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:
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 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:
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.
Wow, 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?)
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?
The nature of humans and writing is a weird and complicated process, often because of what the reader expects from the writer.
Some posts write themselves in the middle of the night. That is the genesis of this post.
Sometimes I do not sleep well. I am on a drug for the treatment of breast cancer called Tamoxifen. I have three years to go and one of its side effects is it can affect your sleep. I don’t often talk about the whole breast cancer thing here, I have a dedicated (and well-respected blog for that.)
On this blog, I have had people who have taken issue with me speaking about my breast cancer. But it is part of me and like it or not, and it has shaped my life experience.
Ironically, having had breast cancer has taught me many positive things including the value of life and living life well and being happy. It gave me the courage to pursue my dreams, yes, like writing.
A lot of what annoys people about my discussing my breast cancer is when I measure it against other experiences. As it is the hardest and most difficult thing I ever experienced personally, heck yes I measure other experiences against it if the spirit moves me.
I have learned in life that often if your opinion differs from the comfort zone of others that can prove problematic. Especially when you write. You can verbally state your opinion more easily than if you write it down. But the thing at the end of the day that people don’t get is I write for me. Writing is first and foremost something I do for myself. And I do actually do research things which I am curious about.
Maybe someday I will have a book in me and not just a blog or occasional byline. Maybe I will write the memoirs of a female blogger. I will say I do have self-published photography books that I have done, and that was quite an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
As I make my way through this writing experience, I am often amused at what strikes a nerve. One of the first nerves was writing about West Vincent Township. Then came horse rescue. Wow horse rescue is still one of the largest read topics on this blog with a close second to Justice for Argus and Fiona. And then there is of course my asking if a favorite restaurant would survive because of listings in both sheriff’s and tax sales lists coupled with an additional land purchase for another restaurant in another county. Chicken little you would think the world was ending for verbalizing what quite a lot of people are still talking about.
Also amazing to me is how many people like my recipes and photography. I am so pleased about that. Recipes and photos are something really personal to me, so I really am happy that people are receptive to both.
Not all, however, have been receptive to my photos. Take for example the odd responses from the woman who grew up with the Women’s Lib Barn (yes I did do some research to ascertain it was a woman writing to me.) To this day I shake my head at that – I loved that barn for so many different reasons and my photographing it was like paying homage to it. But she so soured me on it, that now I just drive by….I don’t even look at it.
That was my favorite barn in Chester County. It is the first one I really noticed when I moved here. It spoke to me. As a woman I find myself often torn between the old and new, and the old roles of women versus the women of today. It also speaks to me because to me it also represents the uniqueness, individuality, and independence of the people of Chester County – traits I admire and respect.
I also write about parenting on occasion, collecting (as in antiques and collectibles) and gardening. At my core, I am part Domestic Diva or Suzy Homemaker. I love that for the first time in my life I actually have time for all of this, and can experience it without guilt or reserve. I love sharing those experiences with people. I even write about childhood recollections.
I used to focus more on activism based blogging. That was what I did then, and while it still has a role in my writing, it is not the main focus. I will write about things that I find curious. Or strange. Now, I write about whatever strikes my fancy, and share fun things I discover along the way.
Recently I have written a couple of things that are in the category of religion and beliefs. We should be able to talk about this stuff. I have in the past too. As a Catholic and as a human being I have expressed my disgust over pedophile priests. I have also touched on born again Christian stuff. No one had a problem with that or pedophile priest discussions. But when I touched on Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy, holy tomato Batman! It is like I personally corrupted the Holy Grail.
To me Anthroposophy represents communes and cult-like behavior. (Communes are intentional communities and intentional communities are communes, right?) Oh my! I have had people rear up….all associated with Waldorf or Steiner Schools. Am I the first to question Anthroposophy or Steiner? No. Go ahead, read THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS and THIS. Waldorf Watch a site devoted to this. And then there is Waldorf Straight Talk and a lot of things submitted by former teachers to different sites. I am sure some can say they are all disgruntled employees or residents, but are they? I know one story personally. It is not mine to share, but suffice it to say it was a former Kimberton Waldorf teacher and the person is hardly an axe grinder.
