The break down of Moon, the stolen horse.
First, I want anyone reading this to know, I own this mistake. I do not know exactly
what I could have done differently, but I am the director and the fact I couldn’t protect her
makes this my failure.
We try ridiculously hard to screen homes and watch every horse we bring in.
It did not work this time.
Moon was adopted on September to a woman in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Copies of the application, contact and her name will be posted on our blog soon, pending
a civil suit. Believe me, this information will be very public very soon.
We want everyone in Ohio, WV, PA and other neighboring states to know who she is
and what she has done. We want you to share it so that no rescue of any kind every deals with this
person – be it for any animal large or small.
Moon is a lovely, well behaved young Standardbred mare.
She came to us in May of 2013 from an Ohio therapy program that rescued her to finish rehab with us and be evaluated and adopted.
She proved a level headed, amazing mare! She was even shown locally and did very well with our
volunteer riding (Nicky Walters). Another volunteer, Susan Sunday, used her a bit for lessons when she
was at her barn.
The adopter’s application checked out well. Obviously. Had it not, believe me, she would have been denied. We had her meet the mare to see they appeared a good match after approval. We had no indication she would soon prove to be the worst sort of liar and put the horse’s life in complete danger without any care at all. To think you could meet a person, as I met this adopter, and NOT know something was terribly wrong makes me ashamed of myself, really.
This person works for a vet’s office in Chillicothe, as well. To think such a person is working with animals day in and out is shocking, too.
The adopter never updated us like the typical adopter. She had little to say after she took Moon home, but we did have a few updated photos. I could not really fault a person having just a bit to say so quickly after adoption, though. Everyone isn’t the talker I am.
When she failed to check in at her 3 month photo update, I sent an email. She sent 5-6 photos to my email not knowing I could check the internal data to know when they were taken. They were from November.
I let her know this. She said she would email current photos.
My heart sake. I knew I was being lied to.
The next day, no photos were sent. Our attorney on the board sent a formal email with the request and
an outline of action to be taken.
I then received a message from this adopter talking about how upset she was that we didn’t believe her and so forth.
She sent current photos from hundreds of yards away of a field not her own with junk in the field and barbed wire fence, I explained those would not suffice. She then sent 2 more photos from September! I requested current photos where I could see the mare was healthy once more. I received a close up of a black horse. Not Moon.
This occurred over a 3 day period.
At this point, we sent a team to retrieve the mare, as per the contact the adopter signed and as explained in the reminder formal notice.
The mare was not there. She had never been there according to the neighbors.
A call to the adopter resulted in the claim that she had just taken the mare to a trainer in Jackson, Ohio. She gave us the name and number.
There was simply no end to the lies this adopter would tell, and the lies did not stop there.
A call revealed the man had actually purchased her at the end of January or beginning of February, as best we can piece together. He had already traded the mare. He did explain he read her brand as 4FC23 and contacted the recorded owner through Ustrotting and paid a fee and registered that horse to him. The fact is Moon’s brand was poorly done and though her brand seems to read 4FC23, Ustrotting completed DNA testing for us and confirmed her brand actually says 4FE23. He has registered the wrong mare and traded her.
It took a few more days to find out the she was traded to an Amish horse trader named Yurie Yoder from near Jackson, Ohio.
He sold her, it seems, around the first of March at an auction in Pennsylvania.
We do not know which auction. The original buyer and Yurie claim to be trying to track her down now.
The issue is when a contract is involved, it is a civil matter. We’ve called many people in multiple counties to try to get criminal action taken. At the end of the day, the adopter will be held very liable in civil court (and buyers knowing she is stolen may be, a well) and be held very financially accountable, but we still need to find this mare.
We will see the adopter answers for her despicable actions, of course, but our focus is finding Moon and getting her safe right this moment.
To imagine a person would go through the process to adopt only to wreck an animal’s entire existence is beyond what we can imagine as honest, caring people. We need to remember because we would never do it, rescue work should have taught us, too many people will do anything to harm another being.
This lovely mare has now changed hands at least 3 times since her heartless sale on Craigslist by this adopter. She could have been sold for slaughter. We do not yet know. We hope against hope. All this person had to do was call or email, say the word, we would have taken the horse back to rescue. She knew this.
We are so fortunate that we have had so many wonderful adopters, but the fact is, there are many very cruel people out there that do not care about doing what is right and decent.
We screen well now. We will try to screen more heavily.
We will make changes to the contact to require more check ins.
We will start freeze branding every rescue that comes through our doors.
Still nothing make a horse completely safe, but it is important for any past or future adopter to know. . .
if you adopt and cause harm to come to one of our horses, we will never, ever let it go.
You will be held so very accountable, and we will never stop looking for the horse you cause to be put into danger: Not this horse, not any horse should this happen in the future.
Please, if you know of anyone in Pennsylvania, share this with them. We want to make sure Moon is safe.
One thing we are planning for all rescue horses. . .is freeze branding. We are looking into designs and the process now. Any suggestions if you have dealt with a certain company on this process?
Memphis and Alfie on this lovely warm day
I’d say she needed our help. With legs and feet in that shape, who knows what the end result will be, but she is on her way back to foster with Suzanna Johnson and will see her vet soon. Please donate to her expenses, if you’re able. Note – She was reported to have come from a gaited show barn that got shut down locally and they said she had big blocky shoes on her front feet when they got her. She has an extremely sweet personality and a very willing spirit and trailered like a champ.
With the 2,700 plus following on this page and the nearly 6,000 on my personal farm page, imagine what we could do if the supporters decided to make an effort each month to donate! It means to much to be able to count on your support of $5, $10, $20 or more dollars each month. It adds up to LIVES SAVED. Make the decision today to support saving the lives of horses with no voice.
Visit the website below to learn how!
I hope everyone has a good weekend, and remember to check back each day for new updates.