Your best take: Hard times for horses

A poignant story about a large-animal vet clinic shuttering prompts a reminder that the recession has many victims

Published January 25, 2011 3:26PM (EST)

It didn't take too long for the letters thread on Christy Corp-Minamiji's poignant story about closing the large-animal vet clinic in Sacramento County to turn into a debate about the U.S. Humane Society's stance on horse slaughter. ("Animal lovers did a great disservice to equines in supporting a misguided effort on the part of the Humane Society to stop horse slaughter," wrote faultroy, to which Barnkitty responded, "faultroy is fortunately in a small, oddball group of horse 'lovers' who mourn the loss of U.S. horse slaughter. What they really mourn is that they no longer are able to breed everything that moves on their ranch and then send the culls for easy disposal.") It's hard to separate animals and politics. But our favorite letter on the story was a simple reminder that some animals are not recession-proof, as we so commonly assume. The post comes from Beans&Greens:

It is a bad time for large animals, especially horses.

Ms. Corp-Minamiji, I can only say that based on what you've written, those people and animals were lucky to have you for as long as they did.

This is a terrible time in the United States for people and animals, and for large animals that are expensive to maintain, like horses, it is a horrendous crisis. In the last few years I've been involved in several cases involving the seizure of scores of starving, neglected horses. Many of these horses had been pets, sold at low prices to traders who promised the owners a good home for their beloved animals but then, unable to sell the horses, simply allowed them to starve to death.

This sort of thing happens on mass scales, and happens on small scales of one or two animals neglected to death. I ask anyone reading this who has neighbors who own horses to keep an eye on things. If things look bad, please call your local shelter or the police, your neighbor's feelings be damned. It takes a long time for a horse to starve to death.

To read the rest of the comments on the story, click here.

By Salon Staff

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