UPDATE:  Chief was moved by his owner on Saturday Nov 27th to a boarding facility at an undisclosed location.  Many people tried to assist Chief in this situation and many thanks go out to them. 

This is a tale of a racehorse. He won and placed in several prestigious races in his younger days, willingly running his guts out for the glory and enjoyment of his owner. The owner got the fame and fortune and the money.  

Apalachian Chief heads to the winner's circle after winning the Cup and Saucer at Woodbine in 1998

 This is a common practice in order to TRY to recoup some of the money the farm owner has already spent in giving the horse the care that they need and deserve. Among those sold is ‘our’ subject horse Appalachian Chief, known as Chief for short. He is bought by a lady who had him for a while and cared for him appropriately.  For whatever reason, this good owner sold him to the current owner.

This is where his life in hell begins on April 1st2010.  Some would say that this was a cruel April Fool’s joke for this poor horse.

 He was bought by a woman who has worked at the racetrack and various prestigious farms in the area for MANY years and knows very well how to care for horses – but CHOOSES NOT to.  She brings Chief to his new ‘home’.  This ‘home’ is a garage with a chipboard cage on a cement floor. 

The prison from outside


There is nowhere for him to go outside because there is no paddock.  There are no other animals and horses being a herd animal, after all, thrive in the company of others.  There is a skiff of bedding on the concrete floor but not nearly enough to provide a proper cushion for him to stand on which he must do 24/7.  He cannot even lie down comfortably, if at all due to the constant presence of feces and urine in his ‘stall’.

Where he has been since April 2010

  There is only a partially filled bag of hay and so he begins to live, without being able to stretch his legs for more than a trip around his approx. 7×12 foot ‘cage’.  The very nature of horses is that they must be able to have the ability to move freely over a large distance which this prison does not afford.  

 On April 2ndthe OSPCA is called by a concerned neighbour who is an experienced horseman and who lives nearby.  They do arrive quite promptly and for the rest of the summer into the fall they pay weekly visits to Chief. 

Throughout the incredible heat waves we had this summer Chief would go for days without food or water. Had it not been for the concerned neighbour ‘trespassing’ and sneaking him a little bit of water and picking a few handfuls of grass, we have no doubt Chief would have died.  

Eventually a round bale of nasty, dusty, moldy hay that not even cattle would eat arrives and is placed outside his stall so that he can eat it, sort of.  It’s put just out of his reach so that swallowing is difficult.   

Chief stretching for his mouldy hay

 Yes, the grey stuff in the photo below of the bale of “hay” is mould.  This the OSPCA deems as being acceptable.


Hay bale showing grey mould


As was this bale of something he was forced to eat earlier on this year.


Hay? Straw? Mould? YES!

  A great many people have offered to purchase Chief from the owner, just to get him out of there, but she loves the attention not the horse. 

One potential buyer had to spend upwards of 4 hours listening to Chief’s owner tell them how smart she is, how she outsmarts the OSPCA by having food present because that is all they need to see, about how she wins ‘wrongful dismissal’ suits, about how she does not believe in feeding horses unless they are being worked!  

For those people who have offered to buy Chief from this woman when it comes to talking price she suddenly ups the amount she wants, often by double, and then caps it off by saying that she won’t sell him that she’d rather keep him so that she can write him off as a tax write off because he’s a “breeding stallion”. 

With Chief’s escalating decline in health he will never be any kind of breeding stallion. 

And so Chief stands, patiently serving his time in hell in this cage that was not cleaned out from April 2nduntil after June, count that, that is over 3 months of manure, ankle deep manure in the heat of the summer, with no cross ventilation, holes in the roof above his head allowing a steady stream of rain to add to the black, stinking manure, day in day out.  

Typical condition of Chief's stall

 Months of flies eating away at him. 

Months of wondering what he did wrong in life to end up like this.


Now, what does this have to do with the OSPCA?  EVERYTHING! 


How do have they done this?  

They have been notified many times about this situation that they eventually started making regular visits, same day of the week, same time of the day. They wanted to ‘educate her’ and left the owner brochures outlining how to take care of a horse, and reminding her that she should feed him 

They would not ask or take into consideration all the people that were available to give references saying that she DOES know how to take care of a horse, but refuses to “’cause ain’t no body gunna tell me what to do with my horse, ain’t nun of their f..ckin’ business”. 

All of the people concerned for this horse have been long time OSPCA supporters and know that funds are often tight and it is harder to re-home a horse than a kitten (they are all horsemen and horsewomen) and have let the OSPCA know that they have raised funds amongst themselves to pay for this horse, have arranged transportation that is on 24//7 standby, have found several options for places for him, all in an effort to help the OSPCA, IF they did their job and seized this horse. 

This is met with a reply that they see nothing wrong and his care falls into the acceptable level of care as outlined for livestock and slaughter animals.  

IF you read their own words on their own website about the necessary standards of care for ALL animals, it clearly states the animal must not be in  unsanitary conditions, it must have access to food an water, it must not be willfully neglected…………. and they are allowing every one of those ‘rules’ to be broken.  

Chief showing wormy belly and protruding bone in his hindquarters from malnutrition. (The fresh layer of shavings he's on was put down on OSPCA inspection day. Below is the norm.)


This once dashing champion is wasting away before our very eyes  From the friendly, outgoing demeanor that was present when he first landed in this prison, he has changed to a depressed, frustrated and angry horse.  Who could blame him?  

