An experts opinion regarding seizures of horses, but the “seizure scam” is similar with most any kind of animals:
So where are the vet reports, blood work, and other tests and such that were run BEFORE the horses were removed from the premises at the link to a story about a seizure at the bottom of this post?
Also, where are many photos of the facility they were seized from, many photos and videos of all of the horses before they were removed, etc?
And WHY wasn’t a 1st course of action to offer help with the horses right at the facility/property they were at, and if the owners didn’t want the kind of “power and control-freak” “help” some of the “rescues” that do “crisis rescuing”, that by-the-way brings in thousands upon thousands of donation $$$, are offering, why aren’t the horse owners simply being monitored by the government animal services agencies with daily or weekly visits to check on the horses, with the rescue ready to step in if it becomes necessary to seize animals?
Before he passed away, Dr. Don Henneke, the inventor of the weight assessment and condition scale for horses that MOST rescues use, or misuse often according to Dr. Henneke, issued a statement regarding the seizures of private owners personal property horses happening in epidemic proportions around the country.
Going forward, Accountability and Full Disclosure Checklists and Questionnaires for primarily donation-funded animal rescues (including if they are adoption-based), sanctuaries, hospices, humane societies, spca’s, animal controls, and animal shelters is a necessity whose time is well past due.
For far too many years, especially since free donation money fundraisers became so much easier, far reaching, and free for any size organization or entity with “real time” social media coming online heavily with Facebook, Twitter, etc, and rescues, organizations, entities, animal services, and individuals being able “reach out” and have donations sent to accounts they set up in just a few minutes, and which can disappear or change just as quickly so the money is gone.
“Crisis rescuing” also has a history of having excellent pay days of donations coming in fast-and-furious because many people are “addicted to crisis and drama rescuing” and aren’t interested in supporting rescues that do “no fanfare” rescuing, and perform the daily maintenance and care for animals with no where else to go because of “issues” they have.
Unless these rescues have wealthy founders, the participants in these rescues normally have jobs “outside of rescue” in order to support their rescue efforts and their animals, and donations are generally used for more critical things that they normally can’t afford, or have to save up the money themselves to buy things.
And for far too many of these organizations and government animal services entities, seizures are a very good money-maker from thousands of dollars in asked for and received entirely FREE -money donations flooding in.
Unfortunately, many of the seizures are actually what the FBI calls Animal Enterprise Terrorism (AET), aka “seizure scams”, but until an animal owner has one perpetrated on them by someone who has an agenda, you are their “competition” in rescue, they are trying to destroy you for whatever shallow and/or vile reasons they have, or any number of other reasons besides animal neglect or abuse someone wants to use the power of the mob to come after you about, you won’t have a clear understanding of what that is like, and how mind-boggling terrifying it is to have people attacking, most of which you don’t even know.
Most donation-funded rescues also NEVER do seizures with their own money, and animal controls work through being paid by tax payers footing the bill, so the 1st course of action is rarely, if ever, to really help the animals and their owners right at their own property, and then re-assess after a month, 2 months, etc, and after issues are dealt with that will point to neglect and/or abuse, or perhaps instead, it is illness, acute and/or chronic disease, an animal is perhaps feral, wild, dangerous to handle, so their management is difficult at best, but the owner doesn’t want to kill them just because they are difficult, or maybe even impossible, to handle without restraint equipment that is expensive (yep, we’re saving money for a $12,000-$15,000 hydraulic squeeze chute for horses so we don’t have to use a makeshift “squeeze chute” anymore that makes safety for wild, difficult-to-handle horses and handlers much more difficult), and instead they provide a home for an animal that literally has no where else to go.
And usually when donation-funded “retail rescues” say they offered “help”, what they often did (audio and written documentation of this) was an extortion attempt of whats called “cherry picking” and trying to get entirely for FREE the good, sellable animals -called “adoption-for-a-fee”, but make no mistake, its “selling”, and that they still collect thousands of dollars in “crisis donations” and also “sympathy/pity donations” for animals that need some care, but that have great re-sale value, and often in a much shorter time-frame.
And Heaven help the animal owner who doesn’t take the kind of “help” (extortion) being offered by the “rescue”, (who more and more often have founders and primary players who were animal control officers, or have ties to animal control, so they know how to “act” and manipulate very well indeed, but donation-funded rescuing pays so much better than being an ACO ever could, plus they get all the hero-worship and accolades, which stokes these narcissistic peoples overly-inflated egos instead of them being treated like used car salesman when they were an ACO) because they will be terrorized with “social media madness mobs” calling every agency in the country on them, including Child Protective Services (CPS) if they have children (and A LOT of “false reporting” takes place, which is illegal, but the people being attacked are being terrorized so there is no chance they can have “false reporters” investigated because they are far too busy dealing with so many other things), as many media outlets as can be gotten interested in a sensationalized, crisis-laden, drama-driven, and often false story of animal hoarding and child abuse, neglect, cruelty (and sometimes they don’t even have the species of animal, or any children either, that they are being accused of neglecting, abusing, or being cruel to), and which really “sells” to the bored-by-the-daily-grind public.
