Homes Sought for Arabian Horses

A herd of more than 40 Arabian horses belonging to a deceased breeder in West Virginia are now in the care of an Arabian horse rescue organization and awaiting adoption into new homes.

Arabian Rescue Mission founder Terry Figueroa said that the horses' owner, Fazal A. Kahn, left his Marshall County, W.V., farm in 2008 for his native India. A caretaker and longtime friend of Kahn had been looking after the horses ever since, Figueroa said. After Kahn died in December, a member of his family contacted Figueroa for help in rehoming the horses. On Feb. 20 Arabian Rescue Mission took custody of the animals, she said. The animals will be relocated to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pa., for veterinary care and to be prepared for adoption.

"The herd consists of mares, foals, and geldings," Figueroa said. "They in pretty decent shape, but they need deworming and their feet need care."

Figueroa credits the animals' long time caretaker for the herd's survival.

"He felt responsible for the animals," Figueroa said. "I don't know what would have happened to the horses without him."

In fact, many horse owners do not include animal care provisions in their wills and other estate planning instruments, said attorney Milt Toby, JD. As a result, horses could become at risk after an owner dies.

Toby advises that owners create a horse-friendly estate plan by compiling in writing a list of horse care instructions to be carried out after the owner's death.

"One option is a letter of last instructions--and maybe some money--giving a trusted friend authority to go onto the owner's property to care for the animals," Toby said.

Owners might also create a trust for the horses while still alive. Such a trust takes effect immediately after the owner's death and can bypass the probation process, Toby said.

"Laws in some states authorize trusts specifically for the care of animals," Toby said, "and a horse owner should consult an estate planning professional for guidance through the legal maze of trust formation."

Simply giving the horses and money for their care in the owner's will is another option.

"But the potential delay for probate doesn't address necessary short-term care while ownership of the horses is in legal limbo," Toby said.

Horse owners can access general estate planning for animals online at the Humane Society of the United States; however, Toby advises owners to consult an attorney about estate planning options.

"Laws vary from state to state, and the options can be confusing," Toby said. "Setting up an estate plan is not a do-it-yourself project."

Meanwhile, Figueroa expects the Arabian horses under her organization's care to be available for adoption shortly. Adoption procedure details are available online at, she said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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