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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:23 PM
Original message
White light, prayers and support needed for Don G.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 12:29 PM by northernlights
and a big kleig light to shine on the darkness in this village to show the truth, please. Don is a big man with a big heart. For years he's taken 4-Hers to shows when they couldn't afford to go, helped friends in the middle of the night when their horses colicked, and he helped me save Algiers' life when I 1st moved up here 7 years ago and a local barn tried to kill him. Don's too proud to ask for help, and that may be why life is hitting him so hard right now.

I've been trying to get my last load of hay in and his truck is broken, so he can't help me pick it up right now. But he finally unloaded the whole story of how his life suddenly spun out of control, without warning. He's getting pushed to the brink and beyond, and needs all the support he can get. I apologize for the length of the story below, but I have come so close to this sort of thing myself, and I've witnessed similar things happen to other horse owners -- so I need to share it.

The *Front* story -- I recently heard at work that several horses had starved to death in my village. I looked up the newspaper story and discovered it was around the corner from me. 14 neglected horses, several dead. They hadn't starved but suffered some sort of neglect and apparently died from some mystery illness. But the story in the paper didn't hold up -- the man had built a barn on someone else's property. He was supposed to be leasing the land but "payment never happened." This supposedly kind hearted woman let him build a barn and stay there because she "just liked looking out at the horses." (Yet somehow hadn't noticed the horses starving or sick or dying in her view?) And the horses in the photo did not look starved *at all.* One looked thin, but without knowing the horse's age, couldn't really be sure. Old horses will look bony, especially as their bellies drop. The woman who owned the property wasn't charged with anything. The horse owner was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty, but name not released pending investigation.

The *Back* story -- I learned this morning that it's Don's horses. The land he "leased" but didn't pay for was actually paid for with unpaid work at the woman's store that I *used* to (but never again will) frequent. He has known this woman for decades -- she rescues Maine Coon Cats and he's been on multiple rescue missions assisting her. He had been caring for a friend's horses, and that friend hadn't paid him for a while, so he has been supporting their horses out of pocket. When I brought in my earlier load of hay with him, he told me he was giving away as many of his horses as he could because he was getting overwhelmed. The only horses he was keeping were a couple of his originals, a filly he'd bred and raised and his dream 4 year old black percheron filly.

A friend of the store/land owner wanted the black percheron, but he explained she wasn't one up for grabs. And then at the store he saw some things he shouldn't have seen -- including dead cats in the store food freezer!!!!! And he also found drug paraphernalia for sale in her store -- around the corner from the high school and in a state where a pipe left in your car would net a drug arrest. And then one day shortly after, he arrived at the barn on her property and found his horses seriously ill. He worked with the wrong vet -- we don't have many options out here and the reason I say he picked the wrong vet is because she's the same one that nearly killed my Jakey last year :cry: He also said, out of the blue, that he almost feels like she was trying to keep his horse's sick. That was the *exact* same gut feeling I'd had last year with Jake -- that she tried to turn his issue into a chronic problem that she could milk. :grr:

He described the symptoms and immediately it occurred to me the horses may have been poisoned. Nothing is adding up.

So now he's on the verge of losing everything, he can't afford a lawyer and he's the target of an old-fashioned New England witch-hunt. The press is smearing him and spewing lies; his reputation is destroyed and former "friends" are afraid to be seen with him. The 4-H kids he used to help have turned on him (and in some cases are getting his horses). The place where he buys hay did step up and say he's one of their 2 best customers -- he was buying 2 round bales/week (that's 1,000 pounds of hay/week -- enough to feed 20-30 horses easily). He was arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony cruelty to animals and multiple counts of misdeameanor cruelty to animals. With his truck broken he can't do a lot of work, and without work he can't get the money to fix his truck. He's waiting for a long-term client, who just returned from a trip, and going to ask her if she can pay him in advance.

So please, any support you can send to Don he needs. What he's going through is my worst nightmare -- I've come so close to living this, and I witnessed in Massachusets when animal control *stole* somebody's perfectly well cared for show horses (worth $250K) while that woman was attending her husband's *funeral* and instead of taking them to the state facility *hid* them at private "volunteer" homes, wouldn't allow *her* vet to examine them (there was nothing wrong with them)!

I told him that's why I keep to myself and don't let anybody on my property. That's why I'm changing my vet care around so much...the horse vets up here are a complete nightmare. That's why I plan to keep my dog vet care separate from the horses from now on -- that way nobody comes inside my house, ever. We've had 2horse vets in a row commit suicide -- one shortly before I moved here and one a couple years later.

Myself, I'm feeling calm right now. I'm thinking I may front him the money to fix his truck. I told him he could come to my property any time; I'm not afraid to have him deliver hay or walk into my horses barn. He had 2 barns full of horses -- only the horses on this woman's property got sick. Poor guy was washing his arms and hands with straight clorox to keep from spreading anything... :cry:

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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Dear Goddess.....
how awful!!!!!


I absolutely send prayers and healing hugs toward this situation.


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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. ((((( Don G )))))
Yikers! Terrible.
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Flying Dream Blues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oh, that is so awful and so unfair.
I'm sending prayers for hope, strength and justice to be done in this situation. I know he is lucky to have you in his corner, northernlights.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. and now another side to the least 2 of the horses did starve
The necropsy was done by Purdue University in Indiana and says starvation, so local politics can be ruled out.

I just saw the official news releases on his arrest. I'm absolutely heartsick. He had told me that the newspaper said he was held on $10,000 bail, and that it really was only $60 and personal recognizance. But the news release *does* say $60 bond. He faces 5 years in jail and/or $10,000 fine.

