IN CASE OF ABANDONMENT
Just as with estray horses, abandoned horses are not subject to the “finders keepers” rule. If you purchase a property and find out the owner has left his/her horses there, they may convey with the property, but you’ll need to check with your realtor. If you believe a horse has been abandoned on a piece of property, the situation normally falls under the state’s neglect or cruelty law and must be handled by law enforcement.
Other rules may govern equine abandonment in boarding situations. If you run a boarding barn or simply allow someone to keep their horses on your property, a case of abandonment probably falls under your state’s agricultural lien statutes. A stableman’s lien, for example, may stipulate that a boarding barn operator may detain an animal until the moneys due for its care and/or other services are paid.