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Posted on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

2 horses dead, 18 seized at boarding facility in Salem Township

By Cindy Heflin

Two horses may have starved to death and 18 have been removed from a horse boarding facility in Salem Township as the Humane Society of Huron Valley continues its investigation into what it says is a large-scale animal cruelty case.

Three horse owners may be prosecuted, the Humane Society said in an article posted on its website this morning.

Matt Schaecher, director of animal cruelty at the Humane Society said investigators have seized 18 horses at the facility since Thursday night. Nine were initially taken away Thursday night, he said, but investigators then discovered other severely neglected animals and seized nine more in the early morning hours Friday.

The Double Diamond boarding facility on Seven Mile Road near Currie Road has more than 60 horses on the property, and nearly 20 have been neglected, the Humane Society said in an article posted on its website. Many of the horses are seriously underfed and in desperate need of veterinary care.

"This is a terrible sight to see,” Schaecher said. “Starving to death in the cold is a horrible way for these noble creatures to die. This will be a costly case and challenging in terms of ongoing care of the animals. Michigan's economy has been very difficult on horses because they are so expensive to care for, and even if you wanted to sell or give away your horse, nobody's taking them right now because of the costs involved.”

The facility merely provides space for owners to rent, Schaecher said Thursday. It is the responsibility of owners to care for their animals.

The investigation began Tuesday after the Humane Society received calls from people concerned about the animals, Schaecher said Thursday.

Watch a WXYZ video about the investigation below.



Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

Yes, the US liberation of Afghanistan by a 50 nation coalition during Operation Enduring Freedom following three separate bi-partisan votes in support (as democrats tripped all over themselves to sign on) of retribution for the 9/11 attacks. It's really a problem for democrat supporters like Clinton and Kerry who now count on the leftist press and voter ADHD to help them lie about their support of the conflict and subsequent cowardly denials. Certainly obama could not get 50 countries to return a phone call asking for suggestions about his IPod song list, let alone build a coalition to defend the United States. ....but have you seen his medal? LOL They say if you tell a lie long enough, the lies become truth – one of the foundations of the democrat party. …in the end, it is their choice whether to fight for freedom or turn away from it and hide. A2c there can tell you where US heroin comes from.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

If this property could be turned into a non-profit rescue, that would be amazing. Not that I would trust the current owners to run it....just a daydream. There are a lot of horse people out there who would volunteer, and God knows a lot of horses needing to be rescued.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 6:32 a.m.

As the economy tanked and people could not afford to take care of their animals anymore, this sort of thing has been on the rise. Fortunatly, congress has lifted the ban on consumption of horse meat in the US. As angry as that may make many people, currently they are being loaded up and shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter and consumption. Packed into trains and trailers and taken on several days journey under poor conditions. Even PETA approves of the lifting of the ban as it will be less cruel on the animals. Horse meat is also one of the healthiest red meats there are, very high in protien. It is a sweet meat with a taste similar to beef or venison. Most of the taboo feelings towards eating horse meet come from the early catholic faith equating butchering of horses with pagan rituals. Many hungry people can be fed off a single horse. The older the horse the more tender the meat too, this is opposite the rule of most animals that get tougher as they age. I hope to try my first horse steaks soon, I will call it "cowboy steak".


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Self-boarding facilities should not exist! This is what happens! People are trying to save a buck by doing all the work. Then they get lazy and stop caring for the horses properly. It is a shame that two horses had to die because of their fat, lazy, incompetent owners. Shame on the facility management for not checking up on it's boarders. They can't just rent space and turn a blind eye to neglect. I hope all involved get prosecuted - the horse owners, the facility owner, all the people who knew about the neglect but didn't say anything! They all deserve jail time.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

Hey, don't lump fat people in with these monsters. I may be fat, but I am not lazy or incompetent, and I'm definitely not an animal abuser.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

The owner is probably someone who doesn't even live in the area and uses this as an "investment". The stable manager, not surprisingly, hung up on me when I asked how they could have allowed horses to die on the property. Too bad horse ownership isn't held up to the same standards and scrutiny that dog and cat adoptions get. The HSHV can't possible visit all of the horse boarding facilities on a regular basis. They don't have the funding. If the County Government doesn't restore their funding it will be worse. We, the caring people of this community, need to make sure they get the money that need. Living things are more important than more "recreation opportunities".


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

Consider what would have been done (or not done) to aleve the suffering of these beautiful animals if there had been no organization with the expertise of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Now, think about the impact of proposed cuts to County funding of Humane Society rescue work. Below are two links with more information. Learn as much as you can about this issue, and contact your county commissioner to say &quot;support full funding for HSHV rescue work! <a href=""></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

The Double Diamond boarding facility needs to be under new management, via new ownership, or at least long-term supervision, not closed. This area needs places for horses, and to reduce the number increases the costs at others, exacerbating the problem. Don't get me wrong, this sort of treatment is wrong and intolerable, and must stop. But finding inexpensive homes for all of these horses needs to be considered. If not, some owners may take the Mexican food option and sell their horse. Cutting the funding to the HVHS at times such as now is wrong, an organization such as the HVHS could be the one to supervise the The Double Diamond boarding facility, as they need supervision. If someone from HVHS had visited for 15 minutes once every 2 weeks, this never would have had happened. It could even be a local 4H kid, making a weekly report. IT NEED NOT COST MUCH


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

Those owners should be HORSE WHIPPED!!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

