it’s 2020 why does pennsylvania still allow this crap?

It started innocently enough. A friend of mine shared a horse needing a home on her Facebook timeline. It seemed like the horse was in rather dire straits. So I shared the post. And someone steered me towards this article:

Animals Angels: HomeInvestigationsHorsesNew Holland Auction, PA 6/18/18
New Holland Auction, PA 6/18/18
Date: Thursday, June 28, 2018 – 12:20

The horse sale started. There were several thin horses going through the sale, however, all were within the legal limits of Pennsylvania law. One draft horse had a milk leg and horribly neglected feet. Prices were average and all the kill buyers were obtaining their share of horses.
Investigators walked outside to check for animals left in trailers. Inside the farrier barn, they noticed a group of horses in poor condition. An emaciated draft horse not fit for sale under PA law. An emaciated grey with a large bleeding sore on his point of buttock. Two thin and depressed looking Standardbreds. Observing from a distance, investigators noted that the auction veterinarian Dr. Holt, proceeded to check the animals. When approached by the investigators, he stated that these horses belonged to a horse “collector” named “Gene” and that this individual would gather up horses in bad condition and flip them. He added that these horses would not be going through the sale and that he had “told him the law”.
Investigators documented the condition of the animals when they were confronted by “Gene”. Claiming they were interested in purchasing the animals, Gene became friendlier and stated that these horses had been brought in by a kill buyer from Virginia and that he was flipping them to a rescue. He bragged about being well connected to over 40 rescues and how much money was to be made with this set-up. He elaborated that the “man from Virginia” did not like to deal with the rescue folks, that’s why he was being used as a middle-man. Suddenly, Gene’s phone rang, and the auction veterinarian Dr. Holt was on the other end. After listening to Holt for a while, a concerned looking Gene hung up the phone, called his transporter and urged him to come to the barn. “They have been seen, I need to get them out of here now…”, Gene told the person on the phone. Judging by his reaction, it is entirely possible that Holt informed Gene of our investigators’ presence, potentially putting their safety at risk.

So who is Eugene Horn? His Facebook profile claims he is an animal trainer at the Philadelphia Zoo. 

So I called the zoo and got transferred to human resources. I think at first they thought I was completely nuts. But I said I just want to verify if this guy is doing horse rescue and he says he’s a trainer at the Philadelphia Zoo is he really? The woman said well first of all we have keepers we don’t have trainers. So is this man someone who works for your zoo I asked again? they said no so who is this guy really?

Equine Rescues Scams says this guy is a fake. They also seem to have put a lot of energy into alerting people.

If you visit their page on Facebook there’s a lot about a lot of fake horse stuff up there. I haven’t posted on questionable horse rescue in years. The last time I questioned horse rescues I received all sorts of menacing and threatening private messages and comments.

But what made me sit up and take a look at this was also another post people are sharing about a baby cow that needs a home. And it’s this same person this page is talking about:

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a distinct affinity for cows and goats and chickens and horses. It’s probably good that I don’t live on a farm. But I do know farmers. And I do know that Holsteins are very expensive beasts.

A four day old Holstein calf should be with its mother or being hand bottle-fed if its mother died correct? So this really bothered me to see this. and then somebody else posted one of the guy’s horses and I thought here we are again in 2020 and where are the people the two large animal stuff that are supposed to keep an eye on things like this? LAP or whatever?

As far as unregulated horse rescues and charities go here’s an article from January out of a New Jersey paper:

NJ.com Unregistered horse rescue charity raised $344K, but cash landed in personal account, officials say

By Jeff Goldman

Updated Jan 13, 2020; Posted Jan 13, 2020

A Mercer County woman who took in more than $344,000 in donations for what she described as a horse rescue charity put the money in her personal bank account and never properly registered the organization, officials said.
Dina Alborano, of Hamilton, used the internet and social media to promote her “I Care I Help” thoroughbred rescue organization, authorities said. She accepted more than $330,000 in donations via PayPal and personal checks in 2018 after reeling in more than $12,000 the previous year, the state Attorney General’s office said in a statement Monday.

