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Better Cooperation Leads to Better Outcomes in Vermont

From hand-washing to hand-wringing—and finally, hand-holding

From hand-washing to hand-wringing—and finally, hand-holding

Barney wasn’t used to visitors. And if he’d had more strength, the team of people arriving in his Vermont pasture last November—including the executive director of the Addison County Humane Society (ACHS) in Middlebury, three Vermont state troopers, two veterinarians, and a humane investigator from the Humane Society of Chittenden County—might have spooked him. As it was, though, the starving horse, whose ribs, spine, and hip bones were clearly visible beneath his skin and whose mane and tail were encased in burdocks, just rested his head in the arms of one of the vets as she checked out his condition. The rest of the team evaluated the surrounding environment, finding only moldy hay, a severely leaning shack, and no drinkable water.

While the lack of food, water, and shelter clearly violated state law, the team didn’t need to consult any legal codes to see what probably awaited Barney had they not come along: A second emaciated horse lying nearby on the ground was already dead, and marks on the ground indicated that he’d lain there for some time, struggling to get back up. His body had been partially eaten by scavenging wildlife.

With the recommendation of the supervising veterinarian, Keely Henderson, the police made the call to seize Barney and remove him from the environment.

 Read the full article.


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