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  1. #1

    Default Is this a kind end for an old friend ? SAD UPDATE POST 42

    The BO has an old mare (dentist estimates well over 30 years). This horse has been on the slow but steady decline for about a year now, but about 2 months ago injured her front leg, vet thinks it's a torn tendon but the owner didn't want to pay for an ultrasound. Horse was showing slow but steady improvement with treatment - this mare is typically very quiet in turnout and does try and take care of herself, so she's been out and wrapped the entire time.

    Then on Friday, this old mare injured her back leg and is gimpy. She is clearly miserable and the BO is making the decision to have her PTS before the winter sets in. I don't fault her at all for wanting to do this, it is clearly her horse and her decision and the horse is picking up speed on the downhill slide ... BUT ....

    Instead of having a vet come out and chemically euthanize the horse, she is going to have a 'service' come out and shoot the horse so that her meat can be used. I've been in this horsey community for going on 30 years now and have never heard of this service, and I'm more than a bit concerned. Mostly because what happens if the guy misses the first time ? How much experience does this person have ? Is this some yahoo hunter dude, or someone who is really qualified to get a clean fast kill on the first shot ?

    I have not said anything to the BO about my feelings, it's really not my place. The BO clearly loves this old mare and was sobbing on the phone when she told me last night.

    But I was wondering if other COTHers find this as worrysome as I do ?
    Last edited by Alter in Use; Nov. 17, 2012 at 08:45 AM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
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    If the BO is choosing this route, I would trust that he/she knows the shooter and knows, therefore, that they are experienced & qualified to place the shot in the proper position for a quick death.

    This option is rather a good one for all concerned: The mare will never know it, the ground water will not be affected adversely by contamination from burial, the meat will feed wild cats (or perhaps a local hunt's dog pack) and she saves some on the expense.

    Just be there for her and give her a hug.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Thumbs up

    What Choco Mare said!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  4. #4
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Yes, what ChocoMare said.

    Being shot is only scary for you, not the horse. They are dead before they can know what happened to them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Nov. 6, 2012
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    I realize that if done correctly that this is a quick and painless end for the horse.

    But my concerns are about the person that is going to do this - I have never heard of this service in my 30+ years of owning horses and boarding in this area, and neither have any friends who have horses in the area.

    It's the BO's choice of what to do for her old friend, not mine, so I have no intentions of talking to her about it.

    This is just not done around here, and I wonder about the person's skill in doing this efficiently and humanely.



  6. #6
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Using a fire arm correctly does not require many years of training or anything. The right location for a quick easy kill is readily available online and just about anyone who knows how to use their gun can do it with out drama.

    You are turning this into something it is not.

    This is just not done around here
    Just because you do not know about it does not mean it is not done.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    It is very traumatic for the person, not so much for the horse. I would mind my own business if I were you.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
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    All of my horses will be PTS with a shot. They're just too big to use drugs and risk contamination with the body. I've never heard of anyone having a problem with it.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  9. #9
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    May. 20, 2005
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    My cousin's old horses were shot by a neighbor, who kindly agreed to put them down when Cousin entered a nursing home. The horses came through the winter of 2006/7 in poor shape and it was the kindest thing to do.

    Another neighbor who attended to help said Neighbor did a good job and both horses stood quietly while he did the deed. Later I found their skulls with one clean hole in the middle of the forehead -- right where the textbooks say to aim.

    Dispatch by gunshot is commonly done and is quicker for the horse. Really, it's OK.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter in Use View Post
    ...I have never heard of this service in my 30+ years of owning horses and boarding in this area, and neither have any friends who have horses in the area.
    Perhaps someone (probably another horse person who is a hunter / marksmen) saw the need and is now offering the service. Wish more would.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    I saw a horse shot and it was a very quick and painless end. As long as the shooter knows what to do, I think it's an appropriate choice.
    ~Veronica
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  12. #12
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    Appease your anxiety about it by comforting your BO who sounds like she's really hurting over having to let her old friend go. She's made her decision regarding the manner in which it will happen. Respect that, and comfort her loss.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Have you ever seen a horse react badly to euth by injection? Trust me, sometimes a bullet is MUCH more humane.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


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  14. #14
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    I have a 26 y/o that I keep a close eye on because he's not in the greatest health. When his time comes, I'll have him euthed by bullet.

