Feral horses multiplying

The feral horses that roam the southern Okanagan are a safety risk and a burden to local homeowners, and the problem is multiplying.

In a previous story, Castanet reported that the Penticton Indian Band in cooperation with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the District of Summerland were studying the horse issue. 

Then Friday, another foal was brought to Shelly White, who has taken in three orphaned foals this year already.

She passed two of them on to Theresa Nolet at O.A.T.S horse rescue, because she doesn't have the time to care for them all.

"I have 25 horses and they never escape," she said. "If I turned my babies out onto the street or took my fences down and let my horses run free, my neighbours and the SPCA would be all over me."

"Just because they let them run free and they've been there for a long time, it seems like it's okay, but it's really not."

Taking care of the orphans is a financial and time investment, that White says she just doesn't have to spare.

"People donate lots of money to take care of these babies, especially orphan baby horses. But it's round-the-clock care, they have to be fed every 20 minutes or so. That's why I couldn't take a second one."

White is frustrated because the horses once belonged to somebody, but have been allowed to go loose. 

"In my opinion, the people who own them should take responsibility for them," she said. "These aren't true rescues, they belong to the Penticton Indian Band. I know people in Penticton who are afraid to ride their mares because these feral stallions chase them."

She thinks that at least a fence should be built to contain them. 

Director of the RDOS Brad Hope urged that things like fencing, corrals and holding pens should be dealt with right away.

Dolly Kruger with the PIB is confident the situation is resolvable, but admitted dollars are a major hurdle.

"We want to continue working together, striving for the betterment of the whole community on both sides of the river," she said.





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