Horse Kill Pen Owner Lashes Out
Since we learned about a dead horse behind a Circle K in Shreveport last week, more information has surfaced about the matter and the furor over the story continues to escalate. The horse was being transported from Thompson's Horse Lot in Pitkin, Louisiana and was enroute to Norman, Oklahoma with 2 other horses. A rescue group raised money to try to save these horses. But the horse found in Shreveport did not survive the transport.
A local veterinarian was called out at 12:30am to the Circle K on Pines Road because the horse did not have the strength to stand. The vet determined at the scene that the humane thing to do was to put the horse down. That is what happened behind the local convenience store.
Erin Bristol and I went to the scene and saw the horse before city crews came in to pick him up. It was truly sad. We began doing lots of digging and found out the horse came from Thompson's Horse Lot in Pitkin. The website for this business is killpenhorses. That is so disturbing to me. I'm not involved at all in the horse world, but Bristol is and she explained to me what this is all about. And now others have also told me unwanted horses are sold at auction and businesses like Thompsons purchase these horses. Thompson then offers them for sale online at higher prices and if they are not sold within a certain amount of time, which Bristol calls "The Mexican deadline", they are then shipped to slaughter. Horse slaughter is illegal in the U.S. and that's why the horses are shipped to Mexico or Canada.
Since we first brought this issue to light, the owner of Thompson's Horse Lot, Jacob Thompson posted a disturbing video on Facebook saying he will no longer offer horses in poor condition for sale. He says "I've made a change starting today. I will no longer offer them to be rescued. Every time we have a group of horses that come in and are really emaciated, people blame me. It's not our fault. We just got em. I'm sick and tired of people bashing us. We will now send them directly to Mexico."
The video, which was originally included in this story, has since been removed from Facebook. Thompson still has not responded to our calls or messages, so we don’t know if he has changed his stance on offering horses in poor condition for sale. However, it’s illegal to ship horses to slaughter with an unacceptable body condition score.
In addition to asking Thompson about the video, we wanted to ask him about his operation and questions our listeners have raised about cases filed against him by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In our original story filed Sunday, June 10, 2018, we did not point any fingers at Thompson's business, the hauler or the rescuer, however, the question remains: How was a horse that was too weak to travel issued a health certificate? Health Certificates are issued by veterinarians. According to the Thompson’s Horse Lot & Co. Facebook page Buyer’s Guide, they say the vet they have working with them has been with them for four years. While there is no law against a veterinarian writing a health certificate for a skinny horse, there is a law against writing one for one that is not healthy. We think the citizens of Shreveport and Caddo Parish deserve answers because our public dollars were spent to dispose of this animal.
If you would like to learn about what happened to the remaining horses, the story is available for you to read. The woman who rescued 'Blue,' the horse that didn't make it, and several others in the process has a blog detailing the incident and the recovery of the others that made their 'Freedom Ride.' You can read her blog here.