So I don’t understand still to this day why the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Attorney General’s office doesn’t look into problems like this in Pennsylvania?

Josh Shapiro needs to take action. He’s our Attorney General. Follow this LINK to contact his office.

Sometimes I think rescues of all kinds start with well-intentioned people who get in over their heads. I don’t know what to think here.

enough

Yesterday was a day.

It started extremely happily as I was doing something I really love to do. I had a wonderful time… until sadly I didn’t.

I encountered a woman, a total stranger, who upset me enough that I just stopped what I was doing and decided to go home. That doesn’t generally happen.

On the way home I saw something that made me smile. It was something happy that reminded me of what’s important and what’s lovely about life.

It was a group of boys, obviously good buddies, all clumped together on a public street corner hanging out as boys are wont to do. Of course, they are modern boys, so they were all clumped together each one staring at their smartphones. And they were standing next to a very important historic sign marker.

It was a moment. Frozen in time. It made me smile and I took the photo.

There was no malice. I captured a moment on a public street that made me smile. And shared it.

But oh no, because of the world we allow ourselves to live in, my happy moment caught in an image where you couldn’t even see the boys’ faces, was twisted and made ugly.

All of a sudden, a man I don’t know is leaving comments that I am a “sick person” and a “pedophile”. That I was a “twisted voyeur of children” unfit to live in my own community and that (and I quote) “you get banned all around Malvern and now you leer on kids.”

I have, among other things, never been banned from anywhere.

I took the comments as what they were, threats, and sent them in native format to the police in case something happened to me.

That is not something I regularly do, but I took those comments as the threats they were intended to be. I am a woman. And when a man is that viscerally verbally abusive in comments, I am not necessarily going to just say “well that’s ok”.

As a matter of fact I am NOT going to say any of this is ok any longer.

Whenever it is something to do with me, because I am the local blogger, people all over social media, including in community groups I am not part of, pile on. Comment after comment after comment.

It’s enough to make you puke because these groups all have “statements of community” after a fashion and how they are all about love, and family, and community and neighbors…unless it’s me or anyone else who will never be a cookie cutter version of them.

Whether it’s me or anyone else who isn’t in their limited circle of life or school car rider line, it’s just fine to tear everyone apart. We don’t have feelings. We’re not like you. We don’t matter.

And you people wonder why some of your kids are called out in school for being bullies or having behavioral issues? Where do you actually think they learn the behavior?

Last night, the day thankfully changed yet again. I was with friends for a surprise party for another friend.

I belonged there. I felt loved and safe there. I was with people who actually, truly, really know me. They all reminded me again of what is important in this world. And what’s not important are the people who want to turn lovely days ugly and dirty. What’s not important are those of you (some with extraordinarily flawed and messed up lives, I might add) sitting in judgement of me or anyone else you find suspicious for not being exactly like you.

PSA: I am done with the BS. I am over being judged, maligned, defamed, harassed, harangued, bullied….yet when some want something done I am the one they seek out?

Can’t have it both ways.

I am not a bad person and I don’t have to defend my existence to any of the shlubs who wish to sit in judgement of me, my blogging, my opinions, and what I choose to photograph on public streets. Or bars and restaurants I choose to review. Or for writing about what’s important to me.

I have been threatened, harassed, you name it. And for what? Because I am not some freaking Nouveau Stepford Wife or I didn’t grow up in Malvern when dinosaurs roamed the earth?

Get over yourselves.

Those who know me, know me to be loyal to a fault. Those who cross me know I don’t suffer fools lightly.

requiem for a farmhouse

There she sits like a ghost on Bacton Hill Road in Frazer, East Whiteland Township. I I have photographed her in varying stages of decay over the past few years.

Her end is near, she lived a hard life, not sure it was a good life or not.

It is a crying shame no one loved her enough to keep her. She will be bulldozed soon to make way for McMansions. Because we all need more McMansions in Chester County, apparently.

Pennsylvania is a private property rights state, and it is just pathetic that the commonwealth isn’t a little more preservation minded.

the stolen berks county horse “caz” is still missing!