Some animal “rescues”, who are clearly traders/dealers/brokers/”opportunists” seeing the opportunities presented in emotion-driven public social media animal rescue, collect thousands of dollars in donations to “help” such-and-such animals” that someone owns, and the ‘rescue’ isn’t registered anywhere as a non-profit, and never has been, with some people actually collecting disability, doing other activities “under the table”, etc, and they don’t want the IRS taking a closer look at them when they file for a 501c3, even though they were “founded” years earlier, did a bit of rescuing, but when “social media animal rescuing” hit-the-scene”, they are taking advantage of screamin’ good opportunities.
And like panhandlers everywhere, they are not embarrassed one bit about always asking for free money because for people like this who are “opportunists”, their bottom-line is all about the money first and foremost, and the accolades, glory, and hero-worship are the icing on the cake.
When “rescues” aren’t registered anywhere, the IRS considers this personal income to whomever’s account it goes into, and if they are not a registered “not-for-profit” with the state, or “pending”, or already are a 501c3 tax exempt organization approved by the IRS, personal income tax needs to be paid on any donation money.
Some of these “rescues that aren’t” have been riding the tidal wave of no accountability being asked for by the public, by the agencies they work with that are tax-payer funded, by anyone pretty much.
They also count on the publics indifference, apathy, or perhaps just not having the time or the inclination to fact-check and verify information. Many people in the public also do not want to appear confrontational by asking questions and/or they do not want to be involved with the rescue other than sending donations.
Some of these “rescues” have never been registered anywhere, but have “pending” on their 501c3 status posted publically on their websites and/or Facebook rescue pages, which is illegal because it is misrepresentation. Quite frankly, if filing with the state as a non-profit entity, and also with the IRS for a 501c3 tax exempt entity was not something that was necessary, why in the world would anyone pay the money to jump through the hoops? THAT does not make sense, but some “rescues” have been known to write things to prospective donors that the 501c3 filing is “only apiece of paper” (documented as factual).
Additionally, some rescues have changed names because of “issues”, or they’re in revoked or suspended status with the state and/or the IRS, but these rescues are counting on a revolving door of followers and donors on the Internet where very few people will actually check their status and ask for documentation, but the majority of people will NOT ask for anything.
What also happens more often then the public knows about is that a call is put out for “crisis donations” to do a seizure, but the rescue doesn’t help the animals, or the owners, they don’t seize any animals, and they don’t take any that are offered that are adoptable…..but they do however KEEP the several thousand dollars in free money they received to “help” the animals they didn’t help at all (and put their name “on the map”, which also is a goal in addition to the free donation money they don’t have to account for……).
Anyone know what these tactics are called?
Thus far, there is no accountability of showing financials for targeted/designated fundraisers by animal rescues when they scream for “crisis” and/or “sympathy/pity” donations ANYTIME they do seizures, or even rescue just a few animals from sales, animal controls, abandoned animals, owners not being able to keep their animals and the animal is good for re-sale so they take them in but ask for money to care for them (and reject the animals they can’t pull in donations on, exhaust their donation-value, and then kill them, or the old, un-useable animals that are not worth anything.
We’re certainly not saying the only good rescue is one that “self-funds” and supports themselves by working in jobs “outside of rescue” even though they would love to have “rescue as their job”. However, in order to separate the swindlers in rescue from the honest-to-goodness real rescues that are primarily donation-funded, there MUST be accountability, full disclosure and real “transparency” instead of just words and “the only things you need to know are what we tell you”.
This more in-depth accountability is currently voluntary, but it may need to become a requirement to weed out the “players” and “opportunists” in animal rescue who are only accountable and “transparent” when things are looking “fishy” and people are asking questions, so they “throw people a bone” to pacify them, and so they can say “see how ‘transparent’ we are?” to their gullible and naïve followers.
Sure, they are rescuing some animals, however, when they are “taking out” their “competition” for donation money that are real rescues often taking in the animals they will not, that puts us in the realm of “retail rescuing” and is not good for all of the animals that need rescuing, or for those who rescue them.
