My Experience with AC4H
I've been bashed on this Board for questioning the wrath that has come upon this organization for what they do. I still don't have a problem with it. If they're using bad business practices and taking advantage of their 501(c)3 status, then the feds will catch up with them. My main argument in support of their existence is that they DO pull horses from the kill pen and find them homes.
So anyway, a friend had rescued two horses from them two weeks ago and I went with her yesterday to get two more. She contacted them by email and paypaled the money to pay for their "bail" (bought them) and they were marked pending on the website. They were then moved to the quarantine farm close by to be held until she could get them. We got there around noon and the woman (Denise?) was very nice and helped us with any questions we had and with getting them on the trailer. They both had snotty noses which of course concerned me, but otherwise they were in good weight and health. Their feet were dreadful, but I assume that most of the horses going through New Holland and AC4H are there because their owners can't afford their care anymore and farrier work is the first to be sacrificed.
They were very cute. One was a leopard app, about 14.2 but you could tell she didn't have a clue about anything. Of course she was advertised as "green broke" which was definitely a stretch. But my whole thing with dealing with AC4H is "Buyer Beware" and realize that at those prices there's no guarantee that they'll be what they tell you. As well as the fact that Christy only knows about them what she's told at the auction. The other was an adorable roan large pony (14 hands) also with yucky feet but really nicely put together and very well behaved.
They both were pretty good about getting on the trailer and rode exceptionally well all the way on the long 8 hour drive home. They weren't sweated up nor did they have any diarrhea on the trailer during their ride. The clueless one proved this point again by not having any idea that I wanted her to BACK off the trailer so we got the roan off first and moved the partition so the second one could turn around and walk off. Unfortunately, the leopard app (clueless one)'s nose was very drippy at this point, but again she acted fine and went in her stall and had a small amount of grain which she ate just fine. The only real concern I have about them (besides the snotty noses) is that they are VERY attached to eachother and got very nervous when the other was not in their field of vision.
Would I buy a horse from AC4H? Heck no. But do I begrudge people for buying horses from them or AC4H for how they handle the sales/rescues? Again, no. The horses/ponies were pretty much what Christy listed them as being. In the video she showed them being ridden together and the leopard app followed the other pony while being ridden bareback and seemed calm the whole time. I mean after all, one person's definition of "green broke" can certainly be interpreted differently depending on that person's horse experience. But I'm thrilled that my friend saved two more from the killers.
Pure luck. Who are you and why do you insist on defending a scam artist?
They are crooks and scam artists.
If you want to rescue horses - why not just go buy them at the auction directly, instead of funding a group that has been known to rip off people?
Quit enabling their scams.
There, fixed that for you.
Originally Posted by Fessy's Mom
I don't care who people buy their horses from and if they want to do deals with people known for shady dealing, that is their business.
But, call a spade a spade. Nobody is "rescuing" anything. Some horses get bought, some don't, the majority of the ones being bought were up for sale because they knew they could make a buck off them and therefore never were in any danger of shipping. The ones that truly were going to ship, if they even got offered for sale, whoever bought them it could maybe be said they saved them but in doing so they put a different horse on the truck. The kill buyer is going to fill his contract with the slaughter house, that's how many horses will get shipped no more no less and I wouldn't hesitate to wager they are buying (and reselling) many, many more horses than they've got a contract to ship. Therefore no, the majority of those horses were never in danger of going to slaughter they were simply resale horses. In reality your friend probably didn't rescue squat, those horses were up for sale and the ones that were sitting on that lot waiting to get loaded on the truck, are still sitting on the lot waiting to get loaded on the truck. Whatever makes her feel about herself though, I'm sure her heart is in the right place.
As for the rest, I'd never give my business to a company known for ripping off clients and doing shoddy work which is essentially what AC4H is known to do. Too many good businesses out there to support, and too many good horse people selling horses I'd rather buy from. I would never give Bernie Madoff my retirement money to invest, I would never send a Nigerian prince money to smuggle his treasures over to the US and I'd never buy a horse from Christy Sheidy.
Horses coming from auctions or larger dealers are going to be prone to the snots. That's just how it is and always has been. It's a royal pita to deal with, but not uncommon.
Fessy'sMom has every right to post her opinion and has been on the BB for a while now. She also stated that she did not buy from there nor would she but was accompanying a friend. Absolutely no need to ask who she is as if she's some sort of ac4h mole or accuse her of something she clearly stated she hasn't done in her post.
I fully understand people's hatred of this place and others, what I don't understand is why some go absolutely bat-crap crazy and insinuate, accuse or insult anyone who says they didn't have a bad experience with them also.
