Over the years we have all heard of unwanted or stray dogs and cats, many of which are dropped off on the side of the road, left to fend for themselves. Sometimes they are just abandoned in a home when the owners move out. However, there is a new problem that has popped up on the horizon in the past year or so. It is unwanted horses. Just a few years ago, one might hear of such a thing once in a great while. Now, the frequency has increased dramatically.
I have heard of numerous occasions where someone has gone to a horse auction, decided to leave without buying anything, and found their trailer loaded with horses. There are also reports of horses being turned loose on state and federal lands, similar to the abandoned dog or cat. As an animal lover, I have a difficult time with these situations. I know that economics plays an important part, but there are a couple of other issues at hand as well.
The first is the closing of the slaughter plants in the U. S. While it is not pleasant to think about, unfortunately I guess they have their place in the checks and balances. I am not condoning this, just making a statement. I would rather humanely put my horse down than send it off to such a place. It boils down to personal preference.
The other issue is that of overbreeding. This holds true for the dogs and cats as well. There can be too much of a good thing. I love animals, but I also know how many I realistically have time and money for. It does not do them or myself any good to go beyond that equation. There have even been two horse rescue operations that had to be shut down and “rescued” themselves because they were bombarded with unwanted or neglected horses.
Pet ownership is not only fun and fulfilling, but it is also a responsibility. Please spay, neuter, or geld your animals. Many bloodlines have lost a great deal of good dispostion over the greed for numbers and confirmation. Maybe if we slow down on the number of animals that we generate, it would make a tremendous difference in the long run. If you would like to read more about the unwanted horse issue, you can visit the USA Today website at