Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


February 5, 2014

New menace

Wild horses growing problem in eastern Kentucky counties

ASHLAND — When hiking in the beautiful hills of this region, one should not be surprised to encounter black bears, a herd of elk and more deer than you can count. However, it is doubtful many hikers expect to see wild horses on the trail. After all, rampaging packs of wild horses may be a problem in some western states, but not in eastern Kentucky, right?  Wrong.

Officials in eastern Kentucky are trying to determine the best way to deal with a pack of wild horses that is causing property damage and traffic hazards. At a recent meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, Deputy Judge-Executive John Doug Hays said officials have tried tranquilizing the animals to capture them but have been unsuccessful so far.

“I want the people over there who are being bothered and damaged by these horses and subjected to unsafe conditions by these horses being on the highways to know that we’ve tried everything in the world,” Hays said. But nothing has been effective.

To be sure, the wild horses are unlikely to be found on the hilly trails that most hikers emjoy. Horses prefer grassy meadowlands to wooded trails. However, the large, relatively level grasslands created by moutaintop removal mining could appeal to packs of wild horses, just as they do elk herds

Pike County Solid Waste Commissioner Bobby Mullins suggested working with property owners to try to corral the horses in a fenced area. That may work, but what do you do with the fenced horses?

Mullins said the animals seem to be in search of food and he warned the animals could be dangerous.

“Another thing the court needs to realize is these horses are not like normal horses,” Mullins said. “Some of them, no one has ever had a halter on them and they’ve all been shot at, (had) rocks thrown at them and they’re wild.”

Hays said the horses would be caught somehow and cautioned people about purposely letting animals roam free.

“These horses are owned by someone,” he said. “I realize that times are tough, people have let animals go, they’re roaming loose, they can’t afford to feed them; but I believe that many of these horses would be claimed by someone if we could get ahold of them. We are going to get ahold of them, and the owner, then, when they attempt to claim, they are going to pay Pike County and this court for the cost that we’ve incurred in having to go over there and to capture these animals.”

Maybe the owners of these horses think they are doing the animals a favor by allowing them to run loose. After all, it is better than allowing horses to starve because they can’t afford feed for them.

But part of the responsibility of being an animal owner is feeding them. If feed is too costly, donating the horses to a horse rescue operation or giving them away is better than just turning them loose to be a public nuisance and possibly a danger to people, other animals  and motor vehicles.

Text Only
  • Positive trend

    For those adults who have a low opinion of American teenagers, Uncle Sam’s latest study of worrisome behavior among teens provides some good news: Teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. Most forms of drug use, weapons use and risky sex also are declining — and have been since 1991, the year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first started surveying teens about  their behavior.

    July 24, 2014

  • Research's value

    In pushing for a higher education reform bill in the late 1990s, former Gov. Paul Patton set an ambitious goal of having the University of Kentucky become a Top 20 research university by 2020. UK has yet to accomplish that goal, but UK and the University of Louisville both have made great advances in research in recent years.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deadline is near

    People with Kentucky driver’s licenses may soon be required to show a passport or some other accepted form of federal identification to enter “restricted” or “semi-restricted” areas of federal facilities, including federal courthouses, military bases, federal prisons and a wide range of other federal offices.

    July 23, 2014

  • Issue is safety

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has recommended softball  “players at first base, third base and pitcher utilize the permissive requirement in the playing rules and wear face/head protection.”

    July 23, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • 0518greene.jpeg Greene-Lounsberry

    John and Eva Greene of Greenup are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacey Nicole Greene, to Jonathan Wesley Lounsberry.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo