You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Humane society adopting out horses seized at boarding facility in cruelty investigation

By Cindy Heflin

For the first time in memory, the Humane Society of Huron Valley is adopting out horses seized in a cruelty investigation.

The three horses were seized from a Salem Township boarding facility in July, and cruelty investigators are now seeking charges against their former owners, said Matt Schaecher, HSHV director of animal cruelty investigation and rescue.


Sugar, a 12-year-old mare, is one of three horses up for adoption.

Humane Society of Huron Valley photo

The animals were malnourished and underweight, Schaecher said. Their owners surrendered them to the humane society.

Investigators seized the animals in July from the Double Diamond boarding facility on Seven Mile Road near Currie Road in Salem Township. It’s the same facility where 18 horses were seized in December.

The facility provides space for horse owners to rent, and owners care for their own animals there. That’s why the Humane Society is seeking charges against the animal owners rather than the facility.

Schaecher said the organization is seeing more cases of horse neglect as this summer’s drought has doubled the price of hay from $4 to $5 per bale to about $9 or $10 per bale.

Schaecher said the humane society, founded in 1896, has no records showing that it has ever adopted out a horse.

The horses up for adoption include an 11-year-old purebred quarter horse named Queenie, a 12-year-old crossbred mare named Sugar, and a 10-year-old thoroughbred gelding named Turner. For more information about the adoptable animals, visit the Humane Society’s website.

Cindy Heflin is associate news director at Contact her at 734-623-2572 or or follow her on Twitter.


Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

"The facility provides space for horse owners to rent, and owners care for their own animals there" Apparently not. It would seem to me that the owner of the facility would have some level of responsibility for keeping track of what goes on in his place and dealing with abuse of the animals. Also, , if the hay costs too much for you, get rid of your horses, don['t starve them. Here's to the Humane Society for dealing with this kind of activity.

Laura Jones

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

This is a national problem due to the drought and the cost of feed. There is a glut of horses on the market now. The BLM is culling herds which is exacerbating the problem. It is believed most market sales are destined for slaughter in Mexico or Canada. There are people even trying to get permits for slaughter houses in the US. The USDA recently restored criteria for horse slaughtering, which makes it clear where this is all headed. Not sure which is worse.


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Thank you to the Humane Society for the truly important work they do in our area.

Anna Fuqua-Smith

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Cindy - I'm curious as to where the horses are being held now?

Cindy Heflin

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Hi Anna: The humane society is not disclosing that information.


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

In the past, if horses were seized but not adopted out then where did they go?

Cindy Heflin

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Some horses have been returned to their owners after the problems were addressed. Others have found homes with horse rescue facilities.