Horses unaccounted for following seizure


By: Kate Jackman-Atkinson

On Jan. 18, the provincial Chief Veterinary Office (CVO) seized 10 horses in the RM of Lakeview due to concerns over the health, care and well being of the animals.

While the animals’ owners, an older couple who had moved to Portage, initially filed an appeal to the seizure, the appeal was subsequently dropped and they agreed to sell the horses.

On Feb. 5, the seized horses were sold through Gladstone Auction Mart. While CVO seized 10 of the horses, only nine arrived at the auction mart. One was a colt that died following the round up.

At the time the horses were seized, RM of Lakeview councilor Richard Callander said that the municipality was in the process of passing a resolution to have the horses rounded up and re-homed.

He said he, along with girlfriend Kim Hiebert, had volunteered their time to round up and care for the horses until they could be placed in new homes.

There was also concern over how the round up was conducted; the horses were run down public roads and there were no officials from either the CVO or the RCMP present. There were also concerns about how the horses were handled. The CVO stands behind the round up saying that they had a legal order to round up and seize the horses and that they were rounded up for them under contract. The horses were rounded up more than a week before the CVO officially seized them.

In preparation for the municipality’s round up of the horses, Callander and Hiebert took pictures of the herd, which included about 17 horses.  They are concerned because there are horses that are not accounted for. Callander explained that, according to the seizure documents, they were supposed to be four studs, two mares, four younger horses and a foal but the horses that came to the sale included two aged studs, one yearling stud, one yearling mare, two mares and three colts – two of which showed up without their mothers.

Horses that they photographed before the round-up, including a black Morgan stud with a star, an Appaloosa colt, two Morgan/Appaloosa broodmares and a sorrel Morgan cross stud weren’t at the sale. Hiebert and Callander are looking for the missing horses and are offering a reward for their return.

As for the horses that went through the sale, Callander and Hiebert purchased six of them and are adopting them out, as originally planned.