Thursday, November 4, 2010

OSPCA Fails A Champion Horse

Apalachian Chief heads to the winner's circle after winning the Cup and Saucer at Woodbine in 1998

This is a tale of a racehorse. He won and placed in several prestigious races in his younger days, willingly running his guts out for the glory and enjoyment of his owner. The owner got the fame and fortune and the money. This is a common practice in order to TRY to recoup some of the money the farm owner has already spent in giving the horse the care that they need and deserve. Among those sold is ‘our’ subject horse Appalachian Chief, known as Chief for short. He is bought by a lady who had him for a while and cared for him appropriately.  For whatever reason, this good owner sold him to the current owner. This is where his life in hell begins on April 1st2010.  Some would say that this was a cruel April Fool’s joke for this poor horse.
 He was bought by a woman who has worked at the racetrack and various prestigious farms in the area for MANY years and knows very well how to care for horses - but CHOOSES NOT to.  She brings Chief to his new ’home’.  This ‘home’ is a garage with a chipboard cage on a cement floor. 

The prison from outside

There is nowhere for him to go outside because there is no paddock.  There are no other animals and horses being a herd animal, after all, thrive in the company of others.  There is a skiff of bedding on the concrete floor but not nearly enough to provide a proper cushion for him to stand on which he must do 24/7.  He cannot even lie down comfortably, if at all due to the constant presence of feces and urine in his ‘stall’.
Where he has been since April 2010

There is only a partially filled bag of hay and so he begins to live, without being able to stretch his legs for more than a trip around his approx. 7×12 foot ‘cage’.  The very nature of horses is that they must be able to have the ability to move freely over a large distance which this prison does not afford.  On April 2ndthe OSPCA is called by a concerned neighbour who is an experienced horseman and who lives nearby.  They do arrive quite promptly and for the rest of the summer into the fall they pay weekly visits to Chief.  Throughout the incredible heat waves we had this summer Chief would go for days without food or water. Had it not been for the concerned neighbour ‘trespassing’ and sneaking him a little bit of water and picking a few handfuls of grass, we have no doubt Chief would have died. Eventually a round bale of nasty, dusty, moldy hay that not even cattle would eat arrives and is placed outside his stall so that he can eat it, sort of.  It’s put just out of his reach so that swallowing is difficult.   

Chief stretching for his mouldy hay. Yes, the grey stuff in the photo below of the bale of “hay” is mould.  This the OSPCA deems as being acceptable.

Hay bale showing grey mould

As was this bale of something he was forced to eat earlier on this year.

Hay? Straw? Mould? YES!

A great many people have offered to purchase Chief from the owner, just to get him out of there, but she loves the attention not the horse.  One potential buyer had to spend upwards of 4 hours listening to Chief’s owner tell them how smart she is, how she outsmarts the OSPCA by having food present because that is all they need to see, about how she wins ‘wrongful dismissal’ suits, about how she does not believe in feeding horses unless they are being worked!  For those people who have offered to buy Chief from this woman when it comes to talking price she suddenly ups the amount she wants, often by double, and then caps it off by saying that she won’t sell him that she’d rather keep him so that she can write him off as a tax write off because he’s a “breeding stallion”.  With Chief’s escalating decline in health he will never be any kind of breeding stallion.  And so Chief stands, patiently serving his time in hell in this cage that was not cleaned out from April 2nduntil after June, count that, that is over 3 months of manure, ankle deep manure in the heat of the summer, with no cross ventilation, holes in the roof above his head allowing a steady stream of rain to add to the black, stinking manure, day in day out.  
Typical condition of Chief's stall
 Months of flies eating away at him. 
Months of wondering what he did wrong in life to end up like this.


How do have they done this?  

They have been notified many times about this situation that they eventually started making regular visits, same day of the week, same time of the day. They wanted to ‘educate her’ and left the owner brochures outlining how to take care of a horse, and reminding her that she should feed him  They would not ask or take into consideration all the people that were available to give references saying that she DOES know how to take care of a horse, but refuses to “’cause ain’t no body gunna tell me what to do with my horse, ain’t nun of their f..ckin’ business”.  All of the people concerned for this horse have been long time OSPCA supporters and know that funds are often tight and it is harder to re-home a horse than a kitten (they are all horsemen and horsewomen) and have let the OSPCA know that they have raised funds amongst themselves to pay for this horse, have arranged transportation that is on 24//7 standby, have found several options for places for him, all in an effort to help the OSPCA, IF they did their job and seized this horse.  This is met with a reply that they see nothing wrong and his care falls into the acceptable level of care as outlined for livestock and slaughter animals.   IF you read their own words on their own website about the necessary standards of care for ALL animals, it clearly states the animal must not be in  unsanitary conditions, it must have access to food an water, it must not be willfully neglected…………. and they are allowing every one of those ‘rules’ to be broken.
Chief showing wormy belly and protruding bone in his hindquarters from malnutrition. (The fresh layer of shavings he's on was put down on OSPCA inspection day. Below is the norm.)

