Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I have to agree with the person who sent this to me...

What IS the world coming to? What the hell is wrong with people?

Drilling for Oil slaughtered in South America

I guess this comes down to security again. I am starting to get positively paranoid about security. I want to put a GPS in each of my horses with some kind of alarm that alerts me if they are removed from the property! Between this and what is going on in Miami, I am getting a little freaked out. Am I the only one?

We talked about event security not long ago. How secure is your home farm? Do you have surveillance cameras? A locked/coded gate? Dogs the size of Shetlands? Are you one hell of a shot? Are there always people around, like barn help that sleep above the barn? If you don't have anything in place, are you thinking about it given recent events? Comments

And yes, regular comments will be back very soon and I will update the previous posts tomorrow and Thursday. I've had 2 really busy days. I have just about mastered WordPress and there's just one glitch left to be fixed. Think happy thoughts that my glitch-fixer's baby will decide to sleep tonight so she can figure out my header image problem. :-)


“Saw a clip on AOL where horses in Florida are being slaughtered in their own pastures and sold for meat. Yee Gads, what next?”

"I used to think my horses were *safe* due to being grey Arabians of which there are an abundance here in SE Texas. Still, as soon as it was legal to do so, I got my concealed handgun carry license and I will shoot first and ask questions later if someone is messing with my horses. I currently board at a facility where there is some measure of security: cameras, onsite staff that lives there, and over 100 horses from which to choose. My horses are in the most secure barn location of the two barns on the property.

Even as I feel that we are relatively more visible than most thieves might wish to risk, we have had tack stolen from lockers (more like closets - they are huge) - and these may be *inside* jobs because the thieves knew which lockers to hit to find the very high dollar tack (top of the line reining and show saddles and tack). In the nearly 10 yrs in which I've boarded at this facility, no horse has been stolen (knock wood), but it happens all around us. Many of the horses, including my mare, are top-competitors, and I'm downright paranoid of going to ANY horse show these days without going along with a "big" farm who would have people sleeping and doing rounds with the horses 24/7.

It just seems that showing horses is not worth the risk with recent events! Its bad enough to deal with horse injuries and illness, but the very thought of my horse ending up in someone else's "care" (or lack thereof) scares me more than my gelding's current severe laminitis! He's 3-legged lame and hospitalized, but in a secure location. I don't trust anyone to truly do best by my horses as I would do, and the thought that they would ever be in the hands of a butcher or a thief bent on a quick sale makes me physically ill!

So how DO we show our horses and build up their credentials toward being breed-worthy? There are lots of "spy-cams" in all shapes and sizes - many are wireless with the ability to view them from any distance. I'm considering such investments just to be able to watch my horses when at home, but at shows it would seem such measures are now essential.

Indeed, what is this world coming to?" - Marzbarz

"I bet this was about something else, related to organized crime or something. Sounds like a scene from The Godfather!"

FHOTD in: I got the same "feel" when reading it.

"I live in an area of hunters, so I worry about that. Orange mane and tail streamers are a must on my two horses, I don't know how someone could mistake two Appaloosas for deer but there are yahoos that shoot at anything that moves. A car slid off the road ( driving extremely fast around a curve on a gravel road) and just clipped the pasture fence but all the commotion in the dead of night freaked out my otherwise calm horse. Planted trees only to have the city tell us to move them because if a car went off the road and hit the tree someone could get hurt. DUH! We live along an interstate with missing roadside fencing, anyone could take my horses and be gone likity- split. Motion detectors, I thought, would help until they took the trolling motor from the boat. Oh, and I have two very vocal Dobermans and a Jack Russell that will rip your throat out. My point is, no matter what YOU work for, try to protect and enjoy, come the dead of night the creeps come out to take or destroy because they having nothing to value, least of all themselves. And any outside animals seem to be fair game. Cows, horses, sheep, cats and dogs seem to be the target of choice. I do not have a barn, only a run-in (not much$$$) so I do what I can at night. I keep a window open, even when the A/C is on so even if I don't hear it first, my dogs will and their warning barks are so much different from from daytime, they scare me."

