Horse thievery used to be a huge problem. After the American Civil War it became so rampant in the West that it inspired the creation of a vigilante group that called itself the Anti Horse Thief Association
. This group had, at one point, 30,000 members.
But horse theft is something I thought became obsolete with the widespread adoption of automobiles. Apparently not. Authorities in Tennessee are warning of a modern-day horse theft scam
. People are showing up at farms claiming to be from Horse Haven (a humane organization for horses). They say they're there to take away the horses. Horse Haven does occasionally seize horses, if the horses are being neglected or harmed, but a Horse Haven spokesman says, "Horse Haven representatives always have ID, we operate within the law, and we never try to seize horses without law enforcement present."
If you have a horse, be on the lookout for these guys.