3-28-09

Get a drink, get popcorn, turn on soft music, set your alarm so you don’t miss work, this is a huge blog entry. Tawnee and Jason were invited and their way would be paid to attend the Genesis Awards in Los Angeles for Friday and Saturday. It didn’t work out, but on Friday we found out why… Read below to learn what we were supposed to be doing rather than spending time with the Hollywood elite.

10:30 pm Thursday evening we got a call from a desperate horse owner who was distraught to say the least. Her neighbours had mares that were in heat and her stallion kept jumping the fence and breeding the neighbours mares. And now, Animal Control had given her a ticket that was over $300, and she may end up going to jail because she couldn’t pay for it. She had another older stallion as well. She wanted us to come out Friday morning, get both stallions, and take them away. If we couldn’t she said she would just find someone to shoot them. She said her crazy neighbours just wouldn’t keep those in heat mares away from her stallions.

Tawnee asked if all the horses were up to weight or if they are skinny. After some more discussion it turns out that the stallions were skinny, and after a bit more it turns out she had a skinny mare that was nursing a foal, and they were all running with the stallions. Tawnee told the lady that we would try to have someone out there Friday morning and that we would call her back. By that morning there was a Craigslist posting, it read: “FREE BEAUTIFUL HORSE 4-5YR BEAUTIFUL BLOOD BAY STUD COLT WITH WHITE STRIP AND 2 WHITE SOCKS, IN 5AC PASTURE, NEVER HAD A ROPE ON HIM. I AM TOO OLD AND CAN’T BREAK HORSES ANYMORE. MY HUSBAND DIED AND MUST GET RID OF HIM. HE IS WANTING TO ROAM IN NEIGHBORS PASTURE, SO HE MUST GO. I CAN GET HIM INTO CORRAL, BUT YOU WILL NEED STOCK TRAILER AND SOME HELP TO WALK BEHIND HIME TO GATHER HIM UP INTO ENCLOSURE TO PICK HIM UP AND CHASE HIM INTO 4 HORSE STOCK TRAILER. IT IS YOR RESPONSIBILITY TO CATCH AND LOAD HIM. FIRST COME FIRST SERVE…..BEAUTIFUL HORSE 1/2 ARAB 1/2 QUARTER PAINT BREEDSTOCK. DAD IS BLOOD BAY ARAB, AND MOM WAS A WHITE MEDICINE HAT QUARTER MARE. HE WOULD MAKE A GREAT HORSE TO MAKE A GUILDING AND START BREAKING. HE IS PRETTY, CAN JUMP AND HAS GREAT MOVEMENT AND CONFORMATION. I AM JUST TOO OLD AND NEED TO GET RID OF HIM NOW BECAUSE CAUSING PROBLEMS WITH MY NEIGHBOR. WANT TO VISIT THEIR HORSES. HE IS A JUMPER, HE CLEARS MY PASTURE FENCE NO PROBLEM.SO WOULD BE GREAT JUMP POSSIBILITY. HE CLEARS MY 4 WIRE PASTURE FENSE TO GET TO HORSES NEXT DOOR IN 20 AC PASTURE. SO, HE MUST GO. THIS IS WHY HE IS FREE, I DON’T NEED TROUBLE WITH MY NEIGHBORS. AND MY HUSBAND IS DECEASED AND HAVE NO ONE TO HELP ME. SO, IF INTERESTED PLEASE CALL AND COME AND GET HIM ASAP. COME AND GET TOMORROW MORNING TO FIRST PERSON THAT GETS HERE.”

Before the sun was up Jason had the stock trailer hooked up and Tawnee was ready to head out.

We called the lady, got directions, and early in the morning Tawnee was on her way. It turned out that one of her stallions had jumped the fence once again and was on the neighbours property.

Tawnee arrived at the neighbours property were the one stallion was trespassing. She found a thin stallion pacing back and forth frantically, covered in sweat, trying to get to the mares the neighbour had to lock up in small pens to keep away from the roving renegade. The neighbour explained to Tawnee that many times the stallion had broken over the fence, bred her mares, and she had to spend a lot of money on vet bills to prevent the pregnancies from leading to foals.

By this time the owner of the horse, Nancy, arrived on the scene. She told Tawnee how happy she was to see Tawnee there, it was so wonderful that the problem was going to be fixed.

After the greeting Tawnee inquired about the other stallion and asked if she could see him to determine the best loading plan. She offered to drive Tawnee over to her property. Shortly after Tawnee got in the car the lady starting explaining how the horses love dog food, that it is high in corn, and that it’s a great treat for horses. Tawnee kept quiet for the time, wondering why the lady would be saying this. When Tawnee and Nancy arrived at her place they headed over to the horse pen.

Tawnee looked around and was not happy with what she saw. Debris, wire, boards, trash, old fencing, all strewn about the horse pen as if it was a junkyard.

