It was May 25. As usual, my husband had my coffee and newspaper ready for me when I woke up. Opening the paper, the first thing that I saw was the picture of the starving horses. My first reaction was "Oh, my God." Then tears of pain and disbelief that someone human could do such a horrible thing to a helpless animal. I gave myself some time to calm down and think before I wrote this letter. I want to find the right words to convey my disgust and hatred for this person or persons, who did this cruel deliberate act on an innocent animal.
To begin, yes, I'm an animal lover and a "tree-hugger." I respect all animals and plant life. We were put here to be stewards of the earth, to care for all human, animal, and plant life. But, there are those among us that live only for themselves and their selfish self-preservation. They do not care who or what they hurt, as long as it serves their purposes. Perhaps people started out with good intentions, and as Cis Kemp says, their economic situation changed, as the price of feed and food went up. But, and I emphasize "but," that is no excuse to let your horses or any other animal starve to death. There are agencies and people to help in these situations, who are more than willing to come to the aid of your animal. God help any child, disabled person, or elderly person in your care. They would get the same treatment as your animals - left to starve to death, to fend for themselves, while being completely helpless to do so while you go on your merry way, eating meals, having a roof over your head, and living your life, while others die. How can you look in the mirror every day and be proud of yourself?
I have always felt that the punishment should fit the crime. Whatever the perpetrator did to the victim, it should be done to them so that they'd know how it feels. These people (or the person) who did this to these horses, should be put in a confined area, open to the elements and weather, with no food or shelter. Every day they should look for the person that they trusted and loved to come to care for them and feed them. They should have no water or place to lie down that isn't filthy with excrement. These horses and all animals have feelings. They are flesh and blood, just like we humans. They love, they hate, and they care for their young. When bonded with a human, they trust that person to provide them with food, water, shelter and care. They look for us every day to be their companions and friends. They, be they cat, dog or horse, are helpless without us to provide their food and shelter. When we brought them into our lives and homes, we made a commitment to care for them, to love them, and to make a bond for life - to give them the best possible life that we could. In return, the human gains their love, companionship, and devotion without question.
These horses and all abandoned animals do not understand what has happened to them. Suddenly, all that they knew and counted on is gone. Their human is not there to care for them, to feed and shelter them. It shows in their eyes. Go to any animal shelter and you'll see this. What you have done to these horses should be done to you. But, in judging what has been done lately in our courts when someone has abandoned an animal, you'll probably get a fine and suspended probation. You may thank God, that I am not the judge in your case. Despite thoughts to the contrary in the newspaper, you will get caught. As they say on TV, "Someone, somewhere, saw something." But - you have left two wonderful, beautiful horses to starve to death. They cared for and trust you. They looked every day for you to come back and feed them. You had a choice, but they didn't. Wherever you are, eating and keeping warm - well, I can't say what I'm really thinking, because it isn't Christian, but life has a way of coming around and what you have done to others, good and bad, will also be done to you.
My thanks to whatever fate and guidance put Cis Kemp's brother on that road that night. He was put there for a reason. Bless Cis Kemp, her brother and daughter for coming to the aid of these horses that needed them so badly. The horses came to you because they knew that you were there to help them. I cannot express without emotion clouding my heart and eyes my gratitude to such wonderful, caring people like the Kemps, Janet Duzan, and Wally Adams. All we animal lovers can hope for is the courage to aid all abandoned animals and show them that not all humans are cruel.
Now, my worry is that they will not be cared for properly when taken to that place in Fallon. Will they be put down because they are so starved? They - the horses and the Kemps - have tried to so hard to live that it would be a shame to lose them now. Can someone adopt them and see to their care? Can funds be raised to care for them? Can a farrier be found that will care for their hooves without charge? We do fundraising for humans, and these animals are just as important and want to live as much as any human. I am a senior on Social Security with a limited income and this time of the month money is always short, but I would like to help in some way after the first of next month.
Thank you to Sheila Gardner for doing a great job on this story and bringing it to our attention. Please follow through and let us know what happens to these brave horses and these wonderful people. Thank you also, to Shannon Litz for the honest, heart-wrenching photos. Shannon always gives her best.
I have had my say and I hope that I have found the right words to reach the person or persons that did this to these helpless, beautiful, trusting horses. It took you a long time to do this to them and you knew what you were doing. What did they do to you, to deserve this? God may forgive you, I never will.
n Gayle Avansino is a Minden resident.