heightened awareness

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This post has nothing to do with Chester County, per se.  It is just one of those things that makes me think. It made me think of a girl who once lived in Bryn Mawr. A girl who was raped and murdered in her dorm room at prestigious Lehigh University in 1986.  Jeanne Clery.

At the time, it shocked everyone who heard about this even if you had never met the girl. She was the same age give or take a year as my own sister who attended another not so far away prestigious Pennsylvania college. This girl was also but a few years younger than I was and was from the same area I grew up in: the Main Line. You just don’t think about nice Main Line girls from Main Line prep schools going away to college and getting raped and murdered do you? Especially at schools like Lehigh, right?

The story of Jeanne Clery galvanized the greater Philadelphia area and the country.  Eventually, on July 22, 1988, the murderer of Jeanne Clery was sentenced to death after being convicted of her murder.

In the years which have followed, Jeanne Clery’s parents Howard and Constance Clery have devoted their lives to campus safety. As People Magazine wrote at the time:

During the trial, he and his wife learned about the lapses in security at Lehigh, and shortly after the verdict was announced, they filed a $25 million suit against the college for negligence. It was to be the first round in a campaign that would touch state legislatures, colleges and concerned parents across the country. The Clerys had lost a daughter, but the loss ignited a cause.

The suit was settled out of court (the family is prohibited from disclosing the amount), but the Clerys were not ready to close the book. They used the cash, as well as their own money, to launch Security on Campus, Inc., a nonprofit clearing house for information and advice. They began lobbying state lawmakers for statutes requiring colleges to publicize their crime statistics—not a detail generally found in cheery recruitment brochures—and in May 1988, Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey signed the first such bill mandating that all state colleges and universities publish three-year campus-crime reports. In addition, schools are required to have clear policies regarding alcohol and drug consumption on campus. Three more states have followed Pennsylvania’s lead, 21 others have statutes in the works, and the Clerys have already begun campaigning for a federal bill as well.

 

It is because of the perseverance of the Clery family that the Jeanne Clery Act came to be. As per The Clery Center for Security on Campus: 

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law, originally known as the Campus Security Act, that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. The law is tied to an institution’s participation in federal student financial aid programs and it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.

The law was amended in 1992 to add a requirement that schools afford the victims of campus sexual assault certain basic rights, and was amended again in 1998 to expand the reporting requirements. The 1998 amendments also formally named the law in memory of Jeanne Clery. Subsequent amendments in 2000 and 2008 added provisions dealing with registered sex offender notification and campus emergency response. The 2008 amendments also added a provision to protect crime victims, “whistleblowers”, and others from retaliation.

 

 

What made me think of Jeanne Clery and all her family has accomplished after all of these years? Two disturbing stories of sexual assault on college campuses.  One from May 2014 in Philadelphia Magazine about Swarthmore College and a recent front page story in The New York Times on Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Excerpts:

Rape Happens Here PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE

For 150 years, leafy, progressive Swarthmore College tried to resolve student conflicts in the best Quaker tradition — peacefully and constructively. Then came 91 complaints of sexual misconduct. In a single year.

BY SIMON VAN ZUYLEN-WOOD | APRIL 24, 2014

In the early 1980s, staff members in one of Swarthmore’s libraries began hanging reams of white computer paper in the bathroom stalls, which students would use to gossip about cute boys or gripe about homework. A few years ago, pieces of white paper of a different sort began appearing in campus bathrooms. They’re printed up by the administration and emblazoned with the words SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCES…

As the issue of campus assault gains national media traction, stories about incompetent or callous administrators have become bleakly — almost numbingly — familiar. ….The unrest that’s roiled the little U.S. News & World Report juggernaut 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia over the past year — including dozens of allegations of student-on-student sexual assault, two federal investigations, two student-filed federal lawsuits, and four (unprecedented) expulsions for sexual misconduct — nominally revolves around a campus rape problem and an administration accused of abetting it. But the conflict in fact runs deeper: Swarthmore’s 150-year-old Quaker-inspired governing philosophy has collided with the far less forgiving demands of contemporary campus life.

….ON APRIL 25, 2013, Swarthmore sophomores Hope Brinn and Mia Ferguson stood on Independence Mall in Philadelphia and told assembled media that the college had badly mishandled claims of sexual assault; in response, they were bringing a Title IX complaint to the federal government. This was just days after the duo filed a separate Clery Act complaint alleging that Swarthmore had systematically underreported such incidents. The complaints were part of a larger strategy — they later met with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred — in which Brinn, Ferguson and a couple dozen co-complainants aimed to use their personal stories to shame and ultimately reform their college.

Ferguson, from Brookline, Massachusetts, wrote an op-ed, “Raped and Betrayed,” for a student newspaper. Brinn, from Wilmington, Delaware, stood before the school’s board and told how she was sexually assaulted, stalked, and then met with “grave indifference” by the administration. Within a couple months, the Department of Education began investigating the school for Clery and Title IX violations. The controversy only increased when the New York Times ran a story in which Ferguson suggested that she had been denied a campus job in retaliation for her activism. By the end of the year, it seemed everyone was lobbing one accusation or another at Swarthmore. In 2012, 11 incidents of sexual assault were reported to the school’s public safety department. In 2013, that number — covering everything from harassment to rape — spiked to 91. (One-third of them concerned incidents from previous years.)….“Sally,” a 2012 graduate, said she was at a party in the fall of her freshman year when a fellow student cornered her, pushed her against a wall, and began to kiss her…Later that night, Sally awoke to find the same student had entered her room and climbed on top of her. She managed to push him off. When she told associate dean Myrt Westphal she wanted to pursue charges through the College Judiciary Committee (CJC), she says, Westphal asked her to say “harassment” rather than “assault,” and questioned whether she really wanted to “pit her two friends against each other.” Discouraged, Sally declined to pursue judiciary action. (Westphal, who retired last spring, declined to comment.)

Similar stories are legion. Jean Strout, a 2010 graduate now studying at Harvard Law School, says that after she was pinned to the ground by a naked, drunk rugby player, she spoke to a male administrator by phone, who told her it sounded like a “misunderstanding” and that she should ask the offender for an apology.

A recent graduate who now practices law in New York City says that when she told an administrator she had been raped, the administrator said, “You don’t sound as if you were raped,” and, noticing the cross hanging around her neck, asked if she wanted to see a priest…..However, after months of conversations she calls “frustrating” and “invalidating,” she ultimately declined to pursue it: “I was tired of fighting, and wanted to focus on healing.”

Another student, according to the Title IX complaint, was raped in her dorm room by a friend of a friend with alcohol on his breath. Before he left the room, he looked at her, smiled, and told her, “It’s your word against mine.” After she recounted the incident in a long email to a member of the administration, her complaint says, school officials never got in touch with her or did any investigation.

 

 

(in both publications, these are HUGE articles, click on the hyperlinks above each excerpt to read then in their entirety.)

 

The New York Times:

Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t
How One College Handled a Sexual Assault Complaint
By WALT BOGDANICHJULY 12, 2014

GENEVA, N.Y. — She was 18 years old, a freshman, and had been on campus for just two weeks when one Saturday night last September her friends grew worried because she had been drinking and suddenly disappeared.

Around midnight, the missing girl texted a friend, saying she was frightened by a student she had met that evening. “Idk what to do,” she wrote. “I’m scared.” When she did not answer a call, the friend began searching for her.

In the early-morning hours on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in central New York, the friend said, he found her — bent over a pool table as a football player appeared to be sexually assaulting her from behind in a darkened dance hall with six or seven people watching and laughing. Some had their cellphones out, apparently taking pictures, he said.

Later, records show, a sexual-assault nurse offered this preliminary assessment: blunt force trauma within the last 24 hours indicating “intercourse with either multiple partners, multiple times or that the intercourse was very forceful.”…It took the college just 12 days to investigate the rape report, hold a hearing and clear the football players. The football team went on to finish undefeated in its conference, while the woman was left, she said, to face the consequences — threats and harassment for accusing members of the most popular sports team on campus….

At a time of great emotional turmoil, students who say they were assaulted must make a choice: Seek help from their school, turn to the criminal justice system or simply remain silent. The great majority — including the student in this case — choose their school, because of the expectation of anonymity and the belief that administrators will offer the sort of support that the police will not.

Yet many students come to regret that decision, wishing they had never reported the assault in the first place.

 

For women to report sexual assault at any age is traumatizing.  Read articles about the topic and you learn the common denominator: victims are often victimized again through any judicial process. But what we are talking about here is on college and university campuses. Which in my mind is always geared first to protect the school and administration.

