I spend today at the fairgrounds in isle D taking care of the horses on our row with Scott & Cynthia. My job was holding horses while Scott shoveled poop and grooming. The horses are looking a little better and most seem to be doing well. Most have had feet trimmed, wounds treated, manes and tails combed out and are enjoying a steady diet of fresh hay and feed.
JR came today to work with the stallion that nobody could handle. It would bite or strike and had a nasty wound on the front leg that needed to be tended to. JR put a grazing muzzle on him to at least eliminate the chance of a bite and was able to walk him outside for a soaking with the water hose. Two volunteers cleaned his stall while he was out in the parking lot area.
Most of the horses are very sweet and easy to handle. I think they know we are trying to help them. Life has certainly changed for them. They are out of the weather and even have a blanket when the temperature drops again tomorrow night to 22 degrees. The shavings in their stall are fresh & clean and 4″ deep. Every stall has fresh hay and a salt block along with a bucket of fresh water. Volunteers are brushing and grooming them back to a soft fur coat instead of the mud caked crusted mess they came in with.
As the days go by, some of the volunteers may drop off so contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the fairgrounds to sign up. They have an office in a small trailer next to the barn. The response has been wonderful. I’ve seen farriers I know, JR who comes to Avalon Farms twice a week to train our horses has been going down there and several friends I know have been down there helping. I’ve met a lot of horse lovers from all around middle Tennessee. There are also folks from out of state there too.
Eventually these horses are going to be up for adoption. Some will be fine mounts when they put on weight and gain back their strength. Some will be too debilitated for riding but will need that special loving person that wants an equine friend. Some are young enough that all this will be a dim memory from when they were are baby. I hope they all find good homes and have a happy life. I’m not sure what the process will be but the humane society can tell you. They aren’t ready for that and won’t be for a while.
The law isn’t good enough to protect horses in Tennessee and there are wheels in motion to change that. I think that is one good thing that will come out of all this. I’ll post the proposed bill as soon as I find it online. I think it’s so cool that so many people have come together to save these animals.
Update on the horses at the fairgrounds:
Hi Val. We are good on feed thanks to Tractor Supply. Right now, taking care of our volunteers with food, soda, water, etc. is our biggest need.
If anyone has contacts with restaurants, grocery stores etc let me know. Thanks.
It took one individual to do so much harm to so many horses. I over heard one woman say she looked at one of the horses from behind and at first thought she was looking at a cow. The hip bones and sunken hind quarters are so pronounced in so many of them I can understand how she could think that.
I spent the morning holding (and calming) horses so the ferrier could trim the feet and remove shoes on some. The untreated thrush was so bad that one didn’t have any frog left. Live tissue was all that was left. The toes had grown over and were touching the heels. Standing in manure so long it had dried on the outside of the hooves and when he was finished we realized that some had white hooves instead of the dark brown we saw when he started.
That’s the horrible part though and there is more to tell. I want to talk about the wonderful part. The barn is full of people with the kindest hearts and giving spirits. Good to see you Louise shoveling out stalls and petting horses. I saw kissing noses when I walked by…
My wonderful trainer JR was there too calming a stallion that nobody could handle. He was able to walk him out of his stall so others could clean it and he was desensitizing it so a leg wound could be treated. When I left this afternoon it was standing quietly by his side while several humane society women showered it with love and petting.
Mary Ann and your sis, thanks for coming out to walk some of the ones that needed exercising. I know your life is busy and your own horses need your time. Josh, Jay and Jim and all the ferriers that came out today and other days to trim. It’s hard work any day but to do horses that haven’t been handled, don’t have a reason to trust people and have some of the worst cases of neglect. You guys are angels.
The humane society has been so great at organizing and providing information, tools to do the work and food for the workers too. I’m sure they are doing a ton behind the scenes to encourage people and companies to step up and make the donations needs to keep the operation going. Feed and hay is stacking up in the surrounding barns.
Tractor Supply has made a big donation of feed and shavings. I’m sure some of the tack must have come from them too but I don’t know. I just know its brand new. I heard that a woman donated $6500 and when I was leaving there was an impromptu fire bucket drill tossing box after box of brand new blankets to cover them tonight. The tempeture is dropping down to 25 degrees.
Thanks too to the local tav guy from channel 5 shooting video and covering the story. This afternoon the humane society brought in a bunch of dogs that were seized in east Tennessee. Tennessee has some serious problems with the treatment of its animals. We have problems with the law and how to punish those that abuse like this. My hope is that when this is all over what will come out of it is a law that makes it a felony to starve any animal and education for young people growing up to learn how to care for other living things.
Thanks for your note and thanks for volunteering at the fairgrounds. We
are in the process of drafting legislation that will make it a felony to
withhold food and/or water from any animal. We are not touching the tax
exemption nor changing the classification of the animals. It makes no
sense to have different penalties for “livestock” and companion animals.
I would respectfully ask that you contact your legislators – both House
and Senate – and ask that they support our bill. If you have friends or
family in other parts of the state, ask them to do so as well.
We have your contact information and will keep you updated as we move
through the legislative process. I hope to have the bill drafted by the
end of next week and will post it for everyone that is on our contact
list to see. It will take everyone working together to get this bill
Again, thanks for the note and thanks for your time at the fairgrounds.
State Representative – District 53
Nashville: looks like i’ll have info soon for anyone willing to volunteer at the fairgrounds caring for the 84 rescued horses. email me if you can help. email@example.com Help is needed cleaning stalls (One person holds horse and other person shovels poop) If you don’t know horses you can still help with the pitch fork…let me know and i’ll contact you as soon as i know more. If you know anyone with square bale hay they can spare i’ll come pick it up and bring it to the fairgrounds
Emily & I stopped by the Nashville fairgrounds today to see how the humane society was doing with 84 horses that were seized from a farm in Cannon County Tuesday. I spoke with a woman from Indiana who is a volunteer. She said the horses are doing better than expected. They are eating a mixture of sweet feed and senior feed spread out over several hours. Someone donated 100 salt blocks and I saw square bales and shavings piled next to the barn. The flea market is going on this weekend so for right now, they have no place to store donated feed until Monday.
In a few weeks, the out of town volunteers will be wanting to go back home and that is when they will be needing help from local people. The horses will eventually be up for adoption. For status info and adoption info go to: http://www.vea-tnhorserescue.org/
The other thing we discussed were the Tennessee laws that protect horses and how inadequate they are. She said the law would only change if hundreds of us called our representatives and told them how outraged we are. The owner will only be subject to a misdemeanor in this case. He could also go right back to buying horses. Horses are simply treated as livestock here and not protected like dogs and cats. I think this is wrong and intentionally starving horses should be in the same category as fighting dogs, abusing dogs and cats and other companion animals.
A few weeks or a month and that’s when they are really going to be needing the help. If you can and want to do something contact tennessee horse rescue next week sometime and let them know. 84 horses need whatever we can do for them right now. It’s hard to change the world but we can do something in our little corner of it.
Emily & I went to dinner tonight. A local restaurant kind of a “meat & 3” we sometimes frequent for their delicious home made pie. The waitress is also the pie maker. She came over to our table and said, “sorry I didn’t make any pies this week…I found out my husband has stage 4 colon cancer.” She walked over to the register and picked up a picture of her 3 little kids to show us. Emily looked at her and said “how did you even come in here to work?” “I have to” she said, “we don’t have any insurance.”
How many times does this story play out in towns and cities across this country? Hard working people make do and get by until one catastrophic illness wipes them out. We think it’s ok to pool our resources via taxes for government run fire departments to put out a blaze in our homes but if something is attacking our bodies…well, we’re on our own.
There is a meanness out there that makes me sad. I’m sad for that woman and her family but I’m sad for our country too. I know we can do better. I want us to do better. Some people think we have the best healthcare system in the world. That may be true but I also know that the woman that makes my peanut butter pie doesn’t have access to it so it doesn’t matter to her how great it is. Millions of other don’t have access to it either. That’s not acceptable to me. How about you? Are you OK with it?