horses. They have a huge task ahead of them given the condition of some of the horses and I certainly wish them the very best. If people truly care about the animals involved, I would think they would either step up and donate or get out of the way and let these people try to save these horses. Prior to NNER stepping up, they were headed nowhere good and they certainly were not being properly cared for with Dorothy Robertson. Remember, Dorothy was a very vocal supporter of slaughter. I’ll leave you with a quote she made back in March:
“It would be just devastating to me but I think also to the Paint performance world if these mares were to go to slaughter.”