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Adoption by "rescues"

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  • Adoption by "rescues"

    I may cut my own throat for starting this thread, but it galls me, no it really makes me want to rip someone a new one when a "rescue" says they "adopt" and then try to retain control over the animal for all eternity.


    I'll clarify adoption for you. I am adopted. My natural mother has no rights of "ownership" to me whatsoever. If my adoptive parents, who, BTW are my parents, 100% and legally my parents, misuse me, they are called to task for it, but my natural mother has no say about it whatsoever.

    Adoption is the means by which the natural (original) parent (owner) gives up their parental rights, or any rights to the individaul, and those responsibilities, and rights, are transferred to another.

    When a 'RESCUe" adopts out a horse, it is given away after careful scruitiny. If they want to retain ownership, it should never be called adoption, it should be called a lease of somekind.

    The rescues know this. They use the term "adoption" to lure more people into their scheme. If they can't take the animals, evalutate the future owners and find a good home for the animals without retaining continual power and cpontrol over the animals, then I belive strongly that they are more than "rescues" but are more likely hoarders and or emotionally vested in the personal needs this enterprise and these abnimals provide for these women.

    If I ever, ever saw a foster or adoption contract which looked like the one posted on a recent thread about a xmas pony, I would hand it back in about 3 secs or less. I would assume these people mistook me for a fool with the same emotional neediness they have, and who is suseptible to the same emotional manipulations they seem to think are effective.

    I have adopted two horses and 7 dogs or cats and I would walke away from people like this. I don't care what their reasoning is. If they can't determine that the place doewn't have 24/7 mud on their own reconnaisance, then they aren't smart enough to be handling the horses.

    I can't begin to elaborate on this. I DESPISE people like these "rescues".

    And that's my opinion.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

  • #2
    I agree. I don't even like to do free leases personally.

    Although I've done successful and beneficial free leases I always know that I'm paying and at times training someone else's horses and they can take back all my hard work and money at anytime.

    Years ago before I ever owned my own horse I leased one. I was told once, after a good show performance "wow.. i'm going to get so much money when I sell this horse!'. I was never told the horse was going to be for sale, in fact the opposite and of course there was no mention of commission or anything else!

    I am not a rescue nor do I play one on TV but I have rehomed a few horses that were in need. Caring for them at my farm or boarding barn for a while and then finding new owners. I did my best to make sure the people were liget, delivered the horses myself so I could see their new homes, offered to take the horse back or re-rehome it, and then hoped for the best.

    I'm currently looking for a companion pony and i'm seriously being turned off of rescues with stories like these.
    http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


    • #3
      Some rescues are good, some not so good. There are too many out there that are glorified hoarders, and many many more that have good hearts but need serious lessons in PR and nonprofit management. When some people are extremely passionate about animals, it can definitely cloud their rational side. They get burned once, and everyone's the enemy.

      I agree that these cases are free leases, not adoptions.

      It takes people to help animals, and people who can be practical and rational in a highly-emotionally charged situation are the best to work in animal welfare. Nothing is a bigger red-flag in the animal welfare employment world than a job applicant that says "i like animals better than people." But unfortunately, a lot of those people go on to form their own rescues.

      But, there are some good rescues out there. You just have to find them, and realize that they aren't all the same.


      • #4
        My reaction is not that strong. I understand where you're coming from, however, most equine rescues have a 'no breeding' clause. Their thinking is that there are too many horses in this world already. Why bring in another?

        The rescue I got Bella from is the Horse Protection Association of Florida in Micanopy. (I just had to look at my contract) It basically says that you have to comply with all state and federal animal rights laws (give shelter, food, water, etc). The horse may be returned with sufficient notice.

        The only other thing is, if you sell the horse, just let HPAF know.

        I have kept Morgan (the director) up to date with everything with Bella, as a courtesy. I let her know when we changed farms. And, now, she knows that Bella will be moving from FL to WA.

        As a side note, we will probably breed Bella.

        Everyone has their own opinion on it. While I don't totally agree with the 'no-breeding/let us know everything that is going on with the horse,' I understand why they do it.
        Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
        Top Shelf "Charlie"
        Check out the Military + Horses fb page!


        • #5
          Originally posted by BLBGP View Post

          But, there are some good rescues out there. You just have to find them, and realize that they aren't all the same.

          My first post came across a bit harsh. I don't dislike "rescues" I don't like rescues like the one described by the OP.

          I know there are good ones out there, and I would love to help the good ones in my area.
          http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


          • #6
            Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post

            My first post came across a bit harsh. I don't dislike "rescues" I don't like rescues like the one described by the OP.

            I know there are good ones out there, and I would love to help the good ones in my area.