If you look at the comments regarding this touchy topic I have this man who has popped up who told me I was “afraid of my neighbors” and that I had a “fear piñata” I swung wildly at. He is in addition to the woman who just seems angry in general that I have expressed an opinion on this.
The man wants to help me “confront” my fear and that by my opinion which as an individual I am entitled to have that I have instead performed an ad hominum attack by “labeling” them. Oh and that I write in order to sound clever. And that I am not real.
Ah yes, the most devastating comment: because I don’t agree with what he is indeed trying to sell me, I am, therefore, not “real”.
Am I a fan of CSAs, organic farming, taking care of the mentally and physically challenged in our community, and Kimberton Whole Foods? Yes to all of the above. Except when I measure saints among us, my definition of saints and Godly people are derived from a more traditional religious beliefs and practices. And yes I am aware that CampHill has done some truly nice things. After all was it not CampHill Special School that took in the family of one of the defendant’s in the Milton Street trial a few years ago? That was very generous of them and honestly a good deed.
I am quite real, and I am clever, but not in the derogatory way the commenter intended. And I am not fearful. I merely stated my opinion based upon the research that I did.
It is always funny to me that people will feel free to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be writing about. I have to ask why they aren’t writing if they feel so strongly about certain things?
Some accused me of perpetuating “hearsay” while stating my opinion. I have to ask is the renowned publication The Atlantic “hearsay”? Is it only “hearsay” because they don’t want to believe people are writing about how they feel about Waldorf, Steiner, and Anthroposophy?
Waldorf schools are popular with progressives. But how do you feel about a dose of spiritualism with your child’s reading and math?
Would you send your kid to a school where faceless dolls and pine-cones are the toys of choice? A school where kids don’t read proficiently until age 9 or 10 — and where time spared goes to knitting and playing the recorder? A school where students sing hymns to “spirit” every day?
I am a fairly simple person with a complicated brain . I think about a lot of different things.
Things like why people abandon their homes, factories, churches, and farms and so on fascinate me. You know I love to photograph the old and abandoned and there seems to be a lot of that in Chester County, unfortunately. I believe it goes with areas that still have a rural component.
Abandoned and desolate, this house suffers from not only overt neglect, but a dispute to its historical net worth. A friend was kind enough to share this photo. The location is (if I have it straight) is slightly west of Valley Forge Park , sort of behind VF Baptist Church.
Some days I write about things that make me go HMMMM and other days I also write about things I cook. Other days I write about both. It’s just the way it is.
Like take this weekend for example – I made a tortellini salad with cucumber, shallots, string beans, tomato, tossed with fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley and rest with a homemade lemon tarragon mustard caper vinaigrette -The dressing is homemade and came out of my head as I was preparing peach pie filling. Yes, I also made a double crust peach pie with the delicious peaches from Northstar Orchards whom I visit at The East Goshen Farmers Market.
And if Sears would ever come fix my oven, (even Whirlpool/Maytag is upset with Sears) I might roast tomatoes and write about it. Roasted tomatoes make for awesome gazpacho as well as being delicious on their own as just a vegetable.
I also write about simple fun things for my home when the spirit moves me. I love the Smithfield Barn and Resellers Consignment for that reason. This weekend at Smithfield Barn I got the vintage pie plate in which I baked that pie photo captioned above.
Some of the things I write about are things that I grew up with. Like lamps. My mother had these two lamps in our home growing up. She hasn’t used them for years in her current home and had put them in a closet. Over the weekend she passed them along to me along with for a lack of a better description, lamp parts. You would be amazed how much better a lamp can look with a harp that gives a shade a different height.
The lamps are totally “me”. The shades I plunked on them I had in the attic. They came from a lady who used to be at Black Angus or Stoudt’s Antiques in Adamstown – she made these amazing pierced lampshades. I don’t even know if she is there any longer. My friend Anna’s mother got me hooked on these lampshades as well as my mother – they both had this style of shade on lamps in their homes.
See the lamps – they are so fun:
The lamps are in different parts of the house and I am so enjoying them! But as my mother said I like quirky lamps. I think these are very cool!
I love old stuff. Not necessarily antiques, but vintage. Setting my table with funky old dishes and vintage linens is total fun to me.
I actually organized my old linens yesterday. I have accumulated them in essence for pennies on the dollar because I get them at thrift shops, tag sales, church sales – wherever I see them that I like them. But I refuse to pay oodles of money for them. I love vintage linens basically because the quality is so much better than a lot of what you see today. Also a lot of times it is just that much more fun. I have a few kitschy 1950s and 1960s tablecloths for example – totally fun.
Also in the textile area are vintage and handmade quilts. Again, I look at church sales, farm/barn and even on eBay. I only buy what I can use and I am limited on what I am willing to pay.
Not one of mine. Made by a friend of mine for her granddaughter. A modern quilt that captured the vintage essence I love.
What else is on my mind today? Something troubling my friends who live in Schuylkill Township. They are facing quite the unsavory and dense development more suitable for urban living on a parcel of land that makes some refer to it as Groundhog Day – apparently it is a bad repeating nightmare for residents in a particular spot where they have bog turtles, rare bats, serpentine asters, bald eagles roosting and the DEP, US Fish and Game, have all been involved in the past. There are apparently steep slopes, egress and traffic issues. It feels like an uphill battle to these folks where the developer always wins. Who even cares about environmental and social degradation anymore is the last thing one friend said to me.
I know nothing except there is a public hearing TONIGHT.
I will fully admit that this whole create zoning to satisfy a particular developer or a slew of developers is problematic. One needs to look no farther than Lower Merion Township in the heart of the Main Line. When I tell you I spent years at meetings on similar development nightmares, I kid you not. They have these zoning overlays that were in essence designed for specific developers so they could build (one developer who is familiar to Chester County even referred to one overlay as “his zoning” and a meeting.) Another thing? When new developers appear on the scene, they then append the original zoning to satisfy even more developers.
“Planned Residential Developments” which are designed to afford flexibility to respond to growing demand for housing of all types and design. The proposed Planned Residential Development Ordinance will allow mixed residential uses on properties of at least 60 acres in Schuylkill Township.
The thing is this – I keep waiting for any of this zoning in any municipality to actually be about the residents with the best interest of the residents born in mind. I hate to sound jaded but it never is. These weird zoning things are for the lining of the township ratables pockets and the developers. The most bang for the buck on the profit margin side. If the zoning doesn’t fit the plans politicians want, they change the zoning. The flip side is when you try to get them to change the zoning to protect residents, environment, open space, you choose, it never seems “doable” does it? Or if they do regurgitate changes they are insufficient or weak enough that what people were trying to avoid happens anyway.
Zoning boards blame planning and commissioners/supervisors. Supervisors/Commissioners/Planning Commissions blame the Municipalities Planning Code
Yes, community planning is a passion. Where you live is a big deal. And I hate to sound like a Myna bird but once open space is gone, it’s gone. Once historic and older homes are gone, they are gone. You can’t save everything, but communities should plan better to save some things.
To empower cities of the second class A, and third class, boroughs, incorporated towns, townships of the first and second classes including those within a county of the second class and counties of the second through eighth classes, individually or jointly, to plan their development and to govern the same by zoning, subdivision and land development ordinances, planned residential development and other ordinances, by official maps, by the reservation of certain land for future public purpose and by the acquisition of such land; to promote the conservation of energy through the use of planning practices and to promote the effective utilization of renewable energy sources; providing for the establishment of planning commissions, planning departments, planning committees and zoning hearing boards, authorizing them to charge fees, make inspections and hold public hearings; providing for mediation; providing for transferable development rights; providing for appropriations, appeals to courts and penalties for violations; and repealing acts and parts of acts. (Title amended Dec. 14, 1992, P.L.815, No.131)
Note this covers Transferable Development Rights? That is what many residents in West Vincent are fighting as they also fight to keep their tiny, rural community from being overdeveloped.
You know, to control things like this from happening:
Having nothing to do with Chester County, I also have the Syria of it all on my busy brain. I guess I just have an Obamarifficproblem with a purportedly peace-loving president who pulls troops out of places like Iraq and Afghanistan to send them to Syria. So yes, I am thinking in this case a little isolationism might be good for the United States.
We can’t be everyone’s champion and big brother world-wide if we can’t fix issues on the home front. We have people starving and dying every day in the United States. We also have a crappy economy that could deal with a little love not a few more smoke screens to divert away the attention of the average American.
Anyway. That is it for the day. Love me or hate me, this is my blog. If you do not like what I am writing about, I will miss you, but will completely understand if you go find other blogs to read. But the reality of life is we can all have different opinions.
Well lo and behold, that has happened. No it isn’t Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue or that Turning for Home out of Parx Racing run by that Barbara Luna and why on earth would you think that feds might be interested in little old them anyway? They are angels are they not? Do you sense sarcasm? Good.
I am sick of horse rescue. I love horses. I rode many moons ago, and don’t ride now and have never owned horses. Some say that means I have no business saying boo about horse rescue, but I am sorry, horse rescue is the new puppy mill in Pennsylvania. It is not really regulated and those who are supposed to keep track of horse rescues like that LAPs (Large Animal Protection Society) just seem to be asleep at the tractor or something.
And yup, sorry I am allowed an opinion on this. And my opinion is there is a lot of money being made by different folks only it is hard to keep track of the horses, their paperwork, who is caring for them, who is responsible for them and all that.
Every time we turn around a new “rescue” pops up. Some of them are retreads and contacts of already suspect rescues and some are new. I love the ones that say they are a business but also a rescue. Call me confused but are they businesses selling horse or a non-profit rescue? It is all very confusing and we’ve been over it a dozen times at least.
I would say the issues with horse rescues in Pennyslvania are legitimate given all the comments. And to those who leave comments with problems with horse rescues please go to the authorities. If the authorities won’t listen you need to stand up somewhere under your own steam as many others are doing and be counted. I do not know what else to say.
Published: Apr 30 2013 11:51:14 AM EDT Updated On: May 01 2013 04:40:48 PM EDT
NORTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. –
Federal investigators raided a horse rescue operation in Berks County on Tuesday.
The FBI, acting on a federal search warrant, conducted the raid at Another Chance 4 Horses on Station Road in North Heidelberg Township.
Agents seized computers, cell phones, financial records, veterinary records and boxes of other items and documents related to the nonprofit operation and its sale and purchase of horses, according to an inventory list compiled by the agents.
Onto Justice for Argus and Fiona. The trial of Gabe Pilotti is coming up unless it does a dance, and here is an update from Mary Bock:
Talked to the D.A.’s office today, it’s been we’ll over 2 months since Mr. Pilotti shot Argus and Fiona and he still has the shot gun in his possession. As each court date comes and goes I am starting to lose faith in our justice system. How can this be that Tom Hogan was so passionate in his press conference announcing the charges they were going to file against Mr. Pilotti and now the D.A.’s office cant even seem to have the shot gun removed from his possession. I’ve been given excuse after excuse as to why they are not in the drivers seat. It is completely discouraging! Our justice system at its finest. I’ve been quiet, I’ve held back but now my patience is no more and I feel like my family and all of the people who have supported us have been taken advantage of and made to look like fools. 🙁 We have new dogs that we love very much, but we haven’t forgotten our old loves who were brutally shot by a sick man who then bragged about his conquest. Hoping and praying that our justice system will do what it is meant to do.
Of course there is reported drama over who actually “quit” and who was “fired” and are you surprised? What is it they say about truth being optional for these people?
So what the what? And if Barbara Luna and Turning for Home are moving horses does that mean all these people worried about all these horses for all this time were right? And if Barbara Luna is moving horse around like pawns on a chessboard so they finally have their paperwork together? And what does Barbara Luna and Turning for Home have to say about all of this? After all Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue never magically just clapped their hands and twitched their nose for horses to appear, right? So what does Barbara Luna have to say for herself? Does she track all the stipend money doled out along with the horses?
And where is LAPs on this? You know the mythical Large Animal Protection Society? Do they have a handle YET on horse rescue in Chester County or are they pretending that probelms with horse rescues in Chester County isn’t really like problems with puppy mills in Lancaster County?
And speaking of LAPS, can someone please explain to me this brand new horse rescue over in Oxford that popped up on Facebook and loves everyone but doesn’t take donations? What rescue doesn’t need donations? For real? Are they on some unknown DuPont estate with a giant endowment running them or are they over maybe on the fan heiress’s farm?
And here I thought Triple D was only Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.
This of course begs the question once more of how many horse rescues exist in Chester County and how are they regulated? I ask because my horse friends tell me one sick horse coming into a barn can put the entire barn at risk. Other animal rescues are regulated so how exactly do horse rescues get regulated?