It appears that the OSPCA will not move until Chief is dead. 

We are posting this story to raise awareness of Chief’s plight to implore our readers to demand that the OSPCA do the right thing and seize Chief and allow a reputable rescue take him and give him the good fitting home he deserves. 

We also want to ensure that the you the public are made aware of this situation. You have the right to, no, need to know where your donations are going and what is being done with the money.  All of those cute little puppy and kitten and bunny calendars that the OSPCA sends out give a very misleading impression that they actually care about all animals and certainly does not come close to lifting the corner of that nasty little rug that they sweep these sorts of atrocities under. 

Please contact the OSPCA and your local MPP to express your opinion on this awful situation.  And while you’re at it, tell them that the laws in Ontario and Canada have to be strengthened to protect all animals.

Chief and many others are waiting for your help!



  1. Oh, completely true, Lori, the basic crux of the matter is in your last paragraph. I do understand, and have read them extensively.
    I’ve been told that Alberta’s laws would have allowed seizure by now.
    However, in all of the “Standards of Care” I’ve read, those very standards are voluntary, not mandatory.
    The orders issued by the OSPCA to the owner are no different than the orders the owner ignored when working in other race-horse establishments.
    Compliance can be a lie.

    What judge will decide “All horses must have exercise?”
    What judge will decide that horses were not designed to be crated like cats and dogs?
    A horse’s physical well-being is entirely tied up (pardon the pun) in his feet.
    Who knows that? Who cares?

    What I’ve learned, in my years of studying all things equine, is that horses benefit from exercise. Their feet actually contribute to their over-all circulation of blood. Everything depends on movement of those four hooves.
    By law, Chief doesn’t have to get any exercise, and so, he does not.

    Does this mean that veterinarians everywhere will agree that horses can be crated?
    The implications are mind-boggling.

    I think the bar is impossible to even find, Lori, that’s how low it is.
    Canadians are so proud of all of their rules and regulations. But without actual enforcement, what on earth is the point?
    I’m having a really hard time reading Equus this month, my first luxury purchase in some time. They describe rehabbing after stall-rest.
    How would one rehab a case like this? Deliberate, wilfull destruction of good health, the reverse of care.
    His respiratory system compromised, his circulation stagnating, his feet only accomplishing a 2 meter circle. His muscles, tendons, ligaments, all sagging or wasting away. His belly sagging, puffed with useless hay. His ribs standing. His dark bay coat hiding his ribs.
    A fine sound horse when he went in. What will he be if/when he ever comes out?

    Horses were built to move. To say it’s legal to permanently cage that movement is a crime.

  2. Hillman · ·

    While I agree that racing stables do not always have plenty of pasture time for the horses while they are racing, at least they get out everyday and gallop, jog, walk, they are fed and watered, they are mucked everyday, they are usually housed on ‘private property'(racetracks) that have rules and regulations in place so that they can see to it that neglect and constant abuse does not happen and they can enforce it since it is in their rules book.
    I would just like to make it clear that this has NOTHING to do with Woodbine, or racing as a whole, or the previous owners. He was fine until he went to ‘H#ll’ and there are pictures to prove it.
    It disgusts me that people that are hired and paid by our tax dollars AND our donations because they ‘love animals’ take zero initiative in campaigning the gov. to help them help the animals. They chose to sit there collecting thier handsome salaries, interpreting the rules written by the OSPCA in the easiest for them way as possible. I wonder if any of them have ever picked up a book called ‘Oxford dictionary’ and read what ‘adequate, unsanitary, willful, neglect, sufficient’ are described as. Last time I checked we in Canada still speak English which is the language in which this ‘book’ is written. Prehaps it takes a little too much effort to crack open a book, or it is not in their job description.
    I also do not understand how they figure she is complying with their orders. They have to ask her over and over and over again to feed him, to trim his hooves, to muck him, to….. I could ALMOST forgive a lifelong city person who buys a place in the country and decides to buy a horsey, and not know how to take care of it – ALMOST, but a seasoned horsewoman ? What other conclusion can be drawn other that it is WILLFUL neglect.(unfotunately the OSPCA does not want to know about the many references that can be provided to them about all the horse farms she has worked at, the years at the track that she worked, etc to prove that she does know better, she is well aware of what horse care is and how they should be treated. Maybe if they knew all that , they would actually have to act as this would prove Willful neglect)
    Although I agree to a point that a rally of sorts would draw support from the community, it would more importantly indanger the neighbour(potentially) physically and in many other ways as she is the one that is always being accused as “the bad one” by this person.
    To make some positive changes happen, it is imperative that things be done legally and in the correct order and that no steps are skipped. If and when this goes up the ‘ladder’, any illegal activity would seriously jeopardize any chances of positive changes and would destroy any chances of us, as a collective group, initiating positive changes from being taken any more seriously than a bunch of bleeding heart women.
    All your support and e-mails to everyone and anyone that you know, groups, friends, media, OSPCA….. is very much appreciated and very important to this issue and please do not stop; even if you are repeating yourselves. It is amazing, energetic people like you that eventually do make a difference.

  3. Deborah, the most important point you are making is indeed the lack of accountability by the OSPCA. Giving the location of the horse is not the direction to go. Nor is it legal. I would hope this site isn’t to become another FuglyHorseoftheDay site, where far too often people with no fault are “outed”, when they have done nothing illegal. Yes, of course, there are stories that are true. Fugly has posted personal, private information about individuals, for example, that have simply advertised their horses for sale. That is illegal and morally wrong, too.

