Monday, July 28, 2008

Teaching responsibility by being irresponsible...say what?

So the latest news is that the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, which runs a "boys ranch," got busted selling most of the horses donated to it to slaughter. This is not exactly surprising to me. I learned pretty early that the therapeutic riding center the barn I learned to ride at gave its old lesson horses did the same. This was, however, genuinely shocking to people who had donated horses to the ranch after being promised they'd get a good home. Click here for the video of the news story. Click here for the print story.

From the news article: "Patti Deiter, who owns a Tuttle horse breeding farm, said two horses she donated to the ranch were sold at auction after she was told the animals would be given a good home. She said she determined at least one went to a buyer who planned to take the animal to Mexico for slaughter. She managed to locate the buyer and retrieve the horse, and complained about the ranch's policy."

First of all, Patti, you go girl! Thank you for making the effort to find out what happened and buying your horse back, it's far more than many people would bother to do and I am SO glad you were able to save his life! The horse, FYI, is a Thoroughbred named Tricky Jazz.

Tony Kennedy is the president of the Oklahoma Baptist Homes and he's more full of shit than your average outhouse. Check out his explanation: "We do not sell to slaughter houses,” he said. "We sell to individuals, and we sell at public auctions.” OK, Tony? Anybody with an IQ over 75 knows that selling your unsound or behaviorally challenged horse at public auction MEANS they are going to slaughter. Don't even TRY that lame excuse. If you truly knew so little about horses that you didn't know this, you shouldn't be running a horse program!

As Kennedy admits, they sold horses to make money to run their program. I'm one of those people who says, if the service you're providing isn't worth enough money to people to keep it running, YOU FAILED. Your business failed, and fraudulently taking in horses so you can ship them to slaughter and keep your cushy little non-profit job is despicable.

Of course, Mr. Asshat swiftly reimbursed Deiter for all of her expenses incurred in rescuing the horse, hoping to shush up the embarrassing story about his organization. Zzzzzt, you lose. Didn't work!

The web site brags "Boys learn to accept responsibility by working with the animals which are dependent on them for care. Taking care of the animals helps the boys develop patience and fosters caring, compassionate attitudes towards others and themselves. " Um, again, the blind can't lead the blind. You asshats who ditch horses to the kill buyers can no more teach caring and compassion than my mathematically-challenged self can teach college Calculus. What the HELL kind of message does your behavior send? Do you REALLY think none of these kids are going to find out what happened to the horses?

The whole story makes me sick. It's not just about the horses. You guys lied through your teeth and betrayed the trust of who knows how many humans who loved those horses. You have caused immeasurable suffering while you claim to be Christians. Give me a break. All you are is hypocrites, and I'm glad that's been exposed for the world to see.

They're not accepting further donations of horses. You don't say...

And again, I do not care HOW nice someone appears, or how Christian, or how well-meaning. If you must place a horse for free, background check them like you were going to send your child off with them, get a contract, and FOLLOW UP. (FYI, criminal searches, now free online - check out the people you adopt to!)