Mel Hoover Horse Auction, New Holland, PA 3/5/11

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 16:30
Investigation Category: 

Animals’ Angels investigators were present for the monthly horse sale at this small stable in New Holland, PA. According the sale catalogue, 308 horses were offered for sale that day. In order to fit that many horses in the limited space available, several pens were overcrowded and the horses were kicking and fighting. In the main barn, both sides of the horses’ halters were tied to the ceiling beams with ropes to restrict movement of the head.  Many horses were trying to get out of this uncomfortable position and were biting and pulling on the ropes. Kill buyers Moore, Rotz and Mc Kay were present at the sale. In the outside pens, investigators found several horses in horrifying condition: 1 draft horse with a severe form of cancer eye that had eaten his left eye away. The wound appeared to have been left untreated for quite some time and looked infested with flies and parasites. A 2nd draft horse had a hind leg so enlarged that it looked like a tree trunk, most likely a form of lymphedema. Next to the horse with the cancer eye was a severely emaciated draft horse, BCS 1. In the pen next to them was a horse with what appeared to be an untreated abscess that had created a hole in the horses’ face. His tongue was visible and yellow discharge was dripping from the hole. All these horses did not go through the sale and we were informed that they would be shipped straight to slaughter. After documenting their condition, AA investigators called local law enforcement immediately. Shortly thereafter, the humane officer arrived and informed Hoover that he could not ship these horses to slaughter and needed to provide veterinary care and possible euthanasia. Hoover was furious and AA investigators overheard that he insisted there was “nothing wrong” with them. Hoover will be cited for animal cruelty and held responsible in the court of law for this despicable act of tolerating animal suffering.