Do Barn Owners have an ethical obligation to care for abandoned horses?

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by mooselady, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,890
    Likes Received:
    7,019
    Omg. That is horrible. Who does that???
     
  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,445
    Likes Received:
    6,966
    That's a touchy one. Yes/no. If the animal's abandoned it must receive proper care. Contract gives some control of procedure and selling it in lieu of costs. Very uncomfortable position to be in. I would on basic care and pray nothing major popped up. Legal advice would be necessary.

    I can't imagine someone leaving a mare without food or water in a corral and just leaving. That's unbelievable. Glad you found her.
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    17,413
    Likes Received:
    10,508
    This is why barn owner/managers need to review their contracts with a lawyer.

    If the state laws say it needs to be 90 days, then a clause like the above in a boarding contract is void. In some states, one void clause in a contract invalidates the entire contract.

    Every state's laws are different. Copying a 'general boarding contract' from online risks the contract not being legal in your state.

    Every state's laws are online. A barn owner, manager or boarder can very easily check whether the clauses in his boarding contract are legal or not, and if one illegal clause nullifies the entire contract or not.

    Why don't barn owners make sure their boarding contracts are legal? After all, anyone can look up the state laws. But the fact is, these laws in 'legalese', and are hard to read, and many people who TRY to read them, misunderstand them.

    So in fact, in some states, with an 'illegal' (runs contrary to laws) clause in a contract, you then do not have a contract at all, and your boarders haven't actually agreed to - anything.

    At the very least, they have not agreed to the illegal clause, and they cannot be compelled to comply with illegal contracts or contract clauses.

    That's the thing: clauses in a contract cannot legally make statements of obligation that run contrary to local, state or federal laws.

    The law will not enforce the contract, nor will it allow the barn to enforce the contract.

    Once again: you can't put just anything you want into a boarding contract. At the very least you cannot legally enforce such clauses. And at the most, you have no contract at all. Your boarders are boarding without a contract, and don't have to follow any stipulations in the contract.

    If the state law gives a person 90 days to pay up, and the barn confiscates their horse at 30 days, the sheriff will be coming after the barn owner, not the horse owner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    17,413
    Likes Received:
    10,508
    Well, those two guys did it, and now they're in jail. Though I'm not sure it would go that way in the US. The laws about horses in Britain are tougher than in the US. In the US, if the person had enough money, she could sue everyone else involved.
     
  5. TallOak10

    TallOak10 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    642
    As a language arts teacher I saw two questions emerge:

    1. Is the BO responsible for the CARE of an abandoned horse?
    2. What are the BO's rights regarding LONG TERM FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY of an abandoned horse?

    1. Like it or not, it IS without question, the BO's responsibility to care for an abandoned horse until it is re-homed or euthanized. It's not an option not to feed an animal that lives on your property. Regardless. In accepting him/her, you accepted ultimate responsibility for their wellness.

    2. As tons of other people have stated, every BO must have a contract in place that clearly states the procedure and timelines if the HO stops paying board. Also, make it a point to know the animal law in your state and have your contract reviewed by an attorney thereto. If you draw up a contract but the state law contradicts your terms, that could get sticky if a BO went ahead and re-homed or euthanized. If the state law is contradictory, regardless of contract verbage, it COULD certainly be debatable in a court of law in terms of restitution.

    I board horses on my farm I only keep one or two at the most in addition to my two. All of my boarding clients AND their horses have been WONDERFUL. That said, I am ONE person on ONE salary. A while back, one of my boarders fell on some hard times and they needed some lead way and temporary financial flexibility. Their horse is an 18 hand warmblood who is a FOODIE. The boy EATS!!! I sweated floating the financial burden of feeding him PLUS mine to try to give them some temporary breathing room. It was difficult for all of us -- and thankfully, very temporary. If she had just stopped paying his board (she NEVER would do that), it would have been a HUGE financial drain to me to afford his costs. I also didn't have contracts back then. (I reiterate, back then.) So I would have been screwed.

    The other important point is to be selective about accepting clients. If you've been around long enough, you can detect 85% of the grifters. And at the end of the day, similar to suicide, if someone really means to do it, they are going to find a way to dump their horse one someone. They don't care about the animal. BO's need to have the law in their corner so that they can proceed in a way that is first and foremost, most humane to the animal and second, protective of financial interest.
     
  6. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,487
    Likes Received:
    2,661
    Both Barn owners and Boarders should know the state law.
    In my State I am only required an abandoned animal for 15 days, there is a specific process to deposition of the Animal.
     
    D_BaldStockings likes this.
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    17,413
    Likes Received:
    10,508
    What I said was that IF THE STATE LAW WHERE THE PERSON IS does not match that, they would not legally be able to enforce it. I emphasized over and over that each state has different laws.
     
  8. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    15,989
    Likes Received:
    19,080
    Um....she was agreeing with you...not sure why you may have read it differently.
     
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    17,413
    Likes Received:
    10,508
    I did not read it as you did.
     
  10. Zephyer1995

    Zephyer1995 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Messages:
    4,727
    Likes Received:
    4,008
    I had a horse abandoned at my place. I'm not a boarding facility but let a "friend" keep her horse at my place. I made sure the horse was well cared for until I could legal ownership to rehome him.
    I'm not about to let any animal suffer on my property just because owner isn't holding up their end of the deal.
    And I'm thinking you can still get in trouble with animal control if an animal on your property isn't being cared for.
     
    TallOak10 likes this.

Share This Page