At BEHS, one of our goals is to help alleviate the suffering of equines. One of the ways we do this is by investigating reports of neglect or abuse and working with law enforcement to remove those horses and other equines who are being neglected or abused.
In Texas, neglect is defined as “tortured, seriously overworked, unreasonably abandoned, unreasonably deprived of necessary food, care, or shelter, cruelly confined, or caused to fight with another animal”, (Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 10 Health and Safety of Animals, subchapter 821).
If you worry that horses, ponies, donkeys, or mules are being neglected or abused, please report those animals either to BEHS or to the local authorities. Even if you are not sure if what you witness constitutes legal neglect, please report the situation. BEHS or local authorities can investigate and determine whether the horses are being neglected.
If you have a neglect case to report in Texas, you can call us at (888) 542-5163 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. BEHS is not be able to investigate reports of neglect in Arkansas due to a lack of manpower. If you have a neglect concern in Arkansas, please call the case into the sheriff’s department and ask them to investigate.
When reporting neglect, please provide us with the following:
- Your name and contact information. We do not give out complainants’ names or contact info, but we may need to get in touch with you to get better directions.
- Address or good, clear directions to the property where the horses are located. If you only provide the town or road, we cannot find the horses.
- A description of the horses. This should include the number, date you saw them, conditions they are living in, etc.
- Other agencies you have contacted. If you have contacted the sheriff’s office or another rescue, please let us know.
- Any other information you think may be important.
Please do not send us links to Craigslist ads or other sales site ads unless you also have an address for where the horse is located. We will not be able to check out reports that do not include addresses or clear directions.
What constitutes neglect of horses?
The state of Texas defines abuse as unnecessarily depriving an animal of food, water or necessary care. Horses who are overworked or beaten may also be considered abused. Abuse is not: failing to ride a horse daily, riding a horse daily, failure to clean a horse’s hooves daily, failure to stall a horse, failure to provide turnout for a horse, or leaving a horse standing tied. Just because someone does not keep a horse the same way you do does not mean the horse is considered neglected by the state.
If I suspect a neglected horse situation, how can I report it?
You can call your local sheriff’s department or report the suspected abuse to Bluebonnet.
I’m not sure whether what I see constitutes abuse or not. Should i still report it?
Yes. We would rather investigate an unfounded report of abuse than not get to a horse in time because someone was not sure whether or not a horse was abused.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Bluebonnet would prefer to receive your contact information when you make a report so that if we have trouble locating the horses we can contact you for more information. However, we do not give out the name or contact information of anyone who reports neglect to us.
Will Bluebonnet investigate neglect cases directly or do you work through the local authorities?
Bluebonnet does not have the authority to enter personal property without the property owner’s permission or to seize horses. When Bluebonnet receives a report of neglect or abuse, a volunteer attempts to locate the horses and assess their condition from the road. We then call local law enforcement. In some cases, law enforcement takes the volunteer with them and they work together on the investigation. In other cases, law enforcement prefers to investigate by themselves and only involves Bluebonnet if they need assistance removing the horses.