Most Kill Pens are NOT Rescues

Discussion in 'Horse Rescue / Adoption' started by palogal, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    I've had this discussion with lots of clients so I figured why not.
    Kill pens are horses bought by a kill buyer to flip. However, using the word 'rescue' and 'kill buyer' makes people sympathize and pay the prices they want. You're not rescuing anything. You're buying a horse from a horse trader who has a title that makes him sound like an evil villain. The horses that are actually marked for slaughter are generally the crazy ones who can't be touched, are aggressive etc and they are not for sale at the kill pen, they are the slaughter bound ones. These nicer horses are another dimension of what the kill buyer does as a side business. He just pretends they were bought for slaughter. Kind of brilliant if you think about it.

    The horses that are available have been picked by the kill buyer to resell. They are generally well mannered, cute colored or marked, some of them ride. They are marked up to what the KB believes he can sell them for by making people believe they are endangered. They are to an extent, they may ship eventually, also may be put through the sale again if they don't sell from the pen. The are most times not in the eminent danger you are lead to believe.

    I am not against kill pen sales, but see it for what it is. You're buying a horse from a horse trader. Period. There are some nice horses in there. However, you are not rescuing anything or 'bailing' anything. The horses do sell for below their value most of the time, with that comes risk of health issues and unknown history.

    This is how kill pens work IN MY AREA. They're not all the same.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  2. coloredcowhorse

    coloredcowhorse Senior Member

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    Exactly. People use the "kill pen" and "rescue" to pull at heart strings and generate funds. Heavily pregnant mares won't be going to slaughter for instance as it is illegal for them to be shipped if delivery could happen during the trip (and we know how unpredictable mares can be). Youngsters under 650-700 lbs are unlikely to ship to slaughter as they are simply too small to make it worth loading/hauling......there isn't enough meat on them to make it profitable to take up trailer space with them. Some sales yards won't even take obviously pregnant mares or smaller animals and run them through. Many kill buyers are pretty astute horsemen and may have a waiting list of clients looking for something specific which he will then buy and turn around and sell, usually for more than meat price (giving him some margin of profit) but possibly much less than the horse might have brought on the market if there was time to properly market/papers attached/etc. (giving the eventual buyer a good deal if all he/she was interested in was a riding horse and not in showing/breeding where papers would be more important).
     
  3. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

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    Yep - that's pretty much the sum total of it. If they can get a horse for $50 or $100 and then turn around and set a "bail" price of $850, they make a handsome profit. With so many being "rescued" each day, they do better to sell them this way than to send them for slaughter where they don't make a whole lot once you figure out transport and stuff. I just wish people understood this.
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Don't get me started~!!
    (y)
     
  5. ChestersMomma

    ChestersMomma Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Good post.

    I think words like "kill" and "bail" are emotionally manipulative but if you see a horse you like, there is no shame in buying from a KB. A lot of times you are still getting the horse at a fairly low price but the downside is you don't know what you are getting and the KB likely doesn't know much either.

    True rescues are often acquired via word-of-mouth or even purchased to get them out of the situation they are in. It's not a rescue if you are just purchasing a healthy horse from the "kill pen" though it's not a shameful choice by any means.

    FWIW, I would rather someone "rescue" kill pen horses than back-yard-breed their fugly to a Craigslist fugly ;)
     
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  6. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    On the other hand, if a horse dealer buys a healthy horse with no vices for 50 and sells it for 850, he is simply doing what a horse dealer is doing. Buying and selling horses for a profit. And if that horse dealer does the pre selection of what is suitable as a riding horse and what is not, then it's not too bad to pay for it. They have tons of experience evaluating horses quickly, something a lot of amateur horse buyers don't have.

    If it's a reputable dealer he will not try to sell the unrideable and dangerous ones to unsuspecting people, but will send these to slaughter.
     
  7. all4him

    all4him Senior Member

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    Yep - that's what I said. It was interesting because a friend of mine is into bailing these horses out and she said that there were 8 horses in a particular group and they were able to save 7 of them but the dealer refused to sell the last one. He said it is totally dangerous and he was not going to be a part of someone getting killed. Why it was listed with a bail price, I have no idea.
     
  8. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    Not surprising, they generally won't turn loose of their kill horses, regardless of who is begging or crying. There are so many nice horses out there, one that's nuts is generally not worth the time. Not that it should be slaughtered, but the KB isn't in the humane euthanasia biz.
     
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  9. Zimalia

    Zimalia Senior Member

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    The simple truth is, the majority of canner buyers, are horse traders. If they can get a horse cheap, and it's good for something, they will probably resell it and make a profit. If they can get a horse cheap, and it's a POS, they will send it to the plant providing it's up to weight.
    The plants will not buy lame horses, horses must be on all 4 feet.
    they do not buy heavy in foal mares.
    nor will they buy young foals, weanlings, yearlings, and thin horses. The average canner is over 1000 pds. The heavier, the better.
    They do not buy stallions.
    They will not buy BLM horses UNLESS the proper paperwork is provided. That paperwork deems that the horse has been to 3 trainers, and all have found it to be untrainable. I did get to see a load of such horses once. The stack of paperwork was unbelievable.
    The plants do not buy sick horses. Again, more paperwork is required.

    And not all horse traders go to sales to buy. In some places, such as here, they are well known, and people bring horses to them. It's a quick cash sale, and the horse goes into the pens.
     
  10. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

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    The BLM statement isn't bearing up, this article from 2014. BLM Criticized for Selling Horses for Slaughter
     

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