the worm turns in horse rescue?

DSC_0004Is it true what they are saying on the Thoroughbred Breeders/Owners/Trainers Hall of Shame Facebook Page?

Has there been a cat fight over horses and has Barbara Luna from Turning for Home really removed all the rescued race horses she doled out to  Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue? This all started on this page yesterday when people noted  horses were on the move.

Then I saw this earlier this morning:

truth

tfh

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?

trip d

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?

trip d1

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 training

Horse rescue remains a great mystery of life to me.  I just wish anyone seemed to know what the rules and regulations were, right?

apparently it is “fugly” out there with horse rescue?

Someone sent me the link to a site called “FuglyBlog” and more specifically a link:

http://fuglyblog.com/2010/09/26/another-chance-to-avoid-actually-working/

But there is something fugly and funky going on about this website because for a fewdragrope from fugly blog 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?noassfqhamare from the fugly blog

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!

Pennsylvania’s law governing animal cruelty, Statute 5511.

Pennsylvania’s law governing disposal of dead animals

Pennsylvania’s law governing the marketing of animals.

So LAPs if all this kerfuffle and conundrum concerning horse rescue has you down, can’t you all turn to other rescue groups for assistance?  Like the Humane Society and the ASPCA?

Anyway, back to what prompted this post – this Fugly Blog.  I pulled the cache on this one post (it is a couple of years old).  I turned the cache into a PDF that I found a fascinating and illuminating read.  (see upload of Fugly Blog cache ) It is about yet another horse rescue, Another Chance 4 Horses.

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?

Links:

Fugly Blog cache

judgement entered

turning for home PA 2011 990

LAPS PA 990 2011

Another Chance for Horse 2010 990

CBS Baltimore: Animal Rights Groups Angry After Sick Horses Found On Frederick Co. Farm (“A Pennsylvania man faces animal cruelty charges for the death of one of his horses in Frederick County.”

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. )

ABC27.com: 24 sickly horses seized from Dauphin Co. farm Posted:
Jan 14, 2013 3:47 PM EST
Monday, January 14, 2013 3:47 PM ESTUpdated: Jan 14, 2013 4:39 PM ESTonday, January 14, 2013 4:39 PM EST

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.)

And from the LAPs website, “A Horse’s Prayer”:

Feed me, water and care for me,

and when the day’s work is done,

provide me with a shelter,

a clean dry stall large enough

for me to lie down in comfort.

Talk to me, your voice often means

as much to me as the reins.

Pet me sometime that I may serve you

more gladly and learn to love you.

Shoe me properly that I may serve you in comfort.

Never strike, beat, or kick me when I don’t understand what

you want, but give me a chance to understand you.

And finally oh master,

when my youthful strength is gone,

do not turn me out to starve or freeze,

or sell me to some cruel owner

to be slowly tortured or stoned to death,

but do thou, my master,

take my life in the kindest way, and

your God will reward you here and hereafter.

You will not consider me irreverent if I ask this

in the name of Him who was born in a stable…

Amen

giddy up y’all

8354078628_a14b5dec48_bSigh….do people really think that what they write on the Internet is private?  And when they yickety yack no one will dish on them?

And I so love (yes love) when I am referred to by those who just ummm…doth protesteth too much.

Here’s the 411: I did not go looking for irregularities in horse rescue.  I am not rescuing a horse, have never rescued a horse, no longer ride. This all started because of strange postings on Craig’s List.  Not really knowing many in the horse community, I had no idea how this issue would literally explode.  I still have no clue who put up those Craig’s List postings.  But whomever they are, they exposed a seedy underbelly.

All these people rolled up and started commenting.  Apparently this is a HUGE issue in the racing and horse community.  Once Pandora’s stall was opened more stuff was found on the internet and more and more people left comments.

This is not an advertised blog.  Yet here are all these people caring about the same thing.

