Neglecting horses is irresponsible

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, August 18, 2012

We wish it would occur to some equine owners to have a bit of horse sense and take care of these creatures.

Emergency scanner calls regarding loose horses all over Warren County are frequent and seem to be becoming more frequent. The Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society is caring for eight abandoned horses, and feeding alone costs $25 per horse per day, said executive director Georgia Lynn. Having that extra expense, in addition to the normal care for smaller animals, is a drain on the society’s ability to continue to care for all abandoned or unwanted animals.

More shocking is that, Lynn said, only one person has come forward to ask if the humane society had retrieved his or her horse. Others are claimed when neighbors or deputies contact owners to alert them that their horses are at the society’s shelter on U.S. 61 South. It is a head-scratcher to think of someone having a horse running loose and not searching for that animal.

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Is it a stretch to believe that some animal owners do not want to be found? A sour economy, stagnant economic growth, increased gas and grocery prices and a jobless rate hovering at 10 percent all lead to tough choices.

Animals, at times, are down on the priority list and when a decision is to be made to feed the kids or the horses, the kids win — as well they should. Taking proper care of animals is expensive.

The potential owner needs to know that before taking home that cuddly kitten, cute puppy or handsome horse. If that commitment is made, however, it is on the animal owner to make adjustments to properly care for that animal.

And let’s not forget the ramifications of horses getting loose. Many scanner calls of horses loose are on thoroughfares such as Mississippi 27 and U.S. 80. What else is on those roads? Fast-moving cars and trucks — and school buses.

A collision with a horse is serious indeed. Just ask Julia Lee Dunbar, whose vehicle and a wayward horse collided two years ago on Standard Hill Road, leaving her, in her words, with medical conditions “I will take to my grave.”

The humane society should be lauded for its efforts. But everyone must realize those few employees and volunteers at the shelter are being stretched too thin by a problem that seems to have an easy remedy.

Be an adult, take care of responsibility and tend to the animals.