Horse Seizure Follow Up – Seventh Edition

Lil'BitHi y’all it is me …Lil’ Bit, in Alvord, Texas.  I know, I know, it has been a while since you guys have heard from me, but you see I have been so busy these past couple of months that I haven’t had time to stay in touch.  Now where should I start, there have been so many things going on….

Many 8-2013-1012Do you remember when I told you that Mom kept talking about being broke, well I found out that it had nothing to do with being hurt  and it had nothing to do with being out of money.  All they wanted to do was to put this thing called a saddle on me and then they climb on top and ask me to walk around and sometimes they even want me to run.  Trust me we have had discussions about running in this Texas heat and I’ll do it for a minute, just so they can see that I know what they want.

Many 8-2013-1105Oh, oh, oh, remember my friend Lilly from Remember Me Rescue, well she came by again yesterday, to check up on me and Ransom and the lady with the camera came by also.  The lady with the camera wanted me to put my ears up and after a while I gave in and put them put.  You should have seen what Grandma was doing trying to get me to put my ears up, it was funny, but I pretended to ignore her.  Unfortunately I don’t think that we will be seeing any pictures of that.

Guess what, guess what, our friend Kipper, he’s  from that awful place we used to live also, now lives close enough to come by and visit.  He was here yesterday too.  I got to play with him and it was so much fun.

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As you can see, by all the pictures taken by our camera lady friend, Kipper and I have been working hard.  I think Kipper has been working hardest of all.  Look how he can just fly around those things they call barrels ; I thought they were for water, but I guess if they are blue they are to play with.

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Chelsea 2 WSDo you want to know a secret…..?  Ransom has a GIRLFRIEND!!!!  That’s right he has a girlfriend and I think it may be a little serious.  I keep telling him though that he needs to start working harder or else she will fall in love with me and everything that I can do.  But I think we both need to watch out for Kipper, I mean he has these barrel things down pat.

While Kipper and I were playing around he told me about the “Battle of the X’s The Trainers Challenge” and “All Thoroughbred Show that Remember Me Rescue puts on to raise money so they can save and help horses like us.  Kipper got to go to the last one and is going to the one in 2014.  I am thinking if I work real hard maybe Mom and Grandma will let me go too.  Maybe Ransom and his girlfriend will be able to go too.  Kipper said it was a lot of fun, but that there were a lot of other horses and people so I guess I will need to work on my nerves.

I guess my buddy Ransom was right when he said that everything would be alright,  I am still not as trusting as Ransom but Lilly still comes to visit and Mom and Grandma are still as loving as ever and have I gained weight, well,  we won’t have that discussion today.  Kipper found us and now gets to come by and visit. Mom doesn’t panic when those little kids are around, well maybe not as much.    So all is going good.

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Ransom, Kipper and I would like to say that we will always be so thankful to Remember Me Rescue for bringing us to Texas and letting me move to Alvord to be with Mom and Grandma.

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Horse Seizure Follow Up – SixthEdition

Recap of what we saw

One year ago today, some 60 horses were seized from C & S Farms owned by Mr. Charles Ford, in Many, Louisiana.  When those involved with the rescue arrived at the farm they found devastation, dead and dying horses and dogs.  These animals had been neglected and starved to death.   It was heart breaking to see the carnage and destruction caused by Mr. Ford’s actions or should I say lack of actions.  Approximately 85% of the horses seized on January 7, 2012 were able to be saved and are alive today and in happy places.  These horses suffered from and were treated for dehydration, malnutrition, internal parasites, skin conditions and pneumonia along with other problems.

Mr. Ford has plead not guilty to the many felony charges; one count for each horse or other animal that died as a result of starvation and abuse; and numerous misdemeanors filed against him.  It is reported that his attorney has requested that the felonies be reduced to misdemeanors but, thankfully, the DA’s office refused.  The jury trial for Charles Ford is set for January 22, 2013.  There will be no punishment great enough for Mr. Ford, but I believe that his sentence should be creative, he should have to spend his days working to pay for all the expenses incurred by those who were involved in the rescue and for all those currently taking care of these horses while spending his evenings and nights in jail, for years to come.  He should also be banned from ever owning a horse of any type ever again.  He should be banned from having anything to do with horse racing.


