Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Beginnings of a Little Story...............Rescues and Afterthoughts....

The Animal Control officer let us know she was not used to coming to a place and being treated graciously. More often than not people are mad and take it out on the officer. I let her know I would rather have people report something they think is amiss than have one horse continue to be neglected because someone was afraid to step up. For me, it was all good.

Before she left we talked about some of the rescue cases that have happened in our area of late. This woman actually owns an Arabian horse seized from one of those situations. She mentioned the name of the breeder of the two Arabian horses seized in that case. She said Animal Control had contacted them asking them if they would take these two horses back to which the breeder replied, "No."

I was not surprised to hear the breeder declined. It pretty much fit with what I know of that breeder. My guess is as far as they were concerned those horses were no longer their problem . It's a sad commentary of things but it IS how some folks are.

We also spoke of the other big rescue of Arabian horses in the area. Unfortunately I know people involved on both sides of that rescue situation. It's a small community and word gets around. It was clear from the officer's perspective there were more sides to the story than what I knew. However things work out I hope they are finally better for the horses involved. That's what really matters.

We wrapped up our conversation and the officer left. Dave and I both breathed a sigh of relief as we saw her disappear out of view. Even knowing we take good care of our horses hadn't relieved the stress of having Animal Control come to call.

There's that nagging fear I have that truth doesn't always mean justice that makes me worry. At least in this one situation we were good. We'd had an officer who knew something about horses. I know that's not always the case and I've heard stories about what can happen. I was glad nothing like that had happened here. I'd had more than my share of stress on my plate lately. I sure didn't need anymore.

I must admit that I don't automatically think that people are up to no good. When Animal Control pulled into our yard telling me a woman driving by on her way to Ashford had seen a thin bay horse in the field, I believed exactly what she said. I didn't think much about the fact that our road would be out of the way for someone going to Ashford or what it would take for someone driving by to even get a good enough look at a horse through the brush outside our fenceline to see what kind of shape a horse might be in. I believed right from the start this was nothing more than a valid if not mistaken complaint.

Everyone else I know automatically believed that it was no co-incidence we'd just signed settlement papers on the lawsuit and now Animal Control was in our yard. They all think it was a form of harassment directed at us by the disgruntled "other party."
To them it is just all too much coincidence yet I still believe that coincidence does not make someone guilty and I know what it's like to be blamed for something that I didn't do because someone decided coincidence made me guilty so I'm going to try and keep an open mind until I have information that tells me otherwise.

For now all I know for sure is if it happens again, I'll remember to let Animal Control know that we've recently concluded a lawsuit and that it is possible that the source of the complaints might be less than honorable. Then I'll be using my new found skills to investigate if this is indeed harassment. If that turns out to be the case, I won't hesitate to pursue all my options to see it comes to an end. For now, at least, my adventure with Animal Control is over.

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  1. Coincedence or not I think the ACO is savvy enough that she won't allow it to become harassment

  2. I am with you. If it happened more than once, perhaps it's a vendetta, but once? No. Probably not. I get a lot of calls about people driving w/o insurance or a valid license and most of them are grudge holders because how else would they know that rather private information? However, those people who call in erratic drivers are probably just concerned citizens.

    Your pasture is right by a road where anyone could see the horses in it and if you had a young horse going through a growth spurt, lots of people don't understand you can't grow fatter and taller at the same time.

    Good for you for welcoming the ACO in, that must have been a pleasant surprise.

  3. Unfortunately, dealing with people on a regular basis (and working for a law firm way back when) has made me ultimately more suspicious of people in general. Like you, I might have been slow to get there, but I think I would definitely have followed your train of thought about your location and the timing of this "report". Awfully big coincidence, isn't it? It's a definite blessing that your Animal Control person has some horse knowledge. Do they give you a copy of the report they write? If it were me, I think I might want to add that to my file...just in case ;o)

  4. I'm with you, I'd rather someone report something and it turn out to be wrong and someone simply close their eyes to what they see. I don't have anything to hide so would never have a problem with AC showing up to investigate a report.

    About a month ago, I was picking up a load of hay and ended up on a road I had never been on before. I passed a bunch of horses along the road that were very thin. VERY THIN. I slowed down to look. It appeared that the horses had been fed that morning and there was a tank. There was no way to tell if there was actually water in the tank nor was there actually piles of hay on the ground, but I could tell that there had been recently.

    I made a mental note of the road I was on, waited a week and drove by again. There wasn't a whole lot of improvement to the horses, but they did look fuller. I drove by again last week and the horses had obviously gained weight.

    You can bet that if those horses didn't look any different or looked worse after the first time I saw them, I would have been calling AC.

    One of our new neighbors also has a paint horse that has gone up and down and up again in weight since I have started driving by every day to do my own chores. I suspect that it is the low man on the totem and only gets scraps of hay. Obviously, the neighbor recognizes that the horse gets thin and must feed it seperate for awhile, but then reverts back to feeding everything together. I find that irritating because obviously this is a horse that ALWAYS needs to be fed seperately, but hey, at least they are making an attempt right?

  5. That's just crazy! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that kind of retaliation.