Yep, the "White Paper" by our dear John Holland still floats around denying that horse abandonment is really happening. Goes into great detail (of lies) to cover up the fact. I'd like to keep this thread for refrence for when I (or anyone) comes across an abandoment article.... The latest one I just read: Horses in need of homes: Costs add up to care for abandoned animals http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20090110/NEWS/901100333&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL RAYMOND - Hinds County Sheriff's Department Capt. John Hulsebosch shakes his head when asked about the horses in the pasture at the county's penal farm. Advertisement Somehow, a facility never designed to care for horses now has 14. And Hulsebosch has to find a way to feed and care for the animals, most of which have been abandoned. "We pick them up on the side of the road sometimes," Hulsebosch said. Animal rescue groups across the state are in a similar situation: All have more horses than they can handle, said Deborah Boswell, Mississippi Animal Rescue League executive director. MARL also has 14 horses that need homes, and the Jackson shelter has no more barn space, she said. "It's very costly to care for a horse," she said. "A big portion of (what's going on) is the economy." Feed and care of one horse can cost as much as $5,000 a year. Hulsebosch is not sure when the penal farm started its horse collection, but he said it has more now than ever. Most of the horses have been abandoned by owners unwilling or unable to spend the money on them, Hulsebosch said. The penal farm houses them because MARL can't hold any more. Gene Floyd of Mendenhall came to the penal farm this week to pick up his 24-year-old horse, Dixie. She got out after someone cut the fence at the pasture she was at in Terry, he said. "I was scared somebody hit her or got her," Floyd said. Floyd slogged through the muddy pasture to Dixie and put a rope on her. Floyd said caring for a horse can be expensive. He and his wife, Kimberly, have seven horses. They generally spend $250 a month on feeding and basic care, he said. The Sheriff's Department gets horse feed, hay and other necessities from MARL, which operates on donations. Without MARL, there's no way the county could take care of the animals, many of which remain there for extended periods, Hulsebosch said. One brown mustang has been at the farm for two years. Hulsebosch wants to plant fruit trees and blueberry bushes where the horses graze, but he can't do it as long as the animals need the land. "I need to be farming that 20 acres," he said. Boswell estimates that MARL spends $2,000 a year caring for each horse the organization takes in on its 47 acres. Adoption fees only run from $250 to $400. "We're placing these animals at a loss to us," she said. The horse market, like many other markets, is down in this economy, and that makes it harder for people to sell horses they can't afford to keep. The value of an average horse has dropped by half, while the cost of feed and medical care has doubled during recent years, said Sheila Horton, founder of Have a Heart Horse Rescue and Animal Protection Agency Inc. in Baldwyn. The price of a horse can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The nonprofit Have a Heart is caring for 18 horses. Have a Heart has seen a sharp increase in the number of calls the organization gets about abandoned or neglected horses, Horton said. "I probably get three to five calls a day," she said. In her part of the state, Horton said feed and hay have gone up by about a third in price during the past year. Many horse owners do not realize what it takes to care for such a large animal, she said. Add to that some owners don't feed their horses enough or at all, she said. Because space is tight for the horses, MARL is partnering with the Sheriff's Department penal farm and state prison at Parchman. Inmates will care for and train the horses, which can pasture on the jail or prison property. In addition to feed and hay, horses require routine worming and hoof trimmings. Feed costs in the area of $9 to $12 for a 50-pound bag, and the average horse will need $150 worth of feed a month. "They take a lot more than people think they do," Horton said.