Another issue is that donation-funded rescues are also not required (yet) to publically post vet reports and vet bills on all animals seized, or bought/rescued at sales, “pulled” from animal controls, etc using donation money (and when people “Follow” some of these “rescues” FB pages, they portray their vet as being at their facility all the time, almost like they live there, so why are there not vet reports for every horse or other animals looked at by the mobile vet?), the posting of euthanasia reports and the reason for euthanasia that a vet is willing to put in writing at the risk of jeopardizing their license if they write false information vet and euthanasia reports, and the billing for the euthanasia, and also the whereabouts of every, single animal seized and/or rescued from anywhere using donation money.
Furthermore, donation-funded rescues are not held to account for WHERE every single animal they rescue and maintain using donation money is 1 month after acquiring them, 2 months, 6 months, a year. Most of these rescues have stringent, legal adoption contracts and agreements, so that information should be at their fingertips in their office many of them are always talking about that they have.
They should have lists of the whereabouts of all of the animals in their files, where they are, who adopted them, who has them if at another rescue and/or being fostered at another location, whether the animal is alive or dead, and if dead, why were they put down, how were they put down, where are all vet reports and euthanasia and body disposal reports and bills, etc.
And very important is currently there is not much, if anything at all, regarding background checks and information that can be verified as true regarding ALL of the participants from the rescue, humane society, spca, animal control, etc.
The way things are handled now is like showing up for a job interview and saying “I don’t want to give you information on me and my rescue, or me and my past history and employment, or ?, but take my word for it, everything I tell you is true, so you don’t need to fact-check or verify anything”.
Unfortunately, this appears to be how a lot of “reporters” and “journalists” handle writing their “stories” too; by just being given a press release the rescues marketing and PR people wrote and/or taking notes that are directly “from the horses mouth” rescue founder or the rescues public and media representative.
In the past, and currently, everyone in the public, in the media, which have gotten really sloppy at fact-checking and verifying information they put in articles they write, (very bad for them if it actually helps organizations and entities to commit fraud and collect a lot more free donation money than they would if information was verified before publishing), etc just need to “take their word for it” regarding the people doing the seizures and/or rescues/purchases on behalf of donors.
If people who are attacked, mobbed, and investigated are cleared, when they want their animals back and are unable to find them, or have them returned, because they have been “adopted for a fee”, disappeared, or confirmed dead, not only are the rescues who participated with animal controls and other tax-payer funded agencies in jeopardy of having a civil suit filed against them, reporters and journalists who do sub-standard reporting and publish equally inaccurate articles and stories that are more fiction than fact, and donors, and followers who libeled and defamed people in public comments and posts from afar, and also volunteers who participated in the actual seizures are putting themselves in a position of being sued for libel, defamation, and other illegal activities that could cost them a lot of money even though “we were just trying to help, and thought the rescue was telling the truth about what was happening”.
More and more people who are the victims of Animal Enterprise Terrorism attacks aka “seizure scams” aren’t just walking away anymore, and are in fact filing lawsuits in greater and greater numbers, and there are now attorneys who specialize in this type of animal law of animal owners going on the offense and at the very least teaching people a lesson to not just jump on any bandwagon that comes rolling by, or join a mindless “social media madness mob” that may seem exciting, dramatic, and doing “a good thing” but in the end were just a mob of ignorant “sheeple-people” led by a master manipulator who happens to have “a rescue”.
For the majority of the donation-funded rescues, no one is privy to their backgrounds, their histories, is the “rescue” really a registered “not-for-profit”, and also a 501c3 tax exempt organization with the IRS, or “pending” and has already filed and is waiting on their approval letter as they post publically that they are, but some are not even “pending” at anything non-profit, but collect unaccounted amounts of donation money.
Investigations have factually documented and uncovered collusion between some rescues, government tax-payer funded agencies, law enforcement, etc in more than a few cases when FOIA documentation was requested and received, that “partner” in seizures and/or “rescues”.
So when the public falls for the sensationalism of these seizures that if it weren’t for rescues asking for, and collecting thousands of dollars of “crisis” and “sympathy/pity” donations that makes donors feel like they’re really doing something, and also getting to be involved in the drama at the expense of the animals and their owners in many cases, most of the rescues would NOT do any seizures because:
1. they either don’t have the money to do them because they often do not work in jobs “outside of rescue” (many collect disability, even when they train horses, train dogs, work with big cats, etc and don’t appear to be disabled at all. They more-or-less don’t want to work boring, everyday jobs where they don’t have the proper control and power, and don’t get the respect and accolades they feel they deserve);
2. if they do have their own money, they won’t spend much, if any of it, on doing seizures, or rescuing all but a very few animals in a several year period of time because THAT is THEIR money, even when it really isn’t.
