Between Patience and Procrastination: Waiting is an Action Verb.

ND mini CookieSometimes it feels like there is no comfortable place for us at Horse Advocates. It’s like cooking Thanksgiving dinner; some things are in the oven forever and some things are a last minute panic. But we don’t expect to be any more comfortable that the horses we work for.

Most cases move in slow motion. A first report gets filed and nothing happens quickly. Even in a case of clear abuse or neglect, if the horse is not in danger of eminent death, things proceed slowly. Obviously Horse Advocates is not happy with this standard, and we are trying to have a voice in redefining this process.

Then there are a few welfare checks. It isn’t hard for a neglectful owner to make enough superficial changes to satisfy the deputy and the case gets closed. Then in a month, another complaint rolls in. It’s these long-term offenders that are such a challenge. And in the process, the horses struggle quietly for way too long and tax dollars are wasted. Sometimes years pass, and for the older neglected horses, a rehab can take more time than they have left. These horses need our voice to be heard now.

Last month we saw the Brunzell/Dual Peppy court case get postponed for a few more months. When the reporter asked for a comment after, I was at a loss. I know he wants to hear something new—a good sound bite. But at a certain point, in the ongoing months between the initial discovery and the actual trial, there actually isn’t anything new. The obvious things have been said. It stops being news, which is by definition, new. Of course putting the trial back works against us. The passage of time softens most memories, even the kind of carnage involved in this case. Once the initial horror becomes familiar, it recedes in our minds. Those dead and nearly-forgotten horses continue to need our voice to be heard, now more than ever. It’s too late to save the skeletons under tarps, but it isn’t too late for justice.

At Horse Advocates, we try to be optimistic. If nothing else, mental health requires it. At the same time we remain painfully aware that El Paso county has had a bad track record when it comes to horse abuse.

Then in February, the Sheriff’s office, with the full support of the Deputy District Attorney, the same one who’s prosecuting the Brunzell case, ordered the return of two horses to a neglectful owner. The rescue they were adopted from had reclaimed them three months before, under conditions clearly stated in the adoption contract. This is a huge blow against all types of animal rescues who use a legal contract to stipulate conditions of care.

Time works against all horses. The longer they languish in neglect, the more damage is done, and the longer it takes to return them to health. There are psychological damages not even considered by the authorities. Their lives are short, and in this special case, where previously rescued horses needed rescue again, time is especially precious.

Horse Advocates is following this case with intense focus. We are deeply concerned for these at-risk horses. Beyond that, this case will set the tone for our new Sheriff’s actual commitment to horse welfare and his overall respect for animal rescue in general. We support the idea that local horse rescues, the El Paso County officials, and Horse Advocates could all be on the same side—the side of horses. For now, we watch and wait for this case to play out in our system. We are told everything takes time, but that time comes at a cost we never forget. For now, we have no choice.  We wait.

The Problem is with P words–like Patience and Procrastination. Horse Advocates is uncomfortable in either place, and so we choose Perseverance.

It’s frustrating sometimes, and boring other times. Keeping an open heart is hard in light of the suffering that horses sustain. When too much time passes, it’s hard to keep faith in a system that has failed in the past. It’s frustrating for any group who need to see a difference in a reasonable time. But if we give in to the dark side of advocacy, then aren’t we somewhat complicit in the horse’s neglect as well?

Horse Advocates won’t give up, and we hope you will continue to stand with us. The best hope we have is Perseverance; to band together committed to justice in each case, for each horse. No matter how long it takes.

Wait it out with us, will you? The horses need each of our voices.

Anna Blake for Horse Advocates.


8 comments on “Between Patience and Procrastination: Waiting is an Action Verb.

  1. Sharon says:

    We will continue to persevere with you, and say a prayer for a change of heart from those in El Paso Couny government

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy says:

    Reblogged this on "OUR WORLD".


  3. Jan rutledge says:

    Your tenacity to change what is and make it right is wonderful. So much I have to say but will try to be brief. Being a very senior citizen, have witnessed, reported etc. abuse for many, many years with some success. What I am seeng is, finally, people like you, Diama Ragula, and so many more, standing up and making a difference like I haven’t seen before. Social media is a great help, avenue, to get the message out there and make people aware and join to get this horrid problem addressed. It’s people like you though, who are leading the parade and are not afraid to SPEAK up, DEMAND, that law enforcement take animals lovers seriously. It has to do with being a civilized people. Anyone who abuses an animal is very likely to abuse anything and everything. It is a sickness and won’t ever be eliminated but, damn it, won’t be tolerated. Feel very positive that progress is being made and also feel very strongly that we have to praise, educate, thank, nurture all law enforcement to be on “our” side. From my teaching, training experience over the years, encouragement instead of discouragement is ALWAYS the best and ONLY way to teach, inspire and change! Trust me. Thank you Anna for what you are doing. Know it can be discouraging at times but know it’s worth it and that you have some pit bulls behind you!!! Easy for me to say eh?
    Will be back in Co. and at trial in May.
    Many, many thanks again – J
    Was that brief? 😊


    • horseco says:

      Thank you, Jan, for this heartfelt and inspiring comment. All of us on the board of Horse Advocates works relentlessly, and maybe with the help of social media, we can make it different than it has ever been. Better for horses means better for humans. Thanks again.


  4. Robbie Fair says:

    Shared this on Justice for Dual Peppy Horses, CO and Justice for the Copiah County horses!


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