Why is euthenasia such a bad word in equine society?

I tried for months to get any form of help with providing care for a couple of our older mares and got nowhere, now less than a day after making a list on who we are euthanizing to free up funds to care for the other mares in our care nearly all are spoken for and have new homes to go to. Our list was not made lightly. We ranked the mares based on cost of care, the top mare on the list is the most costly to care for and she accounts for almost half of our monthly expenses on the farm. The second one who made the list is the next costly to care for and is also the one who needs the most rehabbing, she is also the oldest resident. The last one to make our list of three is the one who has the most trust issues and appears to have the least training.

Being put to sleep is not a catastrophic experience, at least I don’t think so. I witnessed a mare being euthanized Wednesday May 13th, she got tangled in the fence after I ignored my gut and listened to someone in a group chat on facebook. We struggled for nearly 4 hours to get her up, we failed and with the vet’s assistance made the decision to let her cross the rainbow bridge. There wasn’t a lot of work to it, they came out with the large shot injected into her neck vein and she crossed the bridge. So why are we being made out to be criminals for having this list? We have literally been told that if we euthanize these mares instead of rehoming them our rescue reputation will be ruined. I also feel like my post highlighted a lot of issues in our community, the thrill of the save, everyone wants to help get them safe but when it comes to aftercare no one wants to help. They view the horses as not in danger and taken care of, I have tried since October 2019 to get sponsors for some of these horses to help offset the cost of day to day care and allow us to build a safety net incase of an emergency, which there have been a lot of lately. I got a few people to step up, but nothing major. Now we list these mares and in less than 12 hours all but one of the three on the list have pending home offers, which we have to get approved by the sheriff’s department because we were turned in for neglect. A deputy came out to start the investigation, he said that other than the one mare (second on the list) who is penned up away from the herd under vet care, the rest look good and he feels that the department was very misled on the actual condition of the horses.


The 3 mares in question for potential being put to sleep if push comes to shove. Along with why they were added to the list.

Ava takes daily Prascend, Equiox, & MSM she is 18 pasture sound only due to arthritic changes, she is on a low NSC diet due to PPID, she is considered blind in her left eye (can see big shadows just enough to cause her to get defensive & kick) due to chronic recurrent uveitis. She has moon blindness in right eye is what I was told, she can see a bit but after it gets dark she is more likely to try to kill you or run. She has chronic abcesses in right rear hoof. She is currently on A&M genuine equine (8% NSC), her meds run about 275 every 60 days.

Dad is 19yo, pasture sound only, needs a lot of weight still. She is on 2 pounds empower boost, 2 pounds empower topline with the 14% HiStepper as a base, she also takes MSM & Optizyme. She is a massive cribber will crib with hay right next to her. Teeth were done mid April. She is very affectionate, but can be food aggressive. She does well turned out, but won’t fuss when put in a stall, she wears a 75 blanket in the winter. Labs were done in February, Vet said looked good, powerpaced based off fecal done at February visit.

Tip Tap is 16yo, very minimal training, possibly just halter broke then chucked in a pasture to be a broodmare needs lots of patience & reassurance. Takes forever to warm up to anyone. She is in good condition but most medical history is unknown, does look like she needs tested for PPID, as she has the PPID chest/tummy look.

Now based off the information above you would think people would run the other way going no way those girls take to much work, and they do take a lot of work. But yet they all have someone wanting them now, the now part is because I now know it will cost $200 to euthanize a horse through our vet service, plus the 65 farm call fee means that for a one time total of $665 we could save almost half of our monthly expenses.

It’s not a road anyone wants to take, but what is best for these girls?? Should we rehome them knowing the care they require or should we euthanize them and free up their spot for another horse in the equine rescue world?

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