Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ranch Owner in Jail...Need for Aid Urgent

Enhance the Mustang's quality of life by creating a natural setting that fosters the independence and integrity of the wild horses.

I know many of you follow Fugly, so you'll already be familiar with this case. I've struggled over it for the past couple of weeks now, frustrated on so many levels with the absolute inhumanity of it all.

From the Habitat For Horses website:

Alliance, Nebraska– At least 60 horses are dead and more than 100 others are seriously emaciated at a mustang facility in Morrill County, Nebraska. Habitat for Horses, an equine rescue organization, received reports last week of problems at the 3-Strikes Ranch. Jerry Finch of the equine rescue organization Habitat for Horses just returned from flying over the property, Sunday, and reports that “The situation is even worse than we suspected.” They spotted another 20 animals on the range, several barely able to stand. Another 50-60 emaciated horses are in holding pens with only a small amount of muddy and trampled alfalfa. They are suffering from a variety of ailments including severe worm infestation and terribly neglected hooves. Two young foals, approximately four months old, were found dead. Necropsies have been performed on both; a full report, including toxicology results is due back Friday.

And the article goes on.

Back in January I came across a video on You Tube that showed a truck load of horses being delivered to 3 Strikes Ranch. I watched, then went to the website, and instantly fell in love. Oh, to have the space they did to tackle such a project!

The ranch came across it's name because it took on BLM mustangs that had received three strikes in the adoption program. A strike is given the horse each time it's offered up for adoption, but not adopted. Three strikes and a horse becomes eligible for sale direct to the public, with no more protection from the government. Three strikes horses can be purchased for as little as $25 each.

The fear that mustang advocates have of the three strikes law, which only came into being in recent years, is that mustangs who were once federally protected from slaughter for the first year after adoption would now be affordable to the meat buyers and that they'd head directly off into the sunset...permanantly.

Jason appeared to provide a way out for many of these three strikers. His large, Nebraska ranch welcomed them, while Jason did what he could to gentle them and find them homes. He was living my dream...

My dream, however, has a happy ending for the horses. Jason's real life version resulted in death and starvation. An ending that, for many, would have been more humane at the slaughter house.

Someone has posted on Jason's blog...I don't know who, but all of his posts have disappeared. Amanda, a young woman who'd been working for him and originally brought much of what was happening to light, has removed posts from her blog as well. The 3 Strikes Mustang Outpost website has been removed. Or at least the front page is gone. I did manage to find this page, which links to the rest of the website: Mission Statement

Ironically, this begins mission statement: Enhance the Mustang's quality of life by creating a natural setting that fosters the independence and integrity of the wild horses. Sure, Jason...I suppose if you consider dying the natural death of starvation integrity, then you've pretty much nailed it.

Jason once told me, after watching videos of my training of Steve Holt!, that he could see that I 'got it'. Too bad he didn't...


Linda said...

I don't read the Fugly blog, so this is the first I heard about it. I can't believe it. I looked at their operation (on the web) a few months ago, and I had the same feeling you did--what a great opportunity. What went wrong in such a small time? Or, has this been happening all along?

showbrat said...

Hey Tracey this is the first I have seen of it also.

How do we help these horses?


Tracey said...

I'm not a fugly reader, either, but knew she'd been talking about it from Lady of Chaos.

Habitat For Horses: http://www.habitatforhorses.org/whatsnew/NEMustangs.html

Life Savers: http://www.wildhorserescue.org/

I forgot to share the video of the rescue on my post!

Lady Of Chaos said...

I don't usually read fugly either but was directed there through one of the many posts on the ABF board.

Jerry Finch posted about a foal born whose dam was too depleted to do anything with it. They were able to get it out of the pen and rush it to a vet 50 miles away. So far so good, it's still alive and able to stand finally.

I have a feeling stories like this will be common with these horses in the next few weeks.

It's a very sad situation and I sincerely hope that the local authorities step up and press charges. He needs to pay a price for doing this.

There's so much I'd really love to say, but I won't because I can't find nice enough language to say it. The more pics I see, the more my language deteriorates...

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

Talk about a heart break! I hadn't come across this story until now. Sure wish there was something I could do..

Tracey said...

Ain't that the truth, LOC? It's difficult to find anything nice to say.

Wilmoth...one bale of hay, added to everyone else's bale, is all that's needed.

Sarah said...

Oh this is heartbreaking! Please keep us updated about the horses, the owner can rot - somewhere very unpleasant. Sarah

Pony Girl said...

It just makes me sick, sick, sick! I was reading about it earlier this week on Sue's blog, Dream Valley Ranch, as two horses they had previously placed at "Three Strikes" were now in that unforunate situation. Luckily I think they found them and they were lucky survivors. If interested, you can read the beginning of that story here:


Lea and her Mustangs said...

I can't look at the pictures. Makes me want to throw up. I have beenseeing stuff about this since it started. If we donate how can we be assured it will help the horses and not pad someones pocket.
How can anyone treat anything, ANY THING that way. And this is better than slaughter?

CTG Ponies said...

This is truly heartbreaking. It seems that conditions are improving slightly, thanks to Habitat for Horses.

The slime is out on bond.

Katee said...

Awful. Frightening.

Makes me want to run outside and hug my mustang. And give him an apple.

I agree Tracey--one bale of hay helps. Adopting one mustang helps. If we all do what we are able to do, we will move mountains!

hillybillyfarmgirl said...

So sad!

Angela said...

Some asked how you can help.....I say after 20 years in the mustang community, if you want to donate money do so to Jill Starr at Lifesavers....Her work is real and the money will be well spent...Lifesavers and Habitat for Horses have joint custody and Jill has remarked on the ABF board that she will be bringing some home to Lifesavers. I don't know anything about Front Range Equine Rescue...

Take a minute to check out the amazing story of Lewis and Clark:

Cheryl Ann said...

I, too, read it on Fugly. There was a 3 strikes mustang that hubby and I fell in love with..."Gordo". He was mostly draft and was HUGE! My GOD...I hope he didn't end up on that ranch!

a passion 'n frames said...

this hurts my soul!

Strawberry Lane said...

This is outrageous. I'm both sick and angry. What is wrong with humanity?

I do hope the people in Nebraska band together to help these animals and prevent anything like this happening again.

I know first hand with our rescue horse how hopeless these animals feel ... and they do feel, contrary to those that think they are just animals.

I just can't stand this. It happens far too much.