Abandoned Horse Database Established in Kentucky

Jul 23, 2015

Credit Rob Canning / WKMS

State agriculture officials are hopeful the new Stray or Abandoned Equine Database will help with the proper care and upkeep of wandering horses. 

The online database is one piece of a law approved earlier this year. 

State Veterinarian Bob Stout says information about the horses is collected at county judges' offices. 

"It certainly gives opportunities for people to legitimately claim their horse and we would hope then, when they recognize ownership of it, that they maintain responsibility that goes with owning a horse," said Stout.

The new law requires counties to contract with veterinarians to document a lost or abandoned horse's features and identifying characteristics and then enter the info into the database.  Stout says several years ago, a team documented lost or abandoned horses in Breathitt County. 

He says undergoing a similar exercise today would be quite challenging. 

"The issue is probably much more pervasive than that and over many more counties than they were able to look at," Stout said. "It would be an awesome task to try to fully examine the problem."

Legislation approved earlier this year also reduced the waiting period from 90 to 15 days.  That's the time frame a person must hold a stray horse before he or she can claim it and sell it.