I'm reading this after having spent part of the afternoon with my horse's myomassologist fretting over her aches and pains Cost: $100. Three Fridays ago my afternoon was spent with the saddle fitter, to the tune of $100. Next Friday the farrier will be out at a mere cost of $38. It's like that every month for us, it's either one thing or another. Does it sound like I must be rich or something? I drive a rusted out 15 year old car that I keep in great mechanical order so that I can always get to the boarding barn if I need to and do my clothes shopping either at thrift stores or Sam's downtown (you guys are the best!). Some weeks I eat beans and rice. Call me crazy, but my horse comes first. If you don't have the will or the love to do that, for god's sake don't buy a horse. There are people who board at this place whose horses were not seized, and in my view they are as culpable as the property owner and the owners of the horses who are poorly or deceased, for not reporting this sooner.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

This is not large scale. Large scale is reading an article out of Quebec on the largest puppy mill in Canadian history. 500 seized puppies and dogs are now after 2 months of rehabilitation are going to go to good homes. So says their magistrate. Look it up on HS International. In this area? It might be monumental but after reading what someone can to do to someone who can't defend itself? Astronomical.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

OK fine, then read the article I just got and a picture to go with it on an animal that was aloud to starve to death and was saved. Starving horses and the boarders who do not check on them? Priceless. Why? Because they are not being responsible owners that is why. Very sad to see humans do inhumane things.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

I beg to differ. If an animal is abused, and allowed to starve to death in this way, it is monumental. You'd better believe a LOT of people knew about this!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

I think they could give the horses away for free to other horse owners. I personally have a cousin who said she would have taken in a couple. She probably still can, but too bad she couldn't have gotten them before they were so malnourished and abused


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

anyone who saw these horses knew what was happening and all of them should be charged with the abuse and neglect of an animal. the county's voting in favor of cutting the contract with hshv is really interesting since $$$$$s could have been saved in the budget by outsourcing e.g. probation agents. but, no we will save by euthanizing .... how are we different to detroit?

A2 Cat

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

What a tragic situation. Our community is fortunate that we have such an amazing organization- the Humane Society of Huron Valley- that can step in when animals are being abused. In light of stories like these, I can't fathom how the Washtenaw County Commissioners can justify reneging on their contract with HSHV in favor of some mystery agency whose primary role will be to euthanize stray dogs after 4-7 days. It stands to be repeated that everyone concerned with animal welfare in our community should contact the BOC and remind them that a) they were elected to represent the citizens in their district, and that b) we citizens want them to restore full funding for HSHV so stories like these do not become the norm.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 9 p.m.

This does not sound like people are paying &quot;big money&quot; for their horses to board at this facility. This sounds like a co-op...where individuals are responsible for the care of their own horses. A lot of people MUST have known about this neglect long before it got this bad, and they did NOTHING. I pay good money to board my horse, and she is well fed, loved, and cared for, and I am out there at LEAST every other day! Sometimes people use these cheap facilities to dump their horses when they no longer care about them, or can no longer afford them. Horses can live to be 30+ years old. Vet bills are high. Hay and grain is expensive. If you cannot promise a horse a life long home, do not buy one! I know your little girl LOVES horses, took lessons, and now wants her own lessons, and she looks so darn cute on that you cave and buy her that horse. Then she discovers boys, and doesn't visit her horse as often. Then she goes off to college, and suddenly, there you are with a horse who needs care, who has lost her person, and her job. I have seen this happen over and over. The horse is taken to auction, where he is sold to buyers who ship them to Canada or Mexico, in horrible conditions...packed in like sardines...not enough food or water...some are dead or diseased on arrival. They are crowded into pens where they are &quot;cow-cocked&quot; (A bolt is shot into their brains...a horrible way to die, and it is often NOT instantaneous.) Then they end up on some European or Mexican table. These hoses people eat such aplomb are often eating meat tainted with &quot;bute (a horse pain killer), pesticides, and other contaminants. Excuse me. I have to go vomit now.

Julie Lavrack Stetten

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

My question -- if you are boarding horses at a facility --- you don't go and check it out -- or check on your horse a few times a month at a minimum.... horrible!


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

When you take responsibility for a horse, you take responsibility for its daily grooming and exercise needs. Horses bond to their person.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

A few times a month? Are you joking? How bout weekly? Ride them when you can. But check on them a few times a month? Wow. I don't get that one.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

I was going to say that why have animals if you know, or are starting to let them go? But as the video progressed, it made me wonder if this whole place is a scam. People paying big money to board there horses just for them to be neglected.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

We can only hope that someone will have the power to shut The Double Diamond boarding facility down. HSHV accepts donations to help in the animal cruelty investigations on their site. You can also read their statement there.

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 1 p.m.

A much better result would be to have the The Double Diamond boarding facility under new management via new ownership. This area needs places for horses, and to reduce the number increases the costs at others, exacerbating the problem. Don't get me wrong, this sort of treatment is wrong and intolerable, and must stop. But finding inexpensive homes for all of these horses needs to be considered. If not, some owners may take the Mexican food option and sell their horse. Cutting the funding to the HVHS at times such as now is wrong, an organization such as the HVHS could be the one to supervise the The Double Diamond boarding facility, as they need supervision.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Thank god there was an local Humane Society to call to help these horses and stop the suffering. And too bad the Washtenaw County Commissioners want to cut or discontinue their funding to do so. Please write or call your local Washtenaw County Commissioner to let them know you support the work of HSHV and will remember the Commissioner's support or lack thereof at election time.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

I had to reread the article. They are two separate entities. One gets the animal and the other treats the animal. One in the same? Maybe.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

Same difference. The Huron Valley Humane Society is animal control. And &quot;letting them go&quot; will hinder their work on all fronts. It's not like they'd be investigating cases regularly without a mandate for services.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

It is animal control they are going to let go. Not the HS. Reread that article.