News Release

March 27, 2013

Alberta SPCA to sell rescued horses at public auction in High River

The Alberta SPCA expects to send 29 geldings, mares and young horses to public auction in High River on 3 April 2013.

The animals are from a herd of 58 horses that the Alberta SPCA seized under a search warrant from a property in southern Alberta on 11 February 2013. The former owner did not reclaim any of the animals within the legal 10-day hold period. Five of the horses were euthanized for medical reasons.

The Alberta SPCA rehomed five horses immediately after the hold period expired but decided to arrange for an independent assessment of the remaining horses before proceeding with further sales.

“In addition to suffering from long-term neglect, these horses were not used to being handled,” says Roland Lines, Communications Manager for the Alberta SPCA. “Only four geldings showed evidence of having been ridden, and a large number of the horses were extremely difficult and dangerous to contain and control during the initial seizure.”

The experienced horse-industry veteran who examined the animals determined that the majority had been handled so little as to be nearly wild. He advised that 19 of the stallions were too dangerous for personal use. The Alberta SPCA decided that having those horses euthanized was in the best interests of public safety and animal welfare.

“We would like to have been able to sell all the horses,” says Lines, “but the risk to potential buyers was too high. The former owner left us with a very difficult situation to manage. His neglect and mismanagement is the reason that only some of these rescued horses are getting new homes.”

The 29 horses will be sold at the Highwood Livestock Auction in High River on Wednesday, 3 April 2013. The numbers include 8 geldings, 8 mares (6 of which are pregnant) and 13 young stock.

The Alberta SPCA’s investigation into the neglect of these horses is ongoing. It is looking at laying charges under Alberta’s Animal Protection Act.

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For further information, please contact

Roland Lines
Communications Manager
Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
10806 - 124 Street NW
Edmonton, AB  T5M 0H3
Tel: 780-447-3600 ext. 3742
Email: rlines@albertaspca.org