"While I do feel bad for the slaughtered horse and its owners, crime in Peru really cannot be compared to horse crimes in the U.S. Your average Peruvian makes a few hundred dollars a month, which usually goes to support a family of at least 5 adults plus some children. These "average Peruvians" have enormous resentment against the wealthy, foreigners, and "the sport of Kings". Crimes similar to this happen every day in Peru, all over the country. Peruvians commit crimes to each other and to foreigners; it is accepted and viewed as the way of life there. While it would be a travesty here in our culture, it wouldn't be viewed as savage or unthinkable in Peru. A crime like this in South America doesn't have any relationship to horse crimes in our neck of the woods."
- La Mexicana

FHOTD in: I do appreciate the different comments from some of you who have lived there. I haven't so it's always good to hear that POV. And hearing it, yet more reason to keep American racehorses in America!

“One can only hope that the perpetrators decide to hit up someone stable where the owner has a nice sawed off shotgun with a couple bullets with their name on it. Sometimes violence isn't the answer, but it would be a nice solid message to people even contemplating doing these horrendous crimes."

"I am freaked out too! I don't live in Florida, but I don't want to take the risk! What if we all put "house arrest" anklets around our horses pasterns? Works for probation!

Ha, needing tracking for our horses in the event of theft. You are right, what IS this world coming to? This is simply ridiculous."

"This could be the solution to the home security problem mentioned on your blog.

I definately think it would be more useful than having my cowardly, fat, bed loving Jack Russell on the yard!"

"YES I AM TERRIFIED and with good reason. I have very VERY bad neighbors including a whole extended nest of other country's nationals in this country illegally. Engaged in dogfighting and cockfighting. They keep their horses out 24/7, chase their pony for sport with their John Deere Gator, leave their horses out in 90 degree plus heat with no shade and NO WATER and when they do bring water it is just squirting them with the hose as they gather round the trough desperate for water - to make them run or stay away. Lately they have let their backyard paint stud (very rank) run loose in the pasture right next to my own horses in my pasture. Because of the way the two properties are laid out, that effectively prevents me from using any of my turnout. The first day they did this the rank paint stud tried to fight his way through/over the fence to get at my minis and almost made it. Can you visualize a 1000 lb rank stud going after a 300 pound mini? Well, I sure can! And they have informed us they intend to keep turning out the paint stud in this area any damn time they feel like it. Upshot is: my horses are living in my barn 24/7 with supervised turnout in the only (tiny) paddock that is nowhere near that stud although the way he treats fences even that may not be safe. These people's threatening behavior has now also extended to us. For what I can see of their extremely hostile aggressive behavior, the next thing they'll do is most likely try to torch my barn with everyone in it. Can I get law enforcement involved? Nope. They aren't interested in interfering where there are "cultural issues" because that is a political hot potato in this county! Can I add more fences, surveillance equipment other than completely portable, lock everything? Nope. Landlord says no, telling me that I must "learn to get along with the neighbors." Can I afford to hire a 24/7 security guard? Nope. Not on my salary. Can I afford to board out 7 horses? at $375 per month per horse in this area? Not on my salary! Can I place them immediately with a rescue? Not in this area - the rescues are overwhelmed. Can I find a place to move? Hopefully right away but so far with superhuman efforts to find anything affordable within even an hour's commute to my employment, but I am spending every spare minute that I'm not either working or caring for horses looking, looking, looking.

This is a country where the criminals always win. If you haven't figured that out yet, you aren't paying attention. BTW that is an "editorial 'you'" not an insult to any individual, especially you, Fugly. Thanks for the GREAT work you do and the COURAGE to speak out. We seem to have become a society with a majority of decent people who nonetheless are living under siege of both foreign AND DOMESTIC terrorism of the minority of protected psycho- and sociopaths, who are seemingly supported by our own government.

