HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
When making a complaint about neglected, abused or abandoned animals, please adhere to the following lists of dos and don’ts. To help a case proceed as smoothly as possible, here is what you want to do:
• Provide the address where the horse is located. If that’s not possible, give directions that are as precise as possible. For example, heading north on highway 77 from the interstate, go two miles to county road 100 and turn right, then drive about a mile. The horses are on the right side of the road, behind a barbed wire fence next to a mobile home that appears to be abandoned.
We often get directions such as, “The skinny horses are in Moody, Texas, on highway 7,” but highway 7 may be hundreds of miles long. I’ve even received directions that say, “There is a starving horse behind the yellow house in Emory.” Without specific information, we cannot locate the horses and get them help.
• Take photos or videos from a public road, if it’s allowed in your state. These images will help law enforcement and/or the rescue identify which horses you are reporting and decide how dire the situation is before they act.
You may not trespass to obtain images. If you want to go onto neighboring property to see the horses better, you must first get permission. Some states have “ag gag” laws---anti-whistleblower measures that make it illegal to record incidents of alleged animal cruelty in farming practices. You might be able to make the case that an ag gag law doesn’t apply to photographing a neglected or abandoned horse, but a judge may disagree if the owner sues or presses charges.
• Document as many details as you can. Write down the number of horses, their colors and distinguishing markings you can see from a distance, the condition of each horse, and any other pertinent details. If you see the horses frequently, start a log and record the date and time you see the horses, and note any changes in their condition.
• Give the authorities time to work. If a neglected horse’s life is not in immediate danger, most law enforcement officers will give the owner an opportunity to correct the situation. They will educate the owner on proper