There are some difficult issues with equines — particularly relative to equine rescue — that are happening across the board and affect virtually all aspects of horse ownership.
For the purpose of simplifying this issue, we will address these matters from the perspective of horse rescue.
With the ‘Slaughter Pipeline’ operating at breakneck speed and machinized efficiency, we often find ourselves scrambling to meet the needs of rescue entities who are in a hurry to clear the hurdles as quickly as possible — from purchase and transport to quarantining, retraining, regaining the health often lost during the time their lives are in limbo — to the final hurdle of ‘rehoming’ rescues into what have become their their new families.
Immediately following rescue from slaughter pipeline facilities, one major ‘obstacle’ in the life of the horse is a period of ‘quarantine’ to ensure that they haven’t contracted any diseases along the way that could infect the herd at their final destination.
This is a particularly difficult area of rescue: quarantine is an oft misunderstood term that, without documentation, can easily mean different things to different people. Combine that with the fact that the unscrupulous may harbor no reservation whatsoever about capitalizing on the ‘ignorance’ of the purchaser who now must relinquish their newest equine ‘acquisition’ to the care and feeding of a third party and things can become impossibly difficult quite quickly. Complicating matters further, all too frequently this ‘quarantine’ is someone unknown to them — and the horses are commonly held for a period of thirty  days, presumably to ensure they are disease free.
The problem? A lot can happen to a horse even in that relatively ‘short’ timeframe of thirty days.
Are they safe? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is, ‘Not always’.
The optimal ‘quarantine’ is to meet certain Federal Guidelines as stipulated in this document: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/07/02/E9-15509/standards-for-permanent-privately-owned-horse-quarantine-facilities
For many, this type of recommendation functions only to provide a false sense of security to an absentee horse owner: one who now finds themselves at the mercy of a ‘horse trader’ who is — all too frequently — multiple states away from their own location.
It is, quite literally, the ‘prescription for disaster’ that all too often results in tragedy for horses.
The Internet is rife with stories of entrusting unknown people with their equines only to discover the animal were malnourished, starved outright or even dying upon arrival.
Of course, once someone has been through this experience they’re never so trusting again — but it shouldn’t happen EVER, including that ‘first time’.
If you are rescuing horses and have questions or concerns about quarantine, please contact Equine Crusaders. We will locate a quarantine facility near the location of your rescued horse so the safety of that animal during quarantine can be properly overseen.
If you have questions or concerns about an animal already in quarantine, please contact us. We have an extensive base of volunteers who will check in with the facility housing that horse to ensure they are safe and well.
Should you need to remove an animal — or a group of animals — from a facility, do not hesitate to contact Equine Crusaders to assist with the move. Issues with poor ‘quarantine’ or ‘boarding’ facilities are quite common and local Sheriff’s Offices are most accommodating with such protocol as ‘Civil Standby’ where facilitating the removal and transport of animals without incident can be accomplished.
Again, this is another reason to keep your documentation in order during all phases of rescue:
1. Purchases should be clean, clear and are NOT to include third parties or
payments to third parties. You cannot own what you did not purchase
outright. It is a common ploy of scammers to find a reason to include
themselves or another third party in your transaction.
2. All documentation should be provided to you at the time of sale. If you
are not able to be present, obtain the name and title of an employee of
the facility who can guarantee secure handling of your horse’s
3. Be sure to obtain a Coggins test along with the name and contact
information of the veterinarian who is handling the bloodwork
necessary to facilitate transport of your horse. They will usually take
pictures but ASK for pictures to ensure that you have an accurate and
current photograpic record of your horse. DO NOT leave this to chance.
The life of your horse could depend on your providing proof of
ownership and a photograph can be the ‘deciding factor’ in a case where
a simple description can prove ‘too vague’ to establish identity.
4. Have copies of documentation with you at all times and make certain
the records have been updated to show YOU as owner.
5. Transport is critical for your horse. You should know where your
animals are, who is transporting them and how to reach them in case
of an emergency. Cell phone numbers and name of drivers are not
considered to be unusual requests — make certain you have these
items along with an itinerary that provides an ETA on your equine.
They’re not on ‘safe ground’ until they’re in your hands. All aspects of
rescue are tricky and rife with potential problems of, for no other
reason, they’re with ‘horse traders’ who have little regard for their
safety or welfare. They’re in it for the money — and there is little or
no recourse for those who lose their animals along the way.
6. BUYER BEWARE is truer in the arena of horse rescue than perhaps in
any other place on earth. Remember: the ‘Slaughter Pipeline’ is operating
at full tilt — and the authorities know it. If your horse is stolen, sold,
disappeared or moved without your permission, you MUST act upon
your concerns and contact law enforcement IMMEDIATELY to regain
your animal(s) or risk finding that the ‘window of opportunity’ has
closed forever. Few law enforcement [State or Local] will act upon the
theft of livestock — including horses. The ‘Slaughter Pipeline’ is not only
alive and well, it is seemingly able to act with impunity and, while this
is wholly unacceptable to those for whom horses are ‘part of the family’,
It is a fact — at this point in time — nonetheless.
Protect your animals. You are, in fact, the only one that can.