Sun Valley Sally"

"Unlike you and the vast majority of your readers, I am a advocate for horse slaughter. Having visited many different countries where it was available, obviously there is a calling for it. I see no reason an unwanted horse can not go on to feed either people or zoo animals. Can the transport/care be more humane then it was in the past, yes. Do I want my horses to go there? No, and I will always take one of my own back. However that is not feasible, nor likely for most.

That much said, I live in SW FL, straight across the state from where this is happening. What I don't understand is why these people are *stealing* horses when there is an abundance on CL for free and many being turned loose in the Everglades and rural Hendry county. BLM just had an adoption over there and the fee was reduced to $25 and no application/check (so I was told, not sure if true).

I think it is safe to say that it is a different culture then those of us raised here that is doing this. The area is heavily Hispanic from many different regions. We will never see eye-to-eye. But be that as it may, while here do as we do and we don't eat horsemeat (though, personally I see nothing wrong with it). However stealing someones horse, is dead wrong beyond measure. They could purchase a horse, butcher it in their backyard and at $20 a lb, still make a profit and no one the wiser.

Something tells me these perps,
1. Don't read/speak English
2. Don't know of, know how or have access to a computer
3. This was how it was done in their homeland
4. Poor, stupid and starving they are not. The have access to a vehicle not only for the act but recon as well. The ability to plan and carry the act out.

As for my place, in my barn area I have motion lights, dogs and am landlocked (surrounded by other places) in the back and sides. Gate closed and locked almost 24/7.
Handy gun. Thank God, Florida has the "Castle" law."

"yes, I have nightmares about my horses being stolen and butchered.

my only comfort is first, you'd have to find them, on 200 acres and second
there are no roads nearby. It's just a big brushy mesquite thickety pasture
that they share with half-feral cattle who are also aggressive.

I realize I'm incredibly lucky having access to a relatively safe area.

my only suggestion is a horrible one.......load your horse up with meds that
are toxic to humans.............you might find the @#$%^&*(*&^%$ that are
stealing and butchering pets, that way.

almost every box of wormer or vaccination has on it, "do not feed to animals
intended for human consumption".

other than that, move your animals closer to the house....maybe into the
garage or carport.....or move yourself into the barn"

"I currently board my horses (in TX) - they are kept in paddocks that have stalls, only gate is on the paddock. I keep the paddock locked (chain and key lock). I have one of the real estate type combo lock boxes with an extra set of key attached just outside the gate, the barn manager has the combo for the lock box and my emergency contact information is posted also. I have also secured the gate so that it can not be lifted off of its hinges. I would have never considered doing this where I boarded in CA, but I was told when I got here that other people's horses had been removed from the paddocks w/o permission (ridden or just turned loose). I know it sounds crazy, but since I have been in TX (about 3 months) there has been at least two horses found loose in the morning and one of those had sweat marks from a western saddle (horse is ridden english).

If I lived in southern FL right now I think I would buy one of the alarms that you can put on your room door at night (safety when traveling) - alarm goes off when the door is opened. It would make a lot of noise, probably scare the horse(s) and wake some people up, but it would be worth it to ensure your horse would be in their pen and be safe. Also, a simple thing to do - motion lights. Install the sensor(s) at the entry way (driveway, barn isles, etc.); locked gate and noisy dogs are always good too.

I just hope and pray that this nightmare does not spread to other parts of the US."

"Holy crap! If the people buying these murdered horses want horse meat THAT BAD they need to return to their land of origin, and quick!!! It's pretty universally accepted here (except for some wackos over in Dreamhorse!) that we don't eat our horses, it's a lot like eating your pekingese! Not here, not ever."

