Monday, December 29, 2008

A Different Sort of Rescue Story - The Second Rescue

Part 1

Just taking the horses away from Rose Corey and telling her it was no longer any of her business was not enough to dissuade the woman from getting to the bottom of what was going on. It didn't take Rose long to find out that although Hope for Horses was supposed to be a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization , they were not actually in compliance with those guidelines for the state of Washington. (This situation has since been corrected.)

As for Hope for Horse's motivation wanting to have all of the horses in their care, the organization was getting $4500 a month from the country for the care of these horses. Yet as you saw on the news clip they were soliciting funds from the public to care for these horses as well using the hard luck story to tug at people's heart strings. There's no indication what so ever in those stories that Hope for Horses is being reimbursed by the county, only the impression they are relying on the sympathy of the public for donations to care for abused horses. I wonder if the reporters had any kind of clue that the agency was being paid by the county.

Just for the record with my nearly 30 horses do you know what I could do with a budget of $4500 a month. And most of my horses are growing youngsters and pregnant mares that require more groceries. The rescue horses I've seen haven't required any more feed than some of the horses I feed here. Heck, even with the traumatic impact of the birth of my Arabian horse twins, I would have been in good shape. You're not going to tell me that those 15 horses impounded (with the one's needing the medical care being Valor and Teddy) that's not an adequate amount of funds.

So my question is what's with that? Is that how these things work? Do other rescues get paid to do what they do? Or is this person someone who's figured out how to work the system? What do you think?

Once the horses were taken, Rose wasn't just trying to figure out what was going on with Hope for Horses. She was also working to find out "who" this Arabian stallion really was. I'm not sure how she ever managed this but she did. I do remember her referencing his markings but she would have had to do a lot of searching to get the field narrowed down for markings to be useful but Rose managed to find the horse's registered name.

Once she knew what his registered name was, then she had pertinent information like the stallion's breeder and who had owned the horse in the past. She located the last recorded owner and found the horse had been sold on a contract to the people who had neglected him. That contract had never been paid off and there was a clause for repossession. The necessary persons were served with a notice of repossession.

That meant the person holding the contract was still the legal owner of this horse.
Despite the condition of the stallion, to save Valor, Rose paid the owner what she asked. Then that owner signed over the horse's registration and a written bill of sale. Valor now belonged to Rose even in the eyes of The (Arabian Horse) Registry.

Again by Bruce Smith in the Eatonville Dispatch Stymied by County, Graham good samaritan purchases abused horse It was clear the county wasn't really interested in what was right, only about being in control.

This took place in February but even then it took a lawyer and court hearings, not to mention more time, before the county returned the stallion to Rose. Still claiming they needed to "preserve their prosecutory evidence" it wasn't until April 2 that Valor was returned to Rose and Creekwood Farm. Although the Appy/QH foal known as Teddy was not released, Rose was given the right of "first refusal" for that horse as well. All of this was accomplished in an out of court settlement.

Now, if you ask me, a glaring issue with Hope for Horses comes up here. Valor had been in their care for around 2 and a half months. With the huge improvement the horse had made during his approximately 20 days with Rose, you would think with 2 and a half months of good care Valor would have been looking pretty darn good. However, that is not the case.

Bruce Smith wrote his fourth article in his series for the Eatonville Dispatch, Equine good Samaritan reunited with her horse It tells about the condition the horse was in when he arrived back at Creekwood Farm.

The horse looked worse than when he had left Creekwood in the first place. You can see the difference by the above 3 pictures that were taken when the horse arrived back at Creekwood Farm. Compare those with the one at the very top. It was taken at Hope for Horses when they did his intake after taking him from Rose. It's from the country records. While the picture quality isn't great, it's still obvious the horse was carrying more weight then than he was 6 weeks later.

There was a problem with the trailer ride too. The horse wolfed down a handful of food that had been in the trailer. From that the horse choked. The horse got off the trailer convulsing from the choke.

There's been a lot of accusations about this incident with the horse choking. Fingers pointed from Hope for Horses have blamed it on Rose saying she gave him the food so she caused the problem.

For me, I think putting the focus on the choking incident is a diversion to get away from the real issue, the condition of the horse. And the condition of the horse certainly plays a big role in the horse choking in the trailer in the first place would be my guess. If the horse didn't feel like he was starving for food he never would have gobbled food down in such a manner as to cause this type of choke in the first place. (This conclusion would be based on the fact the horse did not wolf his food down when he was first rescued. Despite his terrible condition, he ate his food at a normal rate.)

I think if a horse is so hungry that it can't have any food in front of it to travel because it will wolf it down and run the risk of choke, there is really something wrong. I transport my horses all the time with food in front of them. It's even recommended by some experts to help alleviate stress on trailer rides. So why should it be an issue as the Hope for Horses people implied against Rose?

