Horse News

Horses Aren’t The Only Victims

Guest OpEd By Simone Netherlands of

Predatory Business is a Cancer to Society

We would like to send out a sincere thank you to Representative Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) for urging congress to action to pass the ban on horse slaughter. Click (HERE)

Simone, John Holland of EWA and R.T. Fitch of WHFF protesting in D.C.

Can we trust anyone? A lovely looking horse trainer lady pretended to give horses a good home, and sold them to kill instead. Her constant deceiving and lying is not the exception amongst kill buyers, it is the rule.

Many a previous owner would be distraught and traumatized if they knew of the torturous ways in which their former companion has come to its bitter end. The predatory horse slaughter industry doesn’t only victimize horses, it victimizes people.

Isabella Smith a lovely 18-year-old girl who owned her expensive horse First Impression throughout her youth, loved him to pieces and won many competitions with him as her partner was a victim of a woman kill buyer. The woman told her and her mother that she would re-home First Impression with clients who would be a perfect fit. When they wanted to check up on her horse, they found out who the woman really was. They took the woman to court where she finally admitted that she took him to a private kill buyer auction and received less than $100 for him. He has not been found til this day and it is reasonable to assume that he ended up in Canada for slaughter. The entire family has been traumatized but Isabella is a trooper and used her sadness and took up the cause to save all horses from such a fate. She has gone on a Respect4Horses lobbying trip to Washington DC  and conveyed to many legislators that horses aren’t the only victims.
Bob Murray, an elderly man who had been on many trail rides and adventures with his loyal mount Scooby for the past twenty years, could no longer take care of him in his old age. When they moved Bob to the elderly home, the Ag department told him that the horse was so sweet and such a good trail rider, that he would easily find a good new home at the auction. The kind old man was not even aware that horse slaughter still existed. The livestock inspector came and took the horse out of the barn that he had lived in for twenty years, and loaded him into the trailer. A neighbor of Bob’s was at the auction and saw the local kill buyer purchase the old horse. When Bob found out who really purchased his faithful Scooby, he was in total shock and so traumatized that he spiraled into a severe depression, that he may never get out of. He is doomed to live out his days, alone, staring out the window, thinking of what his faithful Scooby had to go through, and how Scooby must have not understood.

This picture is not of the unfortunate white mare, but of a very fortunate white mustang that Simone rescued afterwords.

7 years ago, a woman who was a successful Hotel Executive and a natural horsemanship trainer, came across a lost and lonely horse on the state land. She left her car by the side of the road, called in a day off at work and spent a few hours gentling the horse. The beautiful white mare responded quickly. After a while, she got on the friendly horse, opened the gate, and they rode home together on the side of the road, without a bridle, halter or saddle.

The woman then placed an ad in the paper with the description of the white mare, there were no markings or brands. She started training the mare and it being the sweetest horse she ever knew, after a while, she decided to keep her. One day the livestock Inspector saw the ad in the paper and came to her house. Turns out she was not allowed to keep the horse, as the procedure is that every abandoned horse has to go through the local auction. She had a dooming feeling as they loaded the now very well-trained mare into the trailer.

The livestock inspector did not notify her of the correct date when the auction was to take place. She sat there waiting for the sweet mare to come through, but she never did. She then went to every auction she knew of to find the horse, but never found her. By going to all the auctions, she found out about the local kill buyers and started tracking their every move. From that day forward, her life has changed forever. (yes, this is my story, and that beautiful soul of a horse is the reason I am in this fight until the end.)

Many people are a victim of the horse slaughter Industry, and every responsible American horse owner should be petrified about what might happen next.

If we open a horse slaughter plant in America, will it make kill buyers into humane and honest people? Will the whipping and beating and electric shocking of horses stop, will the transport be any more humane, will the nature of the business change and slaughter workers become considerate? Will it stop abuse and neglect? Will it stop the export of our horses to Mexico and Canada? The answers are no, no , no, no and no. It will just be more of the same. More of our American Horses. More horrific cruelty for no good reason at all. For the sake of the breed associations and breeders who want their lucrative convenience.

If they truly cared about the welfare of horses like they say they do, one would think that they would turn some of their millions of dollars in breed incentives and use at least some of it for euthanasia funds, perhaps some funds for horse rescues, who knows maybe gelding funds? It would be so easy for them to do this.

