Monday, March 16, 2009

A Different Sort of Rescue Story.........The Plan for Future Rescues

Earlier this year Pierce County was to make decisions about contracts for horse rescue. As part of this process they formed an equine task force composed from those earlier volunteers at the two horse summits. The Eatonville Dispatch covered the story County builds horse rescue network

The task assigned by the county to this group (composed of equine volunteers as well as a vet and a horse trainer) was to tour the facilities of the seven facilities that had submitted RFP's (Request for Proposal) for consideration to provide horse rescue services for Pierce County.

Of the seven was the rescue, Hope for Horses, that had been involved in the Waller Road rescue. Despite the testimony of concerned citizens that Hope for Horses was not doing an adequate job of caring for rescue horses, the organization was still considered by the county to be a viable resource in the care of needy horses.

Along with newly elected Pierce County Auditor, Jan Shabro, and members of her Animal Control staff, the Equine Task Force did site inspections of each facility including the Hope for Horses facility sometime in early February. For the first time ever horses in need in Pierce County actually had real horse people making decisions in the bureaucratic process about their care.

The Eatonville Dispatch covered this story as well. Bruce Smith wrote Shabro visits equine sites in Graham "The exact composition of the network, such as how many facilities would be included and what type, has not been determined," McCarty said during the Hagerman stop.

Around the beginning of this month the county did a press release naming the facilities that had been chosen to make up the new equine network for Pierce County. The facilities chosen were Fox Run Farm and the Pegasus Program, Tacoma Equine Hospital owned by Dr. Linda Hagerman, The Rusty Bar Ranch, and E and K Stables of Auburn. Hope for Horses was not on the list.

Now for those of you that are thinking that one voice can not make a difference, you might think of how far this story has come. From Dec 31, 2007 when the first two horses were seized from the Waller Road site through to now a lot of things have happened. While the county always considered Rose Corey to be a thorn in their side, her constant vigilance on this issue certainly had an effect on the outcome here.

At least for now, the horses of Pierce County that need help will remain in Pierce County for care. Rescue horses may not have been high on the county's list of political agendas before but that has changed. County officials clearly have the message that its citizens are willing to be get involved to see that rescue horses are handled in a manner deemed appropriate. And while that equine task force has been disbanded for now, there's little doubt if the politicians should "forget" the importance of the proper care of horses to many of its citizens, the uproar could easily result in its reemergence. The voice of the horse community in Pierce County has made a difference.

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  1. Why do I recognize the name Dr. Linda Hagerman??

  2. Good deal. Nice example of folks working together to get things DONE. And considering all the issues there, it got done pretty swiftly. I can only imagine how long it would take to have that happen down here.... five years or more?

  3. Really wonderful news. Your equine friends will be looked after properly from now on.

  4. You're right, if one voice can make a difference, just think how much we can all do if we get loud and annoying.

  5. Kudos! Clearly it takes a lot of work and ear buzzing, but it sounds like it is working towards the benefit of the horses.

  6. I can imagine that the county Rose was impossible, but, the whole situation was almost unbelievable. It seemed like all reason was thrown out the window. How could the county think even for a minute that no capable or willing or certified knowledgeable equine rescue facility was able to be found in all of Pierce County! It seems reasonable that the horses and finances should stay within the county! After all they horses went through, either by neglect or abuse, they shouldn't have to be stressed with a "Road Trip"!
    Glad the county came to their senses!

  7. Things take way too long around here when there is an equine issue. Glad to know that one voice can certainly make a difference! In the future I am going to be more vocal!!

  8. This is very consoling to hear and hope will nudge more people into caring and taking the time to make their voices heard. I have started sending e-mails etc. to our representatives here in Indiana regarding the plight of horses in general in the State and the country. It has been quite encouraging to see that most of them are on the same wavelength as I am, even though I know the replies are generic, the usually say whether they support my sentiments or not. I also keep an eye on who is voting which way for what now in general.

    I have never really got involved with politics or politicians but am glad that I am taking the time to do it now as it has given me a far better picture on what is going on, not just digging my head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away.

    My 2 cents for what it is worth.