So as far as we have come in this country with things like the Clery Act and heightened awareness on the topic, it seems like many colleges and universities are still treating issues like this poorly if not sweeping them under the carpet? Remember the 2007 front page stories of the Villanova football players accused of raping a girl in her dorm room? Remember but a few days later the victim halted the rape case?

The Philadelphia Inquirer at the time reported on it and said in a July 27, 2007 article: 

A Villanova University student who told the school that she had been raped by three incoming freshman football players, who have since been kicked out of school, does not want to press charges, Radnor police said yesterday…..Villanova’s department of public safety does not have arrest powers, he said. Radnor police are working with the District Attorney’s Office to clarify Villanova’s obligation to report allegations of serious crimes, he said.

……For colleges, whose capital lies in their reputations, the only thing worse than a scandal is getting caught trying to hush one up.

At Eastern Michigan University, president John Fallon and two other senior officials were fired last week for covering up the rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman in her dorm room in December. The university denied knowledge of foul play for 10 weeks to protect the school’s image, according to a federal investigation.

Schools typically “keep as quiet as they can” about crime on campus, said Kathryn Reardon, senior lawyer at the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston, which provides legal aid to alleged sexual-assault victims.

Villanova’s handling of the matter “seems pretty speedy,” she said.

 

The Swarthmore College article by Philadelphia Magazine and the New York Times article on Hobart William Smith has ignited this topic once again.

In 1986 I was much younger and what happened to Jeanne Clery was seen from the scary perspective of that girl was my sister’s age and only a few years younger than me.  The recent Philadelphia Magazine article and New York Times article hits me as an adult who not only had friends that attended both of those schools but have friends who have kids of their own or nieces and nephews and even grand children at these schools today.

The Hobart and William Smith article in the New York Times was very hard for me to read. I remember going there back in the day to visit friends from high school and I remember how much my friends loved the school.  I remember how terrific I thought the school was and how pretty the campus was.  And now, decades later, these same friends, male and female are horrified by the New York Times article.

So is this a case of everything that is old is new again? Even as far as we have come with raising awareness on college campuses and laws on the books about how and what campuses must report and so on, are we still dealing in the murky waters of reality versus the veritable machines that are colleges and universities?  After all, negative little things like crime can really hurt the old ratings, rankings, grants, and donations right?

But as a newish parent person  now I have to ask, would you rather deal with a school that tells the truth and acknowledges issues or covers it up and makes everything seem all ivy walled and bucolic with Skip and Sissy walking down a brick lined path to class holding hands?

As someone who was a young adult when Jeanne Clery was murdered I think I would rather have the truth, please.  After all, for what parents fork over in tuition, don’t they deserve the truth? And our kids, don’t they deserve the truth and don’t you want them to feel and be safe, especially if they have to report something heinous like an assault?

Anyway, this made me think about this topic again, and I guess I just don’t get these schools.  I get they want to protect their hallowed halls but the truth shall set them free, right? It makes me wonder how honest schools around this country are with their Clery Act reporting.

Also worth reading? A great piece on the topic in Slate.

Excerpt:

Slate: New York Times Reports Another Campus Sexual Assault Horror Story. Now We Need the Data.
By Emily Bazelon

Can universities handle their role as independent investigators and adjudicators of sexual assault? You may conclude that the answer is no after you read Walt Bogdanich’s big story in the New York Times about the aftermath of an alleged assault at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. It’s called “Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t” because from the point of view of Anna, the student who says she was victimized, her school did almost everything wrong….What a disappointing, dismaying mess. And yet, I’m not ready to give up on the whole university adjudication system. People ask me all the time why universities have any responsibility for dealing with rape accusations in the first place. These are serious allegations. Shouldn’t they be in the hands of police, prosecutors, and judges? The answer is that there are supposed to be two parallel tracks. It’s not either/or. In passing and enforcing Title IX, the federal law that’s a shield against sex discrimination in an educational setting, Congress gave schools an independent obligation to investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t also be a police investigation.

 

Stories like Anna’s make the schools look at best bumbling and insensitive, and at worst like craven slaves to their own images and, too often, their athletic departments. I should also say that male students have complained of being falsely accused, railroaded by school judicial procedures, and unjustly expelled. Still, before we give up on colleges, Congress and the Department of Education, which oversees Title IX, should demand transparency. We hear horror stories about individual cases but we don’t have the data to know what’s happening across the board.