"This is not all that uncommon in Peru. We bought a really nice Peruvian Paso mare in Peru several years ago. The ranch was left unattended for the evening and bandits came in and killed several horses. Our mare was one. A major ranch had most of their top stock killed years ago due to the bandits. The people are hungry and will kill horses down there."

"We have a coded gate and a second gate for which you need to find the switch or have a remote. We have someone at the house almost, 24/7. You cannot see the barn or the house from the road and we live at a dead end, private road. Strangers are and this area is watched by neighbors, too. Plus, we have 3 noisy dogs and noisy horses. If someone comes to take another away, then I have no doubt that our horses will carry on something fierce! So, good luck to someone who comes to hurt, steal or harm our horses. By the way, I AM a great shot!"

"What the hell is wrong with people?--absolutely. It’s beyond sickening—the cruelty incomprehensible; the action by those doing it perhaps not unlike poaching rhinos in a game park. But let’s take it a step further. What about a beloved animal you can no longer afford to keep and would only sell (cheap like borscht) to “a good home only”? Have you checked on them with your own eyes after they’ve left your property? Think about it. Between the “some people [are] still willing to pay $7 to $20 a pound (half-kilogram)” statement, and that mare found “with about 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of meat removed”… well, that’s an awful lot of incentive to some folks ($4,000 worth of incentive at the high end), and even more incentive for those same folks to buy several super-cheap horses rather than running the risk of being caught or shot for one.
I know it’s scary. Just made myself deathly ill, too.

Am I thinking more about security given recent events, even though I live in Canada? Oh, you betcha. Horrible things can happen here, too. So, I’m thinking more dogs, locked/coded gates, electric perimeter fencing, topping perimeter fence posts with solar-powered lights, security cameras, detectors on all doors, more yard lights, taking out trees and bushes that interfere with view, getting a gun permit and taking a lot of lessons… Heck, if some company ever does make a safe GPS for horses, I’ll be all over it. Very sad, though, that we have to turn our farms, barns and stables into Fort Knox/Las Vegas/a horse version of the movie The Body Guard, but that’s the way it is.


"Yes we have surveillance cameras,
No gate, but house and barn are 50' apart and share same driveway and I work from home so 90% of the time someone would have to drive by me to get to horses.
We do have security system for house but with boarders that come at odd irregular hours can't feasibly alarm barn.
Small dogs but they bark loud and don't quit till I come out.
Yup I can shoot.... anyone want to try and find out how well??? lol

Purchased security cameras after going on extended business and leaving someone in charge to do daily cleaning and feeding, (well paid for their time and seemingly knowledgeable ie: talked the talk). Kept in touch via phone several times per week and was assured that all was great. Returned to manure knee deep in alley way of barn which had been turned into use as run in shelter by leaving doors to stalls open (or taken off hinges) this was a brand new barn less than 6 months old and barn open for horses to come and go as they pleased (winter so of course they chose indoors) but with no one cleaning, manure piled up very quickly with 6 horses. Senior mare who was supposed to be fed separately twice daily and we were assured that she was doing fine, actually went from about a 6-7 down to a 2 bad enough that SPCA was called about her, turns out her feed was just dumped on the ground where "she" could get it, problem was so could the other 5 younger horses so guess who did not get her feed. Not a good experience but we trusted these now ex-friends.
Now using inexpensive wireless "spy cameras" and a capture card purchased off Ebay we have cameras in the barn that can be watched on Yawcam for free any time I'm away or even when I'm home just to check on things in the barn without having to physically go out, just a matter of turning cams on and connecting to internet (means having computer online at home and then I can check on my laptop or any public internet access and see for my self how things really are. Cost about $150 for 2 cameras and the capture card, Value... Priceless for peace of mind. "

"Actually I do have a dog the size of a large mini (great dane) that spends the night in the pasture with my horses and she barks her head off if there is someone that she does not know approaching the pasture. I also have a lock on the main gate that leads from the pasture."

