Saturday, May 30, 2009
Today marks one week since the euthanization of our tough little wild stallion, Spec. It will be two months tomorrow that we euthanized another stallion, the same age, but not as well known as Spec. The similarities are sickening. Both hit by motorized vehicles in the prime of their lives, and knowingly left to suffer in agonizing pain.
I have often said that animals seem to bring out either the best or the worst in people. Spec and T-Rex personify the worst. What has transpired, especially in the last week personifies the best.
First, local photographer Mary Basnight set up a cause on facebook, on Monday, May 25th. As of this moment, 1,639 have signed up for the cause and over $400 donated toward the reward fund at this site.
News coverage from every local affiliate as well as Associated Press has prompted emails from all over the country as well as Europe. A couple from Virginia has donated $1,000 via our website to be added to the reward fund. Others have called to donate, sent checks, become members, or just sent messages of outrage or condolence.
I have read hundreds of comments on a variety of news websites and there is an overarching theme . . . WHAT is wrong with people? How could ANYONE hit a wild horse and leave it to suffer because they were too cowardly to notify authorities?
I do not know the answer to that. People ask the same question about the SEVEN horses that have been shot since 2001. “How could anyone do that?” I have no frame of reference in my life’s experience to be able to understand the thought process of a cruel and cowardly person. The individuals that hit these horses have no conscience. How could they? And there are people out there who know the individuals who committed all these acts but choose to remain silent. In my book, that makes you a coward too.
Sometimes, it is hard to do the right thing. Maybe even risky. Hopefully, as the reward fund grows, it will instill some incentive in those who can help us hold the guilty parties accountable. If moral responsibility does not motivate, perhaps monetary reward will.
These two tough little stallions did not deserve what happened to them. All the wild horses want is to be left alone to live the way they have lived for nearly five centuries – wild and free. They ask only that of us and nothing more. Is it too much to ask that those who live, visit, or drive on the 4X4 beaches always be mindful of their presence? To not drive drunk – especially on a foggy night? To not drive ATVs wildly and blindly in the dark of night? To not chase horses with ATVs or vehicles? These horses were on this land long before any of us. They share their land with us. Unfortunately there is a small but dangerous segment of our population that continues to have no respect for the land or the horses. Something has to change and it begins with personal responsibility.