            My reply was to the OP, not to you (I think we were writing at the same time). I completely understand your frustration. Good luck finding a pony who needs you!


            • #7
              If by some freak of circumstances the only way I could have a horse was to go through a "rescue", I'd go horseless.

              But I guess wingnut women have to have something to do that makes them feel special and talented. This sort of silliness goes back at least as far as The Temperance League.


              • #8
                I'm not a rescue, but I have put horses up for adoption and have been a foster and assumed responsibility for finding a suitable new home.

                What's worked for me is doing a trial lease period of 6 months during which time I retain ownership and if all goes well, the lessee officially adopts the horse and I no longer have a claim to it. Of course I don't have the volume that rescues do so it's been easy to keep in touch with everyone and get friendly updates, even after the trial period.
                Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hollynanne View Post

                  The rescue I got Bella from is the Horse Protection Association of Florida in Micanopy. (I just had to look at my contract) It basically says that you have to comply with all state and federal animal rights laws (give shelter, food, water, etc). The horse may be returned with sufficient notice.

                  The only other thing is, if you sell the horse, just let HPAF know.
                  See, to me, that's a pretty reasonable contract. Obviously rescues who've invested time and money into rehabbing and caring for a horse don't want to hand it off to someone who's had twenty cats seized by the SPCA or who plans on keeping it in their suburban back yard and feeding it table scraps. I'd be mildly uncomfortable with the sale notification unless it's simply a notification that the horse has been sold, not contact details for the purchaser (who is buying a horse and has not signed any agreements with the rescue.)

                  I think what Another Round is objecting to is rescues that say they're "adopting out" horses, but who have contracts that say the horse remains their property in perpetuity, can't be sold to other people, they can inspect any time, you cannot use X piece of equipment or training method, etc. The "adopter" assumes all expenses, but has no real control over the horse. That's not an adoption, that's a lease.

                  Heck, I just adopted (their contract term) a dog from the animal shelter, and if I wanted to give it back after ten days, not only would they not cheerfully accept ownership, they'd charge me the normal dog surrender fee. And their method of enforcing the spay/neuter clause is not to argue that the dog is still theirs, but that it's a condition of my ownership (and that, being a county agency, if I don't provide evidence of having said surgery done, they'll have the sheriff's department send me a $300 ticket. I find that highly motivating myself, but that obviously only works for a law-enforcement agency!) In any case, they are adopting the dog out to me--provided I meet the contract and give htem their money, the dog belongs to me.
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                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post

                    My first post came across a bit harsh. I don't dislike "rescues" I don't like rescues like the one described by the OP.

                    I know there are good ones out there, and I would love to help the good ones in my area.
                    Well I apprecitate your point of view. I just haven't come across many rescues lately I would have any respect for.

                    I have to codify that. We just rescued a dog from what seems to me a wonderful rescue in Tennessee, found through Petfinders. They take the many many dogs which are unhomed through the current social problems which encourage people not to fix their male dogs ("I need to find a bitch to breed my dog to, he hasn't got any, he needs to get some; Won't cut off my dog's balls, etc... Our dogs are allowed to come and go off the property, they are dogs and that's how dogs do...) which means, according to the rescue in TN, that there are thousands of dogs in need of homes down there, but because of the responsible social concerns of people up north, not alot of dogs available up north, so they actually truck dogs up here to be adopted!! Our dog came in a semi with I don't know how manuy other dogs, air conditioned, we adopted her online, were matched to her by her needs and our family type, our $300 fee paid for her vet bill and as much as her siblings and mother's fixing and vet bills as it would contribute to, she had been fostered (they don't have a kennel, the dogs get all fostered out) and she came with basic training, leash, sit, behavioural, cage trained, etc. and is the best dog in the world. If our circumstances changed, we would do our best by her and make sure she went to a good family or another rescue, or we would contact TN again, but she's our dog and not theirs. There is a difference.

                    A rescue should not be holding on to an animal. They should be in the business of fostering it, themselves, until they can find a foster and then hopefully a final home. That should be their goal, not freakish interferance and judgment over your home and household forever. And here's my real point - if they cannot determine you are a good home, then they shouldn't let the horse go. Its as if these places let the horse go, then retain the rights to make determinations about your homing of it.

                    Do your due diligence, I say, don't let the animal go until you have a home for it, (ie, a good home) then don't second guess yourself - you did your best, move on to your next animal. This crap is rediculous.
                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                    • #11
                      For the record the rescue that adopted out the christmas pony was not the rescue stirring the pot in the other threads. I feel badly that they are getting mixed up. At one point when they became involved, it was most likely due to misinformation passed to them which was designed to inflame and worry them. I think they (AC4H) were used directly or indirectly by the other rescue who at that point had an agenda which involved causing me some trouble as payback.