This once dashing champion is wasting away before our very eyes  From the friendly, outgoing demeanor that was present when he first landed in this prison, he has changed to a depressed, frustrated and angry horse.  Who could blame him?  

It appears that the OSPCA will not move until Chief is dead. 

We are posting this story to raise awareness of Chief’s plight to implore our readers to demand that the OSPCA do the right thing and seize Chief and allow a reputable rescue take him and give him the good fitting home he deserves.  We also want to ensure that the you the public are made aware of this situation. You have the right to, no, need to know where your donations are going and what is being done with the money.  All of those cute little puppy and kitten and bunny calendars that the OSPCA sends out give a very misleading impression that they actually care about all animals and certainly does not come close to lifting the corner of that nasty little rug that they sweep these sorts of atrocities under.  Please contact the OSPCA and your local MPP to express your opinion on this awful situation.  And while you’re at it, tell them that the laws in Ontario and Canada have to be strengthened to protect all animals.
Chief and many others are waiting for your help!

Canadian Horse Defense Coalition


ADMIN said...

The following is the press release released by the OSPCA with regard to "Chief" (Dated November 3, 2010)

Inquiries on Horse "Appalachian Chief"

NEWMARKET, ON (November 3, 2010) - In April 2010, the Ontario SPCA received a call of concern for the horse with regards to the animal not receiving the proper standards of care as outlined in the Ontario SPCA Act. Since that time, Ontario SPCA officers have visited the animal many times on a regular basis. Orders have been issued and the owner has complied with the orders.

Many concerned citizens have asked why the animal has not been removed from its owner. Under the authority of the Ontario SPCA Act section 14.(1) the only grounds to remove an animal are under the following circumstances:

1. A veterinarian has examined the animal and has advised the inspector in writing, that the animal's health and well being necessitates its removal - the animal has been examined by two veterinarians (one being an equine specialist veterinarian) and neither vet has stated his care required his removal. One veterinarian examined the animal last week and stated that "Appalachian Chief" was "found to be in good health".

2. An inspector or agent has inspected the animal and has reasonable grounds for believing the animal is in immediate distress and the owner can't be found - The Ontario SPCA has made frequent unscheduled visits to the horse and has never found the animal in immediate distress.

3. An Order regarding the animal has been issued to the owner and has not been complied with - The Ontario SPCA has issued orders to the owner to ensure that the horse receives the standards of care outlined under the Ontario SPCA Act. The owner has complied with these orders.

There are other regulatory bodies with the ability to respond at different levels. Vaughan Animal Control, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Racing Commission have all been made aware of the concerns expressed by the public.

The Ontario SPCA will continue to ensure that the standards of care are met and that Chief is not in distress.

Anonymous said...

And the Liberals think things should stay as they are????? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! OSPCA are in it for the money and nothing else. They do NOT care for the welfare of animals....they care about their pocketbooks. This horse is probably too much for them to handle so they turn a blind eye. I am disgusted and sickened.

Anonymous said...

What about bylaws? I mean, in a garage? Surely this location is not on a 100 acre farm? Honestly!

Anonymous said...

I know what "IMMEDIATE DISTRESS" means.........So does that mean he's not in distress AT ALL???
This makes me so ill........Stop educating people and START removing animals THAT ARE IN DISTRESS!!!

Anonymous said...

This is without a doubt 'animal cruelty' & the OSPCA is absolutely just as guilty of this OFFENCE as the owner is. OSPCA should be short for Ontario Society for the PRESERVATION of Cruelty to Animals.

Anonymous said...

Come on OSPCA get your head out of your ass and do something about this. This is a horse in need of rescue, why can't they see this. The conditions that this poor horse is living in is terrible. WAKE UP!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who is the vet who examined this horse and says he is fine,and in Good health?? Is it the same one who killed 102 perfectly healthy animals in May,and would have killed all 350 if they had not been stopped?? Something is terribly wrong here,and that something is the O.S.P.C.A.!!

Krista said...

To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about horses, but I do know that THAT looks like a cramped little garage that poor Chief is living in. I also know mould is very dangerous and to see it growing all over his food source is really sad and disgusting. Someone needs to do something. The owner needs to be found charged and the horse needs a new home. I don't understand why people wish to own animals and then refuse to give proper care to them. TERRIBLE. I hope something is done about this. Come on OSPCA, start doing your job.

