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Two years ago I met a 30-year-old horse named Arthur owned by an 88-year-old widower named James who was diagnosed with dementia and committed to a nursing home.




The Ethics Of Animal Rescue

Original Author Unknown, Commentary by Staff


James gave his horse a wonderful life for 25 years. He always planned, when the time came, to euthanize Arthur at a nearby slaughterhouse well-known for being humane. Animal owners were allowed to come with their animals, to comfort them on their final passage and to insure a peaceful end. Hold that thought…


But James’s mind failed well before it was time to resolve Arthur’s fate. The horse was too old to give away and James was not aware that the people who claim to speak for the rights of animals had succeeded in making slaughterhouses in America illegal.


As often happens with issues relating to animals, no one had considered that the results of these good intentions would make the fate of horses much, much worse.


James’s horse was seized by local authorities, given to a horse rescue farm that did not have room for him. In a story now familiar to those who rescue horses, Arthur was sent to an auction house to be bought by a kill buyer who worked for a slaughterhouse in Mexico.


Arthur, just another old draft horse, was purchased for $200 and taken to a feedlot where he was given little to eat, according to a relative of James who tracked his journey although unable save him.


Arthur deserved a better fate, especially at the hands of human beings who claim to love animals so much. More than 150,000 aged or unwanted horses will go to slaughter this year and there are millions of dogs and cats leading tortured lives languishing in crates in no-kill shelters all over the county.


The relative still has nightmares thinking of what Arthur’s last days were like, how terrified he must have been, and how lonely. He learned the horse was put on a trailer and driven for 11 days through summer heat. Those “slaughter trucks” do not feed, water, or unload and rest the animals…


We, who love animals, are hobbled by animal rights, a political lobby that has lost any sense of empathy or common sense when it comes to the welfare of animals.


Ponies are going to slaughter because it is now considered abuse for children to ride them; elephants have been sentenced to death because people insisted the circuses are mistreating them. Egocentric people are so drawn to rescuing things that they scour the country looking for animals to rescue. This notion of animal ethics is not sustainable, humane, nor is it ethical.


We need to understand that is not cruel for working animals to work. It is essential to their health and future survival. Working and Companion animals should never be forcibly taken from caring owners because of zoning changes, limit laws, or complaining neighbors. Too often, large animals go off to slaughter and elderly pets are condemned to certain death.


We need to require the advocates of livestock and “exotic” animals bans to know-and-show precisely where those animals will go, who will care for them and how their care will be funded. We must demand a system of rescue that keeps animals in the consciousness of everyday people.


● It is inhumane and illogical to take animals away from their human beings and condemn them to slaughter.

● It should be a crime to wrest healthy pets from compromised owners in order to sell them for “adoption fees”.

● It is true that today’s animal rescue system routinely confiscates animals from desperately lonely people.


An ethical animal welfare movement must correct a system that is spiraling out of control. While we work to preserve habitat in Africa and save the whales, we are “rescuing” horses and dogs and condemning to a lonely death much like Arthur’s. Arthur was a tragic victim of our muddled notion of animal ethics. He was doomed by a system of animal welfare that on the surface makes people feel better but which too often, leaves animals to an awful fate. We were given a superior intellect. Let us use it!


Let us pass provisions in every state to help destitute owners keep and care for the one thing that gives them comfort, emotional support, and LOVE. © Dec 2018



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