Finally, someone sent me this photo. They described it as “horse training” at a horse rescue? So are these kids even old enough to drive or vote that are handling this horse? Looks dangerous, but what do I know, right?
Horse rescue remains a great mystery of life to me. I just wish anyone seemed to know what the rules and regulations were, right?
3.20.2013 MISSING PONY FOUND – This is up on Netposse.com: (they posted this on their Facebook page )
I am very happy the innocent pony has been found….in Port Jervis, NY which I learned is on the Delaware River in Orange County, NY – which looks pretty- it is apparently where NY, NJ, and PA meet.
I am however finding myself conflicted on this whole thing. The netposse report indicates the pony was missing for a month. So how do you not know where one of your animals is for a month unless you are on some ginormous ranch in Montana?
Who is the barn owner who sold a horse without paperwork? Is that even legal? And who is this family who was leasing the pony? How do you just up and ditch a pony you are basically renting? And if you were leasing a pony or horse that was beloved to your children would you want it some place close to you or farther away?
Again, I don’t own horses, so I don’t know. However can it be said that Ms. JB should have take away from this? Can she understand now why people who adopt horses from her rescue get frustrated? Worried? Upset?
I noticed that there was a cash reward offered for safe return of the pony? Maybe she can pay back some of what she owes to these other people out there who are upset with her rescue “business”?
And for the record, I truly want to believe all of this played out as Ms. JB said because can you say it would just be too awful to contemplate anything else because children are involved as well as an innocent pony?
Seriously St. Francis must be looking out here. After all, that report above indicates the pony went missing a month and two days ago. Truly, it is a miracle.
So we all understand – this stuff is posted in a multitude of places with multiple photos publicly. I am showing cropped screen shots because I do not want to post clear photos of someone’s kids even to help them find a lost pony without their permission. Especially given who this pony went missing from, capice?
Today this missing pony is posted everywhere and the chatter is the pony was being “free” leased (no clue what that is) somewhere. Anyway, so there was some sort of lease arrangement and then supposedly the people leasing her did not pay barn fees or something? And then the barn owner sold the pony?
So wait, stop. How can someone just sell a pony without paperwork? Aren’t little ponies supposed to have those coggins things too? Now the barn owner who sold the pony and the leasing family are not named anywhere, and well wouldn’t you consider naming names to get your pet back? If this is all true, don’t they have accountability?
Anyway, I am going to be the bigger person and the SOLE reason I am posting this is somewhere out there is a very upset little girl, and for the sake of the poor pony. This is what was posted with the photo on Camelot Horse Weekly:
This is Toodles, She is a small 12.2h pony that was being leased in PA, the owner just found out she was sold wihtout her knowing and is desperately searching to find the beloved pony, please keep an eye out for toodles. More Pictures can be seen at Jessica Troxell Basciano facebook page and you can also contact her with ANY information.
Toodles Last seen in Kennett Square breech of contract sold. At New Holland and then sold by Don Martin at New Holland outside. If you have seen this pony or if she is in your barn Please contact Jessica. She is offering a reward for her safe return.
The idea of any creature being sold anywhere near New Holland makes my blood run cold.
I do however have to say one thing and that is how do you not know where your animals are? Nevertheless, if you have seen this pony, the pony should go home to that child, right? Two innocents should not get caught up in some funky snarl, right?
But since the woman who is missing this pony runs a horse rescue where people have been upset on how animals changed hands,are occasionally missing paper work like health records and coggins, shouldn’t she maybe be more understanding of people and their needs with regards to horses? As in not only keeping the horses the way they deserve to be kept but keeping good and accurate records too?
So I am going to ask all of you something: in spite of whose pony this is, if you have seen it, contact her. Do the right thing for the sake of a child and an innocent animal.
I will say however the timing of this is rather cute. And that is opinion, and opinion is a God-given right.
I will also say this: something needs to give on how horses and ponies change hands at New Holland.
UPDATE: This like all the other things of a horse nature is swirling around and around. Some of the pony photos have been shared widely on FB which means people are seeing comments about it. This was sent to me. I will say I am trying not to judge and I feel sorry for the little girl who now has no pony and I truly hope the pony is o.k. and safe. I hope that pony finds it’s way home.
So way back in late October and early November when a friend saw these kooky Craig’s List ads and then I started looking on my own and asking questions about horserescue, I have said it before, but it is the truth: I had no clue the craziness that would ensue.
Day after day, week after week things just swirled about Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue in Glenmoore (Oxford too?) and Parx Racing’s Turning for home. I did not seek it out. I even got comments from people as far away as Oklahoma. On and on, and drama swirled. Facebook kamikaze to odd things happening at people’s homes. (Unless you think the state police showing up in full Ninja turtle gear is normal for Chester County mornings?). People getting followed, people feeling generally bothered, and lots of finger-pointing, and how nutty was all of it? Even I received comments and such that could be interpreted as threatening or menacing, and wow, what did I do? Ask questions? Care about animals in rescue?
When would it stop?
No one seemed to know. And all it was to begin with was worry over horses entering rescue and how they were being cared for and where was LAPs in all of this?
Now from my perspective can it be said that Barbara Luna who is with Parx Racing’s non-profit Turning for Home among others has a lot of questions she should be answering versus dodging? After all isn’t it Barbara Luna who helps shift these racehorses who have outlived their track usefulness off the track around here and into local rescue? Still to this day, where is this woman’s accountability? How did these horses end up across state lines without proper paperwork in some cases? And did some end up in that awful New Holland place in line to become god knows what?
Anyway, last week it was noticed that Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue of Fairview Road in Glenmoore (and elsewhere?) was offline. As in the Facebook page and website suddenly went dark. It had be active in both cases as of March 11, because they were advertising a yard sale to raise money for the rescue sometime this month, so why? Why is the only thing left (probably until this post gets published) a tumblr page? Are they closing their doors or merging with another horse rescue? If either occurs, what happens to the horses in this rescue? And where are they?
So many unanswered questions. But today, I have been asked by someone who says they were duped by Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue to publish something. It is her story. She wants to go public because she is tired of being painted as a villain in a multi-act play.
Her name is Carol. Below is what she wrote verbatim. She owns her words and takes responsibility for them. If Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue is indeed done, then perhaps Barbara Luna of Turning for Home can address this? Even apologize?
Here is the text (there are photos and other things the author embedded in the document above):
In Jan of 1999 God blessed our family with a beautiful baby girl. Her birthmother loved her so much she actually came to our home with a weapon and ripped her from my arms.
My baby was lost to me for 3 months before authorities were able to bring her home. She came home very lethargic. I had my baby back but, she didn’t laugh, she didn’t coo, she didn’t even cry all that much. She simply laid there, a human baby with no light in her eyes. It was like holding a doll.
Doctors said she’d outgrow it…experts said that severely neglected infants become very withdrawn but love would heal that. I couldn’t just sit by and hope. I quit my job and devoted every minute of my life to bringing her back. She never left my sight during those first nine months. We bonded and slowly I began to see a spark in her eyes.
At 4, we learned she was on the autism spectrum. I watched my child struggle to fit in, to make friends, to be good at something/anything for years. The pain was incredible. Then in 2010 at the age of 11 she discovered horses and her whole world changed. She started taking lessons, she learned to ride and she found her voice. Finally she had friends, she was good at something and she liked her world. For months she saved every penny of her allowance, her birthday money and Christmas money. Her goal was to own a horse of her own.
Day after day she spent hours on dream horse trying to find a horse she could afford until the day she saw an ad placed by Jessica Troxell Basciano. Of course we took her to see the horse. Of course we let her buy him. What parent could say no to a child’s dream?
Never did we think anyone, much less a mother, would take advantage of a handicapped child but that is exactly what Jessica Troxell Basciano did. She said the horse was perfect for my daughter. She said the horse was sound and well trained. Jessica Troxell Basciano stood next to me, watched the tears rolling down my face as my only child lived out her dream on the back of that horse…and she lied.
Instead of a sound, well trained, suitable for a child, horse Jessica Troxell Basciano sold my baby a horse that had only been off the track for three weeks, had been recently gelded and had severe stifle issues.
We returned the horse to Jessica Troxell Basciano within 24 hours of purchase. Two years later we are still fighting to have my daughter’s money returned to her.
This is “Moose’. In the background is my car and the tent we slept in next to Moose because my child refused to leave him that night. Below is Jessica’s response. We did not leave the horse alone at all actually. He never fell during the night and he didn’t have a soft tissue injury anywhere on his body. He was not injured while we had him.
As for the vet bill:
My husband is a well respected, highly intelligent engineer. To suggest he would offer to pay anything more to her is just insulting.
What vet charges $300 to come look at a horse? No x-rays were taken. The vet came at 3:00 pm and Jessica started texting me to say the horse was perfectly fine at 3:05.
She claims to have a bill and a letter. We have yet to see anything of the sort.
Jessica Troxell Basciano “re-homed’ ‘Moose’ to a young woman named Jenn Messner. Jenn is one of many young women who work for Jessica in exchange for free horses. Below is Jenn’s response:
Please note that she says she wouldn’t have put my child on that horse but Jessica did. Also note she says he has stifle issues.
All I want is my daughters money back and for Jessica Troxell Basciano not to be able to do this to any other family. Yes, it IS about the horses but sometimes it’s also about the people who love them.
Well people are still talking about those horse rescues….and sources say that Barbara Luna from Turning for Home is not happy that people keep asking her questions but gosh good golly, she doles out the horses to rescues with stipends and stuff so shouldn’t she know? Shouldn’t she be accountable? How is it she always plays possum?
Anyway the Facebook page of that Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue is mysteriously down but their website and idiotic tumblr pages are still viable. You can also find them on some site called “Dream Horse” that I don’t follow.
If you go looking for bargains (or missing coggins, halters, medical records, stray horse, etc.) remember to ask if they are a non-profit or some kind of incorporation or LLC – they say all proceeds will go towards the rescue….just want to get it right, right?
And if people feel they have no other recourse they can always see what PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane has to say about horse rescues and non-profits. Commonwealth of PA 717-787-3391, (Consumer protection) 800-441-2555, (717) 783-2853 (Charitable organizations complaint)
And be aware that the owner of the rescue having the yard sale has these judgments and stuff filed against her in Chester County Court that has to do with the rescue she is having the yard sale for:
Lest we forget out here in Chester County, it is not just dogs that need the kindness and caring of the public, horses do too.
So I am circling back to the topic of horse rescue. Briefly. It is my hope since the media that is interested in horse rescue irregularities now knows how to find their way to Chester County, they will check out what is up with horse rescue. Especially since so many come literally off a track in Pennsylvania.
See this horse photo posted? His name I am told is Wildcat. He has a story posted with his photo. I found it all on Facebook yesterday, and it is quite recent. I will share that too:
Yes it is fugly out there when it comes to horse rescue, and I wish that just one iota of the media attention shown to other types of animals, animal cruelty, and animal rescue would show here. Wildcat ended up with a happy ending of sorts because he ended up thousands of miles away on a farm of a caring woman from Oklahoma….who is still waiting apparently for either Turning for Home through Parx or Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue to pony up the horse’s paperwork and medical records. I can’t make this stuff up, just look for yourselves:
Horses are expensive and when they change hands they have all these things that are supposed to go with them. I am too tired to go into all of it again, but can we leave it as horse rescue seems to me to be a somewhat dirty business? And can we also say around here that these race horses that come off the track via a woman named Barbara Luna and Turning for Home and in turn go to a rescue that isn’t even a non-profit called Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue at 261 Fairview Road in Glenmoore are long overdue with some explaining on Wildcat and other horses placed into rescue? Are there still horses related to this rescue at a place called Lasko Farm in Oxford? After all how else do you explain why some horse lovers/owners are still so upset in Chester County? That photo of Wildcat above is on Facebook in a couple of different places – in once place it cause enough uproar for over 80 comments . These PA “rescues” are even being discussed by a pretty big deal nationally known horse rescue person, and I would not say it is all positive and love, is it?
The dogs in our world have a lot of good people to look after them and fight for them. Horses, not so much. Around these parts they are supposed to have LAPs, but does that do any good? No one can ever seem to answer that question for me.
My final comment this morning is for the dogs. The outpouring of love and support for the Bock family over the loss of their beloved dogs Argus & Fiona is so truly amazing and wonderful…some of the more negative behavior I have heard about associated with this? Not so much. I really don’t dig the idea of strangers taking the nosy pleasure ride through Chester Springs to see “where it happened” or the comments I have seen threatening innocent animals or when I heard about the freak of a woman who stood in the road with a bull horn screaming.
