“What happened to my little pony?”


August 31, 2013

UnknownBack in January of 2011, over 30 months ago, someone posted a message on the internet about “52 Thoroughbreds destined for slaughter.” It was a true story, but it only took days for all of them to find homes. Every few months since then the story pops up again and travels far and wide. This last trip had me sending back up to a dozen responses a day – “The story is no longer true,” with a link to the Snopes webpage about the story.

Two things bounce around in my demented little brain when I receive an email about those thoroughbreds, the first is simply how wonderful people are to try to help when a horse is in trouble. Taking the time to send that notice out, asking for help, that shows that people really, seriously care. In the rescue business, I’ve found there are any number of people that have no problem hopping out of a warm bed at 3am on a cold, rainy Monday morning to help pull a horse out of a water-filled ditch. In fact, to most people it’s an automatic response and they are somewhat shocked when I thank them. “For what? A horse was in trouble. Of course I’m going to help.”

Not a day goes by when someone isn’t posting stories on the internet about a horse going to slaughter if someone doesn’t step up and “rescue” it for X number of dollars, and this is where I have a problem. If people are bidding against a killer-buyer (someone who buys horses for slaughter), then great, more power to them, but buying a horse from a killer-buyer is another story entirely.

Slaughter horses at auction

Slaughter horses at auction

Killer-buyers (KBers) usually have a contract to bring in X number of horses per month. If one horse is “rescued” by paying a KBer, that means the KBer will have to find another horse to take its place. Saved one, sent another one to its death. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Plus I can guarantee that the KBer is going to make money off the “rescued” horse. People who operate at the bottom of the bucket don’t do things for free. Lying, cheating and stealing are all in a day’s work for someone that kills horses for fun and profit.

Slaughter horses are sold at auctions all across the country. Why one is more important than another is beyond me, but sending out notices on Facebook, Twitter and on various blogs to raise money to “rescue” a horse from slaughter gains a lot of attention. People give, and that’s because people are basically good, but saving one by placing money in the pockets of a KBer when hundreds of horses need saving…. I just wish as much effort would be put into stopping slaughter altogether.

Here is a typical horse market report for one Wednesday night auction in Ft. Collins, Colorado:

1 paint horse 1050 lbs – 52.50 cwt – Ft Morgan, CO

1 gray horse 920 lbs – 37.50 cwt – Cheyenne, WY

1 sorrel horse 1105 lbs – 35.00 cwt – Kremmling, CO

1 sorrel/white horse 1165 lbs – 34.00 cwt – Brush, CO

1 bay horse 1280 lbs – 34.00 cwt – Kremmling, CO

1 sorrel horse 1060 lbs – 34.00 cwt – Greeley, CO

1 sorrel/white horse 1145 lbs – 32.00 cwt – Brush, CO

1 Chestnut horse 925 lbs – 32.00 cwt – Cheyenne, WY

1 Buckskin horse 1015 lbs – 31.00 cwt – Steamboat Springs, CO

1 brown horse 940 lbs – 26.00 cwt – Akron, CO

1 gray horse 880 lbs – 22.00 cwt – Greeley, CO

images-1Every one of these horses had a story to tell, each one worth saving. The dream horse of a little girl, a life long companion of someone who passed away, a cowboy’s favorite horse that came up lame, sold not for what they can do, but for how much they weigh. (cwt is per 100 pounds). You might take notice that these are not “skinny” horses.

And the end result is horsemeat sold internationally by the ton on wholesale sites like this.

The US is the biggest exporter of live horses – to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. No EU regulation, filled with toxic drugs, false paperwork, corrupt USDA inspectors, yet 170,000 a year, 472 a day, cross the borders for slaughter.

Think about that – 472 perfect, majestic, trusting horses killed each and every day of the year.

I want it to stop, as I’m sure you do. If you care about 52 thoroughbreds, if you would come help a horse in trouble, then I’m begging you, sign the PLEDGE and get others to sign, as many as will listen to you. This doesn’t work until we have at least 10,000 people stand up for the horses.

Will you stand up for them? The link is on the right side of this page. It seems like such a small thing, I know, but it will work if everyone who claims to be against horse slaughter would spend five minutes signing the PLEDGE. 

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Barbara

    Signed and shared

    August 31, 2013
  • Evelyn Collins

    Please stop slaughtering all the horses. They are to sweet to have all the horrible things happen to them. There are more and more little girls and boys wishing everyday for their own horse or pony to love.

    August 31, 2013
  • Barbara Leonard

    I usually share all your postings…cannot share this one. I don’t like kill buyers any more than the next person but the fact is that it’s NOT that horse’s fault that he wound up there. I will NEVER stop sharing horses owned by kill buyers….they have a right to live just like any other horse. And you may be right that another horse will just take it’s place…..that’s OK…..we’ll promote that horse too! Nothing will stop this except SAFE being passed!

    August 31, 2013
    • judye michaels

      Barbara Leonard you have NO idea how your words mirror my heart!!! Jerry, I believe in you 100% but with a few paragraphs, you’ve broken my heart! A horse’s life saved is a horse’s life SAVED – until we get the S.A.F.E. Act passed.
      I, personally, have taken the pledge, begged others to do so, shared out, made phone calls, written emails… the list could go on and on!
      I’ve pulled from kill pens myself; and until the Act is made into law, I’m damned well going to save every horse I’m capable of helping — no matter who owns it, or who makes what!

      September 1, 2013
        • BlessUsAll

          It reminds me of the different schools of thought among those who save dogs. Some folks buy pitiful-looking puppies from pet stores (thereby indirectly paying the abusive puppy mill owners who supply the dogs) or purchase from breeders imperfect pups who would otherwise be PTS. Others opt to adopt rescued dogs from shelters, pounds, and breed rescues. And even in the dog rescue world, some people save animals SOLELY from high-kill shelters (an oxymoron, I realize) while others patronize ONLY no-kill shelters. All deserve good homes. But each human has a different idea of what is most moral — or who most tugs at the heart.

          September 1, 2013
  • BlessUsAll

    It’s inspiring to see how you come up with a new angle every day — a new way to draw in and inspire people with the message that they really can SAVE horses — by sparing cows. (If that sounds strange to a newcomer on this blog, then check out the pledge.)

    “. . . perfect, majestic, trusting . . . ” The “trusting” part makes me weep the most. Weep for the faithful horses AND their feckless “owners.”

    For, when one betrays a friend, he is not only committing the ultimate cruel crime against the friend, but is also betraying his own nature. We are all — yes, even the traitors — designed by God to be as “perfect” and “majestic” as the horses we admire. And not only as trusting, but as trustworthy.

    So listen up, KBs. And cow pokes. And consumers. And all folks.

    August 31, 2013
  • again, I signed. the beef they eat in my house comes from the cows we helped raise, but I am pretty much a vegetarian. What disgusts me is my fat healthy trained horses I can’t even get 25 cents a pound for, I don’t say I will take them to slaughter– but we will have to euthanize if we can’t get the rest of our hay in. So, all the value I imbue my horses with is pointless; registering, worming, training, making child safe. POINTLESS. Losing proposition, and it happened because I saved some horses. The Belgians broke everything in their path, we had babies we didn’t plan or want, but I raised and gelded and trained. Tell me what the point is. MY horses don’t have toxic drugs in them–oh well.

    August 31, 2013
    • Margo Nielsen

      You didn’t say whether you are trying to sell your horses or not… and whether you are actively marketing them as good riding/using horses. If people put more effort into selling a horse to the right buyers, they sell faster and easier.

      August 31, 2013
  • It would be nice to say “unbelievable”, but with the Navajo having sold out to the corrupt occupiers, what can now be a surprise? I do not believe there is any explanation needed given what is going on worldwide….God bless the beasts and children…….

    August 31, 2013
    • BlessUsAll

      Yes, to paraphrase the Carpenters’ song, bless the bovine beasts (not the “beef”!) and the children.

      Funny how our use of the word “children” implies human children, but nonhumans have children, too, don’t they?

      Speciesism is so ingrained in society…. Sigh.

      Lisa, I honor you for taking excellent care of your horse friends. What is more, THEY are grateful to you, more than you’ll ever know.

