There is a property near us where there is a horse that is under nourished, while I am not an animal expert, from what I can tell, the horse is probably a 2 on the health scale.

The person who owns the property is an elderly lady who is chair bound, the owners of the horse have refused to move the horse to somewhere where there is more food. They do feed the horse hay, but its living in a small area where there is literally nothing left to eat.

We have found people for them to give the horse to who are willing to do what is necessary to bring the horse up to health, but so far they are not interested.

If the horse keeps going the way it is, it's going to starve. One option is to bring in a vet to look at it and see where things go from there.

From a legal point of view who is at fault here? is it the owners of the horse, or is the person who owns the property even though she is an invalid and cannot possibly go out and do anything with the horse?

  • Where are you? The law in England is different from Chad.
    – Dale M
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 3:16
  • 3
    The owners of the horse are the ones responsible - you can rent out paddocks for horses from many different people all over the world, but the paddock owners don't automagically become responsible beyond ensuring the paddock is safe for the horse (no rusty metal lying around, water supply isnt poisoned etc). But thats not your real question is it? What you want to know is how to resolve the situation - and you do that by contacting local animal control or a top tier animal welfare charity in the area, they send inspectors out and have legal knowhow to sort it out, up to and including seizure.
    – user28517
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 3:30
  • @DaleM in USA (sorry for not stating that) Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 4:12

1 Answer 1


Most states have a law such as Washington's RCW 16.52, designed to protect the welfare of animals. There are provisions against starving an animal, and provisions allowing the authorities to intervene, so that an animal care or control agency can deem that the horse is not being fed properly. They can then remove the animal to feed it. There is also a provision that

If any domestic animal is impounded or confined without necessary food and water for more than thirty-six consecutive hours, any person may, from time to time, as is necessary, enter into and open any pound or place of confinement in which any domestic animal is confined, and supply it with necessary food and water so long as it is confined. The person shall not be liable to action for the entry, and may collect from the animal's owner the reasonable cost of the food and water.

Of course, you would be concerned about the laws of the state that the horse is in. I can't think of a reason to not call the local Humane Society, if your estimation of the situation is correct.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .