You know something? I am not particularly naïve. Even if I do want to believe in the goodness of mankind sometimes. And I have a lot of friends involved in animal rescue. I have seen the good, the bad, and the very ugly when it comes to that. And I have known all along the bigger the animal the nastier it can get.
When it comes to horse country out here I am an ausländer. I don’t own horses, don’t ride any more. I do love horses. I find them magnificent and regal, which is why I love to photograph them.
I am one of those people who doesn’t patronize those people in cities like Philadelphia and New York City who have the carriage ride companies because I have never seen a horse hitched up to one of those rigs that looks happy and I want to throw up every time an abuse case linked to that part of the tourism industry surfaces. I also don’t go to race tracks. No offense, I find them seedy. I find almost anything having to do with gambling seedy and déclassé. Different strokes for different folks, but not my cup of tea.
When it comes to horses, I like to do things like watch dressage and polo. And my friends’ kids doing pony club and things like Devon. I also think carriaging is cool. Growing up, we had a neighbor who was a carriager, and I loved looking at all his carriages, carts, and even sleighs in his barn.
When I wrote my first post wading into a potential manure pile I had no idea it would lead to a second post (the funny thing about asking questions about horse rescue) and ALL the comments.
I think given ALL the comments some part of the system of horse rescue in Chester County is broken. And as a result I am calling upon the Chester County SPCA, LAPS, ASPCA, and The Humane Society to do whatever they have to do to check this out thoroughly and put this issue to rest.
And I don’t mean polite let’s have tea and check out horse rescues, I mean inspect them, look at paperwork, match paperwork up to horses, any kind of identifying marks horses might have (someone said they can be tattooed or microchipped?), and treat it like the rescues I know more about which are dog rescues. Put them through their paces. People with nothing to hide, won’t mind, will they? They will understand, won’t they as it is about the welfare of the animals, right? Dog rescues go out and check out potential forever homes and often do follow up once a dog is adopted out, does this happen with horse rescue? It should if it doesn’t.
I get that rescue is an often ugly business and again I feel the the bigger the animal the uglier it gets.
The volume of comments on this stuff has blown me away. But I am just a blogger who found something weird and asked some questions. I literally do not have a horse in this race.
But what I don’t understand (among other things) why there is a thing called Large Animal Protection if they aren’t doing any protecting? It’s their job, they have the jurisdiction, it’s their raison d’être, yes? They receive funding to not muck about, yes?
I am not going to go out and inspect barns, I am not going to rescue a horse. I might not know all the lingo but I know what an abused or miscared for animal looks like and I know what filth looks like. But I am not the authorities. So leaving comments on a blog post are just that: leaving comments.
What should you do if you have proof something is a non-profit and they are not? Call the State Charities inspectors and complain. Here are the numbers: 717-783-1720 or 800-732-0999. What should you do if someone is abusing an animal? Call any of the groups I have referenced above. And call the media. Go to the police. Let professionals handle it.
If you people are seeing things that are wrong, it won’t stop unless people come forward. On their own. I believe some of the people who have left comments are trying to do just that and God bless them for it. Sometimes the courage of convictions comes at personal cost, especially when something is of a sensitive, difficult, or emotionally charged nature. And when it comes to animal rescue issues, I find them often as emotionally loaded as issues involving children.
My curiousity with this began with odd Craigslist postings that continue to go up every day. I don’t know who you are who is doing this, but I think you need to contact authorities or media. Or both. You wanted attention? You got it, now take the other step.
I want to have faith in mankind this Christmas season, and animals that give us unconditional love and companionship should be protected. If you want to get all religious on me, that is indeed what Jesus would do. Period.