Horses Starving and Injured while SPCA “Monitors”. Again.

May 14, 2011 § 16 Comments

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is up to it again.  For a month now the SPCA out of Hamilton have been monitoring six horses on a property in Millgrove.  The horses are malnourished, have rain rot, some are injured, but all are nice, sweet horses that are desperate for food, water and love.

A neighbour called the SPCA to report the horses.  The owner of the horses does not live there.  I have to wonder who DOES live there.  If you watch the video, you’ll see a house…  Are those people sitting in their living room, watching six horses slowly starve to death while collecting the rent on the barn and land?

There are patches of fur missing from the horses, some have rain rot, one walks with a pronounced limp, several are emaciated while a few are in barely-decent weight, they’re shaggy, haven’t fully shed their winter coats yet you can see their ribs through it, their faces are even sunken in.

I counted no less than SIX houses with a clear, unobstructed line of sight to the paddock.  What the fuck is wrong with people that it was allowed to get to this degree of severity?

“Investigators also believe there may be a medical issue with the most obviously emaciated horse.”

There is one horse with an obvious limp.  Well, let me tell you this… anyone who knows anything about horses can tell you that if one horse is injured, the others will run it off the food.  Since there’s not much food to go around, that injured horse will not even have crumbs to lick up.  It’s obvious why she’s the skinniest of the bunch.  A couple others are pretty skinny as well.  There is a hierarchy in a herd.  The weakest horses will get the least food.  That’s the way it goes.

“Despite the horses’ appearance, Scott urged the public not to feed them because that may cause them to become worse or sick.”

While I agree that malnourished horses can actually get quite ill (for example; colic) if well-meaning people start throwing food over the fence… someone should be feeding them.  There should be separate areas where the weaker horses don’t have to fight for food.  Each horses intake should be monitored, as should “output” (urination and manure).

But NO ONE should get in trouble for bringing those horses water.  Horses should have unlimited, fresh, clean water.  At. All. Times.

“According to an order issued against the horses’ owner last month, he has until Monday to have an independent vet complete a full check on all the horses.

He also has to have their hoofs (sic) trimmed.”

Looks like Monday is going to be a big day.  Will everything be done in time?  I doubt it.  Will the SPCA confiscate the animals if their demands are not met?  Extremely doubtful.  You see, the SPCA does not have the space or funds to care for horses.  They rarely have certified foster homes at the ready.  They would rather “work with the owner” because then it doesn’t cost them anything out of pocket.  If these were dogs or cats, you know the SPCA would have taken them away on day one.

Lee Hemphill knows the owner through the horsing community and says she’s volunteered to find the animals a better home.

But the owner, who could not be reached for comment, declined, Hemphill said.”

This is so common.  The owner either can’t afford to care for these horses, or doesn’t bother – either way, the outcome is the same.  But they never want to give up their animals!  It’s their “property” to do with as they wish!

“I don’t feel the SPCA is doing enough,” she said, adding that she knows the “old mare” is “really old and in really bad shape.”

Just because a horse is old, does not mean it has to be skinny.  This is a common “excuse” and it holds no water.  An older horse named Grace went from skeletal to plump in a matter of ninety days!



What is the owners name?

What is the situation with the owner (I hear his name is Simon, and he may have lost his job three weeks ago – although those horses haven’t been fed in longer than three weeks)?

What is the situation with the land-owners?

This case has a lot of questions, and if anyone has the answers please feel free to post them in the comment section.  If you’d prefer, send me an email at notabreed @ hotmail . com (minus the spaces) and I’ll keep your name out of it.



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§ 16 Responses to Horses Starving and Injured while SPCA “Monitors”. Again.

  • Adri and Paul says:

    WHAT CAN WE AS THE COMMUNITY DO? I would love to take a drive out to see them and bring them some cool fresh water.Please let us know what we can do to help.


    • Not A Breed says:

      The OSPCA is “investigating” and would prefer people not feed the horses – and rightly so. They need to be monitored as they eat so they don’t overindulge.
      I’m not even sure of the exact address, but if you recognize the area, please let me know what the actual address is – it would be very helpful to finish up this story. Also, if you live in the area and know where it is, please be careful about going on the property. It is quite possible you could be charged with trespassing – believe it or not.
      If I could make a suggestion, I would say get a group of people together, make some signs (oh, I don’t know, something along the lines of “These emaciated horses are being “monitored” by the OSPCA.” and “It’s been over a month – do YOU think they look healthy?” you know, stuff like that) and spend some time on the road out front.
      THAT might help.
      If you decide to set up something like this be sure to let me know. We’ll get the media out there in a jiffy. ;)


      • Dianne says:

        The address is 5th Concession West in Millgrove, Ontario. Take Highway 6 North, turn left (west) at Napa Auto parts and proceed about 20 seconds by car. The farm is on the right hand side.


  • OH, for lord’s sakes, here they go again.
    “Investigators also believe there may be a medical issue with the most obviously emaciated horse.”

    Yeah, it’s called NO FOOD. Remember? No food makes them starve to death, and there’s a medical issue right there. Disgusting.
    Did you know, the owner of Chief complained to Tim Drake that he’d sold a skinny horse to the next owner? That his next owner also sold a skinny horse? Amazes me no end that people will act surprised when animals get thinner, on no food. Gee, whiz. Now, why would that be?
    The excuse is a golden ticket to neglect, isn’t it. Older horses naturally go all emaciated. reeeely.
    Chief was in fine weight until he went to the garage, and stopped getting food. Hmm. Must be a medical issue.

    Ah well, starve ’em, and they don’t want to move/break out of their paddocks.
    Thanks for the post. Now if the OSPCA gets off their arses, and actually rescues a neglect case, for ONCE, I might start respecting them again.
    Not holding my breath, though.


    • SAM says:

      Creator of this web-site, I love this article, you wrote up and love the comment from;TheHorseInTheGarage ..People, well actually Owners of Equines, have to wake up & smell the coffee. Horses are very sensible creatures although they look enormous & strong, they need TLC, almost like a child. People! before daring on owning or buying a horse, for what-ever reason, PLZ remember, they are NOT toys and are a big responsibilty!
      Lets hope OSPCA moves their rear-ends and I surely don,t want to hear about another issue like Gem Chief and Cocoa, lately……! tks, Qc


      • Not A Breed says:

        Sorry kids, I was away from the computer for a while. The good thing is once you’ve had one comment approved, you don’t have to wait for approval. :) Comment all you like.


  • Stew says:

    Most of the animal abuse cases in Hamilton/Burlington go unnoticed like the case of the little dog bludgeoned to death with a hammer- nobody showed up at the courthouse to protest and demand justice for this poor little dog who’s skull was literally caved in. In fact, probably no one reading this post even knows about the case- a 56 yr old Hamilton man beat his mother’s terrier to death and was sentenced to anger management. And how about the 2 cats beaten to death in domestic incidents the week before? These were reported on CHCH but none appeared in the Spec. The story of the little dog was reported on a postage stamp sized article somewhere on 4th or 5th page. Is there a Code of Silence?? I commend all of those involved in this case- thanks for bringing this to the attention of the media because I have no doubt in my mind that this would be just another unnoticed case if not for them! Doesn’t surprise me that the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA left the horses in the hands of the abuser.
    What lots of ppl do not know is that SPCA’s are privatized and run like a business with the bottom line their priority instead of the animals- THEY WILL NOT GET ONE RED CENT FROM ME!


    • Not A Breed says:

      I did not hear about the cases you are noting. I’m sorry about that, I certainly would have written about them. I write about all animal abuse that I can. I love dogs just as much as horses. I have four dogs, three horses, two cats and a rescue horse. I love them all so much – I can’t stand any animal being abused. That even includes animals in the food chain. Just because they are raised for human consumption does not mean they are unworthy of kind treatment and humane slaughter.

      Your comment broke my heart. Thanks for visiting. I hope you come back. And definitely drop me an email if you hear of a case you’d like me to write about. It’s what I am here for.
      Thanks Stew.


  • Stew says:

    Not surprising you didn’t hear about those cases- THEY ARE NOT PUBLISHED! You can find a Canadian Animal abuse data base at Queen Waldorf Fights Back! great site with good info


  • Boo OSPCA says:

    the OSPCA states these horses may have had a contributing medical condition? Please…my two twenty-something thoroughbreds actually caught a virus from contaminated water(which the owner of the property knew about but did not tell us for six months), and that made them drop weight like crazy regardless of the three bales (roughly 65lbs) of hay we gave them daily, and said we were ‘neglecting them and they werent being fed’. We had vet reports and blood tests to back up what we said. This is a simple cop out by them. They steal peoples horses who actually have a medical condition, but blame the owners…then completely turn around and contradict themselves by leaving an actual starving horse.
    These clowns are given more authority then cops, and less training than a mall security guard.


  • Not A Breed says:

    Anyone have an update on this story??


  • Carley says:

    My name is Carley, I am 19 years old and have been an avid horse lover since the day I was born. For the past 14 years I have resided in the very house that is presented in the above video, and thus consider myself somewhat of an expert on the situation at hand. Unfortunately I am only coming across this tragically misinformed assessment now, but hopefully my insights with clear the air for the many of you who seem to have a wild imagination, and strong opinions to go along with it.
    First let me say that while I do live next to the property, my family does not own the barn or the land where it is located, and are not receiving any profits from its use.
    The obvious cause for concern here is the eldest mare. Her name is Coo, and she is 26. As mentioned, age is no excuse for a horse to be in such a condition, however I would be more than happy to provide images of her just the year before when it was considerably better, as it has been for the 14 years she has been at that location. It is unfortunate that the winter months took a harsh toll on this horse, however her improvement was almost as swift as her deterioration.
    I would like to take a moment and say that I fully agree with the SPCAs involvement, and support the decision my neighbour made when calling them.
    The other five horses are in a healthy condition, and I am appalled at the accusations and exaggerations made by so many who, quite frankly, are being shit disturbers (for lack of a better term). I am not going to nit pick every little thing that is incorrect about the information on this site, or in the video, but I will clear up the basics. I have no idea which horse is considered to have the limp, but I assure you they are all quite sound. Also, the requirements for a vet check and farrier was met, however not all the horses were attended to on the same day. Now, the big issue: who is feeding them? I am not going to pretend that all I do is sit at home and spy on my neighbours, (however I have a feeling that many people reading this do, and then appear to blog about their findings). However I have seen, with my own eyes, these horses getting fed AND watered at least once a day (usually two), and the “helpful” animal lovers leaving their donation of potatoes (yes potatoes) is not doing any good and, I feel, this in particular condones the SPCAs decision to disallow any extra feeding at all. Finally, the update: the horses are no longer at the Millgrove location, and I can’t say for certain if it was the owners decision or an outside request, nor do I know where they have gone. This is admittedly for the best, but it still breaks my heart whenever I look over and no longer see the very first horses to be a part of my life (two of whom I watched grow up).
    Now that I have taken up a considerable amount of comment space, I hope that next time the critics and activists will attempt to be informed instead of just opinionated. If anything else needs to be cleared up I will do my best to shed more light on the situation.


    • Not A Breed says:

      Hi Carley. I quite obviously do not live in the area. I didn’t even know the exact address. But I do love how with each and every story people accuse me of being nearby. :)

      Also, please note I DID condone the fact the SPCA was asking people not to feed the horses. It is a very delicate balance trying to START feeding emaciated horses.

      I guess my question to YOU, since you seem to agree the horses were underweight, etc… is what exactly is the problem with the post? What points are incorrect? Are you bothered by my question about the houses in view letting it get that bad? I mean, ‘tragically misinformed assessment’ is a pretty strong statement. Is your entire defense of the situation that ONE horse had a tough winter?

      And please note; I ask QUESTIONS, I’m not assuming shit.

      What about the fact that the horses should have been separated for feeding? You disagree? If an old, injured horse can’t get enough food… maybe feeding her separately might help? It might allow her to actually get enough nourishment, so she doesn’t have a “rough” winter?

      Listen, aside from your sentimental feelings towards these horses, maybe you need to realize that that mare was DANGEROUSLY emaciated. And when you lose that much weight, all internal organs are at risk.

      Say what you will… the video doesn’t lie.


      • Carley says:

        I apologize if I made an accusation regarding your proximity to the barn, it was not my intention.
        Apparently my previous comment was unclear, so allow me to reiterate. I am not denying the poor condition of the mare and, as I said before, I completely agree with the steps that have been taken to improving her health. What I find baffling, is the need to exaggerate and twist facts about the situation. The drama and commotion is so unnecessary, and only makes it more difficult for people to address the issue at hand.
        I also realize that you did mention the necessity for people to refrain from feeding them however, in other posts on this site and comments on the video, others have suggested doing just that, and I am merely reinforcing the idea that people are all too willing to help when they don’t realize the consequences of their actions. My post was not a specific attack on you, but an attempt at emphasizing the facts and refute any false information for yourself and those who view and comment.

        Likewise I am not trying to belittle the situation, as I said, I fully support the investigation. However blowing the situation out of proportion does not service my community, the SPCA or, most importantly, the animals in need. When making accusations based on nothing, you’re assuming quite a bit, and more importantly, leading others to believe things that are in fact untrue. There is one horse with a weight issue, there is one horse with rain rot, and if it took her 14+ years to get to that condition, I’d say thats grounds for thinking you’re being overdramatic and a little presumptuous. And because I can’t say it enough, I realize that she should NEVER have gotten to that point, and thus condone the SPCAs involvement.
        Not one of those horses is unsound, and the comment made by the narrator in the video regarding that possibility, is not even about the horse in question. If you could point out where in the video any of the horses are walking with an “obvious” limp, or it disproves anything else I have said I am curious to see the part I am clearly missing.
        I maintain that my main concern is the manner you have presented the information, and the resulting heart ache is not benefiting anyone.


  • Simon says:

    There is another story of abused neglected horses and again SPCA doing nothing to help. Not even charging the woman. It’s been in the spec as well as city tv. July13/13 there is alot I rescue that will help if the SPCA got off there butts


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