"It is tough trying to find the balance to making sure all the horses stay safe and secure and being too secure that emergency crews can not get in during an emergency. We do not lock gates or barn doors. But we implement security cameras, and motion sensing lights and devices that alert us if there is movement where there shouldn’t be on the farm. We live over the barn and can hear so much as a horse pushing a bucket; a main door or a stall door would have me up and armed immediately. We also have a big 150lb schutzhund trained male Rottweiler as our dog/pony who is usually so dirty from thinking that he really is a pony and rolling in the mud, that he is stuck sleeping in the barn and not allowed into the house… while he is actually a big mush, if someone he doesn’t know shows up at night he will protect the house and his herd mates and make sure I am wide awake to back him up… During the day everyone is welcomed to Rotty kisses and begging for Frisbee time, but night is another story and I am quite ok with that. I’d almost feel bad for anyone showing up here to snag a horse in the middle of the night… ok… not really…they’d deserve what was coming to them. "

"We live in Indiana and although nothing even close or similar has happened in our area, it's a real concern for us. We're the proud owners of a very unfriendly dog that rarely makes nice even with frequent boarders in our barn. This dog is doing her job and I hope she takes a bite out of crime if anybody even thinks about hurting a hair on my horses' pretty heads. In any event she'll make enough noise to alert me to grab the shotgun. Mr. T said it best - "I pity the fool......""

"You said it! Some things just boggle the mind. I've heard criminals are stupid, but this goes so far beyond, I can't even find the words for it. Except to sympathize with those who have been the victims of this stupidity. And to encourage everyone to get whatever security they can. Several big dogs that make lots of noise and motion activated lights are both very effective, inexpensive, and easy to install and maintain.

Surveillance cameras are good, but they only cover what they cover; if the cameras are in the barn, horses in the field won't be protected by them. And you have to watch the image quality. A system that gives a clear enough image so you can actually see a person's face clearly enough to identify them is pretty expensive.

On the other hand, cameras in evidence and a sign asking people to smile for the camera as they come through your gate might deter unwanted people from entering your property. There are dummy cameras you can put in that look real and cost a lot less than real ones. If you want to go this route, real cameras covering the entrance and main corridors, combined with a few dummies scattered around, might be very effective. A friend of mine at a high security facility said the most effective placement for getting a positive ID is a pair of cameras at the exit, one to get the license plate, and one to get their face. Both have to be high resolution. Of course this is in combination with strategically placed cameras to record anything that goes on that ought not to. Such a system is not cheap. And you need to have a really good fence with only 1 way in or out.

We can only hope they find these people and administer some justice.


"OH MY GOD!!!! I seriously cannot think of any words to describe these truly sick people. The article about the cases in Miami just disgusts me. Where they slash tendons, and butcher the horse alive…. How primitive do you have to be to just take a knife and cut and slash? And jeez, these aren’t wild mustangs…. They’re PETS!!! Chances are, they walked over with ears pricked and then were immobilized and had their muscles stripped from their body. Also, the article said something about $7 per pound and 200 pounds of meat per horse. If they’re willing to do this vile act for $1400, I don’t want to know what they’d do for even $10,000. In my opinion, whoever did this to these horses, deserves to have the same done to them! Sure, it’s brutal and clearly a violation of human rights, but when they do something so atrocious as slaughtering live pets, they’re more of an animal than the horse they killed.


"We recently bought a horse farm. We're in a very small town on a fairly busy road. Everyone notices EVERYTHING. Its good and bad. My fiance's horse had been out here by himself for two weeks before we got mine up here. Within 5 minutes of the trailer pulling in the driveway we had half the town stopping by to see the second horse. Half of them said they had seen the trailer and just wanted to see what was going on. I think about 90% of the town carries guns. So yeah, not too terribly worried about our horses getting stolen. That said, the barn is kept locked and the two gates that lead off the farm are kept locked."