People are working on accountability and full disclosure checklists and questionnaires for donation-funded rescues, and other organizations and entities that are primarily donation-funded because without them, “rescues that aren’t” aka “retail rescues” aka “welfare rescues” will continue to pop up all over the country in greater and greater numbers because of the lack of required transparency.
Most real rescues that are not “show-boaters” and don’t do “crisis rescuing” with all of the accompanying fanfare, drama, and sensationalism as what we see in so many “retail rescues” styled after reality shows that are NOT showing “reality” at all, and will not participate in “seizures” as a 1st resort because they really would rather keep the animals with their families, unless the animal owners doesn’t want to, or needs to relinquish their animals, and they prefer to really find out what exactly is happening with the animals right where they live.
As Dr. Henneke states in the public statement at the link at the beginning of this post, moving already sick, old, or debilitated animals stresses them, especially if they are sick, in debilitated condition, or do actually need more and/or different feed.
And while rescues that rescue and help this way may ask for donations in order to “help” both the animals and the owners, since the animals are staying right where they live, accountability is much more forth-coming because there is more scrutiny, no one gets dragged through the mud and trashed unnecessarily and falsely (and its because of these swindler “rescues” that do “seizure scams” that animal owners who do need help are too scared of asking for help because they fear attack, seizure of animals, possible arrest, and their lives being destroyed just because they trusted a rescue enough to ask them for help and got attacked instead), “staged photos” and “photo-op’s” don’t occur making the owners look like crap, and veterinarians actually examine animals and do vet reports, do bloodwork, and if animals do really need to be put down, vet reports are available and the owner is often on-board with the necessity for euthanasia instead of it being the “de-valuing” of an animal by a retail rescue just because the animal has “issues” that make them un-useable and unadoptable.
When there is little or no accountability and full disclosure for donation-funded rescues, sanctuaries, hospices, humane societies, and spca’s (and even animal controls and animal shelters who receive donations, grant money, and sometimes even illegal “kickbacks” from the “rescues”) it makes animal rescue ripe for swindlers and fraudsters under the color of rescue to commit fraud, attack other people, and attempt, and often succeed in extortion and/or seize private owners animals from them for free.
It then also allows for the de-valuing of animals with issues once they are away from scrutiny of the owner, the public, the authorities, the donors, and only are seen by those “in” with the rescue whom often have to sign legal “confidentiality agreements” whereby they can be sued if they speak about the happenings at the rescue (and what’s up with the PUBLIC donation-funded animal rescues, who post all the time that they have an “open-door policy” and are “transparent”, not posting the physical address of their rescue facility? It looks like they’re afraid someone may get photos and videos of their facility, and also see the comings-and-goings of questionable vehicles that people can get descriptions of, and also their license plate numbers so they can be traced and/or followed) which renders them un-useable, that after their “sympathy/pity” and/or “crisis” donation-value is exhausted, and then they are “sorted” (rescues call it “evaluating”, but make no mistake, with some of the “rescues that aren’t” it is sorting the useable/sellable “merchandise” from the damaged un-useable/un-sellable merchandise in “retail rescuing”.
Then the damaged animals with issues are often killed in various ways and it is called tear- and emotion-jerking manipulative words like “the last act of kindness”, when its killing plain and simple, even when the animal does not want to die, but they are an un-useable money pit, and an inconvenience for swindlers to keep alive.
The useable, non-damaged or somewhat fixable (called “rehabilitating”) animals that were gotten for free are sold, but its called “adoption-for-a-fee so it sounds much nicer and more like “rescuing”.
A group of people from around the country, and also in Europe are working on Accountability and Full Disclosure Checklists for donation-funded rescues and other organizations and agencies which will help weed-out the “bad apples” in rescue and animal services.
It not only hurts the animals to be bartered, traded, sold, and killed when some “rescues” “freshin’-up” the merchandise in “out with the old, in with the new rescuing”, they de-value animals that have been at the rescue too long, or have issues that newer, better animals that also have more value don’t have that is getting more and more popular for those retail rescuers who merchandise animals.
It also hurts the smaller rescues who can’t compete with the moderately-to-larger sized rescue-machines that are more aggressive in their approach to “rescuing”, and also more aggressive toward their “competition” of other donation-funded rescues, but also “take out” any other rescue that may be getting donations in an area they feel is “their market”.
