WARNING: Laura, you may not want to click on the link. More sad news.
10 Thoroughbreds were seized in Snohomish County. Adding insult to injury, a horse had been removed from the property in July. Why the hell didn't animal control take all of the horses at that time? That certainly would have prevented a bad situation from becoming worse.
2.3 acres is not enough room for 10 horses. Two, maybe three horses, yes, but not ten.
Those of us who choose to keep domesticated animals, from gerbils to horses, have a deep responsibility to those same animals for their care and well being. Through millenia of domestication, they have lost the ability to fend for themselves. They count upon us for food, water, veterinary care, and their very well being. Along the same vein as having children, this responsibility cannot be taken lightly.
While it is often easy to attribute these cases to people who have fallen on hard times, this seems to rarely be the actual case. Most reasoning, thinking people can recognize when they are in over their heads. Seeking help before the problem gets out of hand is the best course. A horse rescue would much rather take healthy horses, as these are more readily adoptable than sick, malnourished animals which must first be rehabilitated.
Too often, the people who create these situations do not think, or accept, that something is wrong, They believe in their own minds that they are providing the best possible care. I believe that animal hoarding is a mental illness. With that said, it does not excuse this behavior.
I also feel that, in many cases, animal control is equally culpable. Too often, they have been called repeatedly, but claim "there is nothing we can do." Really? How about pushing for tougher laws, to start with. Give yourselves some teeth. Here in Pierce County, WA, if animal control is called to a farm for malnourished horses, they will first check to see if feed is on the property. If they find a nice stack of hay, then they will leave, because food is available. I'm sure Smokey would agree that the hay is of no use if it's not being FED TO THE HORSES.
I implore all of you, care for your animals, and if you are unable to, get help. And just as you would do if you suspected child abuse, if you believe that animals are being abused or neglected, please report it.