Zuma’s Saves 6 Healthy Horses from a Reckless Colorado Breeder


LITTLETON – Each year, about 100,000 horses in the United States are sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. That’s according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Jodi Messenich and her husband Paul are trying to save as many horses as they possibly can from suffering that fate.

“I hear about a lot of horses going to slaughter and I’d like to save them all,” Jodi said.

The Messenichs own a large ranch in Littleton. They have 45 horses.

“We rescued 90% of them,” Jodi said.

On Saturday, Jodi and her husband saved six more horses from the Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins. A kill-buyer purchased the horses for about $150 a piece. The Messenichs had to pay the kill-buyer $600 for each horse to save them.

“I rescued the six, sent one to the hospital to be humanely euthanized and I have the other five here that we’ll train,” Jodi said.

The five horses that survived are obese. The person who owned them fattened them up so he or she could collect a large profit at the auction.

On average, a horse at an auction goes for about 15 to 30 cents a pound. A normal horse weighs about 1,000 pounds.

Kill-buyers purchase the horses so they can send them to slaughter-houses in Canada and Mexico, where they’re destroyed for meat.

On top of the $600 purchase price for each horse, the Messenichs say they’ll have to pay even more to get them back in shape.

“A year with these guys, it’s probably a $60,000 cost,” Jodi said.

Jodi spent her life working as a marketing director and her husband worked in the telecommunications business. They’re spending their retirement funds to save as many horses as they can.

Jodi named her ranch “Zuma’s Rescue Ranch” after the first horse she rescued. To learn more about her non-profit program, head to www.zumasrescueranch.com

2 thoughts on “Zuma’s Saves 6 Healthy Horses from a Reckless Colorado Breeder

  1. Thank you for saving these horses. I just hope you dont make a habit of enriching the killbuyers with your hrescue funds, but instead focus on shutting them down.

    The best money spent that day was the $600 for the horse you had to put down and I appaud your efforts there but am thinking, if the horse was in that bad of shape, surely it had to be suffering. Why was this violation of animal cruelty on the owners part not reported to the authorities by you? Dont you want to shut them down?

  2. Respectfully Christine, Given the fact that I was unaware of these horses plight until after they were purchased by a meat dealer, I was left with the choice to say, no I can’t help or pay up and save them. I chose the latter for I felt that these horse deserved a chance, I looked into their eyes, there was no option at that point.
    The only way our country is going to solve this problem is to penalize the breeders, they are creating the over abundant population of horses. We need to call for our states legislators to increase the brand inspection fees here is Colorado to a cost above the price per pound, $300-$400 per horse. Then the breeders that over breed will be slowed down by sheer economics, or pay the huge fines for breeding without registering, say $5,000.00 fines.
    The state would stand to make 49 million dollars if all 140,000 Colorado horses were registered. Those funds could fund horse sanctuaries, humane euthanization, gelding programs, owner education programs and so much more.
    In my opinion the kill buyes of the world are nothing more than scavengers and if the market dries up so shall they, I have not got the energy to focus on what or why they do what they do.
    My husband and I currently care for 45 horses every day from our retirement fund, The job search in telecommunications has been tough. However…
    We believe in what we are doing for both the horses and the children, we do the very best we can for both.

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