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RESCUES... should they have an owner?

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  • RESCUES... should they have an owner?

    Recent thread brought this to mind.

    Should a rescue have an OWNER? (single owner)

    Should there be personal gain in a rescue? (excluding salaries)


    What is your definition of a rescue?
    Last edited by 7HL; Jan. 1, 2012, 10:46 PM.
    The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 7HL View Post
    Should a rescue have an OWNER?
    I don't get this question. All rescues have owners, either an individual or a board of directors. Rescues don't just exist out in the wild, unattached to any human.

    Should there be personal gain in a rescue?
    If it's a for-profit, it's certainly legal. Even a not-for-profit is allowed to pay salaries.

    What is your definition of a rescue?
    I don't have one. I think the word is so overused it's essentially meaningless.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 7HL View Post
      Recent thread brought this to mind.

      Should a rescue have an OWNER?

      Should there be personal gain in a rescue?

      What is your definition of a rescue?
      Well, if you mean being hinged on one person, no.
      But mostly because if that one person becomes unavailable the rescue is sunk.
      And as recent threads have shown, it can happen quickly.

      Personal gain...I am assuming you mean money.
      As stated, you can run a good rescue and still pay the people (including yourself) a salary.
      If you do it for profit, you are probably not a rescue, but a broker. And if you are Celia, well...another term applies I think.

      What is the definition of rescue?
      Well, I have to agree, the term has been thrown around too much.

      I think we have reached a point were buying a horse from somebody we don't 1000% (no typo) agree with about animal husbandry we 'rescued' Dobbins.

      I prefer Misty Blue's definition though: Find Dobbins tied to the rail road tracks = rescue
      Find Dobbins at a local Auction - not so much.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're not making money, you're not going to be in business very long. You want to live in poverty, join a convent/monastery (and realize your order still needs money.) You want to run a non-profit, come in deep in the black and establish an endowment to boot.

        As for an "owner" there has to be some human beings involved. A registered NFP needs a board and a staff. For stability, at least SOME paid staff is better. Volunteers usually disappear in the end.

        I don't know about what constitutes a "rescue". A better term would be either sanctuary, if it's the end destination for the animals, or shelter for ones that plan to move them on.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by 7HL View Post
          Should a rescue have an OWNER? (single owner)
          If the organization is a 501c3, then it is a publicly supported charity, not a personal/private company/enterprise. Do you ask who owns the American Heart Association? Or HSUS? Or the Salvation Army?

          A good, nonprofit rescue should be run by an Executive Director with oversight, planning and guidance by a Board of Directors.

          For me, I do think that real rescues are non-profit organizations. But I know many people disagree with that and there are plenty of 'private rescues' out there. I also know of many people who run nonprofit rescues who have a hard time letting go of control and oversight after founding the organization (a part of founder's syndrome). And I can find myself falling prey to that sometimes.... I don't think Bluebonnet is 'mine', but it can be hard sometimes not to direct every detail of the rescue. That's a challenge most founders face.

          Originally posted by 7HL View Post
          Should there be personal gain in a rescue?
          Nonprofits can pay salaries, benefits, and bonuses - and I think if you want the organization to last beyond just yourself, then you have to build that into your long-term strategic plan. You can't nor should you take a percentage of the proceeds or pay anyone 'dividends'. But paying a salary or salaries? If you want to grow, help more animals, and LAST you are going to have to find a way to do that.

          Originally posted by 7HL View Post
          What is your definition of a rescue?
          I think people have morphed the word 'rescue' to mean 'Helping any horse we feel are at risk'. To me, rescues are out there to help abused, neglected, abandoned and estray/stray horses, donkeys, mules, ponies, etc. I don't have a problem with rescues who focus on those areas but also take in donated/surrendered animals but I don't think that should be the focus.

          I do think there is room for sanctuaries, rehoming programs, retirement/retraining programs. I think they're equally important but different than a 'rescue'.
          Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

          Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I despise "rescues". If you want to help animals do it on your dime. If you can't afford that don't do it.
            I take in OTTB's. Usually about 15 a year and give them away once they are up to par. Yes FREE. I pay for everything.

            I also foster dogs for the local animal shelter. Dogs they would have slated to pts but would definitely be adopted if given more time than they allow. I don't pay an "adoption" fee from the shelter but all feed/vet is on me until I find them a home.

