groundhog day came early…

And here I thought horsegate would calm down.  Apparently not.  It is kinda like o 2groundhog day…except with horses.

It appears that the mysterious Craigslist ads of a few weeks ago have disappeared. But a techno geek non horse loving source sent me a link to check out:  http://offthetrackrescue.tumblr.com/

Ahhh yes, who knew?  They have yet another website.  So I took a quick gander and o 3 have more (or more of the same) questions for the owner Jessica Troxell Basciano regarding Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue of which she is owner/head/president/grand poobah…and Barbara Luna too (she is the one who supplies the horses to OTTR from the non-profit she works for called Turning for Home. )

I truly so want to have a comfort level with this because in theory it is a wonderful idea, yet every time I might reach a comfort level something else pops up, doesn’t it?

So there is this tumblr page right?  I have a couple of questions.

o 1First there is the “donate” word/tab again.  Is Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(4) within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?  I can’t find anything can any of you? So is there an official non-profit status? Does this rescue even have a charter or any kind of incorporation documents? As per the helpful multi-state filing website I found, does this Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue do any of what Pennsylvania requires? OR if they are in fact NOT a true non-profit and they are soliciting donations are they doing that disclosure? If it is NOT a non-profit, is it a LLC, sole proprietorship or what?  Horses are big critters and they have a lot of expenses, so one would think someone owning a business that does this kind of thing would want some sort of protection for themselves, right?  It’s a big financial risk at a minimum, right?

I found this regarding donations to organizations that are NOT non-profit:

The “donations” will be considered income and you will not be able to offer a tax deduction to those donors. The other issue is whether certain states where you solicit donations will require a registration before doing so. This is a state by state analysis……There are no specific prohibitions or regulations about accepting monetary contributions, but you should be careful to advise any potential “donors” that you are not a registered non-profit and therefore their contribution is not tax deductible. You of course could not make any misrepresentations. It would simply be business income.

Also, be careful with your accounting. Donations aren’t necessarily immediately final, as in a sale. If you received a large amount of donations you might want to hold a certain amount in reserve in case of an issue, in which case you might have to refund it.

whose barn is this 2

Then there is the post where she (I presume it is this Jessica posting herself on tumblr?) says they have farms in Glenmoore and Phoenixville? Where in Phoenixville? I thought the other location was in Oxford, PA?  So are there

whose barn is thisthree locations now? Or is this like many other rescues where critters are fostered in multiple locations due to overflow?

where are you located

And this site is still used given the Christmas Eve posting. And again, I am trying to be fair, but it is VERY hard.

o 4Rescue is a tough business, but I know the ones that I know which have non-profit statuses have pretty strict guidelines.  And they get inspected a lot too.  Is it LAPS that inspects horse rescues in these parts for the state, or does the state conduct their own inspections?  Is this a non-profit or a for profit business and if it is for profit does that work with the whole concept of rescue?  Does anyone know of other animal rescues that are actually for profit or have no non profit statuses?  Or does Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue since I can’t find a non-profit status fall somehow under the umbrella of Turning For Home?

So here is some of what I found on GuideStar about Turning for Home:

turning

turning2

I can only find the Form 990 for Turning for Home through 2010 on Guidestar. Other than 2009 and 2008.

They have big expense numbers.  I guess that is because horses are just so darn expensive:

turning3

Now what you see above is all the info you can easily find if something is a non-profit.  GuideStar picks most of this stuff up.

The only thing I can still find on Off The Track Throughbred Rescue is the fictitious name filing with PA in March 2012 it looks like:

filing

Again, rescue is not an easy business.  But I am not the only one asking questions.  Check this out too:

interesting

I found a website that indicates they are also seeking sponsorships:

interesting2

(Related solely because it mentions OTTR and TFH, it was just a little over a year ago that horses were rescued in Adams County. )

And on a super positive note, I found this really cool blog about thoroughbred rescue – I think it is out of Massachusetts called Off-Track Thoroughbreds

So to finish up, most of my questions remain over how a rescue can operate if it is NOT a non-profit? (Note I have not found anything illegal about that so I am not implying that at all.)

If it is NOT a non-profit and is in fact FOR profit is there an actual corporation in addition to the fictitious name?  If people are donating to something that is NOT a non-profit how does that work? If it is a corporation is there a board of directors?  If they are applying to become a non-profit is there a proposed board of directors or trustees or whatever?

I am still thinking at the end of the day that Jessica’s heart is in the right place for rescue, but if she is overwhelmed she should let the horse community know. That way they can help, not criticize or whisper, right?

I am not one of the horse rescue haters.  I merely have questions.  Once all the questions are answered there will be no more posts asking questions.  I do think some of the answers need to come from Barbara Luna who distributes the horses to horse rescues don’t you?

A final note is a gentle reminder for the more shall we say spirited commenters. I am allowed to exercise my First Amendment Rights, am allowed to ask questions. I don’t suffer fools lightly and don’t cotton to threats or harassment. And oh yes, a lot of media and other assorted types read this blog.

not snapped to anyone’s lead line

This looker lives in the Hamptons

This looker lives in the Hamptons

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.

craigslist_001My curiousity with this began with odd Craigslist postings that  continue to go tb_001up 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.

daily salvo goes to the dogs and amen to that!

I am posting this because it is just quite simply true and awesome!  Thank you Daily Salvo!  You can “like” Daily Salvo on Facebook and they deserve it for sticking up for the dogs.

love being part of this family

Yesterday I went to the “Smith Family Reunion” at Main Line Animal Rescue.  I love the place.  I have critters from there.   MLAR took the day to say hi and thanks to everyone who has rescued from them over the years with an open farm day reunion and picnic.  You could bring your critters if you wanted.  I actually met a pot-bellied pig named Miss Piggy!

So here’s the deal: they like many other no kill shelters, take the animals we as human beings throw away like trash.  All ages, all shapes and sizes.

Yes there are rules dealing when dealing with rescues because face it, they don’t want the pets who “go home” with new families to end up back in the system.

And even once in a while with all the precations they take, one of their dogs ends up back in the system.  I saw an example yesterday.  And it is not because the dog was a problem, it can all be chalked up to a  human trick.

This sweet female dachshund used to belong to a sweet older lady.  The lady had adopted the dachshund from Main Line Animal Rescue. The lady died and her husband plopped her dog bag in rescue.  While I am really happy that this dog came back to the rescue which placed her and knows her, I am really sad at some humans.  Pets are not so disposable.  They give us unconditional love, and don’t ask for much in return.

I toured the facilities and was once again amazed at how this rescue is a breed apart in so many positive ways.  First and foremost the site is clean. The runs are clean, the kennel is clean.  And the dogs for being in this kind of situation for the most part do not seem unhappy.

So that being said, if you are going to donate to a rescue, please consider Main Line Animal Rescue.

You can like them on Facebook too!

Over and out.