Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Part Two of As The Rescue Implodes...

Note: Newer posts are under this one. I am keeping this up top as many people are looking for it to comment. Thank you.

My timing was great, posting about CBER, because now everything is imploding publicly. This is brilliant. The cast of characters: $am (pictured left), the unethical con artist who runs CBER and has been sending horses out the door to the kill buyer on a regular basis, and Dean, an equally unethical animal hoarder who has over 100 horses stashed in various locations around Seattle since she finally lost her property (scheduled for trustee's sale twice before in the past two years, now apparently surrendered to the lender). Of course, $am has been sending dozens of horses to Dean for years - but now the girls are having a catfight and spilling all the dirt they have on each other publicly! Uh-oh! I love it. It's the pot calling the kettle black, and the drama level is higher than a Friday episode of "General Hospital."

Of course, the part of it I'm not laughing about is the horses that people paid to rescue that most likely went to slaughter anyway, and the horses Dean surrendered that were in such poor shape they had to be euthanized. As usual, a reputable rescue is stuck rehabbing a ton of Dean's skinny, lice-ridden, rain-rotted horses.

Also par for the course, both parties here like to make legal threats at anybody who calls them on their shit. OK, girls, sue me. We've been down this road before and I've told you before: Go for it. I'd love to depose you. I dream of deposing you both. Not to mention the fun of the discovery process in general! (Man, I can imagine few things more fun than going through your books with a fine-toothed comb and a forensic accountant, $am. That would be awesome. And Dean, I'd love to ask you under oath how it is you think you are a responsible rescuer when you are so broke the electric is getting turned off. You do know I can verify all of this, right?) And you both know that I have a ton of each of your former supporters more than happy to be witnesses to the fact that everything I say about both of you is the truth. Yes, I can represent myself in Washington. You are not going to get some attorney who is clueless about horse rescue to go up against. You're going to get me, and you know that I know where a lot of your bodies are buried. So sue me if it makes you happy, it will certainly be great entertainment for me.

The fun started last week, when an e-mail from $am to her remaining board of directors (most of 'em have gotten smart and bailed) got posted for the world to see on Craigslist:

Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:11 PM


Hi All,

Today reality struck me, I am going under and it seems so is CBER. I AM IN A PANIC! If CBER shut down tomorrow I would be stuck paying off the CBER line of credit which right now is $20,000. I have a personal line of credit that I used for farm improvements, ie electric for the rescue, pay off for the trailer, pay off the tractor, fencing, panels, shelters......... that is at $8,000. I owe Kelly for 14 tons of hay, I owe Payroll taxes of $3,100, I am supporting 11 CBER horse not to mention mine and I can not go on at this rate. CBER has two options to raise the money for the outstanding board ($3,545) or I am going to have to have these horses put down. (FHOTD in: Give me money or I shoot the horses!) That is the immediate fix then we have to tackle the LOC. I am going in the whole and it is getting bigger daily. 20,000 8,000 3,100 1,400 32,500 owed THis figure does not include Feb bills which I do not have the money for either. I have $7 dollars in my personal checking account, and $1,000+ in the farm account. I am at a loss as to what to do (GET A JOB, YOU LAZY SOW! That's what the rest of us do when we need money. I know, what a horrifying concept...) but there needs to be some dramatic changes and fast. The horses that do not have board covered have till 2/1/08 or they are going to have to go. I am so sorry for this sad news but I can not endure such debt and I better get out now before I am responsible for even more. Thanks, Sam

Now it continues with this war on the "ICERS" forum:

From: DEANPEC 9:25 am To: ALL 423.1

I agree with none of this Sam. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to support CBER over the years only to find out you have given horses away to a known killbuyer and taken horses back to the lot to be shipped. (Maybe you should have spent some of that money paying your mortgage? Just a thought!) I had a nice conversation with Oly Olsen on Sunday. He said both you and Wayne have sold horse to him. I am ashamed I ever called you my friend and spent years defending you. You are a backstabbing liar and a thief. (True) Yes, this will go to my lawyer. (Does he know your track record of paying your bills? I'm seeing more litigation in your future...) You want a battle Sam. You got it. Better cover your ass! What you have sone and are doing to these horses and people is wrong. You took donations from those who from the generousity of their hearts wanted to save the life of a horse, took the money and sent the horse to slaughter. (Well, YOU took donations from people and then let the horses sit in shit up to their ankles covered in rainrot and lice...but hey, I guess those are at least alive...well, most of 'em.) I don't believe for one minute that Wayne euthanised all the CBER horses as you said for free! In fact I have an e-mail from you and you also asked for funds for this on the board stating it was $150.00 per horse. Which is it Sam?You turned on me when it was convenient for you and now are lying about me to others. Nice Sam.Nice to see you're back in bed with your old friends you hated last year. ( Serenity Rescue & Kim Clark ) Are you tired of using people up yet Sam?You seem to forget Sam that Darlene ( Exceller Fund ) and I would NO LONGER take CBER horses. Not the other way around!______________________________________________________________________PEC