So it ends up this horse hurricane is centered around a non-profit called Turning For Home and as I understand it a woman who helps dole out these horses leaving the professional life named Barbara Luna?  As I have come to understand it based upon the MANY MANY comments of others left on these posts she works with horse rescues?  The one that piqued my curiosity, was the one that kept cropping up as a topic on those Craig’s List ads was Off The Track Rescue run by a woman named Jessica Basciano .  Until the Craig’s List ads I had never heard about ANY of this.

OTTBOff The Track Rescue unless someone can tell me differently does not appear to be a non-profit or even a formerly formed business, does it? Can anyone find anything other than a fictitious name registration?  Note, that is nothing illegal, but most rescues I know of are non profits so they can accept donations for which people get a tax write off and so they can apply for grants.  Because why? Rescue is EXPENSIVE.   Comments on these posts from people involved with this Jessica and from Jessica herself seem to indicate that the Barbara Luna seems to give like an allowance per horse she places with them?  Is that enough money and quite honestly without a non-profit status or falling under the umbrella of another non-profit isn’t that a taxable nightmare?

Anyway, the fur has been flying since I first mentioned funky Craig’s List ads.   Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.  Some of the comments left by those PRO-rescue can indeed be interpreted as harassing or threatening and the tales of what 8354078868_5d2d47b3dc_bhappens when the horse sets complain about this rescue is a little odd isn’t it?

And also odd the Where’s Waldo of it all as far as locations of this rescue.  They say Glenmoore, but then there are also references to Phoenixville and Oxford and then lots of refuting a couple of the locations like they don’t exist but people see these rescue horses in these fields so what is up with that?

And then there is the chatter between some of this crew on Facebook after they read things here and comment.  And they do things LOL like refer to “that blogger” and “everyone who thinks they are a writer”.  (Oh honies, silly youse gals, I am a writer)

Yes, if I perceive something as a threat, harassment, or anything else I will indeed publish the name, e-mail addy and I.P. address publicly.  Duh. It’s my blog and maybe in the further reaches of Chester County bullying and harassment is ok, but not where I live.  And I want it to be clear who is saying what.  This is all something very ordinary, and if they were talking to a reporter in traditional media do they seriously think they would all be unnamed sources? And who the heck is making them verbally regurgitate all over the Internet?

I said it before, will repeat it again:  if everyone is on the up and up and all these horses have a proper paper trail in and OUT of state – if they all have tattoos that match those coggins things (never knew what that was until this started), if all the prospective homes for these horses have been properly vetted like they do for other animal rescues, if ALL the vet records are made available for prospective families and those who have already adopted horses, why fuss?  If it is all on the up and up, no worries necessary, right?

But is all the right stuff happening or just more questions and layers and layers of innuendo and comments I sure as hell didn’t seek out? And there are so many questions now that yes, the traditional media is looking at all of this as I understand it.  Apparently what happens to horse once they leave race tracks is somewhat of a hot button topic across the country, isn’t it?

Also at issue here for me is what this group called LAPS actually does. After all if they actually did their job would there be so many darn comments on horse rescue???? And what about this Barbara Luna and Turning for Home?? Of all people, she can explain what the heck is going on.  She can definitively state what horse went where, what monies went with, what records went with and one would also think she would know the ultimate destination of these large, expensive animals, right?

Lurking media?  Please cover this and settle this issue once and for all.  I am tired of much ado about horse rescue. And yes, if I think of something as being menacing, threatening, or harassing, I will post a comment in its entirety including e-mail and IP addresses.   Truthfully I can do that with ANY comment.

(To avoid any belly aching about the screen shots from Facebook, if you don’t have your privacy settings on and the little globe is showing, it means you are showing these posts to the world. )

If nothing bad is happening, then the record will be corrected, but posturing is not proof is it? So when this gets back to being about the horses, let me know ok?

At the end of the day people, I did not originate this topic.  It was out there with plenty of stuff publicly available. But hey, I am just a ninny, right? So what do I know?
I see this as a made for Lifetime TV Moment of Truth Movie some day there is so much yackety yak…..

wading into a potential manure pile

not snapped to anyone’s lead line

groundhog day came early…

horsegate…oh, the drama!

the funny thing about asking questions about  horse rescue…

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.

wading into a potential manure pile

So what happens when horses outlive their usefulness?

