We all know the dangers of having horses loose on the roadways. If a horse gets spooked or hit, they will likely face life threatening injuries. And the danger is not only to the horse, if a car hits a horse, the humans inside could easily be injured or killed. Police are responsible for keeping horses out of the roadways. But they are not always equipped with the knowledge or equipment needed to help loose horses.
On Christmas Eve 2021 in Athens-Clarke County, a horse, a pony and 2 donkeys got loose north of Athens and were wandering the road. The officer dispatched knocked on some doors in an attempt to locate the loose horse’s owners. When that failed, she resorted to waiting in her car – lights flashing – to alert oncoming traffic to the hazard. Luckily for the horses, a reluctant volunteer sacrificed their Christmas Eve to catch and house the horses to save them from traffic.
As horse people, we understand that flashing lights, sirens, and similar common law enforcement tools are not useful when trying to calm and catch loose horses. And we all have stories similar to the one above about helping with loose horses. Here at AAHC we have been thinking about this problem and have a few ideas for solutions. The “problem” of horses getting out will likely never go away completely, so we are going to try and organize and educate the problem away. If you have a suggestion – we are all ears!
Turning the problem into an opportunity:
We offer 3 solutions:
1. Provide a list of horse people that (non-horsey) community members and law enforcement can use when they need help with loose horses who owners cannot be located. We all know how loose horses in the roadway are endangering their lives and humans who may crash.
2. Encourage local horse owners to call the non-emergency line in their county to register their farm. Registering your farm address with your county gives them someone to call in the event they find loose horses in your neighborhood. The below link take you off the AAHC website to the GA Emergency Management website.
3. Host a Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue clinic for horse owners, veterinarians, rescue organizers, police officers and fire fighters. We are working toward qualifying this event for CE credit.