I find this morning’s article in The Daily Local interesting. Especially since West Vincent officials pretty much hid from the media and public for days on this. Are they utterly innocent in this? Only time will tell. Seems to me they were advised to get on the publicity bandwagon. People don’t generally think warm fuzzie bunnies and chickens when it comes to these supervisors do they? I do applaud the Chief of Police for stating flat-out that they freaky vigilante justice has to stop. No civilized person condones that kind of behavior so good for them.
But there is something fugly and funky going on about this website because for a few minutes it came up and then it went down.
So the reason I was sent this post was so I could see the apparent systemic problems with horse rescue within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Can we say it isn’t just Jessica Basciano, Barbara Luna, Turning for Home and Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue that people need to have their eyes open with?
This manure pile that is horse rescue seems to have a lot of whinnying going on, yet the more I read about it, the more I wonder why PA’s Attorney General isn’t looking at inconsistencies and oddities in all of this from the end of those who are registered in PA as charities to criminal investigations having to do with animal rescues? From how the horses leave the track and where they go to how the horse rescues run and if they meet to burden for animal protection and welfare let alone how these businesses and non-profits run doesn’t it just seem the questions are layered with questions?
And let me be clear, I am not just speaking about the two rescues blogged about up here before, but the entire business of horse rescue in Pennsylvania. I heard a tale yesterday of a situation going on at another Chester County barn that seems just nutty. I don’t own horses, never have, never will. But am I wrong in saying that it seems the only consistency about horse rescue in Pennsylvania are the many inconsistencies? Is it just me who seems to feel that if there are hard and fast rules, there seems to be a lot of gray area for interpretation?
And lets talk about the group that is supposed to be helping being the eyes and ears of right, ok? LAPS or Large Animal Protection Society? I have been told repeatedly by those in animal rescue in general that these folks have badges or something? That they can go in and do surprise inspections and if need be, remove animals? But is their judgement clouded because of personal relationships their ranks may or may not have with persons in the groups they are supposed to keep an eye on? (And before someone in LAPs gets in a lather, sorry but it is not beyond the realm of reasonable to ask questions is it?) And what of all the people worried about horses in Chester County who have a hard time with LAPs personnel? Are they all bad people out to bad mouth LAPs or are they merely good people who keep going back to the well that is LAPs hoping they will actually do their job?
LAPs has on their own website:
LAPS Can Assist Other Humane Agencies
In addition to investigating reports of cruelty to large animals, prosecution offenders, and rehabilitating and placing animals in new homes, LAPS is always ready and willing to provide information and support to other agencies both within and out-of-state. We have provided people in other counties with the means and knowledge to encourage their local law enforcement officials to step in when the local humane societies do not, and have many times supported the State Police in their investigations in areas where the humane agencies do not provide service.
Also, we are glad to help anyone wishing to organize a humane society in an area not currently serviced by one. We have “been there, done that” and are more than willing to share the information you will need to get started. Our knowledge of the way the system works has been hard-won over the years since 1988 we have been in existence. If you need help, just call!
I will note that I went to www.GuideStar.org and pulled the most recent 990s I could find on Turning for Home, LAPs, and Another Chance for Horses. I am posting them as they are public record and they are registered non-profits. There are no 990s to be posted on Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue because has anyone ever been able to actually find a business registered, a non-profit registered, or is it just a fictitious name registration? Maybe that is why the judgement I found based on that recent court date is lodged against Ms. B? (See the links below, you can check the documents out yourself.)
Every time I say I am done with this cautionary tale the more that crops up. Water seeks its own level, mold spreads, choose your analogy I have but one final question and that is when did it stop being about what is right for the horses?
I think a non-profit rescue called the “Foxie G Foundation” took in some of these poor beasts and apparently same person as involved in that case last year in Adam’s County a guy named James Houseman. It is like hop scotch with horses. )
By Sari Heidenreich – email (PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) -Twenty four horses, including four who are pregnant, were seized from a Dauphin County farm by the Humane Society of Harrisburg last week….Earlier this month, Kaunas said this is the first type of horse hoarding case she has seen.)