“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What could be worse than slaughter? - update

This is an email I received concerning the most recent rescue of the rescued. The rescue being discussed has it's 501c3 status,they have a nice website, set up to take donations on line etc...etc... apparently they just don't have any sense? Anyway, here's the email and a link. If you want to read what the anti slaughter I loves horsies set are saying about this most recent atrocity follow the link.....

hey, RM, i wanted to post this link on the comment section of Thursday's blog, but couldn't get it to paste. if you can believe it, the story gets even worse. it appears that two rescues took their horses to the rescue that is starving and killing the horses. one of the rescues, when contacted about the condition of the horses, refused to pick the horses they took there up, and to date is still defending the one we're discussing. the other one has taken in horses, and is caring for them. one of her horses has died. SHE is being attacked, because she had horses at the rescue. what a friggin' mess!


  1. It just keeps on getting worse, I'm afraid. One of the rescues that sent horses to the one starving and killing them has visited there, and is assuring everyone that things are okay. She posted pictures, and while some of the horses left don't look too awful, there are others that should be removed as soon as possible. the plan is to stop back in and see how things are going. Hopefully the severely underweight horses left on this woman's property will live that long. The woman from the other Rescue who feels it's okay to leave the horses there, well, I think that speaks volumes. I really can't believe that with the condition of these horses, and with some dead, people are still sitting around trying to decide if the situation is realy that bad? REALLY?

  2. Are there any more updates or is this gonna be swept under the rug like the last 2 rescue/scantuaries in Nebraska?

  3. I'm not sure if there are. Let me see what I can find. Can you tell me about the last two?

  4. Nikiz, I'll give a more detailed update later, but wanted to post this because it really is bugging me. The Rescue that left horses at Phoenix rising (the rescue starving, abusing, neglecting, and killing horses) has given her update on conditions at Phoenix. More on that later, but there is a little donkey who is a complete mess! He is staying there. There has been a home offer for him. Good news, right? Get this- the offer has been refused. The person doing the update on Phoenix had determined that he is not in good enough shape to travel, and if he DOES need to be moved, he will come to HER Rescue to be cared for. Keep in mind, THIS is the person who refused to take back the horses she left at Phoenix because she is at capacity. But as soon as a home offer is made for one of the animals, she's not about to let him go. Thoughts?

  5. http://vimeo.com/6699880
    This is a link to 2 videos of the horses of Phoenix Rising. The horses are now in a pasture and do have access to food, I do not know if this is a temporary situation. It is difficult at best to get updates at this time. No charges have been filed as of yet. I heard that there have been home offers for 2 of the horses, so far they have been refused.

  6. I do have a video link that I wanted to post. It is very heartbreaking, as it shows the body of a deceased horse. The link won't paste, so I'll ask the Ranch Manager to post it. It will contain a warning, but I think it is a reality of what has happened here, and we need to understand the gravity of this situation.
    To date, horses continue to remain at Phoenix Rising, and authorities continue to investigate. There are those who continue to support the operator of this Rescue.

  7. It only gets worse. The woman running the Rescue who supports Phoenix Rising has decided that SHE will take the 3 worst cases to HER rescue. The little Donkey is among these three, so he will not be going to the home that was offered to him.
    A little background on the Rescue taking these horses home-they were at capacity, have horses that while in good physical condition, are often not well groomed, or worked with. She recently decided to cut back her numbers because she did not have the time or the finances to care for all of her horses. While cutting back, she bought another horse. Her plan was to work with the horses she had, get them at least halter broke, and adopt them out. Her rescue was the subject of a video posted on here recently, and she had horses placed at Phoenix Rising in 2008 that came back to her in bad shape. I think there may be better choices for placements for these horses. There is still an offer for the little donkey. I continue to hope he can go there. But I don't see it happening. I'm not really sure she should have any involvement in this at all.

  8. Epona has been at over capacity for a very long time. They got a farm, a truck and a trailer (very spiffy ones I might ad) donated to them. She also has medical issues that the docs don't seem to be able to resolve. Hastings rescue (best little Horse House) and can't remember other in the last yr. On top of the 3-strikes/Medena issue. Ne Horse Expo had informative Demo on the rescue things, neglect/abuse/seizure cases up 95% in the last yr, already had 19 horses in Douglas/Sarpy Co from Jan 09 to March 09. Too many hoarders claiming to be "rescues", too much thinking wih the heart and causing more suffering than not, IMHO.

  9. Thanks for your input. I guess I'm a little concerned with her involvement with the Phoenix Rising issue because of her unwillingness to remove the horses she has there, her obvious lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation, and her lack of abiltiy to control her own situation. She claims to be reducing her numbers, but then buys another horse. I don't understand why, when she has so much going on at her own place, and she did not want to take her horses back from Phoenix, she chooses to involve herself in this. Let those familiar with abuse and neglect handle this situation.