    Why harass Chief’s owner? The owner is complying with the OSPCA laws.

    The OSPCA’s interpretation of the law that says his care is suitable and adequate, is the big question here.

    You see, the OSPCA is condoning the caging of any animal, in sub-standard conditions, for all of it’s life. The compliance that the OSPCA speaks of, has never included exercise. It is LEGAL, to never ever exercise ANY animal. It is legal to keep ANY animal caged, 24/7/365.

    The horses’ conditions have indeed improved with OSPCA intervention. But only from completely disgusting, to pathetically inadequate, for that individual animal’s basic needs. Dark bay horses don’t show their ribs. The media would not see anything shock-worthy, today. A bloated, junk filled, hay belly looks healthy, to a layman. Throw on some show sheen, and you have a shiney unhealthy horse. The media should have been there through the summer, that was shocking. But, wow, just a tiny bit more food, and bingo! Weight is gained! Miracle.

    My concern is that the OSPCA enforces these laws, and therefore, by extension, only needs to abide by those very minimum laws. How badly was the infectious disease protocol managed up at Mohawk Village? Must have been very poor, for the ringworm to have spread everywhere in the building. The OSPCA obviously had no clue how to manage for these issues.
    Why would they know any better about horses and their care, then?

    And the question regarding their understanding/interpretation of our laws remains unanswered. If they are so up-to-date on animal laws, why did they bungle their “raid” of the THS?

    Even if this horse was removed from the situation, there is no guarantee the owner won’t go get another, and another, and another. There is no LAW that says your animal must be adequately cared for. Only that the animal has, again, a leaky roof, inadequate food, not enough bedding, and insufficient water. Exercise is not a mandate of our laws. Puppy Mills exist because of these laws.
    We give nothing more to our slaughter animals. Why would any other animal get special treatment?
    They do not. By law.

    Cats are dogs are chickens are pigs are horses are turkeys are cattle. They are all considered the same, an animal “only”, under the current laws.

    And yes, the OSPCA seems unable to understand their own posted definitions of neglect.
    I cannot support an organization that feels educating this experienced horse owner is worthy of their regularly scheduled weekly visits. Talk about wasting time and resources. The owner will go right back to the way it was, once the OSPCA stops watching.

    The “16” visit number quoted is interesting, as many of us were told they were visiting him weekly. Since April 1? I guess they skipped a few weeks. Probably through the summer holiday season, when he was ignored for days and days on end.

    Even if this horse is “saved”, many many more animals will simply be forgotten, because no law is being broken. The laws, and the OSPCA need to step up.

    For Chief, and all the other forgotten creatures out there.

    Pet animal, slaughter animal. NO different, in the eyes of the law, according to the OSPCA.
    Given their track record, one MUST question their qualifications in these matters.

    There are people that should NOT own any animals. This owner is one of them.
    The OSPCA laws disagree.

    1. For the Animals:

      I’d just like to clarify that the relevant law (the OSPCA Act – http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90o36_e.htm) was written and adopted by the provincial government, not the OSPCA. That law sets the legally required standards of care for animals (found here: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_090060_e.htm) and determines the enforcement abilities of the OSPCA.

      From what I can see, some key points to note are:

      – The law does NOT give the OSPCA the power to immediately seize animals that are being mistreated, unless the animal is in acute distress and the owner “is not present and cannot be found promptly”. In all other cases, the OSPCA is limited to making either recommendations or issuing orders to the owner to improve the animal’s care. Only if they give the owner some time to comply and the owner does not comply can they then seize the animal. (They also have the option, in cases of acute distress, to have a veterinarian inspect the animal. The animal can then be seized if the veterinarian signs a letter saying the health and well-being of the animal necessitates its removal.) I know that, for some OSPCA officers, these limitations are incredibly frustrating.

      – The interpretation of the “standards of care” set out in the law can be tricky, because they refer to “adequate and appropriate food and water”, “care necessary for general welfare”, and “adequate and appropriate” sanitary conditions, space in which to exercise, etc. What is adequate and appropriate? Who decides? Ultimately, it is provincial courts that decide. When the OSPCA makes a decision to issue an order or seize an animal because an order has not been complied with, they have to be confident that that decision will stand up in a court of law. And that all depends on how a judge is likely to interpret what constitutes “appropriate” food, exercise, etc. I suspect that the bar might be set somwhat low.

  4. Kestrel · ·

    Maybe McCallister’s last job was as an accountant for Enron, assuring people their money was safe. He’d have fit right in.

    Chief’s stall did not get that nasty in one day.
    The moldy hay should not even be stored in the same building with a horse.
    Why does a woman with no facilities for a horse even have one?!! No paddock, no corral, no exercise at all, standing on cement…all winter.

    If that’s ‘adequate’ laws need to be changed, but it’s pretty obvious to me that OSPCA is not enforcing the law that is already in place. And why are they warning her that they’re coming ahead of time?!

    1. Deborah · ·


      My name is Deborah, we were informed of this through another member on our Facebook Group ‘ Stop the slaughter of over 350 animals at the Newmarket OSPCA ‘

      myself and others have been making phone calls to the OSPCA, sending them emails, I have written to LongRun they are also aware of this owner and how she is keeping Chief. We have written MPP`s, the media.