Follow Up RMR FB   William (Bill) Young, was the trainer at Mr. Charles Ford’s farm and I believe he should take some responsibility for what occurred.  I understand that he didn’t own the land or the horses but he could have reported the problem earlier, he could have alerted the owner’s of the horses who were entrusted to Mr. Ford’s care, especially since he was in contact with at least one owner, he could have gone to the authorities himself.  I am aware that there is a question as to when the abuse was first reported and how that played into the devastation, but the reports did not come from Mr. Young who would have had firsthand knowledge and would have been considered a knowledgeable person.


DSC_2148  The monies it has cost to care for and rehabilitate these horses is currently in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The time that has been spent to form bonds and for these horse to regain their trust in humans is hundreds of hours all filled with love, patients and care.  Some horses have had to undergo surgeries, while most have had to be on special diets until their systems regained their strength and became accustomed to food.  Some of the horses took to human contact and love quickly while others had to learn how to trust all over again.  Some of these horses are being trained in other disciplines while others will only be pasture friends, because of their health issues.

DSC_2186    There have been so many people who have worked hundreds of hours during the past twelve months to ensure the well being of these horses and a few that I would like to specifically mention, because, I believe that without them none of these horse would be here today.   I would like to thank Sunny Francois with Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and Donna Keen with Remember Me Rescue, and to  Dr. Mirza and his students from Louisiana State University Veterinary School.

Ransom #1It is hard to write this follow-up because it turned out that this was not the isolated incident I thought it was, but it was the first one where I was on the scene.  During the past twelve months I have learned so much about the Race Horse Industry, and yes it is an industry.   I have received a number of calls and e-mails regarding other race horses being neglected and found that it is almost impossible for individuals or rescue groups to take action.  If the owner doesn’t relinquish the horses voluntarily then there must be such a public outcry before anything gets done.   I have received pictures of dead and dying horses, have called police departments, sheriff departments, neighboring farms all the time giving the owner the opportunity to remove evidence of abuse and neglect.  There are inspectors and horse racing officials who know about these incidences but the abuse continues.

If you want your voice heard in this matter you may send a letter to Judge Stephen Beasley, c/o District Attorney Don Burkett, District Attorney’s Office, 495 South Capital Street, Many, LA 71449.  Please write “Attn: Karen Williams” on the outside of the envelope.  Your letter must be received prior to January 22, 2013.

Horse Seizure Follow Up – Fifth Edition


Hi all, they call me Lil’ Bit here in Alvord, Texas.  I was found by the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and Remember Me Rescue in Many, Louisiana, along with about 68 of my friends.  That place in Many, LA was called C & S Farms.  They didn’t take real good care of me and my friends, but those of us who made it out of that horrible place are now happy, eating regularly, have a clean place to sleep and a safe place to play.

When we were first found I must admit that I was real scared of all these people who showed up.  There were people taking my pictures, touching me, putting this cold thing on my chest and belly trying to listen to my insides, it was real scary but they also brought us food which made things better.  Then they started putting us in trailers and we were on the move, this scared me a lot.  I didn’t know where I was going but there were a couple of my friends with me so we tried to reassure each other that this was a good thing.  When we finally stopped we were at Remember Me Rescue in Burleson, Texas.  My buddy Ransom told me everything would be alright but I wasn’t as trusting as he is.  At RMR our lives began to change, you see that is where we meet Lilly.  Lilly feed and talked to us each day and every day.

Then one day Lily told me and my friend Ransom that we were going stay with her friend Amanda in Alvord, Texas.  We were loaded on a trailer again and I must admit that I was scared.  Ransom tried to act like he wasn’t scared but I know he was.  The ride to Alvord wasn’t that bad, and when we got there boy was it nice.

                                                                            Amanda is our foster mom and we now have a foster grandma, Patty.  We are so lucky; Amanda and Patty come out to see us each and every day.  We get feed on a regular basis and we get to play, but like all moms’ and grandmas’ they make us behave.  I keep an eye on everything though.




