Commentary

December 6, 2013

Garrison commander addresses animal adoption concerns

Dan McFarland
Commanding, USAG Fort Huachuca

To our community,
Over the last several months, the U.S. Army Garrison, or USAG, published our intent to adopt-out five horses and a donkey from the Buffalo Corral Riding Stables. For various health reasons, if not adopted, these animals may be euthanized.

In October of this year, one of the post veterinarians examined each animal. At the time, the vet graded four of the horses 4/5 lame. The fifth horse is 3/5 lame. The donkey, while not examined, is incontinent and in its end-stage of life. Combined, these animals cost about $30,000 a year in feed.

Recently, members of the community asked, “ … why these animals cannot live out their remaining days at the corral? After all, they served our Soldiers and Families well!” Another patron raised the idea of a sponsorship program. The sponsorship would allow several members of the community to donate monthly amounts as opposed to taking on the full burden of adoption. Others expressed concern over the limited time before the adoption deadline.

In response to community concerns, we pushed the adoption date to Jan. 15, 2014. Additionally, we reviewed the legal issues involved with a sponsorship program. Generally, when the government no longer has a need for government horses they must be sold or adopted.

For various legal reasons, a sponsorship program that does not clearly assign ownership to an individual or group is not an option. Without clear ownership, the government remains liable. The “split interest” inherent in any sponsorship-like program makes it difficult for the government to exercise appropriate and timely decision authority if the animals’ health changes.

In researching the legal aspects of a sponsorship program, we rediscovered our legal obligation to determine if the horses can be humanely adopted.

I’ve asked our vet clinic to do another assessment of each animal. I’m leaving it to the clinic experts to define “humane.” As with the examinations in October, the definition of humane will involve some grading of lameness. In the end, the vet will attempt to measure animal quality of life and pain.

Our goal is, and will always be, to do what’s best for these animals. In determining what’s best, I must make tough decisions within legal and regulatory guidance. Because we are stewards of government resources, I’m obligated to consider cost. In this particular case, cost is only one factor; quality of life of the animals is another.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Presidential Proclamation — National Native American Heritage Month, 2014

NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2014 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Every year, our Nation pauses to reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country’s character and culture. The first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models...
 
 
Courtesy photos

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare a perfect bird during Thanksgiving holiday

Courtesy photos When preparing the turkey, ensure the bird is completely thawed and all utensils are clean. To avoid the spread of bacteria during the preparation process, use clean utensils and wash hands frequently. Whether h...
 
 

WARRIOR CARE MONTH 2014 — Show of Strength

Each November, the military Services commemorate our sacred obligation and enduring commitment to wounded, ill and injured Service members and their Families and caregivers. These men and women have personally contributed to the strength of the force and the strength of our Nation. Their determination and resilience in recovery inspires us all. The theme for...
 

 

VETERANS DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Veterans Day commemorates the end of World War I. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 Allied negotiators met with German officials in a railway carriage near Compiègne Forest in France, and signed an armistice that put an end to the First World War. Over time, as the war...
 
 

Red Ribbon Week held this week on Fort Huachuca

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. Although the start end dates can vary slightly depending on the organization and source, Red Ribbon Week generally takes place the last full week in October, with the weekends before and following the last full week included as appropriate celebration dates....
 
 
Commissary-Gift-Cards-02

Giving ‘gift of groceries?’ Think commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. The cards, which come in dominations of $25 and $50, can be purchased by anyone at...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin