New state database lists lost, abandoned horses


Submitted by Chris Aldridge, Kentucky Department of Agriculture



Kentuckians whose horses have gone missing can search for them on the Internet using a new database created by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The state veterinarian’s office has launched a Stray or Abandoned Equine Database where people can browse listings of horses that have been found and are being kept and cared for until their owners can claim them.

“Stray and abandoned horses are a serious problem in parts of Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “This database will help owners of missing horses to find them and bring them home. The law that requires us to maintain the database also streamlines the process of managing stray and abandoned horses and helps counties reduce their costs.”

A new state law requires counties to contract with licensed veterinarians to document a lost or abandoned horse’s features and identifying characteristics and enter the information into the database. The entry includes two pictures of the horse – one from the front, and one from the side. A person who claims a stray or abandoned horse is required to reimburse the county for the cost of the veterinarian’s examination and to reimburse the person who holds the horse – referred to in the law as the “taker-up” – for the costs of holding and caring for the animal.

House Bill 312, passed in the 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, also reduced from 90 to 15 days the amount of time a person must hold a stray horse before he or she can claim it and sell it. The 15-day window opens after the horse’s information is properly filed and posted on the Stray or Abandoned Equine Database. House Bill 312 was sponsored by state Rep. Tom McKee of Cynthiana and amended by the state Senate in committee and on the Senate floor by Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson.

To view the Stray or Abandoned Equine Database, go to www.kyagr.com/strayhorse.

Submitted by Chris Aldridge, Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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