In my book that would go onto the people who had been responsible for the care and feeding of that horse. They would be the ones responsible for the horse being that hungry. In this case that would be Hope for Horses. Wouldn't you say?

But again, let's not get lost in who caused the choke. The real question is why was the horse returned from a rescue in worse shape than when he was taken from the Good Samaritans? And why would an agency that took care of a rescue horse in such a manner still be considered for further work for the county?

This story isn't over yet..........

To be continued......................


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  1. Not all counties have the funds to reimburse the 501 rescues for the care of the animals the rescue takes in. It's also not public knowledge which counties have the budget for it and which do not. They also only have to reimburse legitimate 501's. I was NOT aware that HFH was not in compliance. If it were me, I'd report them to the SOS and the IRS. It's fraud to take in donations as a 501 if you are not one.

    As for the rest. Well, I wrote in my blog what most of the problem was, from my point of view. From what I have seen anyway. In short the whole problem was yes, greed - $4500 wow- the 'feel good flash' and pride.

    Bottom line though, there was no reason for why that this horse came back in worse shape, no excuse. None. They (HFH)neglected this horse just as much if not more so than the original person who had this horse did. (not Rose). No reason other than pure and simple neglect.

    HFH can say what they want, but the proof is there. They neglected this horse, one they supposedly rescued. The horse had to be rescued from the rescue, IMO, HFH needed to have neglect charges pressed against them.

    It's things like this that make people hesitant to help horses, hesitant to foster for the 501 Rescues, hesitant to get involved in anyway. It's one of the reasons I don't do as many rescues anymore, too many people thinking they know what's best when they really have no clue.

    I do think that the listed owner did not do themselves any favors by refusing to release the registration certificate without payment. Word gets around and it will only reflect badly on them. I know who they are and I certainly won't deal with them in the future.

  2. LOC, I think from the sounds of it the purchase was about making things legitimate enough that it couldn't be contested by HFH or the county. It was a way to protect the horse and Rose.

  3. Hmm okay, that could be, but a simple $1 exchange would suffice. Reguardless, there should NOT have been any extra precautions needed. The whole situation was bogus from the beginning to end. (Not the initial seizure but everything after.)

    As for the listed owner, well let's just say there are other reasons as well as to why I won't be dealing with them, this was just the cherry on top. :) I guess it comes down to what sorts of things I am willing to support or not willing to support.

    At least now the AHA is willing to work with reuniting papers with rescued horses so long as proof of AC seizure is provided (simplified). Finally, a breed registry is stepping up and doing something to help these rescued animals.

  4. Such a sad story. Man I can't believe anyone would let a horse get that way. Breaks my heart. I don't know how rescues works here. It does sound like a lot of greed and passing the buck is going along, from my point of view. I don't think Rose should have paid more than a $1 either. That is ridiclous in it's self. Praying that the horse is returned to where he can get the TLC he needs to recop. Sad, Sad, sad I say.

  5. I agree with everything Lady of Chaos said. I also feel that this rescue should be prosecuted and shut down for taking funds and misusing them. Obviously, the county funds were not being used to help the horses at all.
    I'm glad Rose was able to buy Valor, but as LOC said, the original owners(if they wanted to do the right thing) would have sold him for $1. I did that once on a rescue horse, just so the girl would have a bill of sale for him.
    It really disturbs me reading about these types of situations, but what gets my dander up is the fact that the law enforcers are either so ignorant or uncaring they won't do anything about these situations. Everybody's hands can't be tied in situations that mean life or death to these animals. Maybe the thing to do would be to get different more precise wording into play concerning abused horses and dishonest rescues.

  6. Thanks for sharing this story. It is so heart breaking, but I am glad at least Valor was able to be rescued. Twice.

    Similar happenings happened in the county south of us, and it has been a nightmare for everyone involved. It wasn't a case of horses needing to be rescued twice, instead inadaquate procedures in place for rescued horses by the authorities.

  7. It's a shame Rose had to go through so much to get Valor back, but bless her for doing that. It's bad enough the poor horse was neglected in the first place, but to be neglected again, when he was in a good, safe environment is just horrible.

    Are there any charges pending against HFH? Or even the county for their mismanagement of the situation? How about the poor Appy/QH baby?

  8. LOC, first off, I apologize I gave you the wrong impression. I was not privy to the amount that was paid for this horse when I first posted and I jumped to conclusions. I have corrected that mmisleading phrase.

    To avoid doing that again(jumping to conclusions and maybe misleading my readers) I will be trying to stick to what is known in public documents in this post.