 

Then of course there is the rather predictable I-really-didn’t- beat-my-spouse response in the New York Times from Hobart and William Smith’s Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees:

Re “Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t” (front page, July 13):

The Hobart and William Smith Colleges community is heartbroken by our student’s experience, and we deeply regret the pain she has suffered. Her experience does not reflect the environment, values and traditions we have built and maintained for nearly two centuries at Hobart and William Smith. As an alumna, a proud mother of a daughter who graduated from HWS, and chairwoman of the board of trustees, I write with a heavy heart.

Like all colleges and universities, HWS is challenged to ensure that we are meeting the demands of a shifting legal landscape — especially in the area of sexual assault — as we also work to meet the needs of students while fostering a safer and more collegial learning environment.

We welcome the conversation about whether higher education should even have a role in adjudicating cases like this one. However, until federal law changes, we are required to carry out internal investigations and adjudicate cases based on the preponderance of evidence standard, as we did in this case.

 

….MAUREEN COLLINS ZUPAN
Chairwoman, Board of Trustees
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, N.Y., July 15, 2014

There are more letters underneath that one, but that was enough to share. I hate to say it but it seems that Maureen Collins Zupan has more empathy for a Somalian refugee that was cleaning her office ladies room in September 2011, than she does for women on the college campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges?

She wrote about that Somalian woman:

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 12.54.08 PM (2).png

 

In all fairness I wouldn’t want to be president of the board of trustees of this school right now for all the tea in China, and perhaps her response was in part crafted by the college’s spin doctors and image consultants?  It’s not as if all she was saying is wrong, to me it was kind of sort of HOW she said it. She calls herself a feminist, mother, daughter, and so on.  I have never met a true feminist yet who would sit still for something like this do you?

Also worth reading? A June 10th essay in The Atlantic.

All She Said Was No
A dangerous misunderstanding of sexual assault
JAMES HAMBLINJUN 10 2014, 1:35 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will wrote in The Washington Post on Sunday that being sexually assaulted has become “a coveted status that confers privileges” such that “victims proliferate.” His remarks hit at the core of the misunderstanding and denial that condone sexual assault in its most common form:

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. “sexual assault.” Herewith, a Philadelphia magazine report about Swarthmore College, where in 2013 a student “was in her room with a guy with whom she’d been hooking up for three months”…Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped.Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol, and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.

That Swarthmore vignette is sexual assault—not “sexual assault.” Most sexual assault is perpetrated by an acquaintance, not a masked man in the bushes with a knife, and its definition hinges not on physical force but absence of consent. This is a quintessential example of the shape sexual assault takes when it goes unreported and unpunished. Apart from editorial missteps like using skeptical quotes around sexual assault, and accusing an entire generation of faux sophistication while using “herewith” in a thoughtless take on a critical public-health issue, citing the Philadelphia rape story is fraught in that its resonating importance comes in the paragraphs just after Will stops quoting it.

….According to a report today from the U.S. Department of Education, the number of sexual assaults reported on college campuses increased by 50 percent between 2001 and 2011—from 2,200 to 3,300 cases. That’s actually more heartening than disconcerting, in that it’s unlikely that sexual assault increased by that much; rather, more victims are coming forward. They come forward when they don’t feel they’ll be blamed for being raped, dismissed as drunken sluts, and when there are appropriate outlets for reporting and justice. But it’s still underreported and underpunished, thus condoned.

 

 

James Hamblin makes a whole lot of sense.  The US Department of Education and US Department of Justice report can be found by clicking on this link here.

We can’t and shouldn’t helicopter parent  and can’t wrap them away from the world in cotton wool, but kids should not only learn quite clearly that no isn’t necessarily a negotiation and should mean NO, but they should be as safe as humanly possibly on college campuses.

Remember Jeanne Clery.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

but wait….there’s more happy horse scheisse

UPDATE 1.28.13  Wowza!  SOMEBODY DOESN’T LIKE BARBARA LUNA TODAY

deb jones

turning for home xraySigh….when it rains it pours.  I have received another horse comment that deserves it’s own post….again it is about a certain local-ish horse rescue: Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue and I guess also about that elusive Barbara Luna from Turning for Home which feeds horses coming off the track and into Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue and Jessica Troxell Basciano’s care, and are we surprised?

