Harder Times Make for Hungry Horses

Collapse in equine market leads to rise in neglect of animals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 12:42 PM CST
Farm manager Jimmy Dunn grooms Tiburon in the barn on a horse rescue farm near Nicholasville, Ky. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. Tiburon is a six-year-old quarter horse with a bowed tendon that his owner...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – When the sun was shining on the economy, millions of Americans tried to make hay by buying horses and moving into backyard breeding. As things slow down, the animals are getting harder to sell and pricier to feed, making horse neglect and abandonment a big problem, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rescue centers are struggling to deal with starving horses.

"You've got all these owners out there who thought it would be easy to keep a horse, and their incomes aren't keeping up with even their own cost of living, " said a horse rescue worker. Feed prices have more than doubled in the last year, and animal rights groups have closed down the slaughterhouses that once bought unwanted horses.