Monday, June 15, 2009

Saga of Shadow, part 2

After I received the photo of Shadow and her baby, I called every friend I had in that area, and a very alarming picture started to emerge. The photo was taken when the baby was several days old, because that was when they finally found out Shadow had foaled. The pasture is across the street from their house, and they didn't know she had a baby for days. Not only did they not bother to feed to check the horses at least once a day, they didn't even look across the street.

There were 8 horses in a 2 acre field, with a run off stream and a bit of a swamp. That was all these horses had for food and water. There were several more in an acre behind their house. The colt who bred Shadow (supposedly was never out with her) was a 2 year old Arab that they bought from his breeder, with his 1 year old full sister, with the understanding he would be gelded. The breeder felt this colt wasn't of quality to breed, and told them she would give him the papers once he was gelded. They hadn't done it because they had the idea they would breed him to his full sister and make money selling Arabs.

Of course the more I found out, the worst it got. I called Animal Control and the SPCA, and found out they have been reported several times for leaving the horses with no care while they went out of town for weeks at a time. I contacted a lawyer there and one here in MD. They both were understanding, and didn't even charge me to consult. They told me to get my papers in order while they did research. I pulled out the sales contract and the bounced checks, and Shadow's papers, I was still legally her owner. The lawyers both said I could only file for the money owed. At first my only concern was to get the horses to safety. I tried to find a home for them there, but no one wanted to get involved without some sort of legal action.

During this research, I was in constant contact with Animal Control and the SPCA. Both of which refused to impound the horses. They would check on them, and cite the people, but that was it. Meanwhile the horses were left several times without food and water, and even when the people where they, they weren't feeding them enough. Through all this Shadow was nursing this baby.

Eventually between the two lawyers I found out a few important facts.
  1. As long as one dollar is still owed on a horse, the seller can repossess the horse for non-payment.
  2. Any foal that is nursing is the property of the owner of the mare, until it is weaned.
  3. States have different laws, but the one Shadow was in stated as long as I 'Didn't create a public disturbance, or break any locks.' I could legally go on their land and repossess my horse.
Well, this was all very well and good, but my horse (or horses, as even though it was now 9 months after I got the photo, the baby was still nursing) were 5 states, and 12 hours driving away. No one there would go get them. Finally, one of the Animal Control agents, tired of my calls said 'Why don't you just get the horses yourself?'

By now I was expecting any day to get a call that Shadow was dead. This was my baby. I had been there for every moment of her life from the moment she was foaled, until I left her behind to starve. I was frantic to do something, anything to save her.

I didn't have a truck, or a trailer. No way to get down there. I couldn't get a hauler to get them, none of them get involved in this mess. But as I was telling a friend about this dilemma, her husband said, 'I have a truck, I can get a trailer, lets go get your horse.'


Gryph said...

Can't wait to hear the rest.


Shadow Rider said...

Thanks! I updated and added's a long story.