As is the case with the more ad naseum post of earlier I did not solicit what I am about to post, it did not originate with me.  I don’t rescue horses, don’t own horses, don’t currently ride. If the rescue la la types have a hissy fit over this comment, they also sold this person a horse so they also know where to find them.  I do not.

The heat is on in horse rescue in Chester County I would say, wouldn’t you?

Here is the comment. The X-Rays are posted as photos within the body of this post as you can see. The comment comes from a lady named Lisa who comments regularly on these horse rescue posts:

Here is what the people of this rescue think a removed bone chip looks like. Didn’t know a removed bone chip required screws? My vet calls it a fracture not a bone chip removal and that this horse, my little girl’s horse that I got from Jessica Basciano, is not going to be able to do much when it comes to riding. I have invested a load of money in this horse and to find this out has been heartbreaking for myself, not to mention my little girl whose horse this is!

Oh yeah, I got this horse at the end of August and am now just finding all this out now. You think maybe in an almost 5 month spread I could have been told about this?

Also I am still trying to get my other horse’s vet records. In fact I contacted Barbara Luna a few weeks ago requesting them, as my vet is going to now have to a check on him as well, since I don’t know if I was told the entire truth about his injuries. I still haven’t heard a word back from Barbara about his vet records!

Hey Barbara, if you are reading this, my vet still needs Hi Card Gambler’s vet records!  Can I please get them for the 3rd time in asking for them?!

file_1

Here is the horse before this lady Lisa started caring for him:

HiCardlookingsick

Here is is AFTER she bought him and has cared for him:

HiCardlookinggood

Here is some sort of discharge papers from when he was a racehorse:

Discharge_Orders-condylar_NDP_simple_riding

Goes to show that someone will still care for an animal even when it ends up being more special needs than pleasure riding so why wasn’t eveyone just up front about this with all vet records?  These horses unlike the majority of dogs and cats who go into rescue have paperwork, have vet records — it is all supposed to go where they go so why doesn’t it?

1.23.13 UPDATE:

Yowza! There seems to be a flurry of activity and phone calls and facebook messages and all sorts of Tom Follery.  Of course more people are asking where Barbara Luna and Turning for Home are in this hot mess. Follow this LINK for the 990 on Guide Star in 2010.  Barbara Luna must report to the board and they are listed on page 33 of the report.(also found here: Turning For Home 990).

So anyway, hope this all gets sorted out.  But this sure is one hot mess. Who the heck knew finding odd Craig’s List Posts in late fall would lead to so much drama?

horse popp 1horse poop 1

more ad naseum about horse rescue: along came a comment from oklahoma

wildcat 1I will admit up front I am waaay past cranky.  I have been sick for a week and I am tired of being sick.  Anyway between being sick and life in general I did not pay much attention to some outreach this blog received which was very interesting.  It came in a few days ago, I forgot about it, did not approve it and came back to it today.

It’s from a woman who lives in Oklahoma named Kendall Pearsall who had problems with (drumroll please) a wildcat2certain local-ish horse rescue: Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue . Furthermore I would not describe her words as kind or complimentary  for those folks or that elusive Barbara Luna from Turning for Home which feeds horses coming off the track and into Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue and Jessica Troxell Basciano’s care, ok?

Anyway this woman Kendall with whom I have never spoken, and certainly never met, got a horse called “Wildcat”.  Wildcat was mentioned by people in wildcat3the comments on  one of the posts.  I don’t remember where.

Silly me, I had no idea horses in a horse rescue in PA would travel across the country to the great plains state of Oklahoma.  But I don’t rescue horses so what do I know.

Her comments and name (and e-mail address) provided me with enough to find her wildcat4aFacebook page and photos that are public of this horse. I am NOT publishing her e-mail as she seems like a victim if that is what you call it.  I did not solicit this woman, did not know she exists.  But if people from clear across the country are complaining now, what next? And if anyone mentioned in her comment have issues with being mentioned, well heck you sold her a horse and you know where to find her.wildcat4

Makes you wonder that is for darn sure. What I am posting is unedited and it is unsolicited by me.  I don’t know her from Adam’s house cat. The only thing omitted is her e-mail address – no photos  were embedded with the comment. But again, I found photos of the horse on her Facebook page that were public not private photos. (we are not Facebook friends as it were.)