These videos (top and bottom of post) are disturbing.  What I find even more disturbing are the whispers running around Chester County about a thoroughbred horse rescue.

First there are the notices posted on Craigslist.  There are two current posts on Philadelphia Craigslist, one on Lancaster Craigslist   and I was able to pull up others. They are anonymous which leads me to believe they are from inside the horse community out here and are afraid of retaliation.   I have the hyperlinks of the postings embedded above (in blue) and here is the text of both:

Then there are a couple of posts on a website called The Chronicle of the Horse (again I am providing the hyperlinks and below the text):

So these people are talking about a horse rescue I actually saw and checked out on Facebook because I thought they did good stuff. TB Rescue or Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue on Fairview Road in Glenmoore.

Now I know horse folks I know will probably be upset that I am asking questions about this, but if people are taking the time to post these things what does that mean exactly? And I believe in animal rescue so I am sure if this is a big misunderstanding this TB Rescue will pop up and leave a comment explaining the situation, right?

However,  If it is a case of where there is smoke there is fire, and there is something to this, I expect they or someone associated with them will threaten me?

Disclaimer: This photo has ABSOLUTELY NO significance. Just a photo of a field. Don’t even remember where it was taken, or if it was PA

But at the end of the day am I accusing and naming names or am I simply asking what the heck is going on? And I assume in this country we are allowed to ask questions? Is this a non-profit? Is it listed on the state non-profit/charities database?

People I know are raising eyebrows about these people so is that right or wrong?  Isn’t there like a big animal SPCA to take care of this? Large Animal Protection or LAPS? Can they help horses or are they like the equivalent of mall cops? And the horses for this rescue come from where? Philly Parx?  What do they have to say? What about their horse rescue and track foundation thing called Turning for Home or whatever?

So here’s hoping this horse rescue steps up and addresses this stuff, right? And I will note to anyone involved with  them that I have no idea who is posting on Craigslist around here, in Lancaster and elsewhere, but obviously whoever they are want answers too, right?  I also have no idea who is posting on the bulletin board I screen shotted.

Maybe the Humane Society has some answers? The Chester County SPCA?  Anyone?

Horses are magnificent and regal creatures.  They are also unbelievably expensive to care for.   I would be interested in answers to my questions.  I just don’t see someone posting all this stuff on Craigslist for fun, do you?

I have no idea what I am wading into here.  But (again) someone needs to provide some answers as none of what I know and even more what I don’t know doesn’t sit right with me if that makes any sense?  I mean with rescues of other (smaller) domestic animals when it comes to rescues there are as many issues as people who have an opinion. But animal rescue large or small is too important not to get some answers, right?

Remember the article last year about horse abuse in Adams County, PA? They talk about After The Races in Glenmoore? Is that the same as Off the Track Throughbread Rescue because when you click on the hyperlink in the Inquirer article that says “Glenmoore” it links back to Off the Track TB rescue and is it just me or is that confusing? Anyway, that article was horrid about what it descirbed – enough to make you ill.

After The Races is on the Equestrian Life Professional Directory:

The address appears to be identical to Off the Track TB Rescue, huh?

Why the name change I wonder?  (All this horse stuff is very confusing to me and I bet it is confusing to the REAL rescue  After the Races which is NOT part of this post or possible issue.)

Because I do not want to do a disservice with my questions, please read this from the REAL “After the Races” which again, isn’t part of this, and is actually pending a non-profit status (something I can’t find on the other people):

So you know why I posted the above disclaimer from the group above, well it is simple.  As a breast cancer survivor of under two years one of the FIRST things I learned was about fake cancer charities.  You would not believe the people that want to take your hard earned money and/or take advantage of people.  Not saying any of that is happening here, but I thought it was fair to make the distinction and you all get that, right?