My name is Samantha Milbredt Panayotopulos, I am the President and founder of Columbia Basin Equine Rescue. CBER was started in August of 04 and has rescued approximately 3,200 horses destine for slaughter during that time. I have taken care of sick rescue horses for years and know the difference between good care....... Dean Solomon from the Pacific Equestrian Center got involved with CBER by adopting horses. Over time rumors started to circulate that she was not ethical and collected too many horses. A CBER volunteer that lived locally and went to check on the facility and reported that it was not bad. (Why did you send so many horses there without checking it out yourself? Get off your dead ass, already.) To an in-experienced horse owner PEC might not look bad, however, other reports from more experienced CBER volunteers conflicted that statement. As the President of CBER it was my duty to see for myself. (BEFORE YOU SENT HER HORSES, NOT AFTER!!!) In the winter 06 a colleague and I went to Pacific Equestrian Center to see for ourselves. Driving up the road it became overwhelmingly apparent that she had too many horses. There were horses stuffed in every corner of her property and her fencing was in terrible disrepair and the piles of manure were everywhere. It was winter and many of the horses were blanketed, I asked that the blanket be taken off. Dean accommodated my wishes and showed me the horses. While none were super thin, none looked to be flourishing, all had dull coats and looked unhappy and unhealthy. My lasting poor impression was of her facility and the sadness of the horses. It was a pig stye - there was manure stacked a mile high, the mud was frozen but obviously filthy with feces and urine. It was decided at that time that no more horses from CBER would go to PEC till she got her facility improved and dramatically reduced her numbers. (But we sure as hell didn't take back the ones we had ALREADY put over there, that were sitting there looking like shit, 'cause you know, I might have to get a job to feed 'em and that would just not be right.) This winter two pregnant CBER horses in my care were possibly going to PEC as I do not have stall for foaling. (Oh give me a break. You have panels coming out your ass. Make one.) I was called by a CBER supporter and she said that the guy that was working for Dean said she did not have any hay and that her numbers were very high and that Dean was never on the property. (All true, on numerous occasions.) At this point CBER was finished with Dean and was no longer willing to allow her adopt any horses even though she constantly tried to adopt them. (But again, you didn't take back the ones she already had. She still has most of them!) During this time period a friend was at PEC and took photos - the conditions were worse then in 06. After Dean Soloman surrendered some horses to to Serenity Rescue I offered to help Dean - as always she would not accept my help. After repeated tries she finally allowed me to pick up two horses. I went to PEC and the conditions were far worse then they had ever been. Filthy water tanks, piles of manure everywhere, mud, dirt and the stench was horrid. Most of the horses were removed but the aftermath and filth was still there. It looked like a war zone. Arriving at Serenity Rescue was the most depressing element of the day, not because of Serenity but because of the horses. They looked like they had just gotten out of a concentration camp. The horses surrendered were in horrid condition. All were skinny, malnourished, covered with lice and rain rot. Their feet were all in need of farrier care. I found myself comparing PEC and Dean's surrendered horses like those that are slaughter bound. You have every type of horse - healthy, sick, fat, thin, wild, friendly, sound and lame. Some are wormy, covered in lice, the mane and tails are all knotted - Dean's horses were no different. The only difference is that the feedlot where we rescue from is a far better maintained facility. (This is actually true!) All the horses have shelter, fresh running water, access to as much as hay as they need, the mud is controlled (OK that part is bullshit, see above - feedlot mare that went down in the mud at Chuck's. Rumor has it she suffocated to death.) and there is not as much over crowding. Interesting to be comparing a holding facility of slaughter-bound horses to place that is supposed to be a rescue. I am a long time horse owner showing English Equitation over fences on the East Coast. I have a life long knowledge about horses and their proper care. Dean Soloman does not provide that for horses. I have nursed 100 of sick horse back to health and what Dean is calling a rescue is more appropriately labeled cruelty to horses. Horses should not live in such horrid conditions - nor should they deteriorate in someone's care. If you can not take care of them properly you should not take care of them at all. (Or shoot them, right $am?)


Something I've always wondered about - does anybody on the East coast actually remember this girl showing A circuit? She seems to barely ride and has posted before that it's too dangerous for her to get on the horses she markets to others. I also think it's funny she claims to have been a magazine editor given her, um, writing style.

As for Dean, I can make few comments about her funnier than simply posting this picture she herself posted where she has very obviously photoshopped her ass. Though you can also search "Dean Solomon" and "Dean Knapton" (her maiden name) here, to see her long and undistinguished history in this state. She and her husband are in bankruptcy too - you know, that's a really good time to go down to the Enumclaw Auction and pick up like TEN MORE HORSES, as I just heard she did on Sunday. STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! Get some professional help! Get a damn job! Take care of what you have! Who has to surrender a ton of horses to another rescue and then goes and gets MORE? An ANIMAL HOARDER, that's who!

Yeah, I just can't decide who to hate more here - the sleazy dealer masquerading as a rescuer or the out-of-control hoarder masquerading as a rescuer. What do you all think? It's like some annoying reality show where you realize that you hate both of the last two contestants and hope they both lose.

On behalf of rescuers everywhere, can we please get some more of you with actual paying jobs and no criminal records to join our ranks? That would be awesome...kthx. In the meantime, let's all make popcorn and shall we take bets who wins the battle on ICERS? Dean is more literate - but $am is a better con artist. Dean gets caught doing stuff, $am always seems to be teflon coated. Well, at least 'til now...

P.S. And again, neither one of these winners has a JOB. Did you know that you can actually work all day AND ALSO feed, clean, and exercise horses? I know, what a shocker...If Joe at TB Friends with a hundred horses can also work, and he does, YOU CAN, TOO. As good as you both are at scamming people and talking otherwise reasonable people into throwing money at you, I'm sure you'd make a mint as car saleswomen. You ought to check it out.