      Right now I am hoping that someone comes forth from saucy pilaffe, and can shed light on the location a road or street name, of where the horse is? I have even asked a few if they know the name of this lady a first name will do, and if they have her last name even better, or even they could give first name and just her first letter of her last name.

      No one is being helpful, no one is being transparent, if we can not get location, we can`t do anything else except keep emailing calling and talking on the phone, and it looks pathetic when we get asked who is this person, or where is the horse right now? we don`t have those answers.

      Our FB Group is even contemplating a Rally, if we can find the horse.

      Please if you know, or you know of people that know this woman please share this, we can`t help the horse if were in the dark, we all have to work together on this.

      your more than welcome to check out these links –


      our group has been fighting for oversight and accountibilty on the OSPCA since May 2010 when they were going to euthanise all animals in the shelter due to a virulent strain of ringworm, 99 animals paid the price for there lives, today the OSPCA Newmarket Shelter is still closed, it has been almost 170 days now.
      Tests were done after they shut the OSPCA down on the remaining animals that were spared by MPP Frank Klees were all tested for this ringworm, and not one animal tested positive for ringworm, I know this is sad, I know how you all feel, but do take note that when Tanya Firmage found out that someone inside the OSPCA leaked out to the media, that the OSPCA was going to kill every animal, Tanya Firmage got angry and ordered 3 more animals to be euthanised after they were told to halt by the government, so total 102 animals paid an ulitimate price, it was there life.


      Chief in this sistution today, goes to show that the OSPCA has not changed there ways, this is why we have been trying to help and get as much information as possible.

      I was asked by another member if this owner of Chief works or worked at Woodbine in the BackStretch, would you know, or do you know anyone that may know?

      Please share this with everyone you know, hopefully someone breaks the silience, lets all be the voice of the voiceless.


  5. McCallister had the balls to say that was adequate???Seems to me that in 16 visits , most of which the owner was forwarned and in attendance it is hardly Sh*thouse luck that he found found fresh water and shavings . Whether the horse will SURVIVE in these conditions is questionable , and is the bar for standard of care in the OSPCA really set that low???
    as to the other questions , no turnout, no pasture , infrequent limited hand walking .

  6. Deborah · ·

    Just got off the phone with Mr.McAlister –

    He is telling me that his people have been out there 16 times, the last visit was last Friday October 22nd 2010, his inspector out there has told him that the horse has put on about 50lbs. They have been involved from the very beginning.

    About the owner, she has been complying with all orders that the OSPCA have handed her, he also said that the horses shelter is ecceptable, legal, and that the horse will survive through the winter being in the garage.

    he also said that they are going by there books and following what is outlined in them.

    he also said that the pictures and information on the website of Chief is out of date and not current.

    he also stated that they have been on the property and the owner didn`t even know that they had been there, and also note that when they just show up, that Chief had fresh water, hay and clean shavings on the floor.

    He also said that the case file is not closed, it is active and that the OSPCA will keep monitoring this owner and Chief.

    As he also said he has been online and has read into the website as well.

    Am I skeptical? Yup , its the OSPCA were dealing with , also does anyone on this thread no if the horse goes out to a paddock, does he get excercised, does he roam in a pasture?

    Also does anyone know what the first name of this woman is, and if you have a last name only the first letter of the last name will do.

    Thank you to whoever replies to me.

  7. Isn’t there also an issue of interpretation of those laws?
    Why is the OSPCA the be-all and end-all for animal laws, and yet, when you ask them how to change/improve/upgrade those laws, they are mute?
    If they cannot figure out how to place charges against the THS, without a big bungle, why should we accept their interpretations of any other laws?
    Oh, right, they ARE the only game in town.

    Can the OSPCA not read it’s own standards of care, and it’s own definition of neglect?

    This animal would be better off being slaughter bound. At least they feed chickens, don’t they?

  8. You are so right about Ontario animal welfare laws, Sarah, and that’s the big problem here. The OSPCA has to and is binded by the laws. The Chief is being monitored and the owner is complying, albeit not to the standards we would like to see but to the standards the OSPCA is obligated by law to enforce.
    Our best hope is to re-home him, if possible.
    Working on it but there’s no guarantee if we’re successful this owner won’t just go out and plop another horse in her garage to replace him. The situation really is quite insane.

  9. Elizabeth · ·

    Pass this on to everyone you know. We just had municipal elections – pass on to your municipal leaders . Spread the word any way you can. This is disgraceful and horrific. I’d like to take that lady and lock her up in those conditions and let her see what it’s like.

  10. Jill and Andy · ·

    We all will be going into the depths of winter very soon . This horse will not survive without proper hay for warmth and water . Bedding ?

  11. Any one of us can read those statutes. As stated in the Standards of Care, adherence to said standards is voluntary, not mandatory.
    So, it’s a-okay to treat ANY animal as badly as you want, as long as there’s a leaky roof, bi-monthly clean out of excrement, poor quality/food with inadequate nutritional value, no ventilation, 48 hours + with no water or food, and no opportunity for social contact. OH, and no hoof care, but meh, semantics. Horses don’t really NEED their feet, eh? Especially when they don’t move, outside, at all. I have no problems with the situation, if the animal is fed, and watered, and cleaned out, with NO reminders from the OSPCA.
    If an owner needs reminded/educated (constantly) to do this, should they own animals? What if this had been an ex-OSPCA worker? Would they be treated the same, “educated” the same way? Even though you know they know better?

    I guess there IS an explanation for the ringworm outbreak, after all. If those are the standards to be upheld, heck, what money can be saved!!

    When asked directly, “What can I do to help the OSPCA in “their” fight to improve animal welfare, past the slaughter-bound chicken-welfare point?”
    The pretty resounding answer was “Nothing”. OH, another answer was “Uh, well, I don’t know.” Chilling.
    If the laws are so cut and dried, why did the OSPCA completly bungle the charges brought against the Toronto Humane Society?
    Just curious.
    8 weeks without mucking out, if that is acceptable in this province, well, bring on those horsie mills!
    Just like puppy mills, only a little bigger.
    Why didn’t the OSPCA support a call to ban puppy sales in pet stores? Right, they supply some of those pet stores. Riiiiight.
    C’mon, OSPCA. Tell someone the truth. In writing. I just wanna know.
    I want to HELP ANIMALS.

  12. Marilyn · ·

    I was brought to tears reading this article. I had the wonderful experience of owning my own horses for almost 13 years back in Alberta. To try and imagine them in this situation makes me ill. I am so disappointed and disgusted with the OSPCA, seems every other day they are caught on more and more negligence and bad judgement. Look at the fiasco regarding the Mile 26 Dogs. This has just come to light this week via a video on CHCH TV. I can’t believe what these local animal rescue organizations are accomplishing but once again the OSPCA is taking credit for doing alot when in fact had done nothing. I am sending them a request to cancel my monthly donations along with a very long graphic letter explaining why. I would rather see my money go to a local town folk who feeds stray cats than this poorly run organization. I blame the Ontario Government equally for it’s ignorance in these situations.

  13. Kate Stewart-Taylor · ·

    It goes back to the old saying ’50% of the professionals you meet graduated in the bottom half of their class!’ Snicker.

    Eisenhower said the world is run by “C” students. Took me awhile to figure out he didn’t me that some kids didn’t test well. He meant that so-so people were in CHARGE of running thing, like important government agencies.

    Can the neighbor nail the abusers for endangerment of their property?

  14. Kestrel · ·

    that should have read ‘statute!’ This horse’s situation is driving me crazy. Can’t imagine how the poor neighbor must feel.

  15. Kestrel · ·

    Sarah, The ‘average’ horseman knows that moldy hay will kill a horse by causing colic and/or heaves. The ‘average’ horseman knows rotting feet can kill a horse. The ‘average’ horseman knows ammonia buildup can kill a horse by inflaming the lungs. The ‘average’ horseman knows that shutting a stallion up in a concrete floored garage and never exercising him would cause distress.

    The law ALREADY says
    11.2 (1) No person shall cause an animal to be in distress. 2008, c. 16, s. 8

    This horse is pretty obviously distressed…unless you’re a freaking moron…

    I can guarantee that racing stables do not house and feed their horses in such a manner because debilitated horses don’t win races.

    Automatically assuming that ALL OSPCA employees are getting paid by OSPCA because they love animals is as misleading as assuming that all teachers are motivated by a love of children, instead of being motivated by the great benefits, 9 month work year and steady paycheck. It goes back to the old saying ‘50% of the professionals you meet graduated in the bottom half of their class!’

    If OSPCA doesn’t want stricter laws passed (and if they love animals so much… why not?!!) maybe they should simply enforce the statue already in place.

  16. Deborah · ·

    We know the horse is in Vaughan Ontario – does anyone on here have the location?

    perhaps the address, it must be a RR address, please we can not get the proper help

    for Chief if we do not have an exact location ?!

  17. While mouldy hay and unclean stalls are bad, the OSPCA can only do so much. They don’t make the rules, they can only abide by those set by the ontario government. If you feel the standards of care do not match what the average horseperson deems as acceptable, your beef is not with the OSPCA but rather the ontario goverment for setting substandard conditions of care.

    If the agents or society seized the horse and the conditions did not meet the act’s requirements, it would be the society that is accountable to the government (ie, owner could sue, get animal back plus tax payers dollars to buy more horses to improperly care for).

    The worst part is that people have been fighting for years just to get the ammendments that currently exist in place. Good luck getting “fresh bedding on a daily basis” and “access to free space for exercise” and “fresh quality forage” and “companionship” to be written in there too.

    Do you have any idea how many racing stables would be shut down if they had to meet those standards of care? Do you have any idea how much revenue the goverment would lose on horseracing if those stables shut down? The oscpa exists to exercise the minimal power they have on standards that are ultimately decided by a political power that *gasp* has no interest in animal care but rather the bottom line.

    A person would have be crazy to believe that people who love animals and work for an organization that tries to protect them would WANT to see animals housed in subpar conditions. Really, use your brains. You want to blame someone, blame the owner for having a brain the size of a pea.

    You want to know what power the ospca has or doesn’t have? It’s all on the books people.


