The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Local News

February 1, 2009

Economic troubles may be spelling bad news for horses

Economic ills are bringing hard times out in the country and that means some horses in West Virginia are either being neglected or simply turned loose to fend for themselves.

Each month, the Department of Agriculture averages half a dozen calls about horses facing neglect, or abandonment, as owners simply cannot find the money to buy them food, and the matter worsens in the winter months.

Unable to graze in the snow and frozen turf, horses must rely on owners to put hay up in the barns, and for some, the average monthly cost of $100 to do so is putting a severe cramp in their budgets. Push comes to shove, and the owners part company with their trusty steeds.

Aware of a worsening problem, Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass is calling a meeting with his agency and others in the state in hopes of finding a solution.

Only a week ago, his agency disposed of a severely injured horse that was found along the roadside and taken home by a concerned animal lover.

“I fear we have not seen the last of these types of incidents,” Douglass said. “The economy looks as though it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and pets — particularly large animals such as horses — can be very expensive to take care of.”

Buddy Davidson, the department’s communications director, says small, domestic animals remain an on-going problem.

“There has always been a dog and cat overpopulation,” he said. “There are pounds and there are procedures at the local level where those are dealt with. Large animals have been kind of left in limbo. Horses are a kind of a special sort of case.”

Owners with several horses are finding it increasingly difficult to buy feed, and trying to unload horses at livestock market has been problematic, he said. For one thing, the price they fetch has been rock bottom.

Text Only
Local News
  • Jury trial set in Bob Graham case

    Robert E. “Bob” Graham, the former executive director of the Wyoming County Council on Aging and All-Care Home and Community Services Inc., will be back in U.S. District Court in Bluefield this October for a trial to recover consequential damages for aggravation and inconvenience from National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., the insurance company that provided him coverage when he served as director of the two agencies.

    July 25, 2014

  • Calendar — Friday, July 25, 2014

    July 25, 2014

  • Kids drama camp dips into the acting bug

    Some kids growled and grumbled. Others complained about the stories they heard. A few wore pig noses. Grandpa nearly fell asleep.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sewage treatment plant project clears another hurdle

    Ronceverte’s planned construction of a new sewage treatment plant cleared another regulatory hurdle with the expiration Wednesday of a 20-day waiting period at the state Public Service Commission.

    July 25, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg keeping eye on gas spill

    Mayor John Manchester said Tuesday night it was in the city’s best interest that officials proceed with caution to reports of a diesel spill farther up the Greenbrier River because “we wouldn’t want to run into an Elk River challenge here."

    July 24, 2014

  • NCCC team brings its skills to work in Hinton

    William Custus, 20, of Washington, and Sabree Koonce, 21, of Leavenworth, Kan., have spent the summer making West Virginia beautiful.

    July 24, 2014

  • Cyclist injured in accident

    A cyclist was injured on a trail near the Gauley River when she fell from her bike to avoid a tree branch.

    July 24, 2014