Advice on how to approach a neglect case

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Jul 20, 2007
Reaction score
Last year I posted a question about deworming a mini and a miniature donkey who were in bad shape. They belonged to my former employer but I would still go and visit the horses every once in awhile. They had lost SO much weight and just looked horrible. Anyways, I let her know that they were REALLY skinny and that they needed to be dewormed. She assured me that she would take care of it. When I offered to buy the miniature donkey she said she couldn't sell him but that she would give the miniature horse to me. He had a history of founder and since I have so much grass here I said no. He also was aggressive at feeding time. Well I got a call from a friend (who lived and worked out there for 2 years) saying that he had coliced and had to be put down today
You probably won't believe this but the reason he coliced was because he didn't have any WATER
When I worked out there I always was on the look out for empty water buckets because it seemed to happen quite frequently. One time, the halflingers went a whole weekend without water. I had filled them on Friday and when I came out on Monday they were bone dry!!!!! Those horses flanks were so sucked up! This lady also likes to breed miniature aussies! She lets some of them stay in the house and they poop all over everything! It is so NASTY in her house. I seriously think it is a case of animal hoarding. She had lost her other mini earlier last year when he coliced. The vet told her to keep him in his stall and not to give him any food until in the morning. Well later that evening my friend found him munching on a big pile of hay. The owner said that she felt bad that he didn't get dinner so she went ahead and gave it to him
Then the next day my friend found him out in the round pen with NO WATER for at least 3-4 hours! Sadly he was put down a day later.

There have been so many things that have happened that have pushed me to my wits end. I know some other people have started making calls and I think I am going to join them. Their calls haven't been returned but hopefully if we all start calling, someone will start investigating!

Sorry for writing a book but I am just so disgusted right now and I needed to vent

Any advice on where to start calling would be appreciated. I am assuming I should call animal control first?

I would try contacting your local animal control officer if you have one, here in Ohio they will investigate any calls.If she is a person you know and worked for have you considered talking to her again about your concerns and welfare for the horses and dogs.I am curious to what state you are referring that this is happening could you e-mail me or let me know on this site if your comfortable with that.


If horses are dying of dehydration & colic please call AC. Keep calling, & calling & calling. If you have an AC officer then they are obligated to return calls and most are obligated to investigate each complaint. At this point I'd go down and make a complaint in person.

Document anything you can and hugs to you for giving a crap and be willing to get involved.
If she is having trouble taking proper care of them, perhaps you could talk to her about giving them to a rescue. Sounds like she may be ready to give some up if she offered to give you the stallion last year. I feel so sorry for him as he must have suffered all that time. She may not know that rescues take in, rehabilitate, and find homes for horses who have foundered and/or are just not wanted anymore.
She is aware of all the resources available to her. I honestly don't think her mind is completely right. She runs a pony party company with her ponies and then she pays someone to give lesson's on her halfies. She is one of those who doesn't want you patting the horse on the neck to say good job because it will "hurt the horse" but yet she can allow her animals to go without water. There are just too many animals for her to take care of and since all of her employees have either left or been fired, there are less people to take care of the animals. She doesn't get around very good but her main problem is just not having their best interest in mind. She is in no way wanting to get rid of or give up any of her animals. She has sold a couple and might still have a couple for sale. But there are a lot that she WILL not give up. The only reason she offered the gelding to me is because he founders and she had to be very careful with him in the spring. She won't sell the donkey to me because she makes money with him in the petting zoo. The hard thing is that when you look at her place you wouldn't think anything was wrong. I haven't been out there for about a month and I bet her horses are starting to shed out. Once they do their bones are gonna really show. I can try talking to her but she is a pretty dramatic person and I honestly think she will just get very offended and shut me out. She likes to act like she just loves those animals to death but she is NEVER out there with them. She has teenagers doing the feeding and watering.

In this case, it is not a matter of her simply not knowing. She knows that they need to be dewormed and she knows they need to be fed and watered daily. She just isn't following through and making sure it gets done. She ran out of stable mix last week so instead of running down to the feed store and getting some bags she just fed them all hay. One of them coliced because they aren't used to getting hay. Luckly she made it through.

All of this info has come from my friend so I did not see any of these recent events with my own eyes nor have I talked to her about it. If I felt it would make a difference I would talk with her, but I know it won't. It's a hard situation but I have watched for far too long without taking action. I am not experienced with this type of thing and I hate stirring up trouble but animals are dying and I just know he wasn't the last!

If she is having trouble taking proper care of them, perhaps you could talk to her about giving them to a rescue. Sounds like she may be ready to give some up if she offered to give you the stallion last year. I feel so sorry for him as he must have suffered all that time. She may not know that rescues take in, rehabilitate, and find homes for horses who have foundered and/or are just not wanted anymore.
Last edited by a moderator:
You can read the story of Tiny Tim here:

Timmie was a "party pony" and his suffering was preventable. I had asked someone from this board to spring him - at my expense - but I never heard back. I don't regret one moment of caring for this pony but he needed help sooner.

I've turned in a family member, I turned in a neighbor and I've done many house visits. It has nothing to do with "starting trouble" it has to do with an animal suffering and if you are this upset about it then and horses dying please intervene.
Oops~!! Forgot to add that your state is in the top 5 for neglect/cruelty laws.
If you need any help just let me know.
I had a couple situations where I happened to pass by horses that were in TERRIBLE shape. After repeatedly checking on them, I searched online for 'horse rescue in my state. I don't have the info any longer but I'm sure if you google it, you'll find someone. It wasnt our local animal control though. It was a state agency. The one horse was completely covered with burrs and in a pasture with old rusty farm machinery. VERY dangerous situation :DOH! The other was a pony that was forced to live in a pasture that was a steep hillside so his feet were in awful shape so he had gone lame.
Both owners were contacted by this agency, given a certain amount of time to correct the situation and finally they both were forced to sell/give away their horses. So the agency really did their job well. I will look again for the agency and then post it on here if I find it. Good luck!
Be sure to write down everything you know from personal observation and from your friend. I highly recommend that you also ask your friend to do the same, as second-hand info may not be taken as seriously. Once everything is documented, call your Animal Control. They will take you a little more seriously if you've done that. Good luck.
i beleive on the habitat for horses website they have a page on what to do if you supspect animal abuse here the website

i hope this helps
I would try the newspaper or better yet the tv station and see if they would do a story on her and the neglect of her horses. It has been done several times here in Ohio seems to work.

Latest posts