20131119-104854.jpg

Last week I told you about Caz the beautiful horse that was stolen for spite in Berks County.

Fox 29 Philadelphia featured a story on him the other day –

Hamburg Police Need Help Finding Stolen Horse Posted: Nov 15, 2013 11:40 AM EST Updated: Nov 15, 2013 11:47 AM EST

The photos in this post are of Caz. Please, if you are a horse person and even think you have seen him, please contact police. Caz’s owner is heartbroken.

Wouldn’t you be?

Please keep your eyes open and help Caz come home for the holidays.

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stolen horse alert! have you seen caz?

IMG_20131113_182052This comes to me from a friend in neighboring Berks County.  A horse was stolen out of a barn where people she knows keep horses and has asked people to spread the word.  The two photos were accompanied by this information:

Hanoverian Stallion Black  16.3 hands taken from 19 Featherhill Road in Lenhartsville on 11/13/2013 between 10 and 3p.m 

Caz has a full white blaze one white right sock and one  left white sock.

Any information regarding this contact Trooper Beck at the Hamburg State Police Barracks located on Industrial Blvd  Hamburg Pa   610-562-6885

We do believe that the owner of the property one Mervin Z Martin  alias Martin Mervin  whom owns Martins Harness in Ephrata  whom currently is in  Berks County Prison regarding this issue knows where the horse is as do those whom worked with him to participate in the theft of Caz .

Any and all information is greatly appreciated.  

There is a court docket. (MDJReport MZM) .

This is just weird. And awful.  Anyway, if you have seen this horse which apparently the owner has raised from a foal and is heartbroken, please call police as per information provided. Apparently this gent is no stranger to court system given what the court summary says?

neigh it isn’t so! rumors abound about horse rescue?

luna2Wow, I haven’t written about horse rescue in forever (I mean what is the point it is not regulated in PA  is it and does anyone in elected office even care about horses?)

Anyway….

Is it true she who shall not be mentioned by name no longer operates a rescue from rented barn space in Glenmoore? So what happens to that rescue now? Are they still around? Are they still in Chester County?

But what I am really curious about as I find the above a side-show circus in the scheme of things at this point is something going on at Turning for Home the Non-Profit that Barbara Luna was I thought the head of? Not only am I not able to bring up what used to be Turning for Home’s own website and can only access information through Patha.org, but well Barbara Luna doesn’t lock down her Facebook page and by posts she has written it appears she has (a) moved to Virginia and (b) is starting a new non-profit for horses so what’s up in Equine Land people?

Seriously this is what PATHA says about Turning for Home:

With the help of the following organizations and farms, we have been able to succeed in our mission. Many of our adoptable horses can be seen on their websites or on Facebook.

  After the Races, Nottingham, PA

South Jersey Thoroughbred Rescue, Moorestown, NJ

Lisa Molloy Training Center, Suffolk, VA

Castle Rock Farm, West Chester, PA

Sports Equine, Doylestown, PA

Hill Haven Farm, Millstone Twp., NJ

Ivy Hill Farm, Sewell, NJ 

In spite of all the comments about how mean a bunch of Chester County horse people were being, I have to ask the question: were they actually right on the money all along?

I keep looking for press releases on changes at Turning for Home, but seriously can she run Turning for Home and live in Virginia and start a new non-profit?

Inquiring minds want to know if this is all just fate and coincidence or something else?  And if she can run Turning for Home and War Horses at Rose Bower, Brava, because wow, what a lot of work! And apparently as per BizaPedia the filings were done on this war horses thing in October 2012 and is that true?  GuideStar has them in their directory but no information to speak of.

 

luna 1

luna3

 

 

 

 

 

justice for argus & fiona: pilotti trial day 1

argus and fiona

I now understand why reporters say sometimes what they see in a court room haunts them.  I will be haunted a long time by the crime scene photos which were shown of the slain Bernese Mountain Dog puppies Argus & Fiona.

