The Horse

OCT 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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COURTESY KATHY MILANI/THE HSUS TheHorse.com | The Horse October 2018 27 ALEXANDRA BECKSTETT The psychology behind rescuing and hoarding horses J ennifer Williams, MS, PhD, had just moved back to Texas after graduat- ing with a psychology degree from Northeast Missouri State University when she met a woman needing help on her Arabian farm. Penniless and eager to work with her favorite breed, Williams jumped at the chance. She was surprised when she arrived, however, to discover the woman had about 30 horses on her 15- acre property, plus nearly 70 dogs living in her double-wide. "At the beginning I didn't real- ize how bad things were, and I thought I could help the animals," says Williams. "After a while it be- came clear I couldn't," so she quit. Over the next year and a half, authorities seized the animals repeatedly, but the owner would get them back and relocate. When they were seized a third time, the woman took her life just before her court date. While the county was able to place the dogs in res- cues, there wasn't a local equine rescue to award the horses to, so the woman's son sold them off. This tragic case of animal hoarding and mental illness was the impetus behind Williams forming her own nonprofit equine rescue. Today she has her master's and doctorate in animal science and is the president of Bluebon- net Equine Humane Society (BEHS), in College Station, Texas. "I've seen a whole lot more of these similar cases where people start out rescuing or breeding or COURTESY KATHY MILANI/THE HSUS The Humane Society worked with the Smith County District Attorney's Ofce to seize 50 horses from a Lin- dale, Texas, property, many of which showed signs of neglect. GOOD Intentions Gone Wrong

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