They could also start their own retirement sanctuaries. They could also discourage breeding and bring the numbers of new foals down. Instead, they use all their money to buy off legislators and lobby for new horse slaughter plants in America and put on Summits to try to convince the world that it is “humane”, while in the mean time they keep doling out the breed incentives, and they keep saying that they care about the welfare of horses.

Its plain as day, their fake arguments are easier to see through than our dirty truck windows. Every argument for preserving the barbaric practice of horse slaughter, is greed motivated, un-factual and extremely deceptive. It is time to take steps forward towards a more humane and civilized world, not the other way around.

Therefore we would like to sincerely thank Congressman Meehan for his call to action to end this crooked, fraudulent despicable practice once and for all.

Videos for reference:

Are kill buyers nice people? Please see this video of this former kill buyer explaining how he poked the eyes out of a horses head because she was a kicker, how he lied to a lady who came looking for her horse and begged him to sell it back to her, how he states it is all common practice. And just to be clear, he was taking these horses to AMERICAN horse slaughter plants. Horse slaughter be made humane? Please see this article from Forbes and video of the most “humane” horse slaughter plant designed by Dr. Temple Grandin. The horses have to be hit over and over, up to 11 times before they go down.

Thank You,
“History is only made, by those who care about the future”.
-Simone Netherlands.

Respect4Horses Organization
Office: (928) 308 6718
Simone’s Cell (928) 925 7212

45 replies »

  1. Katie Brophy, a lawyer in Louisville, won a case where a woman’s 2 horses were sent to slaughter after she let a couple have them because she was ill.


  2. Hey RT you ,may want to change the picture next to the opening paragraphs which says ….THIS looking horse trainer lady pretended …… did you intend to have a picture of the woman who perpetrated these crimes? It it a bit misleading and then there is a pic of Simone further down too and nothing of the perpetrator!!! Sorry to nitpick.


    • These stories happen, because we haven’t passed the ban on horse slaughter yet. Every horse that ends up in the slaughter plants has his own story and there is someone that used to care about him/her somewhere. Please call and write your legislators today and ask them to co sponsor S1176 and HR 2966


  3. Thank you, Simone, for all you do and for telling the truth about the predatory, deceptive horse killers. Among the worst lies that are told is the howler about concern for horses’ welfare. Your account shows the reality.


  4. Thank you Simone for always telling the truth and for putting your life’s blood into the welfare of the horses. It is an ugly, sleazy world out there. The stories are gruesome from the interview long ago with the slaughterhouse worker, to the kb in CA which lead to the passage of Prop6 and now to “Bob” the hauler who was duped into becoming a part of the slaughter pipeline. If its such a humane and happy business why does it have to be run by such deceptive practices? My Momma told me that if you had to hide or lie about what you are doing you ought not to be doing it.


  5. Joe at tbfriends tells similar stories. Man and wife and a make believe child. How the kids will spoil the horse blah blah blah. How safe the home will be.

    People use contracts and they check your references. What else can a rescue do? I know gut is a biggie. Joe goes and checks your other animals. If you are new to animals he checks out the stable, makes sure you have a vet etc and that the stable not only know who you are but they are expecting a horse. It works for Joe. Thats his policy. But he tries to help rehome as many horses as he can. When the economy tanked it seems like its gone all breed whereas before it was mainly tbs.


  6. Great article; and as for your question “are kill buyers nice people?” I remember not too long an article by the very-strange, militant, horse-slaughter advocate from Wyoming, Sue Wallis, in which she referred to them as ‘heroes and saviors’ …………. of course this is the same woman who endorses using gutted horse carcasses for disturbing photo-ops as “good clean fun” …


  7. Last fall I had lost my job, and my farm…with 17 horses to feed and no money coming in, I reached out to people on the internet…individuals and rescues, both. The very first rescue that contacted me, said they had trailers hooked up and ready to come and pick up my horses. I gave them directions to the pasture. Feeling relieved they would all be safe and get good homes, and I wouldn’t have to have them shot. A little research on this rescue, revealed to me that it was a woman who collects horses and takes them to a holding farm somewhere in Kansas, and they are shipped to slaughter from there. She was a faux rescue! Thank GOD for the REAL rescue who came to the aid of my horses, or all of them would of been slaughtered. The very thing I absolutely do NOT want for any of my horses, or for any of anyone elses horses!