                      Please don't ever hesitate to deal with AC4H. If nothing else, what I learned from them today is that even with a pretty big misunderstanding, I was still dealing with a rational person on the other end of the phone who pledged continued support for the pony if it was asked for or needed. No agenda, just an honest intent to offer assistance if necessary.. That is very nice to know.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                        Well I apprecitate your point of view. I just haven't come across many rescues lately I would have any respect for.
                        I said I hoped to help a good rescue in my area.. I didn't say I had found one yet

                        I did contact Mid Atlantic because I LOVE OTTBs so hopefully (and from what i see) they run a good rescue and I can put my feed bag proof of purchases and old tack to good use!
                        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                        • Original Poster

                          Here's another point. They wouldn't have to put verse and chapters into their contracts, such as "helmet clauses" if they transferred ownership.

                          If the adopter was the new owner, and they put their 8 yoi on the horse without a helmet, then it would be the new owner's problem (buyer beware) and not the rescue's problem/

                          I would think it would be in their best interest to transfer ownership. Ther are making themselves crazy making contracts which cover all sorts of whacko contingencies to cover thenesleves.

                          Just make sure you do the best thing by the horse.

                          for exeample: If you don't adopt out a 3 yo stud colt to a backyard family with a 3 year old and barbed wire fencing, you won't get the following:

                          Law suit for 5 million dollars dor the death of the baby because they put the baby and his three friends on top of the three year old stud colt at a birthday party, tied on for safety, and they ran through barbed wire and got cut and some died.

                          If you don't adopt out un-fixed animals, you're covered there.

                          If you don't adopt out young animals to unknowlegable people, your'e covered there.

                          If you don't adopt out to people with barbed wire, you're covered there.

                          But you do, so you create these assonine contracts about it all!!

                          Cut your youngsters, don't put them in families where they aren't suited, and if you can't find a place wehre they can live a safe life, be ready to euth them. The rank horse who rears does not belong with a teen who has been riding yes, 7 years, but that's no place for the incorrigable horse whose behaviour put it in the auction to begin with. be smart. If you, the rescue, can't retrain a horse to be a practicle companion, either keep it yourself or euth it (your adoptionh feees might need to cover these) but don't go whacko with contracts trying to cover yourself from every idiot who is going to want to adopt.

                          Don't adopt to the incompetent

                          Don't adopt out unhandlable horses

                          Adopt a policy of euthenizing horses who's health is so poor and who would tax the pocket books of the people they go to for care (which puts them at risk again)

                          Adopt a policy of euthenizing horses who are more behaviourally challenged than the adopters are able to handle

                          Apply these rules, and move along.

                          Investigate the adopters, dillengtly. If they pass, then adopt out, permanently. You don't need to get them to promise no barbed wire, in otherwords, if you have been to their farm and see 5 board fencing. Chances are they won't be exchanging the 5 board for barbed wire any times soon. Adopter found. No need for a barbed wire clause, eh?

                          Move on.
                          Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                          • #14
                            Rescues do work that is important. BUT some of them are actually hoarders that can not trust themselves or others enough to convey ownership.

                            I know many great rescues. I also know many that are complete head case control freaks with boards that are even worse. Then there are those that work smoothly.

                            Given what i have read and lived recently I am glad I am not a 501C. The complications and hassles far out weigh the benefit of a few write off dollars!

                            I am not sure there is one I could recommend without reservation at this point. It seems the squirrel has somehow gotten in the cage and has taken over!

                            Until they all get clearly defined goals for ownership count me & my money o-u-t!
                            "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                              If they want to retain ownership, it should never be called adoption, it should be called a lease of somekind.
                              Agree completely.

                              While I understand rescues wanting to ensure their horses land in safe places, trying to retain control for the span of the horse's life seems... over the top.. to me. And I think it really discourages a lot of qualified homes from stepping up and taking a horse.

                              I hate to say it but lately I skip over most threads related to horse rescues, etc. There's just too much weirdness...
                              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                              • #16
                                It's odd

                                That rescue orgs want to do everything to insure quality of life for their horses-- down to fencing and helmeted people-- but rarely acknowledge that euthanasia is the best option for an animal that falls into their hands. The group in CA that raises money for low-cost euthanasia and educates the public on that issue should not be the exception to the rule?

                                Is the it the deeply held convictions of the rescue's owner or a PR issue that decides the avoidance of euthanasia as a viable and ethical option?

