Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Different Sort of Rescue Story.........The Backlash

When Valor and Teddy were originally removed from Creekwood Farm and sent off to Hope for Horses, there was an uproar in my county. Then in April 2008 when the Arabian stallion(Valor) was returned to Creekwood Farm from the Hope for Horses rescue in worse condition (remember this is corroborated by the vet) than when he had left there in January, the uproar turned into outrage.

Horse people across the county were appalled by what had happened to Valor while in the care of Hope for Horses. The county officials in an attempt to quell the backlash decided to call what they called a "Horse Summit." The summit was being touted as a vehicle to organize standards for horse rescue in our county, the fact those officials were only prepared for 25 people to show up speaks some to their real thoughts on the subject. Personally I think they just wanted to say they had done something to get people off their backs. They had no idea how outraged citizens really were or they' have been prepared for what followed.

The people in attendance were fired up because of what had happened at the Waller Road rescue (that would be Valor's case) and concerns about even more rescues down the road because of issues with the economy etc. They wanted to know what happened and why as well as solutions so this didn't happen again. But officials dodged the discussion about the Waller Road rescue telling the crowd to put that in the past. The county claimed they were looking for solutions.

The Eatonville Dispatch headline read Over 200 attend Horse Summit
This article covers the discussions that were allowed that night seeing as how the county didn't want to talk about the Waller Road rescue. It would be interesting to note that both Hope for Horses and Rose Corey were present at this summit.

Over the course of this time there have been many outraged citizens/horse owners who have voiced their opinions of the entire situation. Not just Hope for Horses has been the target of this outrage but the process of the county has also been in question. This letter to the editor posted again in the Eatonville Dispatch is a good example. Horses, Lies and Videotapes
speaks to those issues.

It took almost another month before the Appy colt was returned to Creekwood Farm. Hope for Horses thought it would be better for the colt to gradually wean him from his mother. ( He'd been weaned in the first place when he was taken to Rose's but reunited with his mother at Hope for Horses. The mare began lactating again so the foal continued to nurse.)

I don't understand why the foal was reunited with his mother in the first place. As a breeder when I have a mare who is not doing well with a foal at her side, I remove the foal. Then both horses have a chance to thrive. Together, it's a tough go. Why Hope for Horses thought this might be different in a rescue situation makes no sense to me. It would be interesting to know what the thinking was behind that decision. This is one of my questions I would like to have asked John Edwards.

In addition most breeder's wean anywhere from 3 to 6 months of age. This foal was "aged" by the vets at about 6 months at time of seizure. Again, why these decisions about this colt were made by Hope for Horses would be interesting to note.

I'd also like to note here this foal was born with angular limb deformities. With my experience with my twin foals I'm pretty well versed in this particular birth defect. I understand what causes it and I know what's needed to treat it. It's a difficult issue that needs to be dealt with.

This diagnosis is another one of those things that Hope for Horses decided was incorrect. To them the foal actually had a bad case of early cow hocks that were made worse by the muddy conditions. (this quote is from the Random horse post
Now, remember I saw this colt at Rose Corey's. He did indeed have angular limb deformities. Hocks were not his only issue. Of his four legs each one deviated in a different manner.

What's disturbing about this to me, is Hope for Horses repeatedly seems to ignore what the vets say only to decide for themselves what is or isn't the problem. Then they do whatever they think is best instead of going by vets orders. They seem to believe that they have so much more experience they don't need to be bothered with outside input from professionals. Yet, they can't even "see" what is right in front of them.
Their solution always seems to come down to "less" of something. Whether it be feed in their version of "ramp up" or farrier care for deviated limbs, both these decisions cost less. Is this a pattern......or sheer coincidence?

Teddy Bear is back! again written by Bruce Smith.

Since there was a difference of opinion on whether the foal was ready to be weaned. With negotiations involving state representative, Dawn Morell, (a horse person, thank goodness) a compromise plan was reached to have a vet evaluate the colt's condition.

Even after that was done, the county claimed the vet was against the transfer. But when Rose's attorney spoke with that vet, he said the horse was good to go. More proof somewhere between Hope for Horses, the county and Rose there were huge breakdowns in communication at the very least with lots of resulting problems. Although in that Random Horse post it looks like Hope for Horses felt after Rose's complaints about the stallion's condition they just want him in the best shape possible and after what happened with the stallion HFH documented like crazy people.

Then there were final issues with transporting the foal. Hope for Horses says those were the issues of an independent transport but by this time I don't know if anyone on this end was really listening to anything Hope for Horses said. The relationships between all three parties had deteriorated so. Rose picked up the horse herself. Teddy was home in late April.

To clarify , Hope for Horses billed the county until the point the owners gave up their rights. That was in April, the county was off the hook, so to speak, for anything more to do with the horses. Since that time they have maintained the rest of the herd of horses at their own expense. At this point ownership of those horses went to Hope for Horses. They are now free to sell them if they chose and keep whatever monies they make.

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

The Backlash continues

Photo credit Bruce Edwards of the Eatonville Dispatch

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  1. This post made me mad! I am so tired of the "rescues". I know there are good ones, but by and far, most of them are run by people who have no idea of what they are doing...but by golly-they are always "right". Grrrrr!!

    I hope the word gets out about these loosers. Another "rescue" that needs to be shut down. There sure are a lot of them out in that area.

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog, and for your comments on Norman's lump!

  3. Thats horrible! I hope he'll recover!

  4. sigh...

    What a soap opera. Rescue is far from easy. I had heard positive things about HFH early on, but it looks like they, too, have been hit by the Good Intentions bus.

  5. Wow! Interesting post. Doesn't sound like a real rescue at all! Yikes! No wonder there's outrage!

  6. Until I read the last paragraph I just thought these people were stupid. Ignorant is teachable, stupid is not.

    When I saw money was involved everything made sense. They are going to feed less to save money. They are going to put the foal back on it's mama to save money.

    That's my two cents worth.

  7. Hope for Horses sound like a TV preacher