The  scene photos (I am not a police officer so I don’t know what  to call them), were not intentionally gruesome, they were what they were. (We saw a photo of the shotgun too.  It was not one that repeats, either, which means the buck shot had to deliberately reloaded, correct?) There seemed to be some sort of quiet sidebar conversation as in jury and audience could not hear) before the audience, judge, and jury saw the photos.  I am thinking it had to do with the photos – but I don’t know for sure.

The photos – Argus lay there on the ground like he was shot in mid-flight.  He seemed to be facing away from us.  Then there was the photo of the female puppy Fiona. This photo made me cry (several things made me tear up this afternoon- so much was so hard to hear)  it was so heart and gut wrenchingly awful.  Fiona was curled in a semi fetal position staring at the camera with lifeless eyes. That is the photo I will see in my head for a long time it is so awful.

But back to the beginning.  Three papers were there: Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily Local and Brandywine News Media.  There were Argus and Fiona friends and family and supporters on one side and Gabe Pilotti had a mish mosh of people on his side.  I never saw the man in person before today so I have no way of knowing who was family and who might have been church folk. I will note that whomever they are had minor children with them, who were in the room when the photos of the shot up dogs were displayed.  Not to judge, but would you have wanted your children to see that? The smiling Pilotti from the mug shot was not present today.

Ramsey, Pilotti’s attorney referred to a “media campaign” over this issue.  He seemed to make a lot of referrals to the Justice for Argus and Fiona Facebook Page and obliquely this blog (or in my opinion that is what it was) like we were all bad people for talking about this.  Judge Nagle seemed to shut this commentary down on several occasions as being somewhat irrelevant to the case at hand.

Pilotti’s attorney was somewhat brutal with the Bocks.  But that is a defense attorney doing their job I suppose.  I do think the defense attorney was unnecessarily hard on Mary Bock in particular – asked her something like did she have remorse over the whole incident.  My personal opinion was that asking something like that was gratuitously nasty.  She was practically in tears having to relive parts of that awful day as it was.

Pilotti’s attorney seemed to make a big deal out of these neighbors of Pilotti’s that the Bocks used to be friendly with – people named Dallas and Kelley Definbaugh.  I wonder, are those the people holding Pilotti’s gun?  Anyway, it is not like it is some dirty secret.  The couples used to be friendly, more from the wives knowing each other and kids being in same sections of classes at school.  But that changed. The kids moved on into different groups and classes at school and the wives don’t hang out any more.  So what?  Do you keep in close contact with people with whom you no longer share any meaningful commonality? I don’t.

I wouldn’t know the Definbaugh people if I fell on them, and am just getting to know the Bocks, so I can only go with my gut.  I like the Bocks.  They are honorable people who experienced something so horrible.  And when you see the photos of those dead puppies from that day and hear about how they were moved in a front end loader or a tractor or something to the township building the day they were shot, well let me tell you, you get a much more clear picture of how these people have suffered.

Remember this news report?

I also did not get why Pilotti’s attorney kept bringing up a letter that Mary Bock wrote to her neighbors after her dogs were shot. I mean get real, there are tons of kids out there and tons of people with dogs.  If she wanted to tell her neighbors is that so wrong?

And Pilotti’s attorney wants to make a big deal out of this blog?  I did not drive his client to shoot those dogs.  And I am not condoning violence against his client, only like hundreds of others out there hoping for justice and a strengthening of Pennsylvania dog laws.

Today we heard from Officer Russell from West Vincent Police Department.  He was the first on the scene and apparently present later when Pilotti was interviewed by police. He seems like a totally honorable and stand up guy.  He also seems to be some sort of authority on fire arms and he spoke with some intelligence about the gun used – a 20 gauge single shot non repeating shot-gun with 9 pellet buck shot if I have it correctly.