This here is my friend Ransom, he is such a ham.  Really he is my rock and keeps me from being so scarred.  Ransom is more outgoing than I am.  He is also more trusting.  Ransom has grown a lot in the past two months and people say that I have grown too.  I don’t know about that but I do know that I am not hungry all the time anymore.  Our home in Alvord is really nice

Mom and Grandma have told Ransom and me that we have to learn our manners and we are working at it, there is just so much to learn.  I love my foster mom and grandma very much but I still get scared when new people come around.  They always tell me it is okay, but it is very scary.   I think I did real good today when the lady came out to take our pictures I let her touch me and you know what I realized mom might be right so I let her pet and love me a lot.  I don’t think she got a picture of that though.

I have also found out that I love having my hair brushed.  When I was found my hair hadn’t been brushed in a really long time and my coat had rain rot.  I realized that I can get my hair brushed more often if I go and play in the dirt.  Mom and Grandma always want me to look my best so they will brush away all the dirt.

Ransom likes playing with Mom.  They keep talking about this thing being broke and I am not so sure about that, it doesn’t sound so good, but hey what do I know.  For Mom and Grandma I will give it a try.

Hey did I tell you about our other friends out here in Alvord.  There are these two things they call kids, one has hair that is the same color as mine and the other has darker hair like Ransom.  These kids come out and play with us and                              give us a lot of love also.  We are told that we have to behave around them and to be careful and we try, so far so good.  There are also a lot of other horses out here.  Ransom gets to play with one of them and when I stop being so scared I will get to play to, but right now I like just watching.

Ransom and I would like to say thanks to everyone with Louisiana Horse Rescue, Remember Me Rescue, Lilly, Mom Amanda, and Grandma Patty.

Here are some other pictures of Ransom, look at those big ears.  Please don’t tell him that I posted the pictures of his ears, I think he may be a little sensitive about their size.


Horse Seizure Follow Up – Fourth Edition


This past week I had the pleasure to visit Remember Me Rescue in Burleson, Texas to follow-up on the horses from the horse seizure in Many, LA.  I believe this composite says it all, all the horses are regaining their health, they are happy and content and above all loved.



Horse Seizure Follow Up – Third Edition

Horse Seizure 2nd Follow Up

A little over three weeks ago there was the seizure of 60+ horses in Many, LA.  After asking numerous times as to the status of criminal charges and being told that no one knows the status I decided to call the District Attorney’s office myself.  I spoke with Don M. Burkett, District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District Court.  Mr. Burkett informed that “to date there were no charges filed” and there was no court date scheduled.  He informed me that usually a formal investigation is performed by the sheriff’s department or state police but this matter is primarily being handled by the Sabine County Humane Society and volunteers who are now putting the information together.  He further told me that LSU Vet School is preparing an individual report on each animal and he does not have those reports yet.  When he gets all the information he will make a decision as to how he is going to proceed.  Anything less than a capital offense he will most likely file a bill of information but he has not made a definite decision not to put it in front of a grand jury first.

Mr. Burkett went on to say that once it is determined what the charges are and if they intend to file a bill of information, Mr. Ford will be notified to come to court for arraignment, at which time he will probably plead not guilty.  Depending on what grade of felony or misdemeanor he is charged with would determine how fast this matter went to trial.  If the charges are misdemeanors Mr. Ford will be in court relatively soon if the charges are felonies he could not say when Mr. Ford would be in court.

When ask how he thought he would charge Mr. Ford, I was told that the law says that there can be a separate count on each animal but he is not going to try to just generate a lot of paper work.  “I may group the charges by severity.”  Mr. Burkett also told me that the main focus has been on the horses but there were dogs, some who were dead, and other livestock on the property, which he also must take into consideration.

Mr. Burkett says he has given a lot of thought to this matter, but doesn’t have the files needed to proceed.  He further indicated that Mr. Kelly, from the Sabine Humane Society, was in his office yesterday and that Mr. Kelly “appeared to be a rather prompt kind of a guy” and would be diligent in his follow-ups.

During our conversation Mr. Burkett also indicated that he had received a number of calls on this matter; even a call from a Senator whose conversation went to the argument of outlawing the slaughtering of horses, comment being these horses could have gone to slaughter.  Some see this situation as the platform for legalizing horse slaughter houses.

Mr. Burkett further stated that this situation was not exclusive to Many, Louisiana and said that he has heard of people around the United States, who due to economic reasons are just opening their gates and letting their horses go, he has also heard that research centers are having to lock all gates and entrances to cotton, hay, and other fields to keep people from opening those gates and dropping off their horses.