When Tawnee saw the mare and foal, she knew right then and there that there was no way she was leaving without them. The older stallion was skinny, the mare was skinny, the foal was thin and they all had wormy coats. When Tawnee asked when the last time she had wormed them, they lady said “Umm, January?” Tawnee told her that the horses looked to be loaded with parasites with their dull wormy coats. Nancy insisted that they were just winter coats and that Tawnee did not know what she was talking about, and that the horses were fine. Since she couldn’t catch any of them, she said she gave them a pelleted wormer, but maybe they didn’t get enough? The mare was born on the place, never
handled or halter broke, the stallion on the neighbours place, same story. There was just no way she could properly care for the horses.

Looking over the situation, the pens were horrific and were an accident waiting to happen. The lady replied when Tawnee said the horses could get caught and injured “Well they never have!”

Tawnee looked at the poor little baby and thought about it’s future if it was left behind. No doubt skinny, untouchable, pasture bred and forced to lead a terrible life.

Tawnee was noticing that there was no food around other than a quarter bale of the ugliest hay she has ever seen with mold growing on it. Tawnee watched the nursing mare scrunch down on her chest, stretch her head under the bottom rail, just to reach a nibble of green grass. The poor girl was starving! At that point Tawnee knew for certain there was no way she was staying behind. She called back to the rescue and gave an update on the situation.

Then Tawnee confronted Nancy on why the horses were starving and not being fed. She came up with multiple excuses, everything from financial, being too old, having other responsibilities that were more important, etc. But, she went over to her 1/4 bale of hay to feed her starving emaciated horses.

The hay was absolutely terrible looking. It was completely yellow all the way through and covered with mold on one side. She insisted that it was top quality hay and once again Tawnee didn’t know what she was talking about. It as the worst “alfalfa mix” Tawnee had ever seen in her life.
The horses began scarfing down the nasty hay and soon it was gone.

Tawnee explained the situation to Nancy of what needed to happen, and what we felt comfortable offering her in terms of a solution. She needed to sign the emaciated nursing mare, her foal, or we were not going to take the stallions and she could deal with Animal Control. At this point Nancy was very unhappy, but Tawnee told her “I am not going to take two horses, and leave behind others that need help as bad or worse than the two you want me to take!” Tawnee explained that we would take all the information to Animal Control and Nancy smugly replied “You do that, let’s call them right now.” Nancy called Animal Control and explained the situation. Then handed the phone to Tawnee to talk to Animal Control. The Animal Control was on Tawnee’s side but legally there wasn’t a lot that could be done at this point.

Nancy said “If I do get rid of the mare and foal you sure aren’t going to get them!” Then she asked if she could find someone to take the mare and foal, and if NorCal could then take the stallions. Tawnee replied that the mare and foal just needed to go somewhere where they could get the help they so desperately needed. She also told Nancy that she did not have all day and she would have to find someone ASAP.

Half an hour later Nancy’s friends were there trying to load the mare and baby into their 2 horse straight trailer. The loading efforts went on and on to no avail. Tawnee was waiting in the truck for Nancy’s decision regarding the horses. Nancy would keep coming over demanding that Tawnee change her mind and just take the stallions. At one point Tawnee had to say “Speak respectfully or I am leaving. I don’t have to be here, I am here because I am trying to help the horses.” Nancy decided to change her tone of voice and began begging politely. Tawnee could not help them load the mare and foal into the 2 horse trailer due to liability issues.

After hours of being there, Tawnee gave Nancy 10 minutes to make up her mind. Either the mare and foal needed to be on their way to help, Nancy could sign them over to NorCal, or Tawnee was heading back to the rescue without the stallions. Tawnee had a 1:00 pm vet appointment and it was already almost late. Nancy finally realized there was no other options. They stopped trying to load the mare and foal. Nancy proclaimed that she was going to call a rodeo guy to see if he wanted the stallions. He had no use for them. No one wants untouchable, jumping fences to breed stallions. Then Nancy stated she was going to take them to auction. Tawnee said “Look, you’ll have to find someone to haul them down, you’ll pay $75 to run them through, and you might get $50 for them in their condition.” Nancy saw the light, and finally signed the mare, foal, and 2 stallions over to NorCal Equine Rescue.
Tawnee set up panels next to our trailer to make a chute and then headed bac
k to get the horses and caught a glimpse of the backyard. Wow.

And then countless Pomeranians started appearing from everywhere. Folks, please don’t support backyard breeders, horse or otherwise. The animals always pay for it and the animals are the ones that suffer.

Tawnee got the horses moving up to the front of the pen, relieved that the long ordeal was drawing to a close. With a little help from Nancy the horses were soon in the holding pen and hopping into the trailer.

The mare and foal had never been in a trailer before and they looked scared. Tawnee wanted to comfort them, but for them people are not a source of comfort and they were inconsolable.

Tawnee was preparing to head over to the neighbours to load up the stallion that had hopped the fence, when she looked over and saw the new couch that Nancy was moving into her home. It always baffles Tawnee’s mind how people can’t afford to feed a horse, but can afford stuff like that. That doesn’t look like a Walmart couch…

Then Tawnee went over to the neighbours who through the long ordeal were very polite and understanding to Tawnee. They had gotten the stallion into a more enclosed area to make the loading process easier.

Tawnee set up the panels once again and soon the poor confused guy was in the trailer. He had never been in a trailer before either. Tawnee’s heart ached for him, he was so scared and frightened, and again there was nothing that could be done to console him.

After the horses were all loaded Tawnee headed over to Yuba County Animal Control. Everyone at Animal Control had huge smiles on their faces when Tawnee reported that the 2 stallions, the mare and the foal had been surrendered to us. They congratulated Tawnee on doing such a good job. The horses were not in bad enough condition to be legally seized, but they certainly needed help.

Why was Tawnee going to Animal Control? They had a huge stockpile of feed sitting in their shed for us! We cannot thank them enough for giving us the huge pile of feed.

A couple guys loaded the back compartment of the trailer heaping full of bag after bag of feed.

Then Tawnee headed back to the rescue.

When Tawnee arrived at the rescue a huge smile came across her face when she saw the stack of over 100 panels sitting there.

The sponsor of Napoleon had us order a nice paneled pen for Napoleon, and then thanks to the generosity of one of our supporters, we were able to purchase additional panels to make other pens out of. And, to top it off, the 4 stall horse shelter is in that stack too. Originally we had planned to purchase the 4 stall shelter from another business, which offered to construct it for free, but High Sierra Livestock gave us a better deal and gave us free shipping on the entire order. We would also like to thank them for giving us a discount. They were also able to get the horse shelter here quickly instead of weeks in the future.

What a sight it was, brand new panels by the dozen.

They got right to work unloading them. Soon they were unloaded, and now the hard part starts. Again we would like to thank High Desert Livestock Supply. Click here to visit their website.

Upon arriving at the rescue Tawnee found a place to park the trailer.

Jason was left with the trailer to unload all the bags of feed himself. There was no room in the tackroom, so, thanks to the good weather, they are stacked outside.

Tawnee was running 3 hours late for the
vet, so Jason hooked the truck up to the little trailer, Big Blue hopped into the trailer for her pre-adoption checkup, and off Tawnee went. Other horses were supposed to go to the vet, but due to Nancy not making up her mind and delaying Tawnee for so long, they will have to wait.

And of course by this time the truck was empty. Tawnee managed to make it to the fuel station in time thankfully. Big Blue was a good girl and her examination went great.

Then Tawnee raced back to the rescue. Jason had the big trailer unloaded by now and it was time to get the horses out. So, the truck was unhooked from the little trailer, hooked back up to the big trailer, and the horses were unloaded. The stallions were put into a piped pen which included the shelter that Jamie and her husband donated.

The mare and foal were put into a stall in our mare motel.

Their looks of amazement when they saw food was unforgettable, and very sad.

They settled right in and started munching their food. You could just see peace and relief covering their whole bodies. They knew their troubles were over.

The stallions were quite eager to get out and run around with the new girls, but that is not an option. Soon they were eating too and the food quieted them right down. When you’re starving, your hunger for food it will take over your desire to reproduce.

By the end of Friday Tawnee and everyone else was more than exhausted. But, it was all worth it, and all 4 of the horses that needed to be rescued are safe here at the rescue. Thanks to your generosity we were able to have the resources to bring theses horses to safety where they can know love and compassion.

0 thoughts on “3-28-09”

  1. It still amazes me what you guys do. I sure want to pat you on the back and give you a thanks for what you continue to do. It also amazes me that you even got pics of the lady giving the horses that awful looking hay and the pics of her disgraceful property. People like that shouldn’t be allowed to have any animals.

  2. Thank you guys for doing all that you do tirelessly day in and day out. The look on the mare and foals faces seeing good food, and the deplorable conditions where they were living clearly speaks for it’s self. Thank you guys for making a difference in those 4 horse’s lives!

  3. Hi! I am the male half of the “crazy neighbors” in the blog entry. Tawnee could not have been more professional and caring in her dealing with a very sad situation. It was a pleasure meeting a member of such a kind and caring organization. You are to be commended for the good work you do and we are grateful that you were able to save those animals from their sad life. The folks at animal control were also terrific on the other occasions we had with the stallion, unfotunately they could not accomplish what NorCal was able to do: save those animals! Thank you again, Tawnee. We will keep an eye on that one remaining horse. (Who is now in that back pasture with all of the hazards, by the way. Surprised? Me neither.)

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