I didn't have a problem with them and neither did a bunch of people I know around here who've purchased through the either. I have also heard of many who have had bad experiences with them. I 100% fully support any legal proceedings if they have broken any laws. And an FBI investigation does make it seem as if they have done exactly that, we'll find out sooner or later.
But there isn't any need to attack another poster just because they didn't experience anything bad. Why do folks completely lose their cool whenever this place is mentioned? I could see not liking them, even hating them. But seriously...it's starting to look like the creepiest may not be AC4H.
Train's comin'! *chooo chooo*
So they were both sick and at least one of the two was not as represented. Not exactly a glowing recommendation but I guess it could have been worse.
Very well said Misty Blue. :) Especially:
" Fessy'sMom has every right to post her opinion and has been on the BB for a while now. She also stated that she did not buy from there nor would she but was accompanying a friend. Absolutely no need to ask who she is as if she's some sort of ac4h mole or accuse her of something she clearly stated she hasn't done in her post.
I fully understand people's hatred of this place and others, what I don't understand is why some go absolutely bat-crap crazy and insinuate, accuse or insult anyone who says they didn't have a bad experience with them also."
If nothing else, I certainly look to Misty Blue as a very educated voice of reason. I've never seen MB make nasty comments to or about other posters and it's too bad the other COTH members can't emulate her.
We'll have to see what the feds have to say. Why anyone would deal with someone being investigated for wire fraud is beyond me.
There are reputable rescues out there and they're really rescues. Why oh why do people continue to buy from AC4H?
Tangent: The argument that "you got this one but another one just went on the truck so you didn't rescue anything" applies to any horse that's taken from auction or a broker, no matter how it's acquired. If you bought that one straight from the ring at New Holland, you haven't prevented a full load from shipping with the broker. By that logic, no one ever saves a horse. Also, the "why don't you just go to the auction" line only washes for people who live close enough they can blow a day at the sale without knowing what's going to get auctioned and possibly coming home empty handed. *I* live in driving distance of a sale, but not everyone does or is willing to make a gamble trip overnight or longer.
Personally, I'd hesitate to do business with someone being investigated for wire fraud. But just like one good deal does not mean everything's sunshine and rainbow farts, a bad deal doesn't mean every last one was terrible. Also, good for these ponies, they're someplace better. As for why someone would opt for something like AC4H instead of "real" rescues, first, they've got a slick marketing pitch, second, they don't have a forty-page application for "adoption", inspection rights, restricted-use contracts, and failure to surrender ownership to the new "adopter" as some rescues do, which is why some of us don't get animals from "real" rescues. People who want to feel like they're rescuing something without going through a process that makes Chinese child adoptions look like a cakewalk could easily find AC4H's sales pitch appealing.
MistyBlue - as always, the voice of reason in a truly mad world. I am very grateful to you for sticking your neck out to support me knowing how people feel about this subject. As msj said, you never have anything nasty to say about other posters, you just politely correct them. I was hoping by making this post I could bring that out in a few people, but I guess we can add ac4h to politics and religion, you just can't discuss them in mixed company without expecting fireworks.
I just really find it hard to believe that when she's only selling (and no, I don't dispute that - she even has changed the wording on the website where she now says "bail - aka buy" when referring to sending funds for a horse) these horses for a few hundred dollars a piece that she could possibly be making any money if she is keeping these horses until they sell. Even the horrible "quarantine farm" only charges $10 a day to keep the horses who have been sold. Why anyone would want their property to have horses in that condition constantly coming in and out of there is beyond me and subject for an entirely different discussion.
Beyond further discussion on this subject, I also wanted to make it clear to those of you out there who are on the fence about offering one of these horses a home that it does actually happen as I stated in my post. You send them the money, make arrangements for pick up and go get your horse. Simple!
And no, I am no AC4H plant drumming up sympathy for them. I just think it's good that there's a place for people to go and save a horse from a horrible ride crammed in an overcrowded livestock trailer for many hours with no food and water to an ungodly, undignified and painful death (speaking of other topics for discussion). I am in no way against euthanasia if the horse is in pain or is unsuitable for a job. I just choose the medical route, although a well-placed bullet would also be acceptable to me.
And this -
"Pure luck. Who are you and why do you insist on defending a scam artist?"
- I honestly thought was a tongue-in-cheek joke. I guess I was wrong.
danceronice - thank you. :yes: And regarding the rescues with all their requirements for being "qualified" to adopt, I totally agree. And I also did not follow the logic regarding filling the truck. There is not an endless supply of horses going to the killer buyer.
