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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Updated: Who's Protecting the Horses from Those Charged with Protecting Them?

Updated : November 26, 2014 8:45PM; Originally Posted: November 25, 2014 3:22PM

The following posting was put on the NJSPCA website this evening in response to a barrage of comments posted by those concerned on their Facebook page.  The original posting follows.

A posting put on the NJSPCA Facebook Page

If you can definitely help, please contact the NJSPCA at

The original posting:

An alleged case of horse abuse made the television news as part of an investigation by a Philadelphia news station.  Unfortunately, the alleged perpetrator is a harness racing participant.  

Not being a trainer or a person who has raised horses, I can't offer any comment on what or why the alleged abuse occurred over what is written in the article.  What I will say is anyone found guilty of the abuse of any race horse has no business being allowed to remain in the industry.

What has happened is shame but perhaps even more shameful is how the case was handled.  Obviously, someone was so disgusted with the pace the case was taking that they felt it necessary to go to the press in an effort to light a fire under the NJSPCA.  According to the news story, here is the timeline once concern about the horses' treatment was raised.

Following such allegations of abuse, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture investigated and sent inspectors to the barn in June of 2013. A department spokesperson says inspectors found the conditions inside the barn met the department’s definition of a “severe violation.”

The Department of Agriculture says investigators handed their report over to NJSPCA (New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), which has the enforcement authority.

A NJSPCA spokesperson says the agency was made aware of situation in August of 2013.  [Since then, it has been stipulated that three horses died]

NJSPCA would not talk on camera about why it has taken a year and a half to act on the Department of Agriculture’s findings but in a statement said the case is “difficult and complex” and they are working to conclude it “as quick as possible.”

If I was the NJSPCA, I wouldn't talk to the camera either.  My question to them is how 'difficult and complex' is this case and how many more horses potentially need to die before the NJSPCA decides whether or not abuse occurred and if so, seize the horses?  After all these are the people charged with protecting theses horses and a year and a half is far too long to take action.  Either abuse occurred and the horses should have been seized or if they weren't sure it was abuse, they could have counseled the individual on the proper way on caring for the horses (though one would have thought this person knew how).

What hope does any abused horses have in New Jersey when those charged with protecting them seemingly can't do their job? 

It's a disgrace.

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