Anonymous said...

Would be nice if Appalachian Chief could go OUTSIDE!!!!!! He's been in a garage since April......SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Crazy, that's all I can say. The more I hear about the OSPCA the more stunned I become. They don't care about the animals at all. We need reform of the OSPCA BIG TIME!!

Sari said...

That enclosure is not even fit for a sewer rat to live in. Whoever looked at this horse and his abominable living conditions and deemed it to be fit should be shot. This is deplorable and makes my heart ache.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the OSPCA is the one to blame here. They are limited by the laws in Ontario. The animal welfare act, while it was updated recently sounds like it's from 1920. I have met many OSPCA officers that are frustrated by their limitations. Even if you watch those 'Animal Cops' shows the officers can barely lift a finger unless the animal is obviously abandoned or comatose. We have that retarded pitbull law too! The people who pass laws regarding animals in the province have no clue what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Has fencing been installed for Chief's turnout and opportunity to exercise ?
What about his mental health?
Come on OSPCA! You know very well this horse is not in a good state. Your investigator has had months to write orders and HQ is only focused on dogs and cats since (I quote)'that's where the donation dollars come from'

To deny a horse turnout and exercise IS willful neglect. I think the OSPCA should be charged under 'the Act' for willful neglect in this case. Your cruelty agent allowed distress to continue.

Has anyone checked with zoning to see if she can have livestock on her property?

BTW- the remarks regarding racing were nit necessary. His race career has nothing to do with his present state and I know the racing community has offered assistance for this horse.

Anonymous said...

If this was a dog who was given food and water but was confined to a crate for 23 hours of the day it would be neglect, why is it different for this poor horse? This is a sheer case of neglects and the OSPCA is turning a blind eye.

Anonymous said...

How about posting a picture of the owner. I bet she's a real winner! She should be ashamed of herself for treating such a beautiful animal this way. The OSPCA are a bunch of idiots who have NO HEART. I am disgusted with this story, this poor horse does not deserve to be treated this way. Where are the former owners, do they know that "THEIR CHAMPION HORSE" is going to suffer till the day he dies???? I am disgusted with the whole industry of using animals for profit. I am even more disgusted with OSPCA for once again turning a blind eye....BUNCH OF MORONS!

ADMIN said...

From what I gather the former owner could not afford Chief at the time, and later tried to purchase the horse back to no avail...this is strictly from what I have read not know if it's true...perhaps someone could clear this up?

Sharon said...

I think the OSPCA and the anyone who has opposed changing laws to properly protect all animals should spend a week in the conditions that they claim to be "acceptable". I am too disgusted to say anything else.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad, i dont know how people can do that to their horses,... where i live we have someone in the area who moved here from the t.o. area with a ton of horses that were bone racks and i myself called the spca in my area about it and they said there was nothing wrong with them because they were out side and had grass to eat ( 90% of it was over grown weeds because no one was there with horses for years) then alot more people were complaining and i guess the spca finally told them to do something so now they put hay out there, they dont get feed and you never see water out there you can see all their ribs and hip bones, and have like 6 horses to one run in.
it happenes all the time there was one a few years ago in my area where someone had like 10 horses in a barn all winter never mucked out the stalls and maybe gave then feed and water when the pipes wherent frozen and the spca pretty mcuh did nothing, the fire department even came in to give them water atleast and in the end some of them died.
i hate to say this but the spca are just following what is writen down for horses we have to go to the people who are higher then the spca to get this changed. we need to get these laws changed. its sad

Anonymous said...

How much does she want for the horse? Seriously, we can all wring our hands and agree how terrible this is (beyond comprehension) but maybe if we rolled up with a stack of cash (not a theoretical offer, but a big juicy pile of tangible bills - "Here, this is what we'll give you right now if you hand him over") surely that would tempt even the most stoic and intelligent "horse owner" . Yes, she doesn't deserve it, and definitely someone needs to learn a lesson, but we forget who's paying the price at this very moment for our inaction.

There must be a way of setting up a secure 3rd party trust fund to accomplish this. If anyone is interested in trying to move on this please respond and maybe we can get the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

SPCA who can trust them??

Anonymous said...

The horse is not able to tell us his tale of woe. Surely, there are honest people that can and would take the horse and house it properly. SPCA should step in, if only to allow the horse to be moved to a proper facility and make the owner pay for the upkeep. The owner should also have to live in the garage for at least six months, just to see how it feels.

Post a Comment