30-plus horses removed from Zuni home

30-plus horses removed from Zuni home

There are 74 comments on the WAVY Norfolk Hampton Roads story from Jan 21, 2009, titled 30-plus horses removed from Zuni home. In it, WAVY Norfolk Hampton Roads reports that:

ISLE OF WIGHT, CO., Va. - Thirty-plus horses were removed from a home on Sand Pit Road in Isle of Wight Wednesday, after authorities say they received a tip of a deceased horse on the property.

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King William, VA

#1 Jan 21, 2009
Want to know more, as a horse owner, where did these horses go? Was this a boarding barn? Does Animal Control need help? Are there more than one owner for these animals? The dogs, was this a puppy mill?

United States

#2 Jan 21, 2009
Good intentions or not, they knew these horses were not being fed properly. They could have contacted rescue groups or SPCA. I have been in horse industry for 30 years. They may be working with officials, maybe to save themselves from charges. I don't feel sorry for them.

Columbia, MD

#3 Jan 22, 2009
I would think that starving thirty plus horses, would be no different than fighting dogs. What is the judicial system going to do about this? Why don't you post their pictures all over the media. Is it because they're not prominent atheletes making a lot of money? Where are all of those so-called animal rights folks now? Equal justice under the law is warranted here, I should say!

Henderson, NC

#4 Jan 22, 2009
I know what happened in Zuni was horrific, however, it is not our place to judge these people. Can you say that you are all perfect? While I may not agree with how they handled their animals, and to tell the truth it angered me, I realize that I am not in their shoes. Perhaps things just escalated and they were not knowledgeable enough to know where to turn. Some people are afraid to go to the authorities to ask for help out of fear - either of punishment or what others may think. Not everyone has common sense and/or intelligence. I am not saying any of these things are the case, however, that is the exact point I am trying to make. Walk a mile in their shoes and you can judge. Until them, let the authorities handle it.

Henderson, NC

#5 Jan 22, 2009
I would like to respond to your comment "I have been in horse industry for 30 years." Well, I am glad for you to have been so successful. Did you ever think these people got into horses without realizing how difficult it is? Maybe they just didn't know how to properly care for them and things got out of control. And as to your comment "They may be working with officials, maybe to save themselves from charges." Did you ever think that maybe they are cooperating because they finally realized they needed help when someone approached them? Please do not judge these people. No one ever said their neglect of the animals was intentional. And no one is saying we have to feel sorry for them, but you don't have to be so hateful of them either.

Norfolk, VA

#6 Jan 22, 2009
It just "got out of control" and "walk a mile in their shoes"? There are loads of people that don't realize how difficult it is to raise children either but that doesn't give them the excuse to just stop feeding them. If this were child abuse you would be singing a different tune. There are no excuses for what these sick individuals put these innocent animals through and they should be punished as severely as Michael Vick. Abuse is abuse no matter who the victim may be.

Franklin, VA

#7 Jan 22, 2009
First of all, I know for a fact that not only Sheriff Phelps, but Animal Control had been contacted numerous times before for animal neglect and regarding quantity of animals. Also, a petition was signed and submitted. So why is this being treated as a "surprise" or "as if no big deal"?

Blaming this cruelty on "economy" is a cop-out. These people drive a Cadillac SUV - economy??? Were they just going to wait until the "economy" got better to feed the animals? If they couldn't feed these animals (dogs and horses both) why didn't they attempt to give them away rather than continue to starve them? I am sure that plenty of people would've gladly taken the animals. Also, why did they continue to "breed" these animals? Why didn't they get them fixed? They couldn't even sell them because they weren't sure who bred with who. What kind of a animal lover or a "breeder" allows animals to starve but continue to allow them to breed?

It appears that there will be no consequences for this cruelty so what is to say it will not happen again? From my understanding, there were dogs in the house also, but there was no "access" to the house. So once all the animals that were visible are removed, what happens to the ones in the house - left to breed and/or starve and..........what actions will be taken to keep this from occurring again?

"They had good intentions at first to raise the horses and to raise the dogs, but I think everything just got too much, too fast for them." - again they could've given them away and stop breeding them over and over again rather than just let them starve.....
Pappalardos ride now

Chula Vista, CA

#8 Jan 22, 2009
Hang 'em high! These people knew what they were doing by neglecting the horses, they could have called for assistance. To let them just stand around dying is very inhumane and the people should be treated in kind.

Henderson, NC

#9 Jan 22, 2009
Please know that I was not excusing their behavior. I am in full support of them being prosecuted. But that does not mean I judge them. I have seen intentional cruelty of animals (fighting, beating, tying horses to posts and just leaving them there to die, etc) and I have seen ignorance. This I believe was ignorance. Again, I was not trying to excuse the behavior, just merely stating we should not jump to conclusions. Also, as for there being no consequences, that is not true. According to law enforcement there will likely be charges filed, they are waiting for the results of the necropsy. As for the dogs, they were OUTSIDE of the house, housed in fence-type kennels with barrel shelters as well as some in the barn. And if you are all so righteous why aren't you helping with the care these seized animals??? I am and yet I will not judge these people. Let the law do that.
Pappalardos ride now

Chula Vista, CA

#10 Jan 22, 2009
Oh but wait! There is a huge difference between ignorance and selfish stupidity! Ignorance is not knowing. How could one not know that a living breathing being also needs water and food? To enable the breeding process requires basic understanding of anatomy, yes? I rest my case and leave it not to the law, but to God, for vengence is His.