Here it is:

Sadly, I have to add my name to the list of people who have been misled by Off the Track Rescue and Turning for Home.

Mid November- saw Wildcat Lake on OTTB Connect facebook advertised by Christina Hannan representing herself as working for Jessica Basciano. I quickly received a private message saying he had come off the track with a bow but released to ride by a vet.

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November 23, 2012- I received a fax with an adoption application from Christina Hannan and adoption agreement. All the paperwork was titled Off the Track-Jessica Basciano

November 24, 2012-I faxed back signed paperwork. The adoption agreement does not have a date, horse description, horse name or signature by anyone from adoption facility. I asumed all paperwork would arrive with him with the his description filled in along with a signature. Oddly, I received a private message cancelling the adoption saying Jessica didn’t want him to go that far. I then received another private message saying it was on again. We received several phone calls this same day from Barbara Luna, Jessica Basciano, Deb Jones and Bonnie Hutton confirming we were adopting him.

November 28, 2012 – Wildcat Lake was delivered to us in Oklahoma by a shipper we provided and paid for. No vet records, no rehab info, no signed adoption papers were delivered with him. We received a coggins but a couple weeks later discovered the tattoo does not match Wildcats tattoo..

Early December, 2012-I checked with our three references provided to Christina/Jessica and found no one had been contacted on my behalf.

Late December & Early January- I asked Christina for his vet records as she quoted he had been approved for riding in her advertisement. She again in a private message told me he had been approved to ride by two vets. She sent me a private message (see below) later telling me Wildcat had been released by Jessicas vets and that we should contact her. She said she had only spoken to her personal vet on the phone about it and he had not seen him. I called the vet that did his coggins and it was confirmed that he only did a coggins and did not discuss the bow and its rehab with Christina.

<photo2.JPG>

January 7, 2013 – . I then contacted Barb and Jessica for Wildcats vet records. I received both of their interpretation of supposed vet records but didn’t get the actual physical paperwk Barb said the vet that did track eval and followup eval with Jessica was Tom Lurito. I received this from Jess but no actual vet records were sent to me as requested:

<photo 4.JPG>

Then I received this from Barb Luna-her interpertation of the vet records but no actual paperwork was received from her either:

January 8, 2013 – I left messages for Dr Lurito several times over the past two weeks

January 17, 2013- I contacted Barb Luna again telling her that I wasn’t having any luck with Dr Lurito and she responded that she couldn’t do anymore for me.

January 18, 2013- Dr Lurito called and said he couldn’t remember a horse named Wildcat.

I still have nothing on Wildcat except my personal vets evaluation which is he is NOT ridable now, has a really bad case of rain rot, and underweight. No shot records were provided either.

For those few of you who are defending these ladies, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

what if I wasn’t a good person that received a horse in this condition? what would have happened to him? My references were never checked! I can only assume he was never vetted after the track so if jessica received money for him as she admits in an earlier post (approx 2000.00), what did she spend it on for him? we know it wasn’t for vet care, rain rot meds, ulcer meds, etc etc etc so what did she do with it? Christina stated she was “thinning the herd for health reasons” yet she is advertising as of today with more horses.. I see in earlier post where Christina says she adopted him from Jessica – then why was the adoption application titled OFF THE TRACK with Jessicas name if she no longer owned him? None of this makes any logical sense.

People, can this whole horse manure pile get resolved?  What does Barbara Luna think?  Is she ultimately responsible in some way since she appears to be the link between the tracks and the horse rescues?

It is time for the players in this drama to get together and get this figured out. I see names in her comment that mean nothing to me, but I have to ask is the Deb Jones she refers to the big deal horse rescue lady Deborah Jones mentioned in the media? ( See this article and this article for example)  Is this the lady from savinghorsesinc?

Giddy up y’all. Just Giddy up.

1.25.13: This message was purportedly sent to this Kendall lady by someone in the rescue.  Kendall isn’t very tech savvy so I believe she doesn’t know how to screen capture private messages very well and copied and pasted this to herself or something? I don’t know but whatever, here:

 message

UPDATE 1.27.2013  Received this document from Kendall Pearsall in OK.  It is in native format “as is”

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…