Looking into a Rescue - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 07:50 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Having rescued more than one horse from a 'rescue', I agree that going to a low-end auction and buying something that catches your eye off the loose horse pen is much less risky and probably cheaper. I hear 'rescue' and want to run the other way. Are there some good ones? Sure. Are there some real hokey, disreputable, or downright dishonest ones? Yeah. A lot of them. And a lot of them are run by people who are all sunshine and rainbows about horses in general and really have no clue about anything aside from putting them in little pens and leading them around. I've seen a lot of horses advertised from rescues as 'kid safe' or 'well broke' that are anything but. A neighbor got a rescue pony for her daughter advertised as 100% sound, saddle broke, and safe. She went to see the pony and took her out of pity-- the pony had foundered and was getting no treatment, was filthy and thin, terrified of everything, and barely halter broke. This 'sound, sane, safe pony' spent the first three days too scared to come out of the horse trailer.... At least my neighbor has the knowledge and resources to give this pony a chance and knew once she saw her what she was getting in to. Another family may have taken the rescue at their word and been in for a rude awakening, and the pony would have been the loser again.

I nearly succumbed to a 'rescue' mustang a few weeks ago-- she was green, but seemed like a nice little horse. I passed, and you know why? Their 'adoption clause' stipulated that the horse could not be put down without a vet contacting the rescue and ok'ing it. Well, what happens if the horse colics on a -40* winter night with a blizzard and no vet to be had, or breaks a leg in the pasture? Am I going to make the animal suffer in agony for two or three days until I can get a vet out? Heck no.... So yeah, the mustang was not the horse for me.

I have no issue with reasonable expectations-- a home visit, for instance, to make sure the new owner has some sort of shelter and fencing and the basics covered, and perhaps a photo every few months for the first year. But the whole 'you never really own the horse, we can take it back if we feel it's not being properly cared-for' thing turns me off. Who decides what is proper care? Sure, nobody wants to see a rescue horse back in a bad situation because the owners aren't feeding it or providing adequate care, but I've heard a lot of stories of horses taken back and owners charged for ridiculous things considered 'inadequate care' -- having a horse in dry lot, for instance, to keep weight down. Not feeding grain. Keeping a horse barefoot and/or putting on shoes. Vaccinating and/or not vaccinating for everything under the sun. Daring to transport the horse in a stock trailer. Riding with a curb bit. It runs the gamut. Most want you to pay for all care for a horse that is never really yours.
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Last edited by SilverMaple; 06-29-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New Mexico
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Having worked in dog, cat, and horse rescue for over a decade, I agree with a lot of points on this thread. While I never discourage rescue, there is a LOT more background work to be done before you consider adopting an animal rather than purchasing an animal, especially with a horse.

In our state we have four state inspected, approved, and valid equine rescues. They are also 501(c) non-profits. I went through a phase a while back thinking about a rescue horse too and scoured through all four of their websites and of the four rescues in the state, I would only feel comfortable adopting from three of them. The reason I dismissed the other one was not because of the care of the horses but because of its application and terms of adoption. This facility required that the horses only be trained using Parelli (no other training styles, not even other NH methods), the groups were allowed to arrive unannounced at your facility and inspect your adopted animal, premise, etc. even if you aren't there (which I think is a huge invasion of privacy and maybe even against some trespassing laws?), and several other invasive adoption clauses. And it only listed vague, general definitions for things that could result in the removal of the animal which to me is also a red flag as basically it seemed like they could take back the animal at any time if they felt like it.

The other rescues, though, work very closely with local animal control, livestock inspectors, and the reservations here. None of them go to any auctions of any sort, and very few actually take in horses from private owners. They almost exclusively take in horses that come from legal cases or estray cases. And their adoption applications are much more reasonable; safe fencing, no riding if they aren't sound, if you have to put the horse down please let the rescue know and give them a copy of the vet's certificate, no moving facilities without letting the rescue know beforehand, they give 72hr notice if they need to inspect your facility/animal, and obviously no selling of the horse. All of those are reasonable (to me, at least).

I have more experience with dog rescue and I can tell you THAT is crazy. When I was an ACO I worked a case where a lady was literally stealing dogs from people's backyards and then adopting them out as "rescues". I've also seen breeders who list their puppies as "rescues" in order to avoid licensing as a breeder and paying fees. And I've seen "legit" rescues where applications stipulate that you must only feed your dog a certain brand of food, must take them to doggy daycare daily, must not allow them to play with certain sizes of dogs, etc. And don't get me started on adoption fees...I'm fine paying a breed rescue a few hundred dollars, but at one rescue they wanted $1800 for a purebred English Bulldog that needed another $5000 in medical work and they could not afford the medical work so instead of lowering his adoption fee that poor dog sat around miserable for who knows how long. THAT is the definition of a bad rescue.

Just do your research. Also, while the US doesn't manage animal non profits quite as much as other places, there is some federal (or maybe it's by state) website (I can't recall the name) that DOES list the finances (or at least salaries and basic ingoing/outgoing) of every 501(c) non profit, not for profit, etc. I know because at one of the former private shelters I worked at I investigated the finances because something didn't seem right and I found out the President on the BoD was making over $110,000/yr...at a non-profit animal shelter...where we only rely on donations, adoption fees, and grants to pay staff and take care of the animals. And yet the President said we couldn't afford an isolation bay for the sick animals and instead we should up our euthanasia rate...jeez. Again, just do your research if you are still serious about getting a rescue.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 03:52 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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@k9kenai . Welcome to the forum:)

You need to stick around ---- you have much to offer

All my dogs and cats have been rescues. All but a couple of dogs were in a ditch or on my road. I have nine dogs in the pet cemetery below the barn ---- two were near road-kill the vet couldn't save and the least I could do was pay the vet and give them a decent burial. Three were two different neighbors who moved away and either wouldn't or couldn't take the aged dogs with them. One of those dogs cost me a $300 vet bill to get baseball sized tumors removed, that were there when she came to live here.

I've had a kitten too young to be weaned tossed through my driveway gate. She's now about 8 years old, lives in the house because she is allergic to flea bites (she was supposed to grow up in the barn and hunt mice:) , weighs seven pounds and terrorizes the 75# Catahoula/Pit Bull mix that was a shelter rescue.

I've rescued a few horses as well but directly out of bad situations, never from a Rescue. Bringing an animal home always includes a certain amount of unpredictability. Horses seem to be a triple threat in the money department, which is why my original comment was to "have deep pockets".

What I hate most is to see someone rescue a critter, ithe rehab becomes overwhelming, and the poor critter once again finds itself in need of being helped.

Your closing comment to "do your research" can't be said enough:)
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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