"Hi, saw your blog about the tragic loss of a horse. Have you considered a combination of “active” RFID tags (like they use in library books and shoe boxes) and scanning points? Active RFID tags can be very small (and thus unobtrusive to the horse) and put out a signal all the time, so you could set up a scan for them whenever you like (unlike a passive system, which only works when you point an RFID reader at them.) The only down sides:

The batteries don’t last forever, but they do last for months or years.

Someone else with an RFID reader would know exactly where a horse is…though they could also tell that by the fact that there’s a horse-shaped horse nearby.

They’re not cheap, but they’re getting cheaper.

I don’t know if anyone actually does this."

FHOTD: I don't know either but if someone can show me a device that would allow me to pinpoint the exact location of my horses at any time, I'd buy it and I'd promote it for free on this blog.

"I've heard recently from several people in my area (Humboldt County)
about folks taking "free" horses as "pets" and later slaughtering
them. And I'm not talking the usual "meat buyer pretends to be
upstanding citizen, ships horse to slaughter" story, I'm talking
people hanging a horse in a tree in their backyard and butchering it
by hand. I have yet to see evidence directly -- though not being a
native of the area, I don't know most of the more sketchy people
around the area -- so I'm taking it with a grain of salt, but it kind
of makes me want to weep, regardless.

Having my horse at a boarding barn is nice in a lot of respects
because there are other people coming and going and dogs and whatnot,
but it is scary to think how easy it would be for somebody to walk in
there, take the horse, and leave. I can't exactly afford the kind of
boarding stable with electronic security gates and things, even if
there were some here."

"We keep our three horses in a small stable in Yorba Linda, CA. There are a total of nine horses. We have had some strange things happen....such as horses being let out of their stalls at night and then the stalls re-locked. We found one of the horses almost two miles away one morning. After this we have locked the pipe stalls at night and put in a motion sensitive light system but we caught two local neighborhood girls in the barn a week ago late at night petting the four horses in the stalls in the barn. These stalls are not locked because of the fear of fire but we think that the neighborhood kids are coming there at night and riding the horses and every once in a while they get away from them and they just leave them out.

We are concerned because we do not have anybody staying on the property overnight and you know how teens are, especially in Southern California."

"Our barn is right next to the house, and right now we are not taking any drastic measures regarding security, other than a motion detector spotlight on the barn. My main worry was a field across the street from our house. We sometimes keep horses out at night in the field. What we have done since all of the thiefs and slaughtering, is to hang metal pipe gate and keep it locked. Also, we never leave halters on the horses, or have leadropes readily available. I also try to educate other horse owners of the current situation regarding the thief of horses."

"I have read your blog for quite some time, first time to comment. I have a great security system. I own three BIG male doberman's{fixed} of course and they run the property. I had alot of problems from neighbor's being nosy and dogs running my horses. I came up with this. I put step in posts all around my place with two lines of high visible wire and attached it to my fence charger. I have a line across my driveway that I drop to come or go. This keeps my dogs in and neighbors and dog's out. I also have 22 free range guinea's which alarm when ever something or someone unfamiliar comes within their territory. I think the best about this system is those pesky stop bye pamphlet givers no longer stop."

"You started the post with the line
“What IS the world coming to? What the hell is wrong with people?”
Well, lets look at this another way
You take a country where a significant portion of the population struggles to find enough calories to eat every day
Where meat is a luxury
Where beef is raised on ranches by impoverished workers then sent abroad to be eaten
Where horses are work animals...
And then spend more on housing a horse than is spent on health care for the whole country....
Just some things to think about...."

FHOTD in: I would think it would be far more likely that a more accessible, easy to handle animal than a TB stallion inside a barn would be stolen if hunger truly was the motivation. I mean, surely there are donkeys, goats, etc. in fields that would be an easier target. I tend to think this was some kind of revenge motivated thing, an angry ex-employee or personal grudge. Doesn't that make sense?