HORSE

EQUUS - - Special Report -

The staff and ex­pe­ri­enced vol­un­teers of an equine res­cue may as­sist law en­force­ment agen­cies with cases of abused or ne­glected horses at sev­eral stages of the process.

• In­ves­ti­ga­tions: The res­cue may pre­screen ne­glect com­plaints by driv­ing by the prop­erty to make sure the horses are present and ap­pear ne­glected. They may also ac­com­pany law en­force­ment of­fi­cers as they visit the prop­erty and may as­sist in ed­u­cat­ing own­ers about proper care and han­dling of their horses.

• Seizures: Res­cues are usu­ally not au­tho­rized to re­move horses from a prop­erty with­out the pres­ence of law en­force­ment, but vol­un­teers may as­sist an of­fi­cer dur­ing a seizure. The res­cue may also pro­vide ad­vice as well as trail­ers, hal­ters and other nec­es­sary equip­ment.

• Hous­ing: Equine res­cues may take in horses and pro­vide all nec­es­sary shel­ter and care while any le­gal pro­ceed­ings play out.

• Doc­u­men­ta­tion: Res­cue per­son­nel may ac­com­pany an of­fi­cer on an in­ves­ti­ga­tion or seizure to pho­to­graph the horses, as­sign a body con­di­tion score, and doc­u­ment any other no­table is­sues such as un­treated in­juries or poor liv­ing con­di­tions. They may also take ad­di­tional pho­tos and keep records of changes in the horses’ con­di­tion dur­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to doc­u­ment how they re­cov­ered with proper care.

• Tri­als and hear­ings: Ex­pe­ri­enced and trained res­cue per­son­nel may go to court to pro­vide ex­pert tes­ti­mony about the horses’ con­di­tion dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and seizure and their sub­se­quent re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

• Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­hom­ing: If the owner sur­ren­ders the horses or the courts award them to the res­cue, the res­cue then com­pletes the horses’ re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and finds them new homes.

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