Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · HARD TIMES FOR HORSES
. . . .

HARD TIMES FOR HORSES

Anne Stanton - November 1st, 2010
Hard Time for Horses: Veterinarian Tanja Molby works to make a difference
By Anne Stanton
On the outskirts of Kingsley, there was this weird scene last Sunday
of riders and their horses sauntering down the shoulder of the road
and turning into a dirt driveway that was already lined with
four-wheel drive cars, trucks, and horse trailers.
They were drawn by an offer of free medical care for their horses.
“We were jamming,” said Tanja Molby, a Suttons Bay veterinarian. “We
had three teams and we all worked from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., nonstop.”
Molby organized the clinic to prepare horses for winter’s extreme
conditions and skimpy food supplies. She and the vet teams worked on
the horse’s teeth to ensure they could painlessly and thoroughly chew
their food. They also gave the horses physicals, vaccinations and
castrations, when necessary.
Molby is heartsick over the number of horses in desperate need of food
and medical attention this year. She doesn’t blame the owners, whom
she repeatedly stressed are good people, but simply broke.
“They’ve lost their jobs, can’t get a new one, perhaps had terrible
medical problems. These people aren’t intending to be cruel or
neglectful to horses. But the state of Michigan is out of money to
help them, the rescue groups are overfilled. Completely. They can’t
take any more horses and Michigan no longer has slaughter houses.
That’s actually a good thing, but now people don’t have an
alternative.”

4,000 ON THE BRINK
Molby heads a new nonprofit that aims for sustainable emergency  care
and food across the state because the problem is huge and
lingering—4,000 horses are said to be on the brink of starvation.  She
confessed she has absolutely no experience in nonprofits—she came here
in 1987 from Germany as an exchange student and “stayed forever” after
earning a veterinary degree from Michigan State University.
As one of the few large animal veterinarians in the area (they don’t
make much money), Molby saw business drop off as clients were forced
to pare their budgets. She was prompted to take action after Steven
Halstead, the state’s official veterinarian, called her last spring
and asked her if she’d be willing to travel with him to perform mercy
euthanasias for those on the edge of dying.
“I told him, I think we can do better than that,” she said.
Molby reached out to area horse owners, and the group formed the
Michigan Equine Foundation. Last week, they brought together
high-ranking horse experts at Black Star Farms, including Halstead;
Don Coe, owner of Black Star Farms and vice chair of the Michigan
Agriculture Commission; Hal Schott, a professor at the MSU College of
Veterinary Medicine; and guest speaker Derek Knottenbelt, professor of
Equine Medicine at Liverpool University.
Over the weekend, the group came up with a tentative plan to form a
humane society for horses, similar to what’s available for cats and
dogs. The eventual goal is to set up three or four drop-off locations
in the state, where a trained professional could triage horses (give
medical attention to those most likely to survive), return them to a
healthy state, and adopt them out.
“And honestly, to make that sad decision of whether to euthanize.
Maybe if it’s a 36-year-old horse, emaciated and very ill; we have to
be fair to that animal” Molby said.

FUNDRAISING IDEAS
The humane society would need sustainable funding. One idea among
several was to set up a voluntary horse registration. “If one-third of
the owners of Michigan’s 155,000 horses paid a $25 registration fee,
that would total $1,250,000, and that would be enough,” Molby said.
Angie Kirby, president of the nonprofit (Molby is the CEO), said the
nonprofit can implement the ideas that these big thinker policy makers
are suggesting.
“I’m a 4-H leader, a mom, and also a professor with access to these
academic folks, and I know what to do with the data we’re collecting.
Meanwhile, we’re offering a grassroots perspective to these experts,”
said Kirby, who teaches research techniques at Spring Arbor University
The medical clinic held last week did just that. Held on Sunday at the
home of the North Rescue founder, it included several horses—Princess
was one of them—that were rescued from a Lapeer County home. Fifty
horses were trapped in stalls that were so full of manure that the
horses could literally climb over the stall walls, said Susan
Henschell, who adopted Princess last year.
Some of the horses are still there because there aren’t enough
adoptive homes, she said.
On Sunday, MSU veterinary students worked in teams with Molby and two
other vets supervising.
“We made a tiny, tiny little dent. And a tiny dent is better than
nothing,” said Molby, an attractive 40-year-old, who herself is
wondering how to survive. She has a clinic to run, a large college
loan to pay off, and increasing numbers of customers asking for a
break.
She refers many of them to the Michigan Hay Bank, which was set up by
another nonprofit (the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition). She also
dispenses hay that area folks have donated to her.

THANKFUL FOR CLINIC
Molby said that most people are severely embarrassed over their
inability to care of their animals, but on Sunday, the horse owners
spoke frankly. Henschell, of Kingsley, said she lost her job at Tower
Automotive, which moved its plants down south and out of the country.
She used to earn $17 an hour as a press operator, but hasn’t worked
for 18 months. Yet she still accepted three rescue horses because they
had no other place to go.
“I’m just so thankful for this clinic,” she said.
Sue Arlt, 56, who hasn’t been able to work since a traumatic head
injury three years ago, is trying to sell some of her 10 horses and
three mini horses.
“The market is really swamped right now, and there’s not much resale
value,” Molby said. “People are taking them to auctions and leaving
them in trailers or tying them up to trees. The auction is over and
there are all these horses left. These are good people, they aren’t
bad people. They simply don’t have the money or alternatives.”
Kirby said one horse owner is a single mom of an autistic son and
working three jobs. She had to sell a draft horse, which was a
therapeutic horse for her son.
“She’s a 4-H leader, and I didn’t know anything about her. She says,
‘We hide very well, and we’re very embarrassed.’ She’s been living
hand to mouth and then they cut her hours. She found out about our
clinic, which we threw together. I give credit with Tanja for all of
this. She’s incredible.”

 
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