Horse abuse is on the rise in Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Horse abuse is on the rise in Georgia

September 23, 2007

Lee County -- Tara Okon has been surrounded by horses since she was five years old. She knows that caring for them is no cake walk. "You should have your vet out here twice a year to do spring and fall shots.They need to do there teeth at least once a year," said Okon.

Many horse owners under-estimate the time and money it takes to properly care for a horse. "If you have it in your own backyard, you need to figure an hour a day at least just taking care of it. Not grooming it and brushing it; that is feeding it and taking care of its feet everyday. Just general maintenance," said Okon.

With this summer's drought, feeding them became difficult. "Hay went from three dollars a bale to six dollars a bale. We were having a hard time finding it. So I put in an internet search and found a man from Missouri. And we have had two loads of hay come in from Missouri now," said Okon.

Equine inspectors are also overloaded becoming responsible for more and more territory. "The equine inspector does their one visit that they are required to do and that's it," said Okon.

This makes it harder to reach horses in trouble. The horse slaughter closures in Georgia also plays its part. "So all these people who can not afford to keep and feed their horses are just letting them starve to death out in the pastures which I think is worse than sending them to slaughter, but everyone had there own opinion about that." said Okon.

So before you take on the responsibility of owning a horse, make sure you know what it takes to keep it healthy.

The Department of Agriculture receives NO appropriated funds for the care and feeding of horses they are required to impound by law.

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