And do you really want them all to go on the truck? I mean, you all complain about their unfair and deceptive business practices, but what is the solution? If not for my friend, I do believe these two ponies would have been slaughtered. And if you who do not support AC4H convince everyone else not to take any of these horses, won't they all go on the truck? Do you honestly want that? Like what, that would show em? :confused:
Yeah, but that $400, $500, on up to thousands of dollars (yes, I've seen AC4H tag auction horses with prices as high as $6K) someone shells out to AC4H to "rescue" (buy) that ONE horse from AC4H finances the purchase of several/many others who go directly on the slaughter truck. So, in essence, someone "saving" a horse is actually providing the money for SEVERAL others that get slaughtered that no one ever sees.
Originally Posted by danceronice
I have seen horses that Christy's KB bought for $50 go up on the AC4H site for $500 (or more).
Nevermind the fact that AC4H practices sleazy, misleading marketing methods which have all been described in prior threads - one of which isn't all that old.
IF one were to want to deal with AC4H...now probably wouldn't be the worst time as they MAY be more careful and not out and out scam people.
Yes, the $50 horse for $500 is pure greed ..that horse will likely will cost the 'adopter' a lot of money before it's 'worth' more than the $50. But AC4H knows the 'feeling of saving a life is priceless' and therefore puts an obscene price and an obscene pitch on it.
I WANT to believe it started out as a good thing...but...I my middle name could be Pollyanna.
SICK after being in quarantine?? doesn't speak well for the situation.
You know what they say...a fool and his money....
I agree that their marketing is overly-emotional and designed specifically to target the soft-hearted, slightly ignorant horse buyer.
I'm probably too jaded, but I don't find that any different than a show barn advertising push button winners that are only push button when on a cocktail or, well, most sellers in general. In a perfect world everyone would be 100% honest in advertising and all the horses' faults would also be listed. Hardly anyone does that though. Dealer barns and AC4H (yes I see the broker owned as dealer horses, that's what they are) will have a decent percentage of animals not be exactly as advertised, a sane and experienced buyer knows that most horses aren't as advertised and when from places that see a large turnover of animals it's just not possible to give a full and accurate description. If buyers prefer to purchase with their heart-strings...I feel for them a bit but honestly? That's real life...which rarely matches up to fantasy.
Now if they send an ancient, lame plain bay pony when the person purchased a loud 12 year old pinto that looked healthy-ish...then they're definitely asshats and breaking the law. But if during a short valuation process they mistake green broke for unbroke or don't see a problem like bucking, etc due to the time limit, location, horse's current mood...well that happens all the time and an experienced buyer knows that.
And I'm sure they've screwed up plenty of transactions. But their actual advertising, word usage targeting emotions and the fact that they mark up horses (it's a dealer, hello) or have both a rescue *and* work with a kill buyer....not illegal. Probably offensive to some, but not to many others. And yes, I WISH all sellers would ONLY sell to the right home that was fully and properly vetted to ensure the buyer isn't a grass-green wanna-be-rescuer. But no, I don't want those who also want that to enforce everyone else to comply with their wishes.
The reason of dealing with out of state dealers was answered above by others...to take time off, rent a trailer for my truck, drive 6 hours away, hire a farm sitter and then *hope* they have what I'm looking for on that specific day for $50 when I could sit home in my jammies, shop online and "order" what I want after someone else sat on an unknown horse for me and gave a rough guestimate of it and still save money will trump the other method every time *for me.* Yes I might pay $500 for a $50 horse. When buying 1 or 2 it's still a savings and the same horse here in CT would still cost me a helluva lot more than that $450 markup. If I'm going to buy a trailer-full, I'll make the drive there.
If it turns out they're running south of the law I'll be more than happy to see them close and get fined up the wazoo. Or jail time. Whatever. I don't love them, I found them useful. But I don't hate them either, had they screwed me over I'd have started my own legal proceedings. But if people can't make business deals despite the product being cute horses that may or may not get turned into ground meat, then they need to volunteer or donate to vetted and approved rescues and/or adopt from there and stay out of the dealer and auction sales. At the end of the day, it's business. And if it's bad business the FBI will find it. And if it is, I sincerely hope they do.
Where did you get the idea she is keeping these horses until they sell? They belong to Brian Moore and are located on his property until they are sent to quarantine.
Originally Posted by Fessy's Mom
Hmm, yes there is.
Originally Posted by Fessy's Mom
Very well said as usual MB.
To luvmytbs - From this post that someone made: ""Some horses get bought, some don't, the majority of the ones being bought were up for sale because they knew they could make a buck off them and therefore never were in any danger of shipping." This to me makes it sound like they would be kept until they sold.
But Christy is not the one keeping or feeding them. She has NO expenses regarding these horses.
Originally Posted by Fessy's Mom