Friday, May 22, 2009

Show me 300 animals and I'll show you a train wreck in the making...

Serious question: Does anyone know of a sanctuary/rescue with 300 animals that is actually well run and well financed? As in, the animals really are fed, feet are done, deworming is up to date, and injuries and illnesses are treated?

Any kind of animal. It doesn't have to be horses.

What is the largest rescue/sanctuary you know of that IS well run? How many animals?

I'm leaning toward a belief that it doesn't matter how much money you have - that an individual sanctuary should have a hard limit that is no more than somewhere between 100 and 120. What do you think? I feel like that's the most one manager can efficiently oversee, and ultimately somebody has to be responsible. I also think that would make it easier to deal with the situations that do go bad. 100 is a lot to rescue, rehab and place, but it's not as bad as 360 which is what we have this time around!

This time around, it's a sanctuary gone bad situation in Wisconsin. It's lots of animals, not just horses - a place called Thyme and Sage Ranch. The founder's "about me" story shows exactly who she is - an individual with a high level of emotions and a low level of logical reasoning skills. This is exactly the kind of person behind every one of these situations.

"She was more determined to save at least one soul. She was reassured that the one cat she left behind would find a home, she was on her way to spoil and love the one she chose. After a sleepless night of dreaming about the one she left behind, she got up and went down to the pound the very next morning right at opening time. To her dismay and great sadness- the cat was gone. Thinking the best, she checked at the counter on the impound number. The cat was put down two hours after she had left the prior day. Holding back tears, she requested the reason why. Space."

*sigh* I get so frustrated with the no-kill fanatics. Nobody likes to see animals die, but veterinary euthanasia isn't exactly the electric chair. The kitty who was put down two hours after Jennifer saw her was in la-la land in five minutes, not starving, filthy, sick and suffering like Jennifer's animals.

Blog from the rescue effort now in progress

News story

News story about the criminal charges

News story with video

The animals were given "little to no food or water and were suffering from malnutrition and open wounds," said Kelley Weir, a spokeswoman from the American Humane Association. The AHA was in charge of removing the animals from their cages."

"The complaint also states that a ram had to be euthanized on site Tuesday because of severe injuries and that the carcasses of several dogs, horses and donkeys were discovered. "

Of course, the Internet was on top of the story long before the authorities did anything.

Thyme and Sage Ranch Complaints - HIGHLY entertaining comments, as it's obvious Jennifer is on there with multiple aliases trying to defend herself from comments like these:

"We then picked up Beckham and headed into the house, which we thought was her house but when we went inside we saw cages and puppies running around, puppies in dog food bags, and puppies locked in rooms. It was sad to see all the little puppies in the wire cages piled on top of each other."

"The house was disgusting and the floor in the bedroom covered with mold(from all the feces) with blankets on top.The smell both in the house and the out door building was horrendous."

Yes, Jennifer. Because THAT is so much better than being PTS at the shelter!

"Jennifer also told us she has a vision for the rescue, she just has to get there."

HOW? BY WINNING THE FUCKING LOTTERY? It's not enough to have a vision. YOU NEED TO HAVE A REALISTIC PLAN and not acquire 300 animals FIRST and THEN try to figure it out!

The drama continued on the Complaints site, with the expected threats of litigation by poor innocent Jennifer who of course is a saint who is only trying to help the animals.

I may be a bitch, but I think I'm starting to believe that crying people shouldn't rescue. It seems to me that the best ("best" judged on how the animals are cared for and how effectively they are rehomed) rescuing is being done by rather hard-nosed individuals who love animals but accept that you can't save them all and spend little to no time being emotionally distraught about that fact. There seems to be a direct correlation between amount of tears reported shed and likelihood the person will take on more than they can feed and care for. Funny, why aren't they crying when the animals are suffering and dying in their backyard? Why is death only disturbing when it is administered by a trained professional with an injection, and not when it happens in the mud and slop behind your house or in a filthy cage in your living room?

Well, we could ask Jennifer but - unsurprisingly - the news reports that she cannot be reached for comment.

It's Friday so we have a Friday Featured Rescue! It has been a while since I've put up something for the saddleseat riders, and you know I love old red mares, so here's one for you to check out. Maiden's Magical Voyage is a 20 year old registered Saddlebred mare who was rescued early this year and is currently being used for lessons.

When she was posted, a forum reader quickly commented in shock - she is a case of a top quality, expensive animal who slipped through the cracks. "I KNOW THIS MARE!!!!!!!! I rode her many years ago, when she went thru tattersalls. At the time she was not right for me, this was a long time ago and we were looking for an EQ horse, she was not ready to be that at that time. But she was really nice...She won at some big shows in harness, Syracuse, Devon, she is by Captain Conestoga, wow it's scary where these horses end up!"

I agree! It is scary and this elegant older mare deserves to find her final home where she can be safe forever. She is riding well and there is no reason she can't go back to the show ring, especially for local shows or 4-H. Click here to learn more about adopting her and watch video.

Have a great weekend, everybody! It is actually sunny and warm here in the PNW - finally! - so I will be trying to turn some greyish brown horses into whitish grey horses in my free time. :-)