FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Horse Rescue Groups Assist Emmet County Officials in Removal of Seven Horses in Case of Suspected Neglect
PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN (November 17, 2014): Volunteers with Second Chance Ranch and Rescue have assisted Emmet County Animal Control officers with the removal of seven horses from a farm in Petoskey, and are transporting the horses to temporary homes to receive veterinary care. The Emmet County Sheriff’s Department has charged the owner, a Petoskey resident, with animal neglect, and an arraignment is scheduled for November 24. The horses, including three mares, two stallions, and two geldings, appeared to be extremely emaciated and allegedly had not received adequate food or care.
“We are very encouraged that by filing cruelty charges in this case and seizing the horses, Emmet County officials are making it clear that the neglect of any animals will not be tolerated in their jurisdiction,” said Pamela Graves, DVM, director of Second Chance Ranch and Rescue and a board member of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition. “We are also grateful for the help of several experienced volunteers who were able to assist with the horses at the scene and with the transport of the horses to a safe place.”
Second Chance Ranch and Rescue is a member of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition, which provides a hay bank and resources for horses and horse owners in need, maintains a database of Michigan horse rescue organizations and volunteers, and assists Michigan law enforcement officials with the investigation of, and response to, suspected horse cruelty or neglect.
Michigan has comprehensive animal cruelty laws, which require that all animals—including horses—receive sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain animals in a state of good health. Particularly during harsh winter weather, horses need plenty of high-quality feed, adequate shelter, dry ground, and regular care to maintain them in good health. Information on the proper care and feeding of horses can be found at www.michiganhorsewelfare.org/partners. Citizens are urged to contact local law enforcement officials right away if they suspect the neglect of horses or any animals in their community.
The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition urges horse owners to seek assistance through their hay bank as soon as problems are detected, rather than waiting until animals are neglected and suffering and law enforcement needs to intervene. The coalition of horse rescue groups, equine care professionals, and individual horse owners is standing ready to provide assistance to horse owners facing a temporary financial hardship, and to help law enforcement agencies and horse rescue operations deal with large-scale cruelty and neglect cases. The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition can also help horse owners to effectively plan for the future. Those seeking hay bank assistance can find eligibility guidelines and an application at www.MichiganHorseWelfare.org, or by calling (517) 321-3683.