Friday, August 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022
88° F Dallas, TX


By Glenna Whitley |

CRIME AMELITA DONALD wants rustlers to know she’s aimin’ to put them out of business. For more than a year, Donald, the Texas representative for the American Horse Protection Association, has been working to make it harder for thieves who steal horses and then sell them to one of the four Texas slaughterhouses that process the meal for sale to overseas markets where it’s considered a delicacy. Each year, more than 185,000 horses are slaughtered in Texas, producing 82 million pounds of meat.

Last summer. Donald turned horse detective when three animals were stolen from the Dallas stable where she boards her mare. Though her horse was not a victim, Donald spent four months visiting auctions and slaughterhouses, hoping to find the rustled animals. In the process, she discovered that many urban law enforcement officers, not surprisingly, don’t know the difference between a bay and a sorrel-and stolen animals are often sold at small auctions in rural areas where no proof of ownership is required. The problem is increasing; last year, more than 1,000 horses were reported stolen to sheriffs in the six-county area around Dallas.

Donald, who’s now on the track of 24 horses who disappeared, worries that so few horse owners even have a current photograph of the animal. She recommends that owners keep a full description of marks or scars and that they brand their horses in a clearly visible place such as a hip or shoulder, not inside the mouth as is common.

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