Mr. Burkett went on to say that slaughtering horses is horrible but when the market condition is like it is today what do you do?  He further stated, “this guy, Mr. Ford, was in the business of the construction of lake houses and wharfs and one day he went to an auction bought a horse made some money and then decided to go into the horse business.  It is his understanding that a lot of the horses were not owned by Mr. Kelly but were there to be trained by Mr. Ford’s trainer”, William (Bill) Young.  Mr. Burke then said “he did have a licensed trainer and “we will need to take a look at him, also.”  He then went on to say that the LA Training Commission will probably yank his license and it’s not like Mr. Ford had some high dollar horses and people weren’t lining up to buy the colts.

Mr. Burkett stated that he “doesn’t think he (Mr. Ford) went into it with the intention of just breeding.”  We ended our conversation with Mr. Burkett saying he will take the evidence he receives and will apply the facts to the law as they apply.  He has no preconceived feelings or ideas and will wait for the facts.

With all of that said, I have asked the rescue associations and the persons fostering the Many 60 if they have heard from Mr. Burkett and the answer was a very loud “NO”.  Mr. Kelly of the Sabine County Animal Shelter has been in touch with the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and has requested reports and documentation but the LHRA has not received one call from Mr. Burkett.  Those fostering the Many 60 and LHRA and Remember Me Rescue would like to put a voice to those reports.  The reports do not account for all of the hours of care that these horses are requiring nor do they list all of the monies that are necessary to care of them and future care and considerations are not addressed.

Throughout the last number of weeks I have spoken with, received e-mails and received facebook messages regarding the Many 60.  There have been comments in support of and against the Sabine County Animal Shelter.  There has been one area where all are in agreement and that is everyone feels the District Attorney will let this matter fall through the cracks and that Mr. Ford will not pay for his actions.


Horse Seizure Follow Up – Second Edition

Horse Seizure 1st Follow Up 

The original report posted on facebook indicated that there were 60 horses that needed rescuing; in reality there were many more than sixty.  Sixty-Eight horses were actually rescued, eight of whom have since passed away, despite the best efforts of those involved.  The number of horses that died on the property, prior to the seizure, is not known for sure, but it is estimated that more than twenty horses died on the property.  It was reported to me that there were two carcasses found by the volunteers upon arriving at the property and another five carcasses were located after the rescue ended.  Twelve graves were also located.  I have heard that during mid to late 2011 there may have been as many as 100 horses at the C and S Farm which is located onHillcrest Roadin Many, LA.

C and S Farm is owned by Charles and Suzanne Ford. They also owned or were the custodian of the horses, pigs, goats and dogs on the property.  Mr. Ford’s daughter has posted on facebook that her parent’s requested the assistance of the Sabine Humane Society as early as November of 2011 and states “I also know she gave permition to come onto the properity and do what ever was need to be just seems funny that no help was offered by your organization until the day before the tv stations came out. yes you offered hay that day and my father sent to get the hay the same evening it was offered by your organization. the horses were not hid by any means. most of the time the horses were next to the highway..”

Below are pictures that represent the view to C and S Farm from the highway.


Mary Brocato, who in on the board of the Sabine Humane Society, was not at the rescue site on Saturday “since someone had stay at the shelter to answer the phones and help with the adoptions of the dogs and cat already there”.  Ms. Brocato was on site on Sunday and when I decided to do a follow-up I called Ms. Brocate.

When I contact Ms. Brocato to ask “who made the first complaint” I was told that Mr. Ford’s wife Suzanne came in on November 11, 2011 and informed the Humane Society the Mr. Ford was not taking care of the horses that were on the farm.  She asks that the Humane Society go out and check on the condition of the horses.  Larry Kelly – Animal Cruelty Investigator of the Sabine Humane Society followed procedures and called Mr. Ford to inform him that a complaint had been filed and that the Humane Society would need to inspect the horses.  Within two to three hours of this call Larry Kelly and Lisa went to the location that was reported to be where the horses were.  Mr. Kelly and Lisa meet with Mr. Ford at the stable area and examined the horses in this area.  The horses in the stalls did not appear to be in real bad condition and there was a small amount of hay in each of the stalls.  Mr. Kelly informed Mr. Ford that the horses were not being feed enough and ask if any hay was needed.  Mr. Ford said that he could use some assistance with hay and arrangements were made for Mr. Ford to pickup six rounds of hay.  Mr. Ford picked up this hay later in the day.  A couple of weeks later Mr. Ford was contacted again and informed that arrangements had been made for him to pick up an additional hay.  Mr. Ford chooses not to pick up this hay.  Mr. Ford also never mentioned that there were possibly 60 additional horses that were in need of care, he only showed the horses in the stable area which is down the dirt road and over a cattle guard.