They amass bunches of followers who do “social club”-style rescuing, where smart marketers “sell” people on the “team” aspect and end up with an entirely FREE workforce. Many of these people are “sold on the glittery dream” of rescuing, but are merely cogs in the wheel being used, and if they ask questions, make noises like “something’s not right”, or threaten to blow the whistle on dirty dealings, things can “head south” for them very quickly and they are often ostracized, bullied, sometimes stalked, false reporting takes place, so people simply tuck their tail and slink away happy to be rid of the drama, the ugliness, and also the fear that accompanies being in the midst of “true believers” who are nothing more than “enablers”that help disguise the “rescues that aren’t” who fleece the public, while hiding behind their army of minions doing their bidding.
And sadly enough, this even includes them watching and benefitting from the illegal commercial horse slaughter industry in California that has been banned since November 3, 1998, but is “business as usual” with kill buyers operating around the state at sale yards, feedlots, and other places in California.
These “retail rescues” crying “send us donations so we can ‘outbid the kill buyers at the sale and ‘save’ more horses” even when they keep bringing in more and more horses to their mysterious facility location, and they won’t account for the other hundreds of horses they’ve already rescued and where they are.
The important question to ask the horse rescues in California that attend the sales all the time would be “why are you witnessing crimes being committed at every sale you attend and not instead gathering your army of “followers” together and working toward, and helping with the California Attorney Generals office and the CA Dept of Agriculture and getting the LAW enforced?”.
While many people already know why those “retail rescues” horse rescues in California that are donation-funded and adoption-based don’t help with enforcement ($$$ and accolades that they won’t get if they do the hard time and money consuming work of helping with enforcement), if more and more people began asking the questions, and also began sending in thousands of complaints to the two government agencies listed above that are vested with the enforcement of the anti-horse slaughter in California, and then if the media and investigative reporters got involved, there WOULD be enforcement in spite of the fact that the “retail rescues” that are “opportunists” taking advantage of the illegal (opportunity) threat of horses being bought by kill buyers and going to slaughter in Mexico and/or Canada if they don’t ask for and use donation money to rescue them.
A lot of money and time was spent on getting that 1998 proposition 6 on the ballot by people who were staunchly committed to ending commercial horse slaughter dealings in California.
So it is disrespectful of horse rescues to make thousands of dollars in free donation money from the illegal threat of horses going to slaughter, and also saying basically that “it happens, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it”…..what a bunch of BS that is, and anyone who believes that line is earing triple thick rose-colored glasses.
Accountability and full disclosure checklists and questionnaires would separate the real rescues from the “rescue racket” scammers that abound, who are nothing more than horse traders posing as “rescues” and “rescuers”.
Playing to peoples emotions, even while having a “revolving door of followers and donors” works brilliantly when a marketing campaign can reach around the world in second via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
These checklists will be very simple to fill out and answer the questions for the legitimate and truly transparent rescues and animal service agencies who are not “into” rescuing and doing seizures in order to make a living from donations and grant money, and also to receive accolades, glory, and idolizing from the naïve and gullible public that feeds the “hero-complexes” they suffer from.
True animal lovers and rescuers do “no fanfare rescuing” and don’t need accolades to rescue animals with their own money, and also using donation money if people choose to send it to them for the everyday, mundane rescuing these folks do day-in-and-day-out, month-after-month, and year-after-year.
They would have NO PROBLEM filling out and returning an accountability and full disclosure checklist/questionnaire to the sender so all of their answers could be fact-checked and verified as true and not embellishment and lies.
They would also have no problem posting all of their vet reports, euthanasia reports, videos and photos of animals being examined by their vet/s, (especially for horse rescues where most exams and many procedures are done at the rescues facility), photos and videos of all of the animals rescued and maintained using donation money being rehabbed, euthanasia reports, (instead of taking their word for it like many “retail recues” expect people to do and they better NOT get pushy about asking questions and receiving answers “or else” some bad things could be coming down the pike headed straight for them), veterinarian services billings, body disposal for horses that are euthanized, etc.
Real rescues also have no problem publishing lists of exactly WHERE all of the animals rescued using donation money are, and will say if they are dead, and if necropsy’s ere performed, they will publically post the results.
So stay-tuned and watch for the accountability, full disclosure, and transparency checklists and questionnaires showing up online in the near future…….THEN we’ll just have to see if people really do care who the real rescues are, and in whose hands are the animals lives being entrusted into?
No one is saying the seizure done in the story at the link below is a scam because this rescue has a history of crossing all the “t”s and dotting all the “i”s when they participate in seizures.
However, if there were already accountability and full disclosure checklists and questionnaires available, prospective donors could be sending them to this rescue, and if the rescue is on the total up-and-up, which probably they are because their positive reputation proceeds them for many years, then no one would have to wonder about a thing, right?