Think You've Got it Bad? Try Being a Horse

Economy woes spur owners to abandon their steeds
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2009 12:50 PM CST
Farm manager Jimmy Dunn grooms Tiburon, a 6-year-old quarter horse with a bowed tendon that his owner didn't want to deal with.   (AP Photo/ James Crisp)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Humans aren't the only ones hurt by recession, as hundreds of thousands of horses could attest. While more owners are abandoning their steeds as the costs become a burden, fewer people are able to help fund horse rescue centers, reports the New York Times. The result has been some 100,000 to 150,000 horses shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

In response to increasingly crowded rescue barns, California has established low-cost euthanasia centers—one contribution to the spike in equine abandonment is the high price of putting down old, sick, or unwanted horses. “America needs a wake-up call about this issue," says one vet. "The population has this love affair with the horse without realizing the costs and complications of owning horses in this economy.”