Owner wants horses back in his care
A battle is being fought over the fate of two horses who were rescued after being trapped in snow in the B.C. interior.
The owner, Frank Mackay, an Edmonton-based lawyer, says he wants the two horses he abandoned in the BC mountains, back in his care and feels he is misunderstood.
"Surely they don't think I hauled three horses 600 kilometres to starve to death in the wilderness, that would be kind of silly, wouldn't it?", Mackay told CTV News.
On September 12 , Mackay was delivering supplies to hikers on Mount Renshaw, near McBride, B.C. when he became separated from the animals. Two attempts to locate the animals were unsuccessful.
On his third attempt, MacKay says that while he was able to locate the animals, he couldn't get them out of the snow.
"We made every effort we thought we could do, physically or humanly, and after that you have to make a tough decision," he said.
Driving home from his rescue attempt, Mackay said he was involved in an accident, rolling his truck and trailer, causing some injuries.
"Just the concussion and the stitches in the head and the hand and some knee damage," he said.
It was the aftermath of this collision that Mackay said prevented him from joining a rescue attempt by snowmobilers in mid-December.
Approximately two dozen volunteers, located the horses, brought feed to them, helped dig the trench and then walked them about 30 kilometres to safety shortly before Christmas time.
Lisa Levasseur was one of the volunteers assisting with the rescue in B.C.
"I really don't understand how anyone could leave their horses behind, even if he did try and get them, there's a lot more that he could've done and I just don't think it's right," she told CTV News.
Mackay feels he would have had no luck if he had asked for help in retrieving the horses.
"If I went to McBride and asked for help, I couldn't imagine getting too many volunteers," he said.
Some animal advocates say the animals deserve a new home.
"They've got to reach a common ground for the good of the horses, said Donna-Rae Coatta with Rescue 100.
And Mackay insists he was devoted to the animals prior to this incident.
"I spend every weekend and every second day with them," he said.
The British Columbia SPCA expect to make a decision on whether Mackay will get the horses back and whether charges are warranted in mid January.
With files from Bill Fortier