Sunday, July 14, 2013

The High Cost of Caring For Other People's Animals: Idaho Lawmen Seizing More Neglected Horses

Posted By on Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

An official with the Idaho Horse Board points to a lingering recession and the cost of hay at $200 per ton as primary reasons for the rising problem of neglected and malnourished horses in the region.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News visits a Twin Falls County sheriff's auction, where bidders snap up horses, some for as little as $20.

Law enforcement officials say they try to work with the owner to bring a horse back to health, and continue to assess the horse's condition before they seize the animal. Before taking the horse, deputies seek guidance from a veterinarian or animal health inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A vet may euthanize a horse that is emaciated or suffering, according to the Times-News.

The Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office estimates a couple weeks of care can cost $90 for a horse that could be sold for a fraction of that expense.

A lien is traditionally put on a seized animal, including the estimated cost of care. The owners are traditionally given 72 hours to post the bond.

But no money is being budgeted for horse care in Cassia, Jerome or Twin Falls counties.

"We don't have the financial means to care for other people's animals," Twin Falls Sheriff's Lt. Daron Brown told the Times-News.

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