The news release also says he had been offered help and refused it. He kept saying to me on the phone he has always taken care of his own, he has never taken help, only given it. And now I understand why he was saying that...he was offered help at some point by someone and refused.

And that, then, is the crux of it.

He talked about his damaged pride and ruined reputation. And he talked about the symptoms his horses had and said one vet said something about a specific virus. The problem is this -- that yes, horses can drop weight literally overnight and look like a bag of bones *very* quickly. But I don't think that will cause the fat in the bone marrow to disappear. I think that takes time, and that is why they say starvation versus sudden weight loss.

I feel for him, but at this point even more for those horses. When Algiers was in danger, I drove from stranger's barn to strangers barn and literally begged for help. Likewise, last summer when I suddenly found myself unexpectedly penniless, I walked from store to store in Rockland until I was able to sell enough stuff to buy hay. I begged for work.

I don't know what to think or do is just inconceivable to me...
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. Perhaps he got some of that dna damaged plant and grains
which will kill animals...or at the least make them sick and lose weight.
If he was buying that much hay..and they were in a pasture...why would they have been hungry?
That makes no sense.
I wish for the best for everyone and for the animals.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. which dna damaged plants?
They weren't in a pasture, but small turnout. And I'm wondering if they got sick first, which can cause them to need additional nutrition and go down. Or if they got sick as a result of malnutrition. I know that 7 years ago when Algiers got shipping fever, he could barely swallow. I was all I could do to get a pound or two of wet mash down him (they need 15-20 pounds/day). He came home a rack of bones within a week and I was afraid he wouldn't make it.

The whole situation is sickening me. He got overwhelmed, which can happen to any of us. I don't know what help he was offered -- they don't specify that in the article.

Only that after a month-long investigation, in which his name was withheld, he was arrested. The 2 horses they tested had less than 4% fat in their marrows. There should be 80%+ fat in the marrows.

We get our hay from different farms that are near each other and I know I had one *hell* of a time getting and keeping weight on Algiers this past summer...I had to really throw him a lot of grain after a surprising winter weight-loss.

So I'm very interested in dna-damaged plants if it's affecting grass hay...
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I don't know if it is in America yet but I have read of plants...
That company Monsanto that has been messing with the dna of seeds is fighting being banned in Europe because it is killing animals and making people sick.
I think it is in the corn mostly but could it also be they have been messing in the grains?
Another thing to think about is this.
What suddenly caused so much "Wasting disease" in deer? It could very well be what ever it is that they are spraying is getting on the plants and the animals that eat them are wasting away.
I believe the symptoms of wasting disease and mad cow are very simular...and it all seemed to be prevalent in the news at the same time right after all those chem trails started showing up.
If horses are also eating the same thing it could show up as a wasting away the same as with the deer.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. deer wasting disease and mad cow
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 01:23 PM by northernlights
are both protein-based diseases, not dna-based. I did a presentation in my microbiology class last year on prion diseases. Although there is a lot not known about them, a lot is known. They are closely related to sheep scrapie and some rare human diseases that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Essentially, when the cell is manufacturing proteins, after a sequence amino acids is linked into a polypeptide chain, enzyme proteins assist it in folding up into its functional shape. Prions are proteins that somehow become misfolded, and then cause new folding proteins to also become misfolded. If you ingest some prions and they make their way to right place in your body,they start churning out prions instead of functional proteins.

What caused the initial deer-wasting outbreak in the US was the same thing that started the mad cow outbreak. Agribiz was rendering sick animals and feeding them to other animals, spreading the prions through the population. A herd of captive deer in Wisconsin was fed cow feed that included rendered "mad cows" and the disease made its way into the deer population.

To make matters worse, they were either burning or burying the diseased animals. Unfortunately, prions are *so* biochemically stable there is no known way to sterilize against them. Even very hot fires doesn't denature the prion, nor does autoclaving. They haven't found a chemical that will denature them either. Certain soils actually *increase* their bioavailability; when buried they migrate through the soil and spread. Sheep grazed on pastures that had scrapie sheep buried in it developed scrapie at a rate of nearly 100% 2 years after the earlier flock had been buried.

Also, the symptoms are paralytic as well as wasting, and come on somewhat slowly.

From what he described, it sounds like the horses living in the barn picked up an aggressive infection -- either viral or nonresponsive to the antibiotic he was giving them. In the winter, horses burn a lot more calories and the same is true when sick.

The hay around here is just local grass hay that's been tended sometimes for generations. And only the horses living *in* this barn got sick -- the ones living outside in the runout and the ones at the other barn he cared for did not get sick.

He got in over his head caring for someone else's horses -- he should have called the state as soon as his friend stopped being able to pay for her horses instead of trying to do it all herself.

And I still strongly suspect the vet of malpractice, if not worse. I know she caused Jake to start starving right in front of me 18 months ago. The only difference was I had the resources to react quickly and surely. If I had any of that metacam left that she gave me, I'd take it to be tested. Some people up here are nuts and I know 7 years ago a barn tried to hurt Algiers by not giving him a prescribed dose of antibiotics. She may have mis-prescribed....I trust very few around here to be decent.

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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thank you for clairifying that for us....
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. Wow, major vibes to him
I'm not sure I followed this 100% but sounds like a good person is in trouble, through no fault of his own. Prayers sent.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
9. what a horrible ordeal and people
sending positive vibes to Don
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. Terrible situation
Sending light for clarity and justice and peace of mind for Don.
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