A group of animal lovers in the Comox Valley says the time has come for the BC SPCA to step in and save a herd of horses.
They’ve been complaining about the poor condition of the horses for years, but so far the SPCA has yet to take the drastic step of seizing the animals.
“It’s unacceptable. Unacceptable to leave animals in this kind of condition,” says Carol Hilton who sees the malnourished horses on the Courtenay farm on a daily basis, “their backbones are sticking out. One of them has no meat on its hindquarters, a tailbone is sticking up, a hip bone is sticking up.”
But Hilton claims the three horses on Lake Trail Road in Courtenay are not being properly fed or cared for, and she’s not the only one in the Comox Valley who has taken notice.
“It bothers every good horse person who sees this, and there are a lot of good horse people in this area. They’ve had enough,” says Hilton.
Neighbours and even strangers used to donate food, and for awhile the condition of the horses started to improve. But despite constant complaints to the SPCA over the years, things have since gone south.
“I think the SPCA needs to step up their game. They’ve had enough case files on these horses over the years that something needs to happen. They need to take the next step.”
The SPCA says they are as frustrated about the situation as anyone else. but their actions are limited by the Animal Cruelty Act.
Even if the SPCA seized the animals today, the owner has still civil recourse, meaning the horses might be right back where they started no matter what the SPCA does.
“I was just in a case where – same sort of thing – a pattern. We ended up seizing 27 horses and recently I was told we must return those horses because the animal owner had now complied,” says Marcie Moriarty, who is the head of Prevention and Cruelty for the SPCA.
The horse’s owner now has one week to comply with SPCA orders, or the horses could soon be seized.