The age-old problem of families buying a cute puppy only to find the full-grown version unmanageable, and then dumping him in the country, is apparently an issue with horses as well. The Wall Street Journal reports that horse “dumpouts” in rural areas have surged due to the tough economy. As a result, “wild” herds are growing unmanageable, leading to calls for reviving horse slaughter plants in several states, including Oklahoma. Animal rights activists are appalled, but those dealing with the animals say there simply aren’t enough people able to take in abandoned horses, which often struggle to survive in a wild herd. While no one likes the idea of killing a horse in a slaughterhouse, that’s a far better fate than slow starvation or the painful death that occurs when a horse is struck by a car — another increasing problem thanks to the dumpout trend.
Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman Archives