Chesapeake, VA

#11 Jan 22, 2009
Okay, the horses and dogs have been seized by the Authorities; if the Owners are co-operating and willing to relinguish their animals to new owners; begin the adoption process immediately before the dollars and cents become the next big issue to everyone involved; and, move-on; job done!
Christy in Buda

Wimberley, TX

#12 Jan 22, 2009
I am watching my neighbors cows go into a condition that I consider to be malnutrition, only to be met with excuses about the economy, the lack of rain, the poor hay, etc. If your animal has ribs sticking out, hip bones that are visible, and is progressively losing weight... you have a problem. Good intentions or not, this is animal cruelty and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

Enfield, Canada

#13 Jan 22, 2009
i turly hope everything works out for these's people and the horses .they are a wonderful beast. may the lord be with you.

Troy, MI

#14 Jan 22, 2009
[first of all cheryl, you're ridiculous for judging these people. I know them and have infact purchased a puppy from them in great health. You have no right to judge what you have no knowledge of. were you in there house? YOU NEED TO SHUT UP.. I know Dianas heart.. and I know for a fact that her intentions were good, unfortunately things did get out of hand and frankly I did not hear of anyone offering their help. It seems like you all just watched and waited for the drama... so true of small towns.. people talk trash and do not know the circumstances, you seem to know what there driving. wowwww. you disgust me. You seem to enjoy their pain.. believe me they're suffering. This situation was not done deliberately]

Montgomery, AL

#15 Jan 22, 2009
To Jody, congrats on buying a dog from a puppy mill. How does that make you feel knowing people like you contribute to the death and abuse of millions of animals everywhere? Go to a shelter to get a pet, because PEOPLE LIKE YOU are the reason people like these who abuse animals for gain are still in business. GRATS!!!

Pittsburgh, PA

#16 Jan 22, 2009
Stop breeding animals. Don't buy from the lazy monsters who breed animals for profit, force them to get real jobs. Mandatory spay/neuter laws would end most of this horrific abuse. These horses were rescued but there are millions more animals suffering right now who will never be rescued.

United States

#17 Jan 22, 2009
Oh my lord...how sad....been a horsewoman my entire life and never have I seen anything like that...just kills me to know that suffered....

Barrington, NH

#18 Jan 22, 2009
Hey Jody- Are they suffering like those animals suffered? If your friends had been starved to death and left outside to rot then yes they are suffering but I did not see that mentioned anywhere in the article. If their intentions were truly good then why did they not get help for those animals long ago? Since you are so buddy buddy with them then why did you not help them out?

Carthage, NC

#19 Jan 22, 2009
I know the details and the people that are directly involved in the rescue. I can tell you that the situation is far worse than what is being reported in the media. The dogs are not in good health, were not being taken care of properly, and were not kept inside enclosed shelters.

Cheryl - Franklin,VA - I agree with you wholeheartedly. They should have given them away or asked for help (there are many people willing to help). There are also many vets and organizations that spay and neuter for free, so you are correct - "poor economy" is not an excuse. These are not uneducated people either. They tried to hide what was going on and that should tell anyone with common sense that they are not ignorant, but inhumane.

Jody – Havre De Grace, MD – If your puppy was healthy, then you and your puppy are very fortunate and I am truly glad for that. These dogs are NOT healthy now - not at all. Their living conditions are very poor. I am not judging them. I am however, judging their actions or rather ‘non-actions’ so to speak and they are cruel and abusive actions at best.'Not deliberate'? They did not wake up one morning to dead, malnourished horses or a farm full of unhealthy dogs. This has been going on for quite a while...a long while. Please don't bury your head in the sand.

MiscMc - Fuquay Varina, NC - This is not a matter of ignorance, it is a matter of neglect. While you assume because you don't see beating or tying of horses to fences that there is no animal cruelty, you are in fact the ignorant one here. Those horses were left in a corral with no grass, no food, and no water - left there to die, neglected - that in fact is animal abuse. In reality these people and their actions will be judged and they are very likely to be found unfit to raise slugs let alone dogs and horses. NOTE: Before you post a response to mine, I wanted to let you know that I will not be responding to any post you make because I believe you are what is commonly referred to in forums as a "troll" and I do not respond to trolls - oh and Yes, I am helping with the care of these seized animals.
Jay in France

Beaune, France

#20 Jan 23, 2009
I am sorry, but "good intentions gone bad" isn't a good excuse. Animals cannot defend themselves and anyone who gets into this situation has acted "irresponsibly" - I do not know how they can sleep at night. They should never be allowed to keep animals "ever again" (including the dogs). They should have to sell their farm to pay for the rescue of the horses.

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