  18. Colly Paulette · ·

    Sunny Reuter above is on the money! MPP Frank Klees as well as other MPP’s are reading the petitions in the Legislature and MPP Klees has been very helpful in requesting oversight and accountability of the OSPCA. There is a vote on the Resolution Nov. 18th, so the timing is right to get help for Chief NOW! Perhaps, you should contact MPP Frank Klees, through email, telephone and I’d even fax the pictures and story about Chief, as he may be able to help. As I said, it’s perfect timing, strike while the iron is hot, and while there’s still a chance for Chief. Here is MPP Frank Klees info, please update us. He has been instrumental in stopping the mass killings the OSPCA planned in May because of 1 case of Ringworm. They were stopped from killing all 350, so please contact Mr. Klees!

    Constituency Office

    Hunters Gate
    14845 Yonge St Suite 201
    Aurora ON L4G 6H8
    Tel: 905-750-0019
    Fax: 905-750-0050

    email fklees@frank-klees.on.ca

    Queen’s Park Office

    Room 447, Legislative Bldg
    Toronto, On M7A 1A8
    Telephone (416) 325-7316
    Fax: (416) 325-1573

  19. Victor, the media(Toronto Sun , and TV have been approached ) with no response.Apparently this one horse is not “sensational” enough to grab the attention of the media .Maybe if he dies… sorry but this is a very sad and frustrating situation ,for a lot of people .No way that it should taker media pressure or even public pressure for this to me ended appropriately. That said , maybe if we all hit the media again ,it might help

  20. It looks like many of you know where this animal is. You have taken pictures, you have been near him, you KNOW that this horse is abused both mentally and physically, you can prove it beyond any doubt. If the OSPCA will NOT take action, then stop trying with them and DO SOMETHING ELSE FOR GOD’S SAKE! All of you who live nearby, post signs, do everything you can to bring this matter out to the public and show what this woman is doing to the horse. The local newspapers will help you, if you call upon them. The local radio will help you. Get organized, and YOU WILL WIN! The OSPCA will not want to lose the financial help they receive ! How can you tolerate this any longer ? The horse is dying as we speak! The only way to get him out is to alert the media if everything else has failed. Believe me, when this woman’s face is public and everybody sees the true monster she is, then things will be different… if it’s not too late for this horse.

  21. Sunny Reuter · ·

    All of you might try to contact Jack Lakey “the fixer” at the Toronto Star. He went to bat very publicly in another similar situation.

    Please also contact Minister Bradley who oversees the OSPCA Act (not the OSPCA) and MPP Frank Klees who has put forward a motion calling for governmental oversight of the OSPCA. Please also contact the MPP where the horse is located.

    There is a HUGE movement afoot provincially right now with 2,000 petitions having been delivered to 101 of 107 MPPs calling for governmental oversight of the OSPCA.
    Last year they rec’d 15,5 million in donations PLUS 5 million from the government.
    Yet, there is no mechanism of oversight. They have police powers the OPP can only dream of. Yet there is no oversight.

    May 11, 2010 the OSPCA attempted to kill 350 animals in it’s Newmarket Head office shelter to eradicate ringworm. Public outrage stopped the killing but not before 102 animals lay dead. As of October 5th the OSPCA confirmed the shelter is still contaminated and closed to the public.

    We’re calling for oversight. Want to join us????

    google “ospca petition video”




  22. Re: more links
    Contact MPP Greg Sorbara’s office at gsorbara.mpp@liberal.ola.org
    Also, contact Kim Champion at The Vaughan Citizen, email:

  23. gain in actual healthy pounds is unlikely.weight aside .His muscle wasting , cribbing ,the lack of proper ventilation , poor ,unsatifactory condiotns over all is quite simply indefensible.And turning it in to a pissing contest between the people involved is silly childish misdirection .the facts of the case are clear in the photos .UNACCEPTABLE!!”

    1. Jill and Andy · ·

      We totally agree.

  24. How about stealing him? I will help in any way I can. Screw the law!

  25. Horselover · ·

    An excellent article about a very sad story.

    Please send a copy of it directly to
    Chief Executive Officer, Kate MacDonald, OPSCA
    Contact: Anne Buonaiuto, Executive Assistant to CEO
    Phone: 905-898-7122 ext. 304 or abuonaiuto@ospca.on.ca demanding that she take action.

    And the Ontario Minister responsible for the OSPCA is The Hon James Bradley, Minister of Public Safety and Correctional Services, George Drew Bldg, 18th Flr, 25 Grosvenor St, Toronto ON M7A1Y6. Send this to him demanding that he take action.
    Contact: David Phillips, Chief of Staff to the Minister at david.phillips@ontario.ca Phone 416 325 6153.

    Thank you for all that you do to help horses.


    1. Jill and Andy · ·

      Isn’t it ironic Dont Ya think ? I guess he is under solitary confinement .

  26. Crystal Polfer · ·

    Good Lord , I just can’t believe this, and the Poor Horse has to live with it, what did Chief do so Wrong to have a life like this.

  27. I don’t know if this Lawyer or service can help, and don’t endorse the service or know anything about it….just found it online and thought I would pass it along:

  28. Since the local OSPCA office isn’t helping, would it be helpful to call their main office to report this? Any person with half a brain would know that no living being should be consuming mold, and that is just one of the many problems this horse is faced with. It is shocking to know that the local office can see what is happening and do nothing to stop it, and are even helping it happen!
    This is just more proof that the Federal Government’s highly touted Bill S-203 is ineffective.

  29. You don’t know the physical set-up/situation here.
    “It wouldn’t be that hard.”
    Actually, it would. Very difficult, very dangerous, and then whooops, who would be the suspect? The person who reported would be the criminal. The person who reported him would lose.
    There are many other reasons, that cannot be disclosed here, that make his “liberation” impossible.