Ms. Brocato also told me that she had heard that prior to the seizure Mr. Ford had given a man down the road 8 horses and that a couple of people have come to the Humane Society and tried to claim some of the horses as theirs.

When I ask Ms. Brocato if she thought that all of the horses had been found on the acreage she told me that the Sabine Humane Society has spent the week searching the property.  No additional horses have been found but they were catching pigs that have been running all over the place.  I then ask about the cattle that had been on the property and Ms. Brocato told me that a Mr. Garland Peterson was claiming that the cattle were his and he was just grazing his cattle on the land.

Last week Ms. Brocato told me that she wants everyone to know that the Sabine Animal Shelter, run by the Sabine Humane Society has a small staff, Lisa Butler is the manager, Sarah Ritchie is the assistant manager and there are three inmates who work full time at the shelter.  Larry Kelly is on the Board of Directors and is the Animal Cruelty Investigator; Willie Kinney works for the City ofManyand the Shelter and is the Animal Control Officer for the city.  These individuals have worked diligently and long hours in coordinating the rescue, locating the horses’ papers, matching pictures and paper work and now caring for the nine horses still under their control and custody.  Decisions were made, on Sunday, by the Humane Society as to who toke which horses. Ms. Brocato assured me that the Sabine Humane Society was very involved in the rescue and will remain involved and follow up on the well being of all of the horses rescued. On Saturday, January 21, 2012 Ms. Brocato informed me that the four horses which were still in the custody of the Humane Society would be transported to Remember Me Rescue either Monday or Tuesday.

When I ask Ms. Brocato about the donations the Sabine Humane Society had received for the Many Seizure she stated that they had received funds, goods and services.  During our conversation she told me about, and then sent a FB message listing the following donations, Thom Basset of Providence, Rhode Island (cash donation), Nate Wagley of Many (cash donation), Candy Magee of Franklin Tennessee paid half of the feed and supply bill at Family Farm and Garden in Many, Family Farm and Garden discounted everything that “we” bought for the horse rescue effort (feed, wheelbarrow, padlocks, chains, feed buckets, water tanks,…just to mention a few things), Billy Henry of Lake Charles called and donated 22 round bales of hay, Jeremy Bowman from near Lufkin drove to Lake Charles, loaded the hay and drove it to Many at a discounted price, Bruce Taylor of Ft. Jessup donated and delivered three rolls of hay, Marion Hall and Shannon Clements-Hall donated sacks of feed and wormer.  We’ve had donations ranging from $25 to $500 and even one for a $1,000.  Bruce and Jan Tatum donated labor to clean barns and prepare stalls and paddock areas for horses and are fostering a colt.  “The list goes on and on.  These are only a few of the kind, generous people who have reached out to help these rescue horses and to help the shelter with limited resources and personnel.”

It is my understanding that the Sabine Humane Society and Animal Control no longer have any of the Many 60 in their actual possession.  They will however continue to collect donations and supplies for the horses which remain in the Many andNatchitochesarea.  Any donations clearly marked for the Many 60 will be used to assist and disbursed to these horses.

In speaking with other individuals, in the community, I was informed that there had been calls to the Humane Society, at least, one may have even been prior to Mrs. Ford visit to the Humane Society.  I was also told that the Humane Society was told that there were “a lot of horses” on this property all prior to January of 2012.

The debate as to when the Sabine County Humane Society was first notified will probably go on for some time.  There will be those that say the Humane Society did nothing until others got involved and those that say the Humane Society did not know the magnitude of the matter until January 2012.  The bottom line is Mr. Ford, his family and trainer, William (Bill) Young knew and possibly others in the community knew.  Is there anymore that could have been done prior to the seizure itself?  I think there are additional steps that could have been taken and everyone needs to be prepared in case they are confronted with a similar issue.

If you follow the steps below you will make a difference:

1.  Document what you see.  Pictures speak volumes so if you have a camera, take some pictures, if the only camera you have is on your phone use that one.  Make written notes of what you see and when you see it.

2.  Find out who the Animal Cruelty Investigator is in your area and give them a call and accurately describe the abuse you are reporting.  When you give your report be reasonably accurate, you do not want to appear to be inept.

3.  If there is no action taken, follow-up with a letter detailing the abuse.  It will be hard to do but keep emotions out of the letter.  Also, you may want to mail the letter, certified return receipt, so you will have proof as to when you sent the letter.

4.  Follow up again in a couple of days.

5.  Ask your friends if they have seen the animal(s) in question.  If they haven’t encourage them to go by and to then report their finding to the Animal Cruelty Investigator.

6.  If you still don’t get any response, follow-up again, and remember to only state the facts as you know them.

7.  If there is still no action taken and the Animal Cruelty Investigator hasn’t followed up you will need to get more aggressive by:

  • Calling the police/sheriff’s department
  • Post on facebook (post pictures if you have them)
  • Contact your local television station and newspaper

8.  If all else fails contact the nearest horse rescue organization and ask them to get involved.  Some humane organization officers are mostly familiar with small domestic pets and they misdiagnose the horse’s problem and a horse rescue organization can educate the officer if necessary.

9.  Get involved, stay involved and make some noise.  Check on the animal as often as possible.

There are some things that you MUST NOT DO when you are confronted with this type of situation, and they are:

1.  Do not enter the property where the animal(s) is located, you do not want to get arrested for trespassing.

2.  Do not feed these animals; you do not want to be blamed on giving them something that made them sick.

3.  Do not threaten anyone, just state the facts.

4.  Do not personally remove the animal(s) in question.

I found an excellent article titled “When is it horse abuse?” This HorseAid article ( discusses the abuse and neglect of horses.  It also shows how to determine if the horse is being abused or neglected.  It is worth reading and bookmarking for future references.

There are other areas that need to be address and will be talked about in future follow-ups so check back.

Horse Seizure 3rd Follow Up


Horse Seizure Follow Up – First Edition

Horse Seizure in Many, LA

On January 8, 2012 I posted my first photo journalism article regarding the Horse Seizure in Many,Louisiana and since that time there has been an outcry of emotions.  Comments have been made supporting the efforts and all those involved and comments pointing fingers.  These comments, both positive and negative left me with questions and I decided that I needed to follow up with these horses and issues.

This follow up like the original article was supposed to be short and simple; well what did I know.  Due to the length I have decided to post the follow-up in sections and I am going to start with the horses that remained in the Many, LA area themselves.  As of Saturday, January 22, 2007, there were four horses with the Sabine County Humane Society, one horse with Jan Tatum, in Many LA, one horse with Anita Walker in Many, LA, two horses with a Mr. OC Charles, inNatchitoches,LA.  The horses that are at LHR and RMR will be talked about later.

I started out by visiting with Mary Brocato’s farm where four of the horses were being kept for the Sabine County Humane Society.  Two of these horses had been fostered out and after about a week they were picked up and taken to Ms. Brocato’s farm.  With good intentions, individuals are volunteering to care for the horses not totally understanding their conditions and the care they need.  Without having the proper nutrition, for who knows how long, all of these horses have to have their feedings monitored along with their water intake.  These four horses are showing signs of healing


and are beginning to show their personalities; this one thought that if he went down he would get more attention, it worked the first time.

 These four are now at Remember Me Rescue and looking forward to a new beginning.

Next stop Mary and Allen Kelly – Old River Farm.  When I arrived at Old River Farm I was introduced to the 4-H Club that was there.  Today’s lesson was on the body conditioning scoring chart and what to do if there are animals that are not being cared for properly.  Mary had done her homework and had printouts and pictures for the children, she also used the horses which are in her care from the Many 60 as live examples.  None of these horses should have had to go through what they did but their ordeal is now being used as a learning tool at Old River Farm.  These children and their parents were very interested in all of the horses and where they were.