            If someone has to beg for donations to feed/vet the animals they in my mind are hoarders not a "rescue"

            They just want someone else to pay for their hoard/hobby

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CHSatwork View Post
              I despise "rescues". If you want to help animals do it on your dime. If you can't afford that don't do it.
              Eh... but city-run shelters can't handle all the animals, and some of us who want to help can't actually take in an animal in need for whatever reason.

              Privately-run organizations help fill both gaps. If it weren't for private orgs, it wouldn't matter how much I wanted to help -- I wouldn't be doing anything at all.

              That said, I can think of... four... animal organizations I've ever approached about volunteering, and one of those I backed away from quickly. I agree there are an awful lot of "fund my hobby" groups out there, which is unfortunate, but I'm not giving up on all orgs because of that.

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              • #8
                CHSatwork,

                It's interesting to me how in one breath you despise "rescues" but then talk about how you work with an animal shelter (protip: animal shelters "beg" for donations too!).

                Though I've yet to see an animal shelter that took in equines. Most don't have the training or the facilities to handle them. So where should horses that are in dire situations go?
                The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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                • #9
                  Analise the shelter is county run not private. It's more of a pound. Yes they do take horses/livestock here. Strays are given 7 days in case an owner can be found. Animals relinquished by owners are pts immediately. That is unless I get a call and have room to take them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think there is confusion between individuals who take in animals, ask for donations, and have no oversight or planning and actual nonprofits. A properly run nonprofit has oversight from a Board of Directors, must disclose its finances, etc.

                    If our organization didn't exist, a lot of Texas horses, donkeys and mules would end up euthamized or shipped to Mexico. There are a lot of counties and communities in this state that do not have the financial resources or facilities to handle large animals. Each animal who comes into our organization either goes up for adoption or is euthanized (health reasons). There is no warehousing of animals. We do have adoptions fees on most of the animals, but so does your local animal shelter.
                    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cowgirljenn View Post
                      I think there is confusion between individuals who take in animals, ask for donations, and have no oversight or planning and actual nonprofits. A properly run nonprofit has oversight from a Board of Directors, must disclose its finances, etc.
                      I think the problem is that some of the nonprofits are not properly run and are, once you start digging, little different than an individual taking in animals and asking for donations with no oversight/planning.

                      So I'll admit I tend to lump all individuals/orgs together until I can sift them out by my own criteria, and then they shake down into "groups I want to help" and "groups I don't want to help."

                      Whether they are run by an individual or a board, whether they are for profit or nonprofit... those questions matter in the sifting, but neither one are deciding factors for me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CHSatwork View Post
                        Analise the shelter is county run not private. It's more of a pound. Yes they do take horses/livestock here. Strays are given 7 days in case an owner can be found. Animals relinquished by owners are pts immediately. That is unless I get a call and have room to take them.
                        I've just seen a lot of the county-run animal shelters take in horses, yes, but they turn right around and try to find rescues who'll take them because they know they don't have the facilities. I can't think of one country-run animal shelter I've personally seen or heard about that took in horses and managed to both properly care for them and get them into homes without a separate rescue being involved.
                        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by HappyVagrant View Post
                          .. little different than an individual taking in animals and asking for donations with no oversight/planning.
                          ...
                          Guess this is my main issue, along with the rescue that pimps kill buyers.

                          To me an individual that takes in animals is NOT a rescue or shelter. They may have noble intentions, but some are running a game on others. A true rescue should not be looking to place it's animals elsewhere when the "owner" becomes sick, dies or runs into financial difficulty. I believe there needs to be some regulation on those calling themselves "rescues" or "shelters".
                          The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 7HL View Post
                            To me an individual that takes in animals is NOT a rescue or shelter. They may have noble intentions, but some are running a game on others. A true rescue should not be looking to place it's animals elsewhere when the "owner" becomes sick, dies or runs into financial difficulty. I believe there needs to be some regulation on those calling themselves "rescues" or "shelters".
                            I agree that the rescues shouldn't be closing down when the founder/president/person who runs it gets sick or whatever... but I think that's a symptom of a badly run rescue.

                            And I agree, HappyVagrant, that there seems to be little difference between some nonprofits and individuals.

                            I don't know how oversight from the government or someone else is going to solve that problem, though. The government has enough to do and doesn't really understand rescues or shelters enough to oversee them.

                            I would like to see a 'trade association' of sorts for rescues, BUT then you run into the problem of who will run it? Who will fund it? And how will they get buy-in from established rescues? I know there are a couple of groups out there who want to 'certify' rescues and there are smaller rescues going to get their certification to improve their legitimacy. But for a group like Bluebonnet that has been around a while and has a good reputation or other longer-established organizations, we don't really have 'buy in' to the idea.