  10. The law does not want to get involved as they don't want to be stuck with the bill for the care of the animals for an inderterminable amount of time. The 2 rescues involved with PR that are still in operation are full to overflowing the last time I knew. If there was a true rescue that had extensive knowledge on rehab, and wasn't full at the time, would be a great asset to these horses. The economy, saving the ones that need to be put down from auction (and not having the money/facilities/connections to dispose/euth), and not wanting the horses to go to a "bad" home, i.e. hoarding are several of the problems I see with this case and the last 2 let alone Medena's case.
    These rescues should be looking forward to winter and thinking about reducing alot of their stock as most don't have a stockpile of hay on hand, not jumping in to save ones that they had saved and then sent to a bad situation. What about all the horses that are going to need their help locally once the snow flys (I hear we are gonna have a ton, too)?

  11. I guess I'm pretty stupid when it comes to this "politically correct" stuff - but what is the justification for this? Why does this continue to be allowed to go on?
    Would the horses really be in worse shape if they went to a "feed lot"?

    How bad is winter going to be? I didn't get an almanac this year.

  12. Anonymous, that's the point although you have gotten it, Seems the better half of those posting about the original blog piece haven't. Feedlots at least feed horses. Starved animals don't gain weight, so they don't make money. Pretty darn simple but the moral majority has missed that one too. Anyplace housing the unmerchantable dregs that won't ship is now a feedlot so those are also places of starvation of abuse and neglect. Isn't this fun????

  13. In Nebraska, (where I live and where most of this is going on) I have heard the yo-yoing temps (40 for a high one day next 90 is the high)are to continue so there will be flooding this winter and I heard talk of 6 ft snow drifts (with all the winds that would not be surpriseing). Something about the "El Nino"/"La Nina" winds causing the 100 yr flood stuff.

  14. Please refrain from referring to this as a "rescue". It really shows your complete and total lack of understanding what a 'rescue' really is. A 'rescue' doesn't do this, a 'hoarder' does.

    Feedlots may feed horses, but what do they feed them? Alfalfa? Can you say Re-feeding Syndrome?

    Oh, I am *sure* that the caring feedlot owner/supervisor/manager will assist the horse through the colic and even call the vet when the horse is on the ground groaning in pain. Yes, I am *sure* that happens. Just as I am *sure* that the caring feedlot owner/supervisor/manager segregates horses appropriately so that stallions are isolated from the mares and aggressive horses are kept separate to mitigate injury. And in the instance that injuries do occur, you bet that same caring feedlot worker is out cleaning to wound and medicating to prevent a painful infection. Lest we not forget the horses that land at the feedlots with hooves so long they can barely walk. Oc course our caring feedlot worker arranges for a farrier to trim the feet so the horse can ambulate comfortably for his 30-60 day stay. Yes, I am *sure* that happens.

    You are delusional if you think the long road to slaughter is not traumatic and cruel. Once the horse ends up on the feedlot, it is money on a hoof and that is it. Once that horse ends up on the feedlot, there is easily 60 days before he is actually shipped. That is 60 days in hell, my friends.

    You see, it isn't so much that killing the horse and using it's carcass is bad; it is the manner in which it is done and the complete and total lack of compassion for the living, breathing, feeling being that is being slaughtered. From the Auction to the killbox, it is living hell.


  15. Alleycat,
    Maybe you should get out of the alley and actually check one out instead of believing the hype put out on the internet.

  16. Nickiz-I think that the problem of Rescues being at capacity is a contributing factor. In hindsight, maybe it would be a better idea to keep the horses at your Rescue until you find homes for them insetad of shuffling or transferring them in order to take in more. If you must move them due to financial issues, once they have been resolved, the horses should be taken back immediately. This scenario should never happen, though-even if a Rescue shuffles or transfers a horse, it should retain responsibility for it, especially if it is passing it onto another one that is near capacity or financially strapped.
    Perhaps another thing these Rescues need to look at is the fact that there are not homes readily available for the horses they take on. If they cannot commit to long term care, they should not continue to take horses in.

  17. Alleycat-It IS a Rescue. That's the problem. The person operating it may in fact be a hoarder, it appears that some are. But that does not change the fact that she was operating a Rescue.
    Your description of a Feedlot is in some ways worse, and in some ways better that the situation at Phoenix Rising. Sadly, for the horses, Hell is Hell, no matter who's hand is dealing it. If a situation in one place is bad, that doesn't make it okay for a situation in another to be just as bad, or more so.

