Horse owners desperate in bad economy to care for expensive animals


Posted on February 4, 2010 at 12:50 AM

Horses for sale for just a few dollars, the economy is leaving some horse owners desperate to find someone who can care for the animals they can no longer afford.

WHAS11’s Melanie Kahn found the desperation has even the people helping the horses stretched to the limit.

Searching on Craigslist is part of Marcia Moss' daily routine.

But she isn't scouring the internet looking for great bargains; she's looking to save horses like 3-year-old Candy, who Marcia bought off Craigslist a few weeks ago for $100.

"It's just not a good situation for the horse business at all and it's getting progressively worse," said Moss.

She founded Blair's Equine Rescue 6 years ago.

She says back then, she was primarily saving abused horses but now, she says she's rescuing horses from slaughter.

"The majority of the people who sell their horses that cheap, that's usually where they are going to end up.  Not always, there are people who will give them a good home, but the majority of the time they are going to end up on a slaughter bound truck." Moss said.

It's a nationwide trend that's continued to escalate as the economy has continued to decline.

With one quick search, we found hundreds of horses for sale, many that would normally costs tens of thousands of dollars, selling for $500, $400 and $100 or less.

"This floors me because I couldn't believe how many horses there were on Craigslist."

Moss says her rescue and others are overwhelmed with horses and say while they are doing the best they can, they simply cannot save them all.

"It's just a day in, day in battle and it doesn't seem like it's getting any better."

We spoke with other horse rescues across the country about this issue.
They all tell us that the main issue here really does all come down to money.

Owning a horse is now considered a luxury and now, it's just one people simply cannot afford to have.

The average nationwide cost is estimated to be about $5000 a year and that's just for the basics.  If you want to breaking a horse or race it, it will cost thousands more.