Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · 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

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.

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
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.

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.”

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5