Horse News

Saved from the Slaughterhouse, Horse is Welcomed to New Home on NJ Farm

Source: By Spencer Kent/South Jersey Times as published in

“I didn’t understand such an amazing horse could just be tossed away like that.”

Baia-Roe, a standardbred mare saved from the slaughterhouse, received a warm welcome to the farm of Caitlin Stewart in Pilesgrove Township, Saturday. ~ Photo by Spencer Kent

PILESGROVE TWP. — Baia-Roe is a 15-year-old standardbred mare rescued from a truck that was on its way to a slaughterhouse.

Caitlin Stewart, her boyfriend, Stephen Wade, and brother, Gustave Stewart, all initiated an effort to save Baia-Roe and this weekend a group of about 30 people from all over the state came to Pilesgrove to welcome the rescued horse to her new home.

Baia-Roe was just hours from being taken over the Canadian border by “kill-buyers,” people who purchase horses cheap to then slaughter in order to sell their meat, according to Stewart.

But a place called End of the Line Horse Placement located in Harmony, Pa. – a sort of horse limbo where the animals have the chance to be rescued, but not always – offered a chance to save Baia-Roe.

According to Caitlin Stewart, kill-buyers will sometimes stop at End of the Line on their way to slaughterhouses to see if anyone wants to purchase the horse for rescue.

Stewart saw Baia-Roe on End of the Line’s Facebook site and knew she had to save her.

“There was something about her eyes,” Caitlin said as family and friends gathered Saturday on her Pilesgrove farm. “I didn’t understand such an amazing horse could just be tossed away like that.”

Baia-Roe is a former six-time place winner trotter that was also owned by Amish.

“And when I saw that she was owned by Amish, I knew how hard she must have worked over the years,” Stewart added.

Stewart explained that when dealing with kill-buyers at End of the Line, once a rescuer commits to saving a horse, he or she must pay for the horse via Paypal within a matter of minutes.

“The kill-buyers don’t really care if the horses are saved or not,” she explained. “They just want to make a buck. So once they get their money, they’re gone. It doesn’t matter to them if they get money from me or from selling the meat.”

Once Baia-Roe was purchased for $300, she had to be put in quarantine and have a veterinarian examination before being cleared to travel to New Jersey.

In total, it cost about $2,000 to save Baia-Roe. However, Caitlin was able to gather about $1,400 in donations from family and friends.

This is Stewart’s third rescue horse. She is not sure if she will end up keeping Baia-Roe permanently or adopt her to a loving family. Her boyfriend said he would like to adopt Baia-Roe out and rescue another horse headed for the slaughterhouse.

Stewart explained that though there is not a huge market in the states for horse meat, places in Europe considerate it a delicacy, which is why kill-buyers get good money for the meat.

She also noted that a horse slaughterhouse in Roswell, N.M., is seeking to re-open after horse slaughterhouses were shuttered in the U.S. in 2007. Valley Meat Company, located in Roswell, is one of six slaughterhouses around the nation applying for a permit to slaughter American horses for food, Stewart said.

Nicole Barbye, of Mullica Hill, is a local horse trainer. She is also Stewart’s friend and partner in advocating against horse slaughter.

Stewart, Barbye, Gustave Stewart and Wade have banned together to try and spread awareness about the perils of horse slaughter. Barbye explained that eating horse meat is actually toxic because of a common anti-inflammatory drug horse owners often give to their horses called Phenylbutazone – or “bute” as it’s often referred.

“I am trying to get the word out about the toxicity of horse meat,” Barbye said. “Often horse owners and trainers flood horses with bute, which ends up causing damage to the horse because trainers will run them into the ground.”

Stewart, her passion as radiant as her sleeve of tattoos, added, “And what people don’t realize is, bute-ridden horse meat can give people cancer.”

In January, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), identified eight cases of bute-positive horse meat in 2012 that may have been sold for food, according to a BBC news report.

Stewart said her goal is to merely spread awareness about such incidents that often get overlooked.

On Saturday, the homecoming for Baia-Roe was a festive one.

Those present at Stewart’s farm enjoyed food and a huge “Welcome Home” sign had been made and placed on the side of a barn.

Stewart responded to whether she considered herself an activist and said, “I guess I’d consider myself an activist. I’m outspoken, but you hear ‘activist’ and you think it’s something political. This isn’t political.”

Neither is Caitlin a “liberal hippie,” as Stewart finished by saying, “Look – I’m a registered Republican. I just want to save these horses.”

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12 replies »

  1. I am so glad that you were able to save her. I looked online and saw one that I wanted but have no place or the money to buy him. I was told that he would be sent to get slaughtered if no one bought him…It breaks my heart to see so many good horses killed like that !


    • Is it possible for the rescue organizations or individuals to buy the horses straight from the BLM? And, save a lot of money, instead of buying from auction or kill buyers? And, then could they set them free where the BLM isn’t rounding them up – OR, adopt them out to reputable owners/organizations? Are there grants available for this?


  2. This is a great story one very lucky horse, but it also just reminds us of ALL the not so lucky, just makes me tear up when I think about…….I have to say I just watched a segment on the Wild Mustangs on the TODAY show is was SO GOOD it really showed what the BLM is doing had to add that….. But great story very happy for the mare and thankful to all the folks that helped her…. 🙂


  3. Wonderful that Baia-Roe is safe and hoping a commitment is made for a forever home as she and all horses deserve that much

    My TB was rescued in a similar manner; from a kill buyer via a 3rd party. I’m conflicted about enabling scumbag KB’s to continue to profit from the horrendous cruelty and torture that is horse slaughter. However, when I look into my mare’s beautiful eyes every day, going on 14yrs now, I know absolutely and certainly that I did the right thing. My promise was a forever loving responsible home and I’ve been rewarded a zillion fold. She is my love, my heart, always.


  4. Every horse, every animal is special and deserves respect and caring. I have no understanding nor tolerance for people who feel otherwise, period.


  5. I wish all of the horses could be saved from slaughter they should not have to die like that they are our friends companions buddies and they have feelings everyone of them!


  6. You do realize the End Of The Line Horse Placement is partner to kill buyer Ron Andio and makes a profit off each and every horse they sell for him? They are helping to increase his profits. They are just one of a number of programs leeching off of the meat men and increasing their buying power.


  7. BOPKH, broker programs are not the problem. slaughter is. horses do not choose where they end up. a horse in a valid rescue group is not any better or worse than a horse in a broker program or in an auction. they all need help. let’s focus on banning slaughter in this country and save as many horses as we can no matter where they are in the meantime.


  8. When you adopt a horse from a rescue your not paying the kill buyer. When you buy a horse from a third party broker program the money then goes to the kill buyer for purchase of the horse. So buying a horse from a broker you are directly enabling a kill buyer to continue to buy horses from auctions and individuals. A lot of times the kill buyer will pick the horses he offers to the placement programs to sell and often times they are horses not fit for slaughter for one reason or another.


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