Domino Effect ranch passes inspection with malnourished horses


The Examiner, MAY 21, 2013,  MARYANN TOBIN

37c42ecb7623cf2d3048a16a923ce9e0Hernando County Animal Services responded to Domino Effect ranch in Weeki Wachee on Monday, after complaints of visibly malnourished horses came from the Humane Society of the United States and dozens of concerned citizens.

An inspection of the horses in the care of ranch owners Robert and Denel Ashcraft was performed by Deputy Adkins, which did note amalnourished horse, according to a county official familiar with the preliminary report.

(Go to THE EXAMINER to see pictures of before and after horses)

However, Domino Effect ranch still passed the inspection with no actionable violations under current Florida law.

A score based on the Henneke body condition index is used by Hernando County Animal Services (HCAS) officers to assess the health of horses during an inspection. A score of 1 indicates a horse so malnourished it is near death. The highest score is 9, which is given to an obese horse.

Preliminary inspection findings revealed that a Domino Effect ranch horse was given a Henneke body condition score of 2 on Monday, indicating severe emaciation. But that is not considered an animal abuse violation in Hernando County.

Unlike California, Ohio, Texas, and other states, Florida does not have a legal minimum standard for the mandatory seizure of emaciated horses based on a Henneke body score, even if the horse is so malnourished it actually dies from starvation or related complications.

CONTINUED – Read MORE by MaryAnn Tobin at the EXAMINER

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Dave Tate

    This is more bullshit a starved animal horse cow what ever it is is crulty in the worst way what is wrong with florida

    May 22, 2013
  • Daryl

    They were riding these animals, my vet when I got one in this condition said no riding till the meat was up on the back bone again. They need feed, more feed then they are getting any way. Sorry for the animals.

    May 22, 2013
  • Janet Schultz

    By what credentials do these animal control people get their job? do not understand how they can look at an animal and not KNOW it is starving. Why do they have to be convinced? When that problem is solved, we’,ll be gettng somewhere.

    May 22, 2013
  • Angie Friehauf

    Why even have an animal services in this state if they are going to sit by and do nothing due to lack or laws?? I don’t understand how this state cannot have a legal minimum standard for mandatory seizure of animals that are literally starving to death while in the care of people. And how can the owners of this ranch sit by and let this happen…what in gods name is wrong with them? Disgusting and sad.

    May 23, 2013
  • Susan Setzke

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decide something that you can plainly see. Another example of why so many policies and attitudes need to change in this country. If people can’t afford to properly care for their animals, then they need to surrender them to people who will. End of story.

    May 23, 2013
  • Sonja Lee

    This is pure insane. These people always have an excuse for ribs and backbone showing month after month, and nothing is ever done. What kind of AG Dept is this is Hernando! These ppl are felons and every horse there is underweight!

    May 23, 2013
  • Diane Lowery

    Hernandez County and the AG dept. are making excuses. FL. statutes are in order and have enough bite to allow seizure of these animals and prosecution. They just don’t want to bear the financial burden. Someone needs to take this to the state attorneys office and they can issue warrants and request seizures. This county has their head in the sand because they don’t want to deal with it.

    May 23, 2013
  • S. L. Trout

    Holy crap! Hernando county officials are either blind, or refugees from a third world country where horses, cattle and donkeys are so thin and starved it’s a wonder they can stand up. What regs are they using? I just saw a ghastly photo of one of their horses with a massive, deep gash in her chest. Result of being…hold on… BLIND-FOLDED in order to load in a horse trailer. These idiots have no business owning horses. They truly ignorant. The poor mare broke loose and ran blindly, crashing to fences and finally hitting the trailer. What goon blindfolds a horse to trailer-load it? I watched Monty Roberts load a so-called “unloadable” horse in less than two minutes. It’s all about understanding horses. These human nutjobs aren’t fit to tend an ant farm. For god’s sake–take the horses away from them before they’re all DEAD! Stupid Hernando officials.

    May 23, 2013
  • Michelle

    I don’t understand why these horses haven’t been seized and taken to a rescue, since they DO HAVE the laws on the books giving them the authority to seize them. Hernando County Animal Control – Animal Cruelty Law:

    (c) It is a class V violation of this chapter for any person to commit any act of mistreatment on any animal or to cause any act of mistreatment to be committed on any animal, regardless of the knowledge, intent, or culpability of the person. “Mistreatment” means not providing sufficient food and/or water, and proper shelter, and/or failure to provide veterinary care for any animal.

    (d) It shall be a class V violation of this chapter for any person to tease or molest any animal.

    (e) Officers may impound any animal found neglected, mistreated, in distress or cruelly treated in accordance with section 828.073, Florida Statutes.

    May 24, 2013
  • Mary Anne Gardner

    What good is Hernando county officials????? Must know someone and don’t care about the starving horses. Plain these people don’t need a animal farm of any kind!! Keep an eye on this story, there’s one!

    May 25, 2013
  • Dinelle Ashcraft

    Maybe things are not as they appear. Be careful who you get your information from and what this person’s M.O. is for posting this article. Are they an animal advocate just posting the news in the Examiner and across the Internet or are they abusing their rights as an online journalist to exploit a rescue by misrepresentation and distorted pictures. If you research the Domino Effect Rescue Ranch you will see that 99% of these articles are all written by Maryann Tobin and if you continue to do your research you may just find the truth behind this woman’s articles and her M.O. in the blog on the Domino Effect Examiner, especially with the following blog written and photos posted just 1 day after her article was posted. Please do your own research, you just might be surprised at what you find. 🙂

    May 28, 2013
  • Wendy Scott

    Pictures date stamped next time.

    June 2, 2013