                                I used to live in a small, PC town in Central NY whose SPCA imported a rather famous new director from NorCal. The dude did some great fundraising and other things. Among them, made the local shelter in this town (in a pretty poor rural county) a no-kill one. They advertised it as such, making fund-raising that much more difficult for shelters in neighboring and even poorer counties.

                                Lovely, except that this SPCA's no-kill problem was accomplished via an extensive foster program. In effect, private citizens took up the slack that they could not and the SPCA used that accomplishment to raise even more money. Other shelters around the country are reputed to maintain a no-kill policy by shipping out unadoptable animals to places.

                                To me, this reeks of PR ploy. It's laudable to save animals, and it's reasonable to expect that not everyone needs to feel the same way about euthanasia as an option. It does strike me that the rise of rescues makes it more difficult, more taboo to recommend euthanasia.

                                At bottom then, you can't have it both ways. You can't make it tough to place all your animals because of restrictive agreements, and refuse to maintain them, and refuse to euthanize them, AND get righteous about your (untenable) position to boot!
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                  While I understand rescues wanting to ensure their horses land in safe places, trying to retain control for the span of the horse's life seems... over the top.. to me. And I think it really discourages a lot of qualified homes from stepping up and taking a horse.
                                  Should I ever be in the market for another horse, I won't look twice at a rescue. I take great pride in being a trustworthy person and will not put myself into a situation where I'd be scrutinized until death do us part--and then quite possibly have that death scrutinized? No thanks. I want a free and clear "title" to my horse.

                                  My money, my decisions and my choice is a free and clear purchase.

                                  That said, I would financially support a rescue that not only has the horse's best interest at heart, but is also willing and able to let the horse go free and clear.

                                  Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                  Adopt a policy of euthanizing horses who's health is so poor and who would tax the pocket books of the people they go to for care (which puts them at risk again)

                                  Adopt a policy of euthanizing horses who are more behaviorally challenged than the adopters are able to handle
                                  Additionally, euthanize animals whose rehab would badly tax the rescue and leave it unable to help more horses. Which makes more sense, helping one horse for $10,000 or 10 horses for $10,000?
                                  Last edited by HighFlyinBey++; Jan. 17, 2010, 10:47 AM. Reason: format
                                  I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
                                  Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


                                  • #18
                                    I remember talking to our area feed rep about a variety of issues and one point I remember him making was about "rescue" organizations that approach feed companies looking for donations because they can't afford the feed, hay, farrier, vet bills, etc. He said he was talking to one such "organizer" who had run up over $10,000 in bills with a vet, couldn't pay, and therefore was switching vets. Again. Apparently she has already done the same thing twice before and was complaining that she was running out of vets in the area!

                                    The first question this particular feed rep asked her was "how do you plan to re-home the rescues?" She looked at him like he had 10 heads and replied, "REHOME them? I'm a rescue-I can't risk them ending up in another bad situation." He turned down her request for donations because he considered her a horse collector, not a rescue organization. He said that his company only considers donating to organizations who have viable business plans that include rehab with ADOPTION as the ultimate goal. He was floored that someone who admittedly couldn't pay for grain or vet care thought that SHE was providing good care!
                                    JB-Infinity Farm


                                    • #19
                                      I'm hesitating to weigh in here . . .

                                      First -- I am completely sympathetic to getting fed up with crazy rescue rules. I posted on the other thread about being told I couldn't have a rescue dog because I had kids. I also know of local rescues that have such crazy rules they end up keeping most of their horses. And as soon as I saw their requirements I decided immediately I wouldn't look into them.

                                      But, but, but -- there *are* legitimate rescues. They are doing great work in tough times, with difficult people!

                                      I don't understand the need for these kinds of threads. If you don't lilke a rescue, click away from the website, politely end the phone conversation, whatever. Their rules aren't your rules. OK, move on!

                                      I think we can all agree there are many horses in need. These threads do nothing to help those needy horses, as far as I can see. They are negative; I'd prefer to focus on the positive -- why not recommend those rescues you DO like?

                                      The rescues you don't like will take care of themselves -- they will disappear, or they will find an audience that is more sympathetic to their values or whatever. As long as their horses are fed and cared for, who really cares if they keep them for a long time? They do things differently than you would -- so what?

                                      (flame suit zipped!)
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                                      • #20
                                        Anyone can start a rescue

                                        The problem is there are no state or nationwide guidelines for "rescues". All you have to do is start one. This allows a wide spectrum of philosophies. I don't really care because for the most part, horses get taken off feed lots and get another chance. BUT, there are what I feel to be shennannigans happening, also.
                                        For example, woman starts a rescue, on her own property. Uses raised funds to put nice 4 board fencing up and fix all her barns. Rescues a some horses but then shuts down a few years later. All improvements stay on her property. Hmmmmm....