We discussed the worst of the worst and the hopes for all of these horses’ futures. These four horses are doing much better; their diet is being closely monitored.  They are receiving regular feedings, water, exercise and the love and attention that these precious animals desire.  These children will be following their care and will be a part of their recovery.


After my meeting with the children Mary, Allen and I walked down to the barn.  We discussed the future of these horses and all the other horses, there seems to still be some questions about some of the horses identity, but through microchips this should eventually get straightened out.  Mary and Allen’s concern were those that I had previously heard by others, with the drought and the cost of hay rising is this the first of many more seizures to come.  We also discussed the cost of fostering or adopting these sixty, right now there are vet bills and special feedings and the time.


Anyone who is thinking about adopting or fostering will need to make a time and financial commitment but from what I have seen so far the amount of love that you will receive in return will be so worth it.


The last stop of this weekend was at Anita Walker’s place.  Anita’s daughter, Carmen, and I spent a lot of time together two weeks ago and both fell in love with Baby Hope.  Baby Hope was so shy when I first meet her; she stood in the corner of her stall and didn’t want anything to do with any human being.  It was originally thought that Baby Hope was three months old and now I find out that she is actually seven months old, she is just so small for her age.  Today, you could still see her shyness but she walked on a lead, would let you hug her and you can see that she will be a little heart breaker as she heals.

This is us trying to get Baby Hope out of her stall two weeks ago. 

And this is Baby Hope today.


Baby Hope has some issues that keep her questionable for a full recovery.  This poor baby has lots of stomach ulcers and a hernia.  Her feedings must be monitored very closely along with her water intake and her urination.  She will probably need surgery as soon as her strength improves.  Anita would like to thank the Many Walmart; she went in with Baby Hopes first prescription and was informed that this prescription in liquid form would cost $1,000 but if she got the pill, crushed them up and added Karo syrup it would only cost $100.  Anita opted for the pills and while the prescription was being filled the pharmacy ask if this was for one of the Many 60 and she told them yes Baby Hope was a Many 60.  When the prescription was completed the pharmacist told her that Walmart would pick up this script.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it over to Jan Tatum’s place but I was able to talk to her on the phone.  She is fostering a big 5 year old Gray, Old Stonewalls Cowboy, who is 17 hands tall.

This gray doesn’t have a lot of body fat like the rest of the Jan’s horses but is now getting some Alfalfa cubes mixed in with the hay.  Jan told me that originally she and her husband had said they would just foster until other arrangements could be made but now they have fallen in love.  During the past two weeks Jan’s niece has come over almost every day and spent the weekend to have more time with Cowboy.

Jan said when she hollers his name “he knickers back at me”.  They are also working daily on his muscle tone.    Jan was able to get some hay donated from friends and family, on short notice, that she would like to thank.

Mr. OC Charles who resides in Natchitoches, was at at the seizure and he has two of the Many 60 in his possession.  I have left Mr. Charles a message and will post a follow up on these two when I hear back from him.

I have spoken with many people about this seizure and the one common concern is the fear that this seizure, of this size, is the first of many to come.  With the drought and the rising cost of hay will other breeders and owners face financial hardships and will their horses suffer?  I have contacted and received information from, Mary Borcato who is on the Board of Directors of  the Sabine Humane Society, Dr. Mirza of LSU Veterinary School, Mr. Burke the District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District in Louisiana, Remember Me Rescue and Louisiana Horse Rescue and information from these contacts and interviews will be posted every couple of days throughout the next week.  Please check back in a couple of days for the next follow-up.

Horse Seizure 2nd Follow Up

Horse Seizure in Many, LA

Yesterday, January 7, 2012, was a day that I spent half my time asking, as others were also doing, how could anyone let this happen?  Through Facebook I was following the posts regarding the 60 horses that were seized in Many, LA and on Friday when I saw that Donna Keen from Remember Me Rescue was heading to Many the next day I called and ask if my photographic skills would be useful.  The answer was a definite yes, so early Saturday morning I headed to Many, LA, never envisioning that I would set down and want to write up my experience of that day.

