Colorado shelters forced to deal with overbreeding of large animals

Overbreeding among equine animals is a "big time" problem in northern Colorado, shelter owners say.

Denkai Animal Sanctuary owner Floss Blackburn told the Greeley Tribune that at least 50 percent of her rescue animals, especially the horses, are there because of overbreeding. And unlike the pet industry of smaller animals, there's not a focus on neutering or other care clinics, noted another shelter owner.

Horses that can't be rescued are often shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter since the U.S. government effectively ended it in 2007, said the paper. But even rescued horses have it rough:

Blackburn said many of the horses that trot through her gates will be there for the rest of their lives because of injuries or neglect. Helena, a paint mare, lost an eye in what was reported as a pitchfork accident. Reiny, a buckskin palomino, has a shoulder injury. Nick and Elvis, quarter horse brothers, were bred and raised as pets with no training, which Blackburn said has been “a nightmare.”

“When they’re raised as pets, they’re dangerous,” Blackburn said. “They didn’t need to be bred to stand around for 10 years.”