  18. I have fed alfalfa hay all my life, never had a problem. Everyone I know has fed alfalfa hay. I would assume "refeeding syndrome" is what happens when a starved out horse or any other animal for that matter is fed too much to soon. Rest easy the rescue people are not the only ones who undstand this problem. We out here who have dealt with animals from childhood just don't seem to think that knowledge is not worthy of praise.

    The horses in the condition of those at this rescue will not likely end up in feedlots anyway. K.B.s, contrary to popular fiction, have no interest in them. They are not going to be profitable to feed or ship. These are no value horses unless a rescue buys them or someone in the crowd feels sorry for them. They are also the reason auctions now charge a fee on no value horses. This is almost entirely due to the loss of value in the industry. It has little to do with slaughter, auctions, rescues, or anything mentioned by the anti-slaughtr community.

    The loss of value is hardest (as we can see) live horses. Horses who end up with those who can now afford ten when ten years ago they couldn't afford one. They are routinely adopted, sold, or given to people with little knowledge, little desire, even less ability, and in most case absolutely no common sense.

    Don't play the economy card, I was here in the industry for the 80s. This is worse.

    Colicking horses will not be treated for an extended period of time in a feedlot but then again they won't be at my house either. They will be destroyed however.

    Being money on the hoof will motivate the feedlot manager to seperate agressive animals or weaker ones. Soundness issues will be dealt with. Parasite control is very high on the list of priorities. Injuries will be treated or if too severe the animals will be destroyed.

    It's really simple, whether the manager likes animals or not and in most cases they do, stressed or health compromised animals do not gain wieght. A feedlot makes its profit on rate of gain no matter what stock is in it.

    I have seen commercial feedlots both horse and cattle. I have worked in the cattle lots. The real problem I have is with confinement feedling especially in cattle but we hear nothing of that here so can you say hypocrite?????

  19. I feed alfalfa mainly. I will only feed grass hay if the horse is starting to look like "2 ton toni". When I did rehab I fed alfa, sm meals several times a day for those really bad (some would not have even qualified as a "1"). Re-feeding syndrome is too much protein, too quickly (i.e. lots of concentrates little foliage, or free choice alfa 24/7 after no "green stuff" for a long time)it overloads their systems. Most people say change the feed gradually but changing from nothing daily to tons daily is only good in the H2O department. Dry lot to 2ft tall pasture grass is a major no-no, too, but they did it in this situation anyway(the grass makes it look less like a neglect thing after all there is food and water provided(for once)).

  20. >Feedlots may feed horses, but what do they feed them? Alfalfa? Can you say Re-feeding Syndrome?<

    Good try alley. Notice the name on the board here? Most everyone owns horses and knows the bare basics of animal husbandry at least. My 5yo granddaughter can tell you about it if you want. It's a big word, and I'm sure it impresses your friends who know even less than you, but this is real life...
    Sorry, this part made me laugh, the rest just pissed me off.

  21. Trivia for the day....I was reading a back issue of Western Horsemen while eating lunch today and saw an article explaining how alfalfa is actually very good for horses with ulcers. The high calcium content act much the same as Tums.

  22. I've been reading the latest comments, and have a busy day, so want to make a general response. I would hope that no one is making an effort to try to justify what this Rescue has done, or compare apples to oranges, as in feedlots to Rescues that Abuse, Neglect, and sometimes Kill the horses in their care. My reason for writing the article was number one, because I was truly angry. Rescue has been touted as a viable alternative to Slaughter. When I continue to read stories like this one, I begin to wonder how true that statement is. If you are following along on this one, you are getting a clear view of just how things are handled in these cases, and like me, you may be wondering just who DOES care. There is fighting on all sides, and in the case on one of the Rescues, while they won't take the horses they transferred into Phoenix Rising back, they're fighting over a starved little donkey. Why? This little one has home offers-two I think. What's the motive here? As long as no charges are pressed, the owner of Phoenix is able to pick and choose which horses stay or go. So she controls the fate of the horses pictured. This whole story angers me more each day. And those involved still tell us that THIS is the better way. Sorry, I don't see that. I really didn't intend to get into an argument over Slaughter again, and as far as the feeding issues, the comments on here by those knowledgeable versus those making excuses stand on their own. I was truly astounded when the photos of those horses were posted in lush pasture. Are you serious?! Rather than help the poor animals, it appeared that Ass Covering was the first order of the day.
    I'm as angry as when I first wrote this, and unless something has happened in the last day, nothing has changed for these horses, with the exception of a temporary change in location. And like Shovels, most of this is still just pissing me off.


  24. There may be worse things, but right now, Rescue is looking pretty bad in some cases.

  25. I just remembered the 2 rescues that closed in NE, Best Little Horse House (in Hastings) and Heartland Horse Rescue. Now Phoenix Rising as well. I heard Heartland didn't close in the best of terms...