                            A trade association that educates rescuers, educates animal control, has some kind of certification process, etc. would have to be put made up from rescue/welfare professionals, horse industry professionals, etc. and there would have to be some start-up money to get it going. And it would have to be run by people who didn't have an 'agenda' like some of the groups who have tried to get off the ground and oversee rescues in the past.
                            Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                            Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are a lot of nonprofits - including many good ones - that end up driven by a single individual, and that fold when that individual is no longer available. Building a strong team of people so that no one person is indispensible is required to make an organization go the distance, and it's hard to do, and often appears harder than just doing it all yourself on the day-to-day level. If there's a girl scout troop or a 4H group in your area, often that's because one person is making it happen, even though the larger organization is well established.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                ^^^^^ some great suggestions and ideas ^^^^^
                                =====================================

                                I am more for a rating agency, trade organization or evn the Better Business Bureau stepping in.

                                The real problem is that some people will just ignore. Even some of the ones on here that many don't feel positive towards have their supporters. It often comes down to they are saving them from slaughter. Don't want to get into that issue.

                                They say follow the money. I would like to see the books, all the finances opened up. And not just the general category, boiler plate stuff. Example payroll, not general figures who's getting paid. Is the person that runs the rescue, plus all their family & friends getting paid.

                                Are they running a boarding operation as well on the facility? Is it just rescue horses at the facility? Is that facility being used as a residence?
                                The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Here's the thing: the ones that are federal 501(c)3s, the books ARE open. The ones that are state-recognized, the books ARE open. It is not difficult to get the financials on an actual tax-deductible charity. (And all of those can have private residences on the grounds and for-profit operations in the same facility so long as the books are separate and the IRS is satisfied there's no commingling of funds.)

                                  If it's an entirely private group, their financials are none of your business, and the IRS will tell you that. Unless they misrepresent themselves as tax-deductible or (more importantly to the government) attempt to take deductions and tax-free status to which they're not entitled (you have to present a tax-exempt ID number when making tax-free purchases, they would have to prove tax status if they're trying to use NFP mailing rates), they can call themselves whatever they want and they can ask you for money all they want, and if you give it to them, that's up to you. You can't deduct it, and as long as they don't tell you that you can, that's not THEIR problem.

                                  Being a "not for profit" has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with morality or nobility of causes. It's ENTIRELY a matter of tax status. You can have a for-profit rescue provided you don't try to claim tax status to which you aren't entitled. And if you do you can absolutely solicit funds for it. As long as they report it as income the IRS does not care.

                                  You can have groups like AAM or AAZA which member organizations can voluntarily join, but there's absolutely no way to force any museum to join AAM (the one I work for isn't; we're just too small to really make the accreditation worth pursuing), there are dozens if not hundreds of zoos who aren't in AAZA. That doesn't make them illegitimate. Also, those are big organizations themselves, requiring income and paid staff to operate. Inspections are long and expensive. (I left the zoo during one to take another job, and at the time the AAZA recert was suspended for them. The state and city were cutting funds, and while AAZA recognized there was absolutely nothing the zoo could do about it, they couldn't certify them when there was risk of a budget shortfall, no matter how good the staff and programs were.) And member organizations have to agree on what the standards are. For museums, you have to have some form of agreement on preservation versus restoration, disposal of unwanted donations, how things like bequests are handled. With zoos, what constitutes reasonable enclosures, what are minimums for each species, what is the balance between research, conservation, and public display? Think about animal rescues, sanctuaries, adoption groups, retirement facilities, and what sort of common standards are needed for an oversight group to be effective?
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by cowgirljenn View Post
                                    A trade association that educates rescuers, educates animal control, has some kind of certification process, etc. would have to be put made up from rescue/welfare professionals, horse industry professionals, etc. and there would have to be some start-up money to get it going. And it would have to be run by people who didn't have an 'agenda' like some of the groups who have tried to get off the ground and oversee rescues in the past.
                                    I think an organization like this almost has to develop from within the industry vs. waiting on a third party. There is always going to be an agenda, but existing groups are much more likely to buy into the agenda if they are part of defining it vs. having it imposed on them from a completely independent third party.

                                    At least rescues already have experience dealing with questions of how to run/how to fund an organization -- not that that makes the logistics of starting such an org easy, but it does mean the people involved would have some experience in what's required and how to go about it.

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