    Shooting is only traumatic for the humans. When done correctly, it's instantaneous and much more humane than death by chemical injection. People choose chemical euthing because it's 'prettier' than shooting.
    The plural of anecdote is not data.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Nov. 6, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    Have you ever seen a horse react badly to euth by injection? Trust me, sometimes a bullet is MUCH more humane.
    I've seen many horses put down over the years, and have not seen a bad reaction to it. It is hard to watch but it's over very quickly. Not that I doubt that it could happen.

    I have seen a deer attempt to be put down by a police officer. The deer was hit by a car, down and clearly dying slowly and I called to have someone come out and dispatch it as I didn't have access or knowledge to use a gun. Deer was shot 2x point blank in the head with a handgun, not sure what type, and was getting up as best it could to try and run away. The deer was not having muscle spasms, it was trying to get up by rolling onto its belly/shest and trying to get its front legs underneath itself. It was horrible and the cop got another call and so had to leave before the job was done. Obviously this cop did not know how to properly dispatch an animal.

    My concern is that since is just not commonly done at all in this area (I even called a few vets to ask about it - we're not far from Philadelphia so it's pretty urbanized), the person doing it will not be experienced and the potential for things to go badly is higher. I love my BO to death and she is a wonderful friend, but sometimes she doesn't always think things through and I'm wondering if she is asking the right questions about the person's experience while being that upset. I have not said a word to her about the method she has chosen, just told her I am so sorry that this mare needs to be PTS and that I will give her a big hug and a shoulder to cry on the next time I'm at the farm. I would never say anything to upset her further during a difficult time, and so have not said anything.

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough in the original post.



  16. #16
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    Yes, it is a kind end for an old friend. I would do the same when the time came but my BO would probably not allow it.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


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  17. #17
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    If you are not far from Philly then you are probably in my neck of the woods and I can tell you, YES it is done around here. Shame on you for judging your BO's decision. You have had enough posters on here tell you it is a humane end to the horse's life. Trust your BO to have someone qualified to put the horse down, it doesn't sound like she is someone who doesn't care.
    You have no way of knowing if the person is experienced or not, but like others said, it isn't exactly hard to do if they know how to use a gun.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter in Use View Post
    I've seen many horses put down over the years, and have not seen a bad reaction to it. It is hard to watch but it's over very quickly. Not that I doubt that it could happen.
    I've only ever had one horse put down. My old mare, who I had for 22 years, had gotten to the point where she was just so sore and so tired that it was time. We dug the hole, vet came out, and it was horrible. She was a tough old girl, just as she had been her entire life, and she just would not go. He had to use four times the normal amount and it took forever. I was in tears, the vet was just about in tears. He just kept saying how he had never seen anything like it. It was awful. I don't know what I will do with the next horse (or pony, I have a 23 year old pony with few teeth who is not eating well, dreading the thought.)

    If I had known someone to shoot her and could donate her body to a zoo or a foxhunt kennel, I would have done that in a heartbeat. Kudos to your barn owner for thinking that way.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Mind your own business. What she is proposing is humane, legal and far kinder to the environment than euthanasia via drugs.

    You have a rare 100% agreement from the posters here. That alone should tell you that you're out of line.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Nov. 10, 2011
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    I don't think the OP is judging the BO. She already stated that no matter what her opinion is, she will keep it to herself.

    I also have never heard of this "service" and as far as I know it is not done regularly in our community.

    I can agree with others that having a horse PTS by a vet isn't always the prettiest scene.

    Either way, having a longtime friend PTS is a terrible experience whether it is done by a "service" or a vet.
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