Officer Russell recounted that fateful February day calmly with some degree of detail. He remarked that at the time (as in day of shooting) he found Pilotti’s answers “vague”. (his verbiage) . He reported that on the day of the shooting in front of the Police Chief he asked Pilotti for a written statement to assist in the investigation. He stated that Pilotti in his opinion seemed hesitant to do so, but eventually went back to his garage and sat down and compiled a “list”. Officer Russell also described seeing the dogs.  He reported that Argus took a fairly direct hit to the head and the dog’s head was “kind of blown apart.” He described Fiona’s position (that I saw in the photos) and the blood coming out of her mouth and I believe he said on her paws.  I will admit the photo of her so disturbed me that I could not get past the quasi fetal position and lifeless eyes staring at the camera.

District Attorney Tom Hogan appeared in court to watch for a while at approximately 3:45 p.m.  That made people sit up and take notice – he is a busy guy so you know he can’t audit every court proceeding.  I was thankful for his presence.

I stayed until just before the defense was going to cross-examine Officer Russell.  People in the court room said that got out of hand.  I remember before I left Officer Russell stating that they wanted to talk to Pilotti again because “something did not seem right.”

Pilotti’s attorney at one point referred to when Pilotti had shot dogs before, but West Vincent locals told me that those dogs were shot on a neighbors property because the neighbor’s animals were being mauled and is that not the truth?  So that was something different from when Argus and Fiona were shot, huh?

And I have to ask (bearing in mind my limited knowledge of buck shot) but if  Argus and Fiona were actually pursuing sheep why is it the audience and jury didn’t hear about injured sheep? Or see photos of bloodied sheep or dead sheep? I ask because as buck shot was explained today to everyone in that courtroom it sort of spreads or sprays out, right?

Watching the face of the jury all afternoon was quite interesting.  That is all I will say on that.

Court continues tomorrow at the Criminal Justice Center in Downtown West Chester, PA.  I strongly urge dog lovers to attend if possible. The Bock family and the memory of these puppies deserve our support in a peaceful way as an extended community.  It is a public proceeding and the courtroom is open, not closed. You can go to all or part of tomorrow.  Parking is not expensive in the new garage, either. You just park, go through the court screening and ask to be directed to Judge Nagle’s court (7th floor room 8 off the top of my head)

Today was deeply disturbing and very emotional. But I am glad I went. It makes me even more resolute than ever that dog laws need to change.

And here is some of the media coverage:

Trial begins for 73-year-old accused of killing neighbor’s dogs
Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer 

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013, 4:54 PM

In a case that outraged animal-rights activists and generated national  attention, a trial began Monday for a Chester County man charged with killing  his neighbor’s dogs because he believed they posed a threat to his sheep.

Gabriel Pilotti, 73, of Chester Springs, was charged with cruelty to animals  for shooting the two Bernese mountain dogs — 2-year-old Angus and 1-year-old  Fiona — after they had escaped the fenced yard of their owners, Mary and  William Bock….In his opening statement, Kevin Pierce, assistant district attorney said  Pilotti willfully and maliciously killed the two dogs in cold blood and then  left a voice message for a neighbor bragging about the incident……Argus was shot in the head as he  trotted up toward Pilotti and that Fiona was shot as she ran away. Pilotti did  not try to yell at the dogs or chase them away with a broom, he said.

“He choose to go to the most extreme measure first,” said Pierce.

Also noteworthy?  The Chester County SPCA which is currently under fire in Chester County and beyond did NOT bother to show up today.  I found that extraordinarily cowardly.  They should have put the other stuff aside and shown up for the dogs.  Good thing no one was depending on them for anything.

Here is the Daily Local:

Daily Local: Motives differ as trial starts in dog shooting case

WEST CHESTER – Gabriel Pilotti, the 73-year-old West Vincent resident on trial for shooting two dogs that wandered onto his property, was portrayed in two different lights Monday as his case opened in the Chester County Justice Center.

To the prosecutor, Pilotti was a trigger happy man who shot first and asked no questions – taking the matter of dogs in his pasture to the “most extreme measure” by killing the two dogs without provocation.

“This is a simple case of a cold blooded killing of two family pets,” Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pierce told the nine women and three men on the jury in Senior Judge Ronald Nagle’s courtroom. He said the defendant “mowed down” one of the dogs as he “moseyed” toward him, and then reloaded his shotgun and shot and killed the second, younger dog as it ran from the yard.