    I think there is enough information there to see there are problems with this situation. I hope we can focus on what those problems are and not get off onto ones that don't really affect the horses. For me, it is about coming up with a long term solution that will protect future needy horses and good Samaritans that might be asked to help.

    You are so right about the importance of AHA stepping up and accepting court ordered seizures as valid transfers for registration papers.

    kwdhorses, I don't really understand how rescues work here either. I guess that is really what is at the bottom of this for me. I'm beginning to think it's important for all of us who care about horses to know what the process is in our areas. That way if it's broken, it can be fixed so horses are really getting the help they need.

    Arlene, obviously I have concerns about the way this rescue has obtained funds. I also have concerns about county officials who have ignored the input of knowledgable horse people and supported this rescue. There are such contradictions between the two points of view. Finding what it will take to fix that issue is certainly what it's going to take to see that the horses are not lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy.

    kathy, I think the details may be different but the causes are probably the same. Not having procedures in place managed by knowledgeable well meaning people will likely end up with the horse paying the price.

    Ann, since the people in charge of this situation are those county officials, there are no charges. They believe they are doing the right thing.

    As for the appy colt, I am getting to his story.

  9. It was really great that the old original owners were so kind so sign over the stallion after being paid for him. I bet they were so sad at how bad that horse was taken care of. I am glad your friend got Valor back.

    And wow, I so could take care of all 18 of my horses on 4500 a month. Easy! I could feed them all Omalene!! LOL!!

    I am not sure how 501s work, I have honestly never heard of that before. I could never be a horse rescue. I would want to keep all the horses. So, I would end up with 100s.

  10. Did the actual owner with the paper know her horse Valor was in that shape and living in those conditions? if I were her, and I knew my horse Valor was in that shape, I'd of taken Valor OFF that property and called AC, and get the rest of the animals off that property and gone to court and tell the judge that the person who had those horses on that land/property to NEVER have animals period again!

    What did Rose have to pay the owner with the paper to Valor? or is that privy? I'm glad Rose did an amazing job getting Valor and Teddy back and safe, and back and safe in her care. Rose rocks! and major kudos to her!

  11. I have been keeping up with this and i want to give a crazy woman a kick in the ass straight to the moon. We have to be able to stop her from hurting anymore horses.

  12. It's curious that the county officials felt this was satisfactory care. Even someone who does not know HOW to care for animals could see the condition of Valor had declined from the before and after pictures! Can we assume that the other horses had similar body condition "improvements"??? That they got veterinary care is fine...but you can't eat veterinary care!!!
    It is CLEAR the system is broken and that checks and balances need to be implemented!

  13. Argh!! this is all a bunch of crap, what with NAIS and all the other BS going on!! This is all being used to strip further freedoms from us!! All kinds of gun laws were broken when Columbine happened, yet they say we need stricter laws. CPS plays the same games when they let abused children get killed. We need to effectively utilize common sense and the laws already on the books. IMO there is no excuse to allow this kind of treatment to go on and on for months. Yet it does. Kudos to Rose and I am so sorry that those horses went through all that. I read HFH's lil blog about being '. . . . mad as hell. . . .' -- how pathetic!! Wish I'da known about this situation, would have been more than happy to have volunteered to go over and stuck my nose in Valors business every day!! Something about having to have his penis amputated just curdles my blood!! The lumps of flesh responsible for this should have their equivalent body parts amputated!
    Andrea, I don't get your apparent empathy toward Valor's original owners, since they hadn't been paid, why didn't they just repo him and get him out of that situation? Their actions speak more of being concerned about getting their money than caring for the horse. They left him in a bad situation, and then expected Rose to pay full price to get papers when his condition was greatly compromised. I can't help but feel they took advantage of Roses good heart and generosity. However her greatness transcends being able to be taken advantage of, as she will always receive the greater blessing in the long run. It's folks like her that make this world a better place for all of us.

  14. Well obviously there will be no post tonite, rats, I so want there to be a good outcome. Hope all is well at the farm!!

  15. County animal control is not required to provide funding when 501c3 non-profits or private rescues take in horses that they seize or are surrendered. It is an agreement made between the county and the rescue and quite variable as far as reimbursement. I know this for a fact as our rescue has taken in over a dozen seized horses with no reimbursement whatsoever. It is the responsibility of the rescue to determine if they can afford to rehabilitate the animals. If they demand payment (as does Hope for Horses) it is the decision of each county to either pay the requested fee or find help elsewhere.

    Hope for horses rarely assists individuals with surrenders. I believe that is because they are unable to leverage payment from individuals.

    What is the purpose of having non-profit status if not to fundraise to cover the costs associated with rescue?