      August 31, 2013
  • Lisa!!!!! Don’t give up, there is always SOME way…..

    August 31, 2013
  • Geri Vincent

    Lisa, I think the point is that in spite of you and thousands of others caring for your horses there is a huge excess due to over reproduction. As we all have seen, the horses going to slaughter are mainly young and in good condition. Until the SAFE act is passed and the slaughter of American horse put to a stop too many horses will be produced simply because there is a market. When slaughter is no longer and option, the value of horses will increase due to the end of the low-end market.

    Thank you to everyone who has signed and made the commitment to leave beef out of your diet until we pass the SAFE bill. Those of you on the fence-Mr. Finch makes an important point regarding your willingness to help horses in need. I, too, have had this wonderful experience. Skipping beef to put some pressure on the cattlemen’s association will go far to help horses. Please sign.

    August 31, 2013
  • ColoradoCowgirl

    I once knew a beautiful young boy that use to ride with me. He loved his horse he was born and raised on a real working ranch.
    One night at the local sale barn this little boy came running to me and hid his head in my lap crying. I watched this once beautiful palomino mare brought in the sale with her front leg sheared off and hanging. She was scared and in terrible pain. It was more than I could stand then he cried to me “that’s my horse Dad wants the money”!
    That poor little boys once beloved mare was sold to slaughter. All so his self centered shit head of a father could make a few bucks. The boy ended up killing himself!

    Horse slaughter is wrong on many levels and is not a correct way of thinking in America. Americans euthanize their pets and American horses are pets! That father would put his dog down but not his only sons beloved friend his horse. He in effect crushed his only son and taught him there is no value in life.

    Horses are mentioned more times in the Bible then any other animal and are the only animal to come back out of Heaven……

    Horse slaughter is wrong and we as Americans need to stand up against our horses being slaughtered! This country was made on the back of horses!

    August 31, 2013
    • Robyn

      Sad story Colorado Cowgirl but a very common one. The attitude of many Americans thinking they need to make a buck off a horse they owned & rode to send to slaughter MAKES ME SICK!
      Your story shakes me up!

      Signed petition: I enjoyed Ahi tuna steak this evening instead of beef.

      August 31, 2013
  • Amy Miller

    I am vegetarian anyway so I don’t eat beef, chicken, pork or any meat. Is there a pledge to sign? If there is I can’t find one.

    August 31, 2013
  • Sandra

    Where do I sign ? Its all I can do then I must & I will. Just tell me where I can sign… Please !! Thanks Jfinch I found it !!

    August 31, 2013
  • Words can’t express what I think and feel about horse slaughter and the killer buyer.\I don’t care how nice the guy is…he is a piece of crap (scum) in my eyes….this whole thing with BLM and the roundups….makes me sick…if people quit eating beef…which won’t happen…but if it did..then things would be different. We have horses, and last year the hay price’s were terrible..but I would go with out before my horses..that’s me…just sayin.

    September 1, 2013
    • And I haven’t ate beef or pork in yrs..

      September 1, 2013
  • Debrah McCabe

    I have two mares who are 23 years old and never been bred. This isn’t so much a problem of killing the horses as it is a problem of stupid people breeding horses. Backyard breeders are no different than puppy mill owners. I think that while there should be a continuing effort to end horse slaughter in Canada and Mexico, there should also be a lot more attention and effort put towards discouraging the stupidity of endless breeding by backyard breeders and the various horse industries.

    September 5, 2013
    • BlessUsAll

      Right on, Debrah. Backyard breeding of horses reminds me not only of puppy mills but of humans who insist on having their own biological offspring — as many as they want — instead of being willing to consider adopting the children waiting in foster homes … waiting to receive — and give — love.

      It’s a matter of thinking beyond the box one has constructed around oneself. It’s a matter of understanding — and caring about — the impact that each decision we make has on the world as a whole. It’s a matter of … being unselfish. We each have the capacity to be wider, deeper thinkers and doers. Gotta USE it, though!

      Sorry if I’ve added way more than my two cents to this post. It’s hard for a born writer not to respond to the good points being made here. 🙂

      September 5, 2013