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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rescued! So Why Am I Not Happy?

Well, it took a long time, much too long, but yesterday the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and NJSPCA took action in the alleged horse abuse case involving Monica Thors.  All seven horses (and one goat) have been removed to an undisclosed location with two of them being sent to a clinic in an effort to save their lives; their future is uncertain.  In the meanwhile Ms. Thors has been charged with animal cruelty.  Her other animals, mostly cats, remain in her possession according to sources and there is a movement to get those removed from her as well..

While the NJSPCA continues to claim it takes a long time to bring charges with the investigation and all, one would think with the evidence which has been available, the case certainly could have been wrapped up in less than the 15 months since the Department of Agriculture turned the case over to NJSPCA so charges could be brought.  During those 15 months, three horses succumbed, supposedly the result of their treatment by Thors.  One thing seem certain, if not for the publicity brought by the Stop Monica Thors Facebook page, this case would still be dragging along.  It says something about the power of social media.  The State of New Jersey need to revisit its laws to allow the Department of Agriculture to bring charges without the help of an outside agency.

Of course, damage has been brought to the standardbred brand through this incident.  Some sites have been evenhanded in their reporting while one site in particular takes a swipe at harness racing with this tragedy; even worse it was written by an individual who has trained race horses and written for harness racing publications in the past.  But to tell you the truth, the horses come first; damage control can be addressed later.

Thanks to those who brought attention to the nightmare which was going on, it was their perseverance and determination which got the situation finally addressed.  Finally getting fed up with the run around surrounding this case, they managed to get the media involved and were smart enough to turn to social media to put the pressure on.

Yet, despite my relief  the horses have been removed and will be given a chance to recover or if unfortunately necessary, will have their suffering ended, I must confess I am not completely happy.  There is a bad taste in my mouth with what happened.

Let's not kid ourselves, people have known for three years there appeared to be a growing problem yet nothing was done for the longest time.  Either they kept quiet, felt it was up to others to deal with it, or ran up against a bureaucracy which chose to ignore it.  I'm talking about people within and outside of racing, including state officials..

As some blogs have speculated and others who claim to known Thors suggest, it appears she may have had some issues which were not addressed allowing this to go on.  Let's face it, as horrible as what is alleged, I don't believe Ms. Thors consciously decided to create her little barn of horrors.  In some way, I truly believe she thought had the animals best interests at heart.  Yet, people who knew her either ignored the warning signs or were powerless in getting her help.  

Then there are those who followed this case on the Stop Monica Thors Facebook page who should be congratulated for their efforts and appreciated for their emailing, letter writing, and phone calling (generally being PIAs) which finally got the appropriate agencies moving, BUT....  While some of these people handled themselves properly and realize the tragedy on both sides, some of these individuals were, shall we say uncaring and immature?  After all, is wanting revenge, and jail time for someone who would appear to have some issues appropriate?  No one is suggesting she get a free pass, but any sentence which may be handed down must consider all the circumstances.

Instead of wanting to put Thors in the pillory or worse, these people should be hoping she gets whatever assistance she may need.  It seems some of these people have more compassion for animals than their fellow human beings which is sad.  You can have compassion for both animal and human, but when you worry about the welfare of an animal and lack compassion (or understanding) for an individual who appears to be unwell, it doesn't reflect well on you.

What happened to the horses is horrible, some of these people need to look in their own mirrors.  The image is not pretty.

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