      • Simone….had I of not checked out that rescue, and let them come and get my horses, and found out later what happened to them….I would of NEVER forgave myself, or THIS country, for allowing a barbaric and cruel industry such as horse slaughter, and all it’s deceptive practices that keep it alive and thriving!!!


  8. Simone, you are a beautiful person inside and out. Your story is not the only one in where a horse that could have had a good home ended up in slaughter! It’s a disgusting business filled with people that have no moral. It’s time we did something about this. The sooner, the better.


  9. Thanks for pointing out the truth Simone. Horse slaughter has no place in this country, and our horses need to be protected from slaughter in other countries. I send my Senators and Rep weekly requests to support S1176 and HR2699. I encourage others to do the same.


  10. I often say that we need to start a class action lawsuit based on our personal trauma involving stories like this. I personally have never lost a horse to a situation like this, but know of people who have. I also have to suffer the personal distress of having to watch the local wild/feral horses from the local First Nations/Tribe reserves that I know are rounded up and sent to slaughter. Thank you Simone for the excellent article!


  11. Great piece, Simone. Pretty much says it all. We will win this war. Our nation will not tolerate this kind of horrific act to continue being inflicted on American horses in Mexico and Canada, much less in the USA. We’re better than that.


  12. Where is our Government? Where is Obama, our President ? How can he explain to his Wife and to his two Daughters, : “The Roundups” The “Trucking” The “,Slaughter” beeing done to all those horses, ????????????? And so far, has been ALLOWING it to go on???!! OUR HORSES, beeing TRUCKED to Canada, Mexico, [and who knows where else ] , to be “SLAUGHTERED “, and then Shipped overseas to end up on a Dinner-Plate somewhere in Europe.! And that is the: ” CHANGE “, [I thought for the better ], The BIG ” PROMIS “, given to us?? Well, we want this PROMIS, for the sake of the Horses and the People. We want this “NOW” … RIGHT NOW.!!!!!!!!!! Let this INSANE , SUFFERING, CRUELTY , a SHAME for America, beeing STOPPED , “NOW”.. Solvejg Zaferes


    • It is the biggest deception of the Government , When Obama signed that paper, he showed his true colors and none of them very pretty, they terrorize everything that is awesome and beautiful in America, they only thing left that is innocent and beautiful, our prestigious horses our true allies , They are in every page of our history, servicing us and giving their all, they are not capable of such out right deceit , which is all they are getting in return !!!!!!!!What a horrible way to say Thank You !!!!!!


  13. Thank you so much. But please don’t ever thank me. Now that Ive shared my personal story, you all know what I do it for.

    What I do will never change me knowing what happened to that sweet soul, and that I should have stopped it, but my goal is that her horrid death will not have been in vain.


    • I’ve been thinking that very thing, Simone. That if it were not for that sweet soul of a mare, you would not be in a position to help her brothers and sisters today. The strong emotional bond you and she formed must have given her the assurance that you were trying your best to find and save her. Her inner knowing that you would never have betrayed her must have lessened her pain — and helped her find peace on the other side.

      She is surely an angel watching over you, guiding your every heartbeat and footstep. I hope you believe that one day you will see her again. The reunion will be unbelievably joyous for you both.

      When (not if, but when) horse slaughter ends, NONE of the deaths in these houses of horrors will have been in vain.


    • Dar Simone , I think all of us have had a tragedy of one sort or another , it matters what is was, to all who have a beautiful soul , wept not for what is was , celebrate what you are doing now !!! hugs Arlene


  14. So many things, in so many ways, wrong with allowing the use of horses as meat animals in our nation. Although many people say, Well, they used to eat horses,”back in the day”, my grandma remembers…Yes, they did. During the World Wars, meat was scarce. But many of our modern drugs had not yet been invented, and so it was safe to use that meat as a food source even though it was distressing to think about. That is no longer true. The commonly used medicines in companion horses can linger in them for years and sicken, even kill people and pets who may consume that meat.
    As a reasonable end to life? No, never, no just reward for services rendered. Fear, suffering, days of confusion, thirst, hunger and pain, ending in terror and agony. We outlawed that for our enemies, how can we allow it for our friends? Euthanasia is Latin for “good death”, be kind enough to choose that for that loyal soul’s last day.
    As a comfort and removal of anxiety for our population as a whole, yes, let us choose that. Never let another senior, or child, or widow with children, lose yet another one dear to them and have no proof against the greatest fear that that one too, goes off to a horrific final day. Let us be able to honestly comfort the grieving with, Don’t worry, they can’t go to slaughter any more.
    Please call your legislators and urge them to outlaw slaughter permanently in the USA.


