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Saturday, September 01, 2007



I found a few blogs yesterday and thought the horse and dog people here would get a kick out of them. The "fugly" blogger exposes people who are irresponsible or unethical in their horse breedings, sales, and ownership. It will make you laugh, then shake your head in disgust.
The puppy mill blogger touches on my pet peeve, the same exploitation with dogs.



I thought I'd post a few photos of my Morgan mare, Zoe. She was my first horse, a wedding present to myself when I was 28. I literally logged thousands of miles trail riding her. The last few years of her life, she became unridable due to arthritis, and later a bowed tendon. She became a beloved pet, spoiled with lots of hugs, brushings and treats.
She was humanely euthanized here on the farm, when she foundered in January of '06. She was 26.
These blogs got me thinking about how disposable our society is in dealing with living things. Perhaps the world has always been like this, perhaps it is better than it was in the past. There is always a way to make things better.
I think that breeding horses and dogs is much different than breeding "food animals", like chickens and sheep. If I produce a poor animal, I can butcher it or sell it to someone else who will eat it. I have more of a margin of error with breeding sheep.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not careless with my sheep breedings. Each fall, every pairing is agonized over, combining the strength of this ram with the weakness of each ewe, and vice versa, hoping for the best outcome, come lambing. Each lamb is scrutinized and evaluated repeatedly before I consider papering it. If he or she doesn't cut it, they become pets or meat. Simple as that.
But what happens to all the dogs, cats, and horses that are carelessly bred, or bred solely for the purpose of making money, with no thought or regard for the animals? Sooner or later, the market for that particular breed becomes glutted. Then what?
I used to volunteer at our local humane society. People would bring in boxes of puppies and kittens act like they are doing you a big favor. People dump dogs and cats at the end of my driveway, "setting them free on a farm". Many end up hit on the road. If I can catch them, I take them to the shelter. Why can't the owner's just take them themselves?
Horses and dogs are not food animals, they are not disposable. Think before you breed, think before you buy. Then think again. If you are serious about breeding, learn the ropes from someone reputable first, then go slowly. Breed for good, healthy animals, and take good care of your brood animals. They are working for you, they are making you money. They deserve the best of care, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
If you think about buying, who are you giving your money to? Does this person deserve to profit from what he is doing to his animals? Are you keeping a vicious cycle going by financially rewarding this person?
If you say that you cannot afford to spay or neuter your pet dog or cat, then you have no business owning any animal. How will you afford vet bills if that animal becomes injured or sick? If you allow that animal to reproduce with an unplanned pregnancy due to your negligence, then....you just suck.
Anyway, enjoy the blogs. :) It really make me think about what a responsibility animal ownership is. Is it really a right, or a priveledge?

6 comments:

Nancy K. said...

If you allow that animal to reproduce with an unplanned pregnancy due to your negligence, then....you just suck.

I love you Jules!!! You are such a treat as a human being. I'm proud to be your friend.

Franna said...

Amen!
- Franna

Garrett808 said...

Juliann,

YOu have an amazing post here, everyone should think long and hard about it. My very first and only riding horse was humanely euthanized at 25 years old (2 days before my 25th bday) and I had had her 15 years. She had eaten that highly toxic flower I can't spell (aerolyssum) and I swore she'd never leave my farm. And she didn't.

Now with the mini horses I have they foal is already getting trained to be a seeing eye companion and a friend of mine in upstate NY is going to take him and train him for someone who really needs him. Its a gift from me to help someone who needs it more.

Before PETA people burned and destroyed the 'kill plants' for horses there wasn't such a problem with the population of horses. now everyone has one and they aren't worth a dime it seems. And horse meat was used to feed dogs and cats and other countries who find it ok to use them as a feed source. People think its cute to have them as pets but I feel if you can't ride them and use them the way they were intended why have them? That's why I don't have the large horses anymore, I don't have time to ride them and I felt guilty by not riding them. I can still have my horses, the smell, the noise and the attention and can help a few seeing impaired people along the way with a lifelong companion.

You do the world a ton of good by caring so much. Only if more people thought like you did!

Kathy L. said...

Amen to you, Juliann! You must know the people two houses away from us - all males they have are intact and usually loose. If one of their cats gets hit in the road, they find another one and let it roam until it gets hit. And to them, their stallion, pitbull, etc. are more status symbols to them than pets. Unfortunately, there's a lot of that I see.

I also get cats dropped off because we're a farm. And those cute chicks people get at Easter for their kids that have grown into smelly, poopy fowl and can't stay in their kitchens any longer get dumped as well. I too take them to our shelters. We also have many people who dump unwanted pets in our forests as these idiots think they'll be able to hunt for their food and survive. Personally, I'd like to dump the people who do these things.

I need orange said...

I have always believed that people who dump litters of puppies and/or kittens should be neutered. If they have to suck, at least they shouldn't reproduce...........

Fie on 'em.

-- Vicki, whose guppies used to breed rampantly, but who has never bred any other sort of animal

Carol Bator Kelly said...

Juliann,
I went to that Fugly Horse blog and couldn't stop reading it. It was both sad and unbelievable. Story after story of people neglecting or indiscriminantly breeding horses. And it is so true. If you are breeding horses, dogs, sheep, or any other animal, you don't just accidentally wind up with 57 more than you can sell or take care of. This is a big part of every decision I make when I bring in a new animal.

You have to ask yourself, "Can I feed, maintain, shelter, medicate, and contain this animal on my property for its expected lifetime? And where will it go if my circumstances change?"

It shocks me when people buy horses and don't consider these things. But it applies to all of our animals.

Carol