Friday, March 27, 2009

Horse "Rescue" - FUMING!

I would have posted this in the rescue section, but it's horse related. For a few months now, we've been aware of a "horse rescue" here in Georgia that is a little bit backwards.

We help out an actual licensed, 501(c)3 nonprofit equine rescue here in Georgia when we can, but this one takes the cake.

Andrew and I were contacted by a volunteer at this rescue about "fostering" some of their horses. That was that time. Until I called the "director," and she was trying to get us to foster 4 horses. We said we only could foster 2. One of the horses was fine. The other three required "experienced handlers and trainers" as they "had been bred before," and they "didn't have any other training and were shy/dangerous to people." Lovely - I don't think so. We decided to meet with them anyways.

We google mapped their address, and it came up with a cute Cape Cod home with lovely pastures and a barn. Okay - they look legitimate. Getting was a different story.

The house in the photo - not the rescue. You had to do a jackknifed turn back around to the rescue....whose driveway entrance was NEAR the house in the photo. We drove down a dirt driveway with a STEEP drop off on one side, and I believe the first three words we spoke were "Oh my goodness."

Appx. 4 acres of land/mud. ON THE SIDE OF A HILL. Full of roots, ditches, and junk piles. Tape and hog wire fencing. Every single horse had a blanket on (kind of a warning sign : aka hiding thin horses), and there were approximately 23 horses there...on 4 acres. There was a mobile home at the end of the drive, and there was a muddy round pen (small) with two adults and two horses running frantically around it. There were kids everywhere and dogs walking around loose.

There is a loose horse wandering around that is truly aggressive. She had bitten Andrew (unprovoked), leaving a hole in his leather jacket. She walked up, turned her rear end towards me, and as I was shoving a "volunteer" (read: child) out of the way so I could move, the horse took a kick at me. Luckily, I was faster than she.

The "director" told us she "takes in" rideable horses she can use in her program. (That's kind of like dog rescues only taking in completely vetted, normal, 100% healthy trained dogs). Come to find out, in a matter of 6 months, she had accumulated 28 horses (5 were "off site"), 6 goats, raised chickens, etc.

She is NOT 501(c)3 though she claims all donations are "tax deductible." She was never approved by the IRS. She never "adopts out" any of her horses. She only fosters them out, and then, when she (or her program) needs them again, she takes them back.

Lo and behold, I find this in my inbox today.....(on mailing list for said rescue):

I hate to write this, but it happens to me all the time. I get emails and calls about people wanting us to take their old horses, lame horses or unbroken horses. Now, the way I see it, you own the horse, you no longer want it because it is old, lame or you do not know what you are doing. This is not what rescue facilities are for; RESCUE means just that. You expect rescues to step up and care for your horse that you no longer want. Why? You wanted it.

I have several questions that are pretty standard now. What's wrong with it? how old is it? Send me a picture and I can tell ya if it is worth my time.

^^ It goes on and on, but I am steaming over this "rescue." They sound like a glorified horse farm that are trying to write off their expenses as charitable. The worst part is....people actually donate $$$$ to this "rescue!"

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