The good news: Reports of equine abuse and neglect are way down.

The bad news: It’s not because fewer people are abusing and neglecting their horses. In fact, unemployed people are probably struggling to feed their horses.

The number of equine abuse and neglect cases are down because fewer people are driving past sad, skinny horses, like the one tied down in this Louisiana Facebook post from Vivette Johnston Middlebrooks, on their way to work or other activities. Social distancing has animal saviors trapped at home, and that means more horses could starve to death.

What you can do

Kick the cabin fever with a drive to the country. If you see a neglected horse like the one in this post:

  • Contact the law enforcement agency responsible for that jurisdiction. Most rural locations are protected by sheriff’s departments, and most sheriff’s departments still have patrol deputies and investigators working crimes.
  • Contact the Humane Society or a reputable horse rescue for guidance. Most should be able to at least lead you to whomever can help the horse.
  • If you know someone who can’t feed their horse, convince them to surrender to a rescue.
  • DO NOT take matters into your own hands! Don’t trespass and don’t steal, release or feed the horse.
  • Only post on social media as a last resort. You don’t know the story behind what you see, and you don’t want desperate owners to take desperate actions.

The silver lining

Perhaps one silver lining of this global pandemic and lockdown is that no horses are being abused and sold at auctions and sent to slaughter. For now. Let’s show the world, slaughter is no solution for abused and neglected horses.

Rescuers are the solution. Be a rescuer.

While kill pens are on pause, let’s find the kill buyers’ future customers and give shelter to their horses – before they can profit from their meat again.

Get out, drive around, take pictures and report what you see. Now is the time to end horse slaughter, by showing it’s not the “necessary evil” the slaughter lobby pays millions to make us believe.