Every Friday at 2:30 p.m., a horse auction is held in Sugarcreek, one of four Ohio towns that hold horse and livestock auctions.
Meat buyers attend the auctions, bidding on horses and donkeys to take to slaughter.
Horse rescuer Marjorie Muirden and her two friends also attended the Sugarcreek livestock auction earlier this year. They came home with 8 horses, 3 donkeys, and an experience they won’t forget.
In an interview with The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Muirden described the events at the horse auction in Sugarcreek:
"The auction floor was packed with dozens of horses jammed together. Mares, stallions, geldings and foals were put together indiscriminately. The weaker ones were picked on. Two simply lay down and seemed unable to get up. Many were Amish work horses.
"Some were lame or sick with green mucus dripping from their nostrils. I counted nine that had one eye or an eye that was punctured or infected. There were several pairs of horses that were obviously companions and did their best to stay together.
"The bidding process was fast and confusing. I identified the meat buyers and chose only to bid against them. Among the audience were dealers, private individuals and a few other rescue groups, I figured the horses they bought had a chance at finding homes.
"I bought a mare in foal and five other horses, so I had to make two trips to haul them all home.
"On the return trip, we were in time to see the 'meat' horses smacked, whipped and shoved onto the huge meat trucks. Mares, foals, geldings, stallions, young and old. We could hear high pitched whinnying as they drove away.
"A few really thin ones were left. We bought an emaciated standardbred mare, her friend a small chestnut mare and three wild donkeys. That was my friend's idea, and they turned out to all be in-foal."
Muirden paid from $400 to $600 for each horse and $450 for the donkeys. Some of the horses she rescued are still available for adoption, including 10-year old branded chestnut quarter horse Buckeye who only has one eye. Muirden claims he is a "super trail horse, steady and safe." His adoption fee is $400.
Also saved from slaughter and ready for adoption are Annie and her 4-month-old foal Riley. Adopt the two for $800.
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