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In search of missing horses, Tank and Shanana, adopted under DERR contract

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Ed note: This story contains horses owned by this author

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Have you seen these two horses?

Today Robert and Dinelle Ashcraft have many unanswered questions to the whereabouts of their two horses, Tank and Shanana. The Ashcrafts rescued and rehabilitated both horses and adopted them out into their new home. The Ashcrafts have reason to believe these horses are in danger and concerned for the welfare and health of these two horses, as they are MIA.

Tank arrived to the DERR in May 2012, emaciated with a body score of two. Tank is an off-track Thoroughbred gelding with muscle atrophy across his nose, neck, left shoulder, and left leg from an old track injury. His left hoof turns slightly inward at an angle. Tank is a fully rideable horse who has learned to compensate despite his old injuries. Shanana, is a 17-year-old, French Arabian who arrived in the summer of 2013. She came from a retired Arabian breeding farm. After the owner's husband died, Shanana stood as a pasture horse for five years unhandled, until arriving at the DERR. After many hours of handling and rehabilitating these two horses, they were adopted together into the home of Shayna Harper, a 20-year-old, white female in Mulberry, Florida.

Both Tank and Shanana are adopted under a 2-year adoption contract with DERR. In the recent weeks, the Ashcrafts have been notified of possible harm to these horses. Eileen, the barn owner where the horses resided for the first few months, has notified the Ashcrafts to tell them these horses are gone. Eileen explains that Shanana almost died from colic after going days without hay. Tank has lost a substantial amount of weight and his health is unstable.

Shayna Harper has removed these horses from Eileen’s barn and their location is unknown. A few sources have verified that Shayna Harper has sold these two horses while under contract with the DERR. When trying to contact Shayna Harper, Dinelle found all contact numbers out of service. The Ashcrafts found a number listed for Shayna’s sister and was able to retrieve Shayna’s new number. Shayna answers the unexpected call from the Ashcrafts. Shayna claims she still owns these horses, but refuses to give an address or meet for a checkup of the horses. After Dinelle made initial contact with Shayna Harper, she refuses to answer any further calls.

As a rescue owner, the Ashcrafts put a lot of time, money, and love into rehabilitating these horses. The animals become a part of their family. Many hours are spent caring and interacting with these horses. When each horse has finished their rehabilitation, they are placed up for adoption. When it’s time for them to move on, the Ashcrafts say good-bye, trusting and praying that their new families will love them as they do. Most times these horses find happy homes and the Ashcraft’s job is complete.

Today Tank and Shanana are missing. The Ashcrafts are unsure of their whereabouts and fear they may have fallen into the wrong hands.

“Horses can endure a lot of stress, as their bodies fluctuate up and down in weight. Their bodies can only handle so much trauma, before their organs can no longer compensate,” says Dinelle.

Many times people are a day late and a dollar short. They cut back on the necessities of grain and hay for their horses. Over time these horses lose weight and the owners are ashamed. They hope to change the situation around and are too embarrassed to call for help. Silently these horses pray that someone will see them, save them, or hear them cry. They stand for days, stomping impatiently for anyone to notice them. Soon they are too weak to get off the ground. Give me a voice Dear Lord, so that I may scream for help, so that someone might hear my silent cry.

Please contact Dinelle Ashcraft at 352-596-3104 if you have any information on Shayna Harper out of Mulberry, Florida or information regarding the location or condition of Tank and Shanana.