No, 52 Thoroughbred Horses Don’t Need Homes Because of COVID
If you've ever been on Facebook, there's a good chance you've seen a post about free horses, and the good news is, it's mostly false.
If you're on Facebook there's a good chance you've seen some kind of variation of the paragraph below.
FREE HORSES!!! 52 thoroughbred horses need homes. Will go to Sugarcreek this Sat. for slaughter. Gentleman died of COVID-19 son wants nothing to do with them. Most broodmares are broke and some are in foal weanling, yearlings, 2 yrs and 3 yrs old most are gelded. FREE and papered. Friend of the deceased is trying to find homes. 404-***-**** Barnesville. Please copy and paste this!
I went ahead and blocked out the number, because due to these going viral some people have had to shut their phone off due to the number being called so many times. According to Snopes this message of 52 "free horses" originated almost a decade ago in 2011. But how did this rumor get started? It turns out there's *some* truth to this viral post.
In 2011 there was a horse breeder who passed away, and had horses that needed to be re-homed. However the person who made the original Facebook post said the horses were never going to be sent to slaughter, and they believe that was added in for sensationalism as the post gained many shares. The good news is according to TheHorse.com, back in 2011 when this did happen for real (minus the glue factory part) all of the horses were able to find homes.
This hoax seems to go viral every year with many people copying and pasting the message. I guess on the plus side it shows I've got a lot of compassionate people on my newsfeed who are ready to rally together to save some horses (even if they're fake) so that's a positive way to look at this!