Intended For Good Home Is Saved From Slaughterhouse
May 18, 2005
By Julie Mann
Suburban Bureau Chief
WBBM Newsradio 780
Gail Vacca, Illinois Coordinator of the National Horse Protection Coalition,
stands next to "Montana".
Barb Boubelik-Chemielewski of Lazy Maple Equine Rescue is on the left.
Canada is making
its home in DeKalb today after a last minute rescue from an Illinois
slaughterhouse. Horse owners say it's a survival story that serve as a wake up
call for anyone selling a horse...
Gail Vacca of
DeKalb coordinates the
chapter of the National Horse Protection Coalition
She says she received a desperate phone call last Thursday from a Canadian
couple who had just learned their horse, Montana, had been sold to a horse
trader and, instead of going to a good home as promised, the horse was on its
way to the Cavel International horse meat processing plant in DeKalb.
The horse was expected to arrive the next day and they wanted to save the horse.
Vacca says �at the time I thought this was a million to one shot, but naturally
we were going to do anything we could to help�.
Vacca says the former owner contacted the DeKalb police department for help
while she quickly put a network of people together to go to the plant and get Montana
Vacca says the police department was able to contact the horse trader who agreed
to sell Montana
back to the former owner at a much higher price.
DeKalb police said, to the credit of the company, Cavel worked with authorities
to find the horse and agreed to return the horse.
Vacca says while they waited for Montana's release, two other shipments of
horses arrived for slaughter that day. �It was a heartbreaking day for me,� she
explained, �it just broke my heart that so many horses were killed that day that
we couldn�t save.�
Friday afternoon, Vacca says they were directed back to the Cavel loading dock
where they finally got to see Montana.
She instantly thought �how terrified she (the horse) looked. She was sopping wet
with sweat from fear.�
The horse is now under quarantine at the home of a volunteer in DeKalb. Vacca
says she is now raising the money necessary to ship Montana back to her owners
She called the whole ordeal a miracle and a distressing example of how horse
owners can be duped into thinking they are selling their animal to someone who
will care for it, but instead are unknowingly signing its death certificate.
She says she wonders "how many more horses like Montana were in those trucks
that their owners didn�t know what was going to happen to them.� Vacca says
there is no law legally requiring horse traders to disclose their intentions for
the horses they purchase at auction.
She believes the only way to stop horse slaughter is to close down plants like
Stay tuned to WBBM Newsradio 780 for the latest developments on this and