After the four and a half hour drive and then turning down a dirt road, going over a cattle guard and wondering if I had missed my turn I came upon the stables of the O’l Home Place in Many, LA.    By the time I arrived Donna and others had already viewed the horse that were stalled and had moved on to view and evaluate the horses that were pastured, so I began photographing my experience.

At one point in time, I would believe that this facility was a great location but had been allowed to deteriorate.    The equipment was broken down and rusting, moldy hay and it appeared that the stalls had not be mucked out in months if not a year or more.  There was a wall of tack that had been left in the elements to dry rot and there was trash everywhere.

In the stall area there were twenty horses and I was told that these were the healthiest horses of the bunch and instead of the reported 60 horses there were many more.  The horses that were in the stall area, when I arrived, have a good chance of survival.  Even though they are Thoroughbred they will probably never be able to race.  In some cases their health issues today will hamper them for years to come, this doesn’t mean that they will not be fun loving horses and great pets. The horses in the pastures are a different story and have a questionable survival rate.  A large number will probably have to be put down for humane reasons.

On today’s visit there were representatives from three or four different rescue services, from three different states, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. The Humane Society and the LSU Veterinarian and his assistances were there along with horse lovers who came out to assist and drop off supplies, KTBS, Channel 3 also had a reporter on site for part of the day. Also there was a gentleman who was identified to me as the facility’s trainer who in my opinion is as responsible for these horrific conditions as the owner.

The hay that was on the premises was old and moldy and not fit for the horses to eat. One group showed up with 50 bales of hay and bags of pellets.  With the number of horses we are talking about this will not last long, but it is a start and probably kept a number of horses alive for yet another day. Part of the hay was put directly in the pastures and after much discussion it was decided to put the rest of the hay in one of the empty stalls after pallets had been put down.  This decision was made due to the fear that if the hay was left out in the fields the horses would over eat and make their precarious situation even worse.  We know there will be volunteers out tomorrow to make sure the horses are feed and taken care of and arrangements will be made to monitor the feeding until all the horses are either fostered, adopted, or otherwise disposed of.

After being checked out by the Vet and locating paper work and Coggins, five horses from the stall area left for foster care in Mississippi.  In the afternoon, the little three month old baby found a foster home about 15 to 20 minutes away and left in the evening.  Depending on paper work issues one possibly two will be in foster care in Texas, at Remember Me Rescue and heading there hopefully on Sunday.

Besides being malnourished some of the issues these horses are facing include infections and heart problems along with the hours of grooming it is going to take to get these guys and gals presentable.  Below are pictures that represent just a small portion of the problems these horses have.



After all of the horses in the stall area were evaluated by the LSU Vet and the first five on their way, horses were re-organized, temporary fencing was moved and then we proceeded to one of the pastures and began rounding up the some of the ponies.  Most of these were easy to round up, all we had to do was to run the water into the troth and shake a bag of pellets and there they were willing and ready to be loaded into the trailer.  One little guy did give us a run for our money, figuratively and literally speaking, but in the end he too was caught and then they were all taken back to the stall area, where after reinforcing the area at the end of the stalls they were released to be evaluated tomorrow morning since the sun had, by the time we had gotten back, gone down.


On our way over to the pasture to pick up the ponies I thought to myself this is basically a puppy mill but for horses and when we arrived at the pasture, to my surprise there were kennels and at least one dog still in the area.  The dog that I saw appeared to be a Beagle but since I am not an expert I may be wrong, either way the dog appeared to be as malnourished as the horses on the property.  Now while we were handling all of this we also had cattle visiting throughout the day.


This is just one day and there are many more days to come and many expenses that will be incurred.  One of the most troubling aspects of this whole event is that during the day we were told that the trainer has indicated the owner will try and retain ownership of some of these horses.  The Humane Society representative did tell us that this was his understanding and that in the end the Judge would make the final decision.

Was there a bright side to this day, you may be asking, yes there was.  These horses, with the conditions they are living in still have compassion and love for us, humans.

 If you can foster one of these great animals send an e-mail to  If you cannot foster but can contribute a little something please send your contribution to Remember Me Rescue, 4100 Conveyor Dr., Burleson, Texas.  You can also donate via the website  Any amount will help out, if enough people who have only a dollar donate that dollar, it will add up real fast.

Horse Seizure 1st Follow Up