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.

Articles by Pat Raia

Kentucky Lawmakers Eye Soring Bill

Trainers and owners who cause injury to horses' feet or legs to achieve an exaggerated gait will face stiff penalties in Kentucky if a bill introduced into the state senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee becomes law. Sponsored Read More

Equine Advocates Brainstorm Ideas to Help Unwanted Horses

Expanding options for cash-strapped horse owners is key to reducing the number of unwanted horses in the United States, according to a group of equine welfare advocates who brainstormed the issue during a Feb. 18 meeting at the University of Read More

Kentucky Bills Boost Barn Operators, Rescues

Kentucky's House Agriculture and Small Business Committee last week approved two bills intended to help boarding barn operators and horse rescues cope with the negative economy.

Sponsored by Rep. Dwight Butler, HR 418 expands local Read More

List of States Introducing Slaughter Legislation Grows

Twelve state legislatures are now considering measures to express their support of or actively encourage the reestablishment of U.S. horse processing plants.

Resolutions indicating opposition to HR 503, the federal Read More

House Committee Gets New Mustang Bill

Wild horses and burros could get more room to roam under a bill introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on Thursday by Committee Chairman Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), chairman of the Read More

Montana Lawmakers Ponder Slaughter Plant Legislation

Legislators in Montana are considering a proposed measure to encourage private investor horse slaughter plant development in that state. The bill's author says the measure is intended to both create jobs in Montana, and address the state's Read More

States Ask to Retain Control of Equine Transport, Slaughter

Lawmakers in two Western states have sponsored resolutions urging Congress to let state legislators make up their own minds about horse slaughter issues within their lines. Wyoming's House Joint Resolution (HJR 8) and Utah's House Joint Read More

Michigan Appeals Court Reinstates Horse Torture Charges

The Michigan Court of Appeals has reinstated criminal charges in a case involving 69 horses in Jackson County. In a 12-page opinion released Feb. 3, a three-judge panel reinstated three felony counts of animal torture against Matt Mercier Read More

Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Horse Abuse Case Prosecutors

Two members of the Trexler family have filed civil lawsuits in South Carolina Federal and State courts alleging that animal cruelty charges filed against them in a longstanding criminal case were brought unjustly. The lawsuits seek in excess of Read More

Employment and Immigration

Keep necessary documentation and use personnel best management practices when hiring immigrant laborers. Read More

Horse Licensing Bill Scrapped after Protest

A New Hampshire lawmaker scrapped mandatory horse licensing legislation after angry horse owners protested the measure on grounds that it would be financially burdensome.

The bill, HB 427, required owners to obtain licenses for each of thei Read More

Weather, Economy Hit Utah Mustang Sale

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) official credited wintry weather and the high costs of horsekeeping for lackluster results at a Jan. 24 Wild Horse and Burro sale in Delta, Utah. Of the 320 Spanish Mustangs offered from Utah's Sulphur Herd Read More

Horses Removed from Virginia Farm

Twenty-three allegedly malnourished horses are residing in foster care following their removal from a Zuni, Va., farm. Deputies removed the animals from property owned by Jeff and Diana Hansford on Jan. 21 after a team of state and private Read More

Election Brings Shift on Kentucky Walking Horse Board

Members of the Kentucky Walking Horse Association (KWHA) declined to re-elect two controversial members to the group's board of directors during their annual meeting Jan. 10.

Former President Earl Rogers Jr., and former Vice Read More

California Plan Models Equine Rescues after Animal Shelters

Faculty members at the University of California, Davis, are working on a plan to reduce the number of unwanted horses by modeling equine rescues after small animal shelters. Under a plan developed by the International Animal Welfare Training Read More

Horse Transport Bill Reintroduced

A bill before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee would prohibit the use double-decker trailers for transporting horses across state lines.

Specifically, HR 305, or the "Horse Transportation Read More

UK Microchip Exemption Sought for Semiferal Foals

Some equine advocates in the United Kingdom want the government to exempt semi-feral foals from proposed mandatory microchipping regulations until they leave public lands because compliance is too costly for the foals' owners. Read More

Horse Slaughter Legislation Reintroduced

New legislation aimed at stemming the export of horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Jan. 14. Sponsored by Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich) and Read More

Appeals Court Ponders Michigan Abuse Case

Lawyers on both sides of a controversial horse abuse case appeared before the Michigan Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 seeking a decision on whether felony animal cruelty charges against James Henderson, Jr., and Matt Mercier should be Read More

Plea Entered in Oregon Horse Shooting Case

Russell Willeford, the Oregon man accused of shooting and abandoning a 6-year-old Arabian gelding in the Deschutes National Forest near Sisters, Ore., made his first appearance in Deschutes County Circuit Court Jan. 12. He pleaded not guilty to Read More

Judge Excludes Testimony in Euthanasia Case

A Worcester County, Mass., District Court judge granted one request to eliminate testimony and postponed ruling on another in the case against Elliot Saffran, the Milford man charged last year with animal cruelty for refusing to euthanize his Read More

Walking Horse Show Group Asks USEF for Drug Test Help

Mandatory random drug testing could take place at some 2009 Tennessee Walking Horse shows if the National Horse Show Commission (NHSC) can strike a deal with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to provide testing services. Read More

Volunteers Assist in Washington Horse Rescue

Volunteers fought frigid temperatures and high snow drifts last week to remove 33 malnourished horses from their snow covered pasture just outside Wellpinit, Wash. A Bureau of Indian Affairs agent discovered the herd, which included several mare Read More

Grassroots Effort Helps Feed Oregon Horses

Financially strapped horse owners in Central Oregon are getting help feeding their horses this winter thanks to a hay donation program established by a Bend couple. The program distributes bales of hay, either donated by individuals or purchased Read More

Charges Filed in Pennsylvania Pony Abuse Case

A Pennsylvania man accused of mistreating 11 ponies and one donkey has been formally charged with 38 counts of animal cruelty. Joseph Mayer was charged with 12 counts of inadequate sustenance, 13 counts of unsanitary confinement, and 13 counts o Read More