Thursday, December 16, 2010

Horse rescue costs 15% of snohomish counties animal control budget...

Article in the local paper that states that something around 15% of the entire animal control budget of snohomish county is currently being spent taking care of seized horses.  This is a followup note to my blog "Horses -- the other red meat" that I wrote pointing out that outlawing the slaughter of horses in the US has made the plight of horses worse, not better. 

Maybe we should just license all horses and use the fees generated to fund the rescues that regularly appear.  As a non-horse owner, I don't see anything wrong with all horse owners chipping in to pay for their chosen animal.    We do that for dogs and cats. 

If we're going to consider horses pets and not livestock, then a licensing scheme based on the same sort of idea should be considered.    Yes, we can bill the owner of the horses, but most of the time they're broke and you can't get blood from a stone. 


Rob said...

I realize that repealing the horse slaughter ban is pretty low on the Tea Party agenda for repealing all government intrusion laws, but more government intrusion is not the answer, i.e. licensing fees for horses!

Bruce King said...

If people insist on treating horses as pets and not as livestock I think we should go the whole way. Dog and pet licenses fund the shelters. Right now society is subsidizing horse owners.

I'd be ok with just euthanizing the horses immediately. Or eating them. But to pay to feed and house them when we are cutting foodstamps off for 14,000 people this month seems outrageous

Anonymous said...

Bruce, you are I are on the same page. I'm an animal lover, but there has to be a limit to how much we are going to pay. Animal shelters regularly euthanize dogs/cats (sometimes when they first come in the door) because there aren't enough homes. It's time to find a solution that doesn't involve so much tax payer money. Time to make some tough decisions that aren't based on feelings.

sheila said...

I agree with you on this one Bruce. Either treat horses as pets like cats and dogs and licence them or return horses to the status of farm animals that can be slaughtered just like cattle. Forcing the tax payer to take on permanent care of nursing home horses is crazy.

Anonymous said...

I like it, I agree, the horse community needs to choose- either fund the rescue of unwanted horses or let them go to the dog food channel. I wish it were the case that we had no unwanted pets, but until that day comes, somebody has to pay for dealing with them, and I think it should be the community responsible for producing them!

Math Geek said...

As a horse owner (yes, of the "pet" variety), I vehemently....agree! Horses are livestock and should be treated as such. Closing the slaughterhouses has done nothing for the welfare of the animals, and has hurt the horse industry. I am for ensuring the animals are handled and dispatched in a humane manner, however.
There needs to be a way to dispose of unwanted animals. Horse rescues are great, but should be privately funded by those who have that particular passion, not by the county.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

In our county the animal control watches animals go downhill, then seizes them and makes a big deal for the media. Our taxes are high enough already, and every year at Christmas time the begathon begins at the county animal shelter, they don't have dog food etc, so people donate and all is "well."

I would rather see tax dollars spent on outreach, I personally know of two elderly people jailed because the hay quality for their horses and burros was not up to snuff according to the county animal. However, right next door to both these small farms, there were hungry cattle (IMO) and the county can't be bothered with that, they are just cows and considered livestock not pets.

I don't know the answer, we have had horses, and they live a long time. I wouldn't send one to slaughter because they are somewhat of a pet, but a bullet or euthanasia needs to be used more often. It comes down to personal responsibility, if you can't afford a horse or any livestock you shouldn't buy them. But Americans aren't known for their restraint.

There are always going to be deadbeat hoarders, I doubt they would license anyway, so honest people would still be footing the bill for them.

It's a problem for sure.

Lee said...

Personally, I think dog and cat licensing is an outrage too. Taxing responsible dog owners because irresponsible ones dump their unwanted pets is like taxing non-smokers for the healthcare costs of smokers. I'm not renting my dog from the government.

I'm in favor of legalizing horse slaughter again. I don't see how anyone thought that outlawing it would have positive consequences in the first place. Legislature by special interests at its finest.