horses, pensioned by their owners.
Through the efforts of the directors of the Red Acre Farm Association, and especially of Mr.
Merwin, president of the Boston Work Horse Parade Association, a bill has just passed the Massachusetts legislature which permits the commissioner, or other officer in charge of the fire department, police department, street or sanitary departments, of any city or town, instead of selling the city’s incapacitated’ horses, to transfer them to the custody of Red Acre 171 that would otherwise die of overwork and starvation, cold and pain; finds good homes and masters for horses still fit to work; and instructs poor and ignorant persons in the proper care of their beasts.
The directors of Red Acre Farm have many times called the attention of the police, of the humane societies, and of the public generally to the fraudulent trade in worn-out horses.
This is carried on extensively by small groups of dealers who perpetrate the most shocking cruelties Veteran driver class.
John Francis Kelly. 1st prize for long service. (42 years for R.
Brigham.) Farm, or to any other charitable society which will agree to give them proper care.
This act was suggested by a New York State law, which, however, applies to the fire department horses of New York City only.
The Red Acre Farm Association also provides care and treatment for disabled horses, whose owners cannot afford to pay for their keeping, or can pay but a small sum; it makes a practice of rescuing old and incurably lame or diseased horses, upon the horse, and who live by cheating poor and ignorant men.
Their system is as follows: One of them buys for a trifle a horse afflicted with lameness, the heaves, or other trouble.
He applies some powerful and often excruciatingly painful treatment, such as pouring lead shot down a horse’s throat to hide the symptoms of heaves, which has the effect of concealing the defect for a few hours, and the horse is sold, perhaps for fifty dollars, and is taken home by his new owner.
The next General view of the Boston Work Horse Parade at the junction of Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street. Helping the Work Horses day, when the horse has proved to be worthless, and is in great misery from the reaction of the drug or treatment administered to him, another dealer, who is in the conspiracy, comes along, buys the horse for a few dollars, and sells him again to a new customer after another course of treatment, and so it goes on until the wretched animal expires.
Half a dozen dealers can make a living in this manner out of a comparatively small number of horses.
A wave of indignation would be aroused if the extent of the traffic in poor old horses were realized.
The Boston Transcript says: “There is a large traffic in broken-down, wornout, diseased and suffering horses, and jockeys of the most degraded character make a precarious living from it.
Recently, in one day, at Lowell, fourteen horses were sold by auction, the highest price for any one of them being ten dollars.
In one day, at one auction stable in Boston, ten horses were purchased at prices ranging from three to seven dollars.
If a horse can walk to the knacker’s he may be worth three dollars, and the wretched animal is often bought for one dollar upon the chance that he may be able to make the journey without dropping dead on the way.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays (the sale days) a collection of feeble and dead-lame horses may sometimes be seen, after dark, slowly and painfully making their way to a certain rendering establishment situated in the woods, some six or seven miles from Boston; the last part of the road being so steep and stony as to tax the energies of a sound horse.
Sometimes they drop dead before the journey is completed. “Often the men who deal in these horses are able to put them off on ignorant purchasers at a price ten times their value, and for this purpose they are doctored, dosed, stimulated and disguised in every way which rapacity and cruelty can suggest.
Not infrequently glandered horses are sold in this manner.
To buy them of a dealer is to encourage traffic in them; the place to buy them is in the owner’s hands, before they gravitate to a jockey, and, if possible, in the country, where the opportunities for cruelty are vastly greater than they are in the city.
This work has been undertaken by Red Acre Farm, so far as its means will allow, and that the work has been economically done is proved by the fact that the price paid seldom, if ever, goes above five dollars, and is usually only two or three dollars.” 173 mals, though it is astill carried on too generally in Massachusetts by unscrupulous stable-keepers and dealers, and as openly as ever in many other states.
This law empowers any officer or agent of a humane society, provided he is also a constable, sheriff, or police officer of any city or town, to take possession of any old, maimed, diseased or injured animal, and by giving notice to the local police court justice, to secure a warrant for having the animal killed humanely and at once.
The value of the animal is determined by an officer of the court, and paid to the owner of the animal by the society whose agent or officer applied for the warrant.
Similar but more drastic laws have been in force for some time in Maine and Ohio, in which states the owner of the condemned horse is given no redress.
Here is an incomplete list of horses received at Red Acre Farm during two autumn months.
Their condition may be imagined from the fact that the average price paid was four dollars a head! Oct. 1—Gray horse, one eye gone, thin and lame, 25 years old. 4—Bay mare, thin, bruised, knees cut open, 25 years. 17—Bay horse, cut, bruised, shrunken, feeble, 19—Chestnut horse, teeth gone, painfully ill, hoof split open. 23—Bay horse, ringbone, thin and lame, 27 years old. 24—Bay horse, thin, teeth gone, 28 years. 25—Bay horse, kidney trouble, 28 years. 25—Bay horse, thin, and lame, 20 years. 25—Bay horse, thin, lame and sick, 27. 25—Bay mare, spavined, emaciated, starved, 27. 30—Chestnut mare, worn-out, one eye gone, lame. 31—Chestnut horse, ” racker,” hoof partly gone, thin and lame.
Nov. 3—Bay horse, thin, tender forward, patient. 8—Black horse, thin and worn-out, 25 years. 8—Brown mare, thin, one stiff knee, lame, 24 years. 9—Gray mare, ringbone, sore shoulder, blood poison. 13—Chestnut mare, thin, two spavins, lame, 20. 13—Brown horse, sprung knee, thin, 26 years old. 15—Old black horse, bunch on knee, thin, 27 years. 17—Chestnut horse, spavined, lame, thin, 30 years. 22—Old chestnut mare, bruised and cut, 27 years. Happily since the preceding lines appeared in the Transcript, and again through the efforts of the work horses’ friends of Boston, the state of Massachusetts now has a law, enacted on the last day of the session of 1907, which has put a stop to the bold and open traffic in poor old ani- “Eva” 37 years old—pensioner at “Red Acre Farm.”
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