  15. Dr Madden has previously added her expert voice to efforts to end horse slaughter. Thank you, doctor. We also have others who stand strong: Dr Nina Winand, Dr Ann Marini, Dr Nicholas Dodman, Dr Linda Breitman, and more.
    Bravo to these exceptional veterinarians! And shame on AVMA and AAEP for sanctioning the horrific suffering that American horses endure via commercial horse slaughter. I must add another significant concern: as so many equine veterinarians are silent on the matter, consumers are ingesting drugs and compounds administered to American horses that cause the flesh of these horses to pose significant dangers to consumers. Where is the collective outrage of these professionals? See:


  16. It’s been almost 12 years and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my little 8 month old show filly, Loreal that was whisked away by the couple I had just sold her to. Her show career with them was exploding. I didn’t want to sell her but did not want to deny her the opportunities she was worthy of. I visited her often at the show barn and attended all her showings. The last time I saw her, I was told they had not been tat the barn in a while. The filly called and called to me and threw such a fit as I got in my truck to leave. I will never forget the sound of her call and the frustration she was displaying. The next day after several calls to the couple, I learned they’d had a spat and rather than call me as they were supposed to and offer the filly back, the angry husband loaded the filly and his stallion, took them to auction the next day and they went to slaughter. For $200. Both of them. It all happened so fast, just like always, in the night, gone and too quickly to catch them. If the option of slaughter is not stopped, how can anyone feel safe for their horse? Slaughter gives a license to steal, fosters lying, deceit and cruelty. So disappointing that America is throwing horses down the trash, filling peoples bellies with toxins, and not only turning a blind eye on the horses but the people as well. Thank you for this article Simone, may no one go thru what many have been through when loosing their loved ones this way. It’s something you never get over. It makes trying to sell or re home a horse so risky. I understand why people hang on to their horses, hoping for a safer alternative than the nightmare that slaughter is.


    • No words suffice to express how sorry I am for what you went thru with that dear filly. It’s easy to understand how ‘not a day goes by’ for you. Your compassion is sincere and you’ll have no peace in this because of who you are as a caring person.
      Those monsters who betray horses and fail to prevent — or otherwise send them to — slaughter are those who should be haunted by what they’ve done. But the irony is that they lack that ability and will never bear that burden.
      You can’t hold yourself responsible for someone else’s actions, and you can’t see the future. I wish you peace, megpylant, and look forward to what you can give and can do.
      Give your love and compassion to those horses lucky enough to be near you.


  17. Meanwhile, I have an old QTR horse that I really would like to sell. I can’t afford for him to die on my farm. I am not equipped for the cost! I love him dearly, I just can’t afford the burial when he kicks the bucket. Any solutions that won’t cost extra?


  18. So you obviously live in a rural area since you live on a farm. You have no friends with equipment that could come and dig a hole? No one who hunts and has a gun? Sounds to me like you really just want to justify getting the cash for his body.


  19. There’s a clear and telling answer to the question of whether US-based horse slaughter would see ‘humane and honest’, or ‘considerate’ people involved with slaughter.
    Answer: We’ve already seen US-based horse slaughter and we KNOW not to go there again. Proof of that? See the USDA’s own records and photos of what US-based horse slaughter looks like at the next link. This is why we oppose horse slaughter: and

    Click to access pressrelease.pdf

    Washington can’t be expected to know what occurred at that Texas plant before it closed in 2007. Washington needs to hear and see why we say NO! to slaughter in the US. And if we don’t tell them the reality of this ‘industry’, do you think that pro-slaughter will?
    Show Washington these USDA photos and records. EVERY photo shows a violation: failure of fitness to travel, over 6 mos of age, not likely to give birth during the trip, offload and rest every 28 hrs . . . let’s end this Hell for horses.


  20. @Greta . . . If you live rurally, on a farm, then SURELY you must know SOMEbody else that farms and has the equipment necessary to dig a hole! If you tell us you know NOBODY, then what does that say about you? Maybe you should go to church, or a council meeting, or make SOME effort to get to know the people in your community. I agree with Theresa. The tone of your message does not sound good. Maybe you would like to rephrase what you are saying. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


  21. This is sad, but horse slaughter is a necessary evil. It is far more cruel to let horses starve to death, being turned out by people who can no longer afford to keep the, and left to die in an environment that they have NO CLUE how to live in because people insist on making the pets. Before you all make comments and say that horse slaughter is so mean and evil DO THE RESEARCH AND KNOW THE TOPIC from the inside out not, just the outside.


    • Dear c you may want to take your own advise …….and research them further, your remarks are that of someone who needs to go back and reanalyze !!!!! You have certainly missed the Point !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and obviously are mistaken whatever you read !!!!!


    • C . . . no, YOU are what is sad. We are all sick to the core of hearing “necessary evil” spewed at us over and over again. Horse slaughter, and all that entails, is just “EVIL”, NOT necessary. You have brought absolutely nothing new to the table, and your comment means ZERO! You don’t think we have DONE the research?? Maybe YOU should try and do some. Your words are insulting to us.


  22. Dear C unless you have followed HORSE START TO FINISH THROUGH THIS HORROR PROCESS , and unless you have search your own soul……………Dont come around here ranting your rants , there is without a shadow of a doubt NOTHING HUMANE about Horse Slaughter and never will be…………………….


  23. : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this
    See empathy defined for English-language learners »
    See empathy defined for kids »
    Examples of EMPATHY

    He felt great empathy with the poor.
    His months spent researching prison life gave him greater empathy towards convicts.
    Poetic empathy understandably seeks a strategy of identification with victims … —Helen Vendler, New Republic, 5 May 200


  24. Greta, when your dearly beloved horse needs to be euthanized it willl actually save you money!

    First you will spend approx 75 for the euthenazation, and then you might choose to have the body taken away and berried, which usually runs between 100 and 200 dollars depending on who you hire. Or you can rent your own digger and berry him in your back yard and place a nice memorial stone that you can remember your dear horse by.

    The next month after he is gone, you will get your money out of it that you spent, lets say it was 200 dollars, because you will not have to feed him, or do his feet, or worm him anymore. So you recouperated your cost in one month, plus you can feel good about that your horse had a peaceful ending, now is that a win win or what.

    If you like I can borrow you the 200 dollars, and you can send me your veteranarians receipt of the euthanisation. Then you can pay me back in the next month after you save the money in feed.

    We all feel bad for you that you might loose your dearly beloved horse, because obviously you have such a big heart and you care about him so much (?)

    Kind regards, Simone.


  25. I adopted 5 OTTB thru one of the very first horse rescue organizations that did race horse rescue. HHRYA {Harness Horse Race Youth Association}. I think the way they operated their rescue was outstanding for the OWNERS of these horses. Maybe TOO good for them but it had built in incentive for the owner to give the horse over to the organization and to save horses. IF organizations could adopt this today maybe it would create more and more horses being adopted and less and less going to slaughter. The HHRYA org took over the care of the horse but the ownership stayed with the person “donating care” so the owner could keep insurance on the horse. At some point the owner would claim either a full write off on the horses value {if the horse aged out of the insurance policy} or they could claim the value on their policy in the event of a premature loss due to an early demise due to accident or health catastrophe. The NEW adopter { in my case, ME< , would adopt and take full responsibility for the care and cost of the horse for the remainder of its life. Inspections and application verifications finalized we went and got our new horses, but the org would have delivered. In Any event I think the incentive to get the race horse owners to donate the care when they can still keep insurance on the horse and make a claim on or they can make a future tax write off on the horse and the horse is NOT going to cost their business further in care costs would be monumental to them. To maintain that cost to the race horse business when the horse is a loss to them is what makes them ship to a kill buyer to begin with. Make it worth their while to give the horse to the rescues without totally giving it away.


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