June 2015 Issue - page 7

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June 2015
Page 7
“They have no fear and no
respect,” said Kaunas, who feels
that some, because of age or
behavior issues, may never be
adopted, but she hopes that most
will make suitable riding horses
one day.
Hajek said because of the
horses’ small size and confir-
mation - issues likely stemming
from indiscriminant breeding and
poor health as they developed
- the individuals with the experi-
ence to handle the horses may not
find them attractive mounts.
But she says after two and
half years she’s looking forward
to the day when Gentle Giants is
no longer responsible for any of
the Roberts horses.
“This was supposed to be a
three-month stop gap measure,”
said Hajek, who at one point
cared for most of the herd and
whose brother-in-law still boards
six of the horses at his Mt. Airy,
Md. farm.
The case highlights the
difficulty of caring for large
numbers of large animals seized
in cruelty cases in Pennsylvania,
a state with many horses and few
large animal rescues. Restoring
the physical and mental health
of abused and neglected animals
always means major expenses
for cash-strapped non-profits and
even tests more financially stable
animal welfare organizations like
Harrisburg Humane.
Pennsylvania’s “cost of care”
legislation, which became law
after the Roberts’ seizure, should
help reduce protracted legal
battles like the Roberts case. It
stipulates that anyone charged
with abuse must either surrender
their animals or pay the cost of
their care until the conclusion of
the case.
But for those who rounded
up the scared, wild horses and
removed them from a desperate
situation, the Roberts case will
forever be a tragic textbook
example of the difficulty of
caring for large numbers of large
animals seized in cruelty cases in
To donate to the Humane
Society of the Harrisburg Area
or to Gentle Giants Draft Horse
Rescue visit their websites at
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