    1. apalachian · ·

      This is coming from the woman who has made the owner of Chief a living hell for about 20 years. Who also likes to spy into another person’s truck and take photos of what is inside.
      It wouldn’t matter if it was a dog, she would and has called the SPCA & animal control on the owner in the past.
      What she (For the Animals) doesn’t know is that the horse was showing it’s ribs when it was bought and has been under constant vet care from day one of it being brought onto the property. Also according to the vet, Chief has put on between 40 and 50 pounds since the beginning of the summer. As of this week the OSPCA has confirmed that Chief HAS put on weight.

      1. Jill and Andy · ·

        Forty or fifty lbs ? Are you a horseperson at all ? I don’t need a degree to see that this horse is suffering .

      2. Kestrel · ·

        If Chief’s owner treated her dog the same way she treats Chief, she deserved to have the authorities called to expose her cruelty. Good for her neighbor. And the fact that you think it would be okay is spooky…

        If a vet is ‘just dandy’ with that poor horse being imprisoned in a filthy concrete garage he’s one p*** poor excuse for a vet.

        Chief’s weight is not the whole issue, his living conditions are horrendous no matter what weight he is at. Chief’s owner obviously does not have a proper facility to keep him in, so why is she insisting on keeping him?

        There is absolutely no defense for feeding moldy hay (especially in an enclosed area), leaving the stall filthy, letting him run out of water, and not letting him out for air and exercise. None.

      3. Rewritingmondays · ·

        What a load of horse sh*t.

        Even if it was true, the fact that the horse was showing ribs at the beginning of his period in this human’s care is irrelevant and a sad excuse. If you buy a horse and they are not healthy, then you make them healthy. You don’t say “oh, well, he was like that when we got him!” and continue to let him maintain a less-than-healthy status. That’s cruelty, at its finest, with the “best” lazy excuse anyone can come up with. Buying an animal means you accept responsibility for its health and well-being.

        Period. Because THEY DON’T HAVE A CHOICE.

        What if this horse was a child? Say you adopted a child. And he was malnourished and ribby when you adopted him, but you went “well, he was like that when we got him, and he’s not working… so let’s maintain that weight.” Then you kept him in a room on cement flooring. And let him wallow in his own feces. And only allowed him access to moldy, bottom-grade food.

        Hell, your butt would be in jail so quick it would make your head spin.

        Why is that sense of horror not hitting for the exact same conditions for something just as innocent?

        Age, rescue status, and environment status DO NOT make a good excuse, either. I’ve known high-energy 30yo horses who we rescues, who were bony, who are HARD to keep weight on (ie, TB) who finished their lives happy, healthy, and shiny-eyed to the very end.

        Healthy means YOU DON’T SEE HIP BONES JUTTING OUT.

        There are no excuses for these conditions. None. Period. Ever.

      4. nccatnip · ·

        I agree with all above. And for the argument about putting on 50lbs since the beginning of summer is pretty lame. I put 300lbs on a horse in the same time frame. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it, you feed them, give them good quality hay, water and air. Oh, and sunshine and exercise helps too.
        Get real. Doesn’t matter WHO reports it, facts are facts. It is cruelty and the present owner is skating by with the bare minimum allowable by law.
        There is not now nor ever will be an excuse for this kind of care to any living creature and anyone that will defend it is as low as the owner.

  30. Lin Mrachek · ·

    This is unacceptable. Take this story to the media… radio, television and newspapers. If laws are broken, proscecute. Please do not leave this horse in such dire straits. Someone must help him!

  31. Who Said That? · ·

    The fact that the OSPCA and several other offices of autority have been contacted, yet the horse remains in hell is just baffleing to so many. It doesn’t take a “Knowledgeable Horseperson” to see the horses ribs and backbone- to know that something isn’t right.

    While his current owner may know how to care for a horse and enjoy the attention, how can she be proud of the way her horse looks? I guess it is all about feeding her ego in that regard. I own a TB stallion…. I own a race horse….. Yep and just look at the way you aren’t taking care of him.

    How disgraceful.
    For both the owner and the OSPCA.

  32. Lori Owens · ·

    Why doesn’t someone just liberate Chief? It wouldn’t be that hard. Then put him in hiding. I would if I lived there. No animal should ever be allowed to suffer because the law protects the abuser. Would you leave a child there? No. Then don’t leave the horse there.

  33. Kristy Amado · ·

    Someone should alert the ASPCA as well, and maybe they could step in and encourage their Canadian counterpart to do the right thing.

  34. Here’s their web-site, glowing with all the good deeds they’ve done.

    I have to question their ability to care for animals, if this is “suitable and adequate” care, for ANY animal.

  35. OSPCA Newmarket office 905 898 7122
    Ask for the head of investigations.
    Or let Ward McCaskill (investigator with the OSPCA) tell you, as he told me, the horse’s conditions are suitable and adequate.
    I also posted this link on the “Official OSPCA” Facebook page. I can prove the daily neglect, with the pictures the OSPCA already has, in their possession, delivered to them Aug. 12.

    Horse is in Vaughan, Ontario. He has a twenty five gallon “water pail”, on the floor. It’s empty. Ooops, she forgot to water him. aGain.

  36. Chantal · ·

    No animals should have to suffer like that.There’s is something wrong with that women and our laws on protect the animals obviously.The OSPCA are the only one to be able to take him away why are they waiting so long…does the horse has be dead before they chose to emerge in.It has to be done right now before it’s to late…..SERIOUSLY

  37. Shame on them. My heart is broken. I cannot believe I have just read something like this happening in Ontario, Canada. Oh my God, please rescue this beautiful animal from the hell its enduring daily. How can they leave this animal in a garage with no room to move around, no paddock area, no exercise, no hay to talk about or water. What the hell is going on here!????? I thought we had the strictenst laws in Ontario. Who is defending this horse? Bullshit he is being housed and fed. Get real, why do we have a humane society??? what the hell are they doing for this horse? This is outrageous, sick, sick of them to allow this woman to keep this horse in a prison. Please some one close by rescue this horse. I live in another province a distance away or I would be there with my trailer and she would have to fight me on this one. If the SPCA cannot protect him, then we as citizens must do this for him, he cannot fend for himself. I am just appaled and cannot believe this is happening. Please someone take action, write your MP, call your news paper….this is neglect, abuse at its worst….She needs to be stopped! How can she be allowed to own a horse or any animal???? She has him locked in a garage with no room, no other animals, this woman is sick and needs to have this horse taken from her before he dies, the evidence is there, so what the hell are they waiting for? When do they step in???? when he is dead??? I am so disgusted!!

  38. Lana Marie · ·

    Where in Ontario is this?? Give us some phone numbers, email address, fax numbers & anything else you got. THIS SPCA needs to be BLASTED but good for this. As for the woman who has this horse, you are an inconsiderate, greedy, abusive & NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM a horse person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT PAT YOURSELF on your back, you need YOUR ASS KICKED!!!
    Wake UP Ontario SPCA….you want donations – YOU better take care of this horse & others that you damn well know the people are ‘playing’ you. LEAVING CRAP food & where is the water pales????? FIX THIS NOW! That is what you are there to DO!

  39. WhiteCamry · ·

    Take a page from south of the Great Lakes: the cable show “Animal Cops” documents cases like this all over the US.

    The OSPCA clearly mustn’t be relied upon any further. As with all Dilbertesque bureaucracies, they will take no action unless publicly embarrassed into doing so.

    Has anyone called the local sheriff? Or called a lawyer and gotten an arrest warrant for cruelty to animals? Or doesn’t Ontario have such animal-protection laws?

    If all else fails, someone should video Apalachian Chief’s situation, move (“steal,” if you prefer) him outright to a better place and post the whole episode on Youtube. Legal? Maybe not. Just? Certainly! Force this into the public glare!

    It’s your move, Canada.

  40. What area of Ontario is he in? I am not in Ontario but would be happy to call the OSPCA office near where he is, and ask my friends in Ontario to do the same. Please advise. Thanks!

  41. Unconscionable! The cruelty and suffering has been documented over a long enough period of time. He needs to be rescued NOW!!!

  42. Herdbound · ·

    Agreed Im kinda old school and would just go take him . This has reached a comunity level and any retaliation on the part of the abusers would likely land them in court. Where I might add that all the proof is in the shots etc. Somebody needs to just go take him and let her fight about it. Id like to suggest what to do with the owners too but will use self restraint.

  43. Kestrel · ·

    This is pure laziness and dereliction of duty by the OSPCA. There is no excuse for this. That is NOT adequate food, water OR housing for ANY animal. It is totally within their power to do the right thing and yet they refuse. Gah. That poor horse. What a terrible, horrible thing to do to him…

  44. Please send a letter to the OSPCA with a link to this article and let them know that in NO uncertain terms are they worthy of donations, and that this horrendous neglect on their part to relieve this horse of its hellish existence constitutes an act of animal cruelty!


    Please persist with your phone calls, faxes, and emails! Persistence, exposure and pressure! Thank you CHDC for exposing this shameful behavior by OSPCA – they have no business calling themselves a humane association, NONE.

  45. I’m going to go speak up right now. Any horse owner would know this is not right. What are they thinking to let this go on!

  46. Cynthia, all of that has been done. Nothing legal can be done, because the OSPCA has decreed the horse’s care is suitable and adequate. The horse gets coated with show sheen, then he looks shiney and healthy, right?

  47. Jill and Andy · ·

    Thank you !

  48. nccatnip · ·

    Shame on the OSPCA. Shame on them.

  49. Cynthia · ·

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What is wrong with these people? Somebody just go take him out of there. The law states somewhere that equines cannot be kept in a garage or other structure attached to a residence, unfitting or unsuitable to an animal who weighs more than a big breed canine. I’ll find the passage. Or find the prior owner and let her know what’s happening. Contact Woodbine or any of their award sponsors. Contact the media and local media; organize the neighbours and community associations. I’d thought that Ontario had stricter animal care policies than here in Quebec but apparently, inspectors are as blind there as well as here. No horse, racer, winner, or not, deserves such miserable living conditions.

  50. Alpha Mare · ·

    This is disgusting. Poor Chief.

    This is the reason I’ve become adamant that people forge strong paper contracts with those to whom they sell or adopt. Apparently whoever sold him didn’t bother to visit the premises or do a background check.

    Please, when you need to rehome an animal, practice due diligence. I left a high volume rescue due to their sloppiness in these matters. It was too hard to see our babies returned to us in poor condition.

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