Sunday, September 18, 2011

A mob of sheepeople

"Judge not lest ye be judged"

**this may be a bit of a rant, and kinda long, you have been forewarned**  ;)
Whether you're religious or not its a good piece of advice, and something a few local people would do well to keep in mind.
There's been a bit of a 'thing' going on in our little local community.  You see there is a woman, "J" travelling across the country by foot, camping out along the way.  Minding her own business and not causing any trouble.  But a local 'rescue' group is stirring things up.  Because J happens to have a horse with her.
"Homeless with a horse" played on the local news.  The rescue lady is trying to get J's horse taken from her with all kinds of claims flying about.  I happened to catch them on Facebook.  The stuff being said was kinda ridiculous.  It reminded me of how bad the mob mentality could get on Fugly back in the day (I haven't read there lately) and it was pretty evident that, as on Fugly, most of these people had no first hand knowledge of the situation but rather than find anything out for themselves they were blindly following along.
When the fit hit the shan about this locally J was camping at the west edge of the city.  The rescue lady was stirring things up so much that J moved and now she and her mare are camped out at the 'fairgrounds' of our town.  I stopped there today, which was actually kinda hard for me to do as I don't really like strangers lol
I wanted to know for myself if this lady & her horse were okay, if there was anything I could do to help them out or if maybe all the crap swirling around Facebook was actually true.
J is nice, a bit eccentric maybe but not a raving lunatic.  She said that she prefers to live outside as much as possible and is originally from Quebec.  She is making her way to western Alberta or BC for the winter, hoping for a milder climate where she and her horse can continue to live outside.
The horse, ah yes the horse... the reason for the drama.  She may be a bit thin but more on the thin side of average than skinny, she's not "starving".  J got the horse 2 months or so ago.  The horse looks well, she needs muscling & conditioning to fill out more than groceries (and after all its late summer/early fall... the mare is getting plenty of grass and isn't being worked too hard)
Yes she has only 3 shoes, she just lost one recently.  The rescue lady had "she's only got THREE shoes!" as part of her complaint.  Oh my!  Please, how many of you that shoe your horses NEVER EVER lose a shoe?
Yes there are a few sores on the mare.  As a matter of fact I noticed the same type of sores on one of my friend's horses recently.  They are not the kind of sores that are caused by abuse or neglect.  Again, if any of you have ever had a horse that NEVER gets a scrape/bump/cut please let me know how you managed that short of covering it in bubble wrap and putting it in in a rubber padded stall.
She does seem a bit off on one hind.  There is some thickening on the pastern, so it is most likely an old injury.
As for the claims that J stole this horse, or 'found it', NO it is J's horse.  She has a bill of sale including a photocopy of the certified cheque.  (which I never asked to see, it was information she volunteered)
The local SPCA and the local police had all been out and said there was no reason to take J's horse from her but this lady from the rescue still keeps harassing her.  I'm so glad that I stopped and saw for myself that the situation seems fine.  I told J (who at that time had not told me her name) that I'd be back with the few supplies that she hesitatingly asked for.  
When I came back with the supplies there was another local lady ("S") there, the one I had seen standing up for J on Facebook.  J introduced herself and thanked me for the stuff I brought, I introduced myself to S and while I was there the vet also stopped by, he agrees that the horse is fine (and the rescue happens to be one of his clients so he said he'd talk to her & try to get her to leave J alone) and the local news came to get some shots to finish up their update on the story - J had called them after the first story, someone had shown it to her and it did not tell HER side of the story at all but rather the rescue lady's.
Another one of the other reason's that's popped up for taking J's horse is that "its so cruel to the horse to travel that way".  Umm, HELLO how the heck do you think Canada & the US were settled?  By people walking, people riding & driving horses (and mules, and oxen, etc)  NOT by fricking cars.  Its a heck of a lot healthier for a horse for it to be out moving everyday than to spend most of its day in a stall or small pen, and how many horses live like that?! 
What about Bill Inman, Bernice Ende, Rev Ken Downey, Stan Perdue, Kimber Sider, Kimball Foord, etc.  I guess maybe it was okay for those people to travel across the country with their horses because they were riding them not leading them??
What I keep wondering is why these people are harassing J.  Because she's different?


  1. Glad you went to the source :) I saw that tweet and wondered what was up. There's been some discussion about homeless and whether they should have dogs. Same kind of thing. I think it's perfectly fine, so long as they do their best to be a good owner. Sounds like she's doing just fine and that rescue should leave her alone.
    So if she was just a plain old long rider, who had a home somewhere, would this even be a discussion? I just don't get what's got the rescue lady so fired up. And the shoe thing, lmao. Oh please. THAT would be a reason to confiscate a horse? *shaking head* if so, they should be able to come confiscate my neighbors horses who stand in a 20x20 pen all year long with no shade or shelter. But apparently that's not abuse or neglect....
    What a crazy situation. I hope this lady does well in her travels.

  2. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

    This whole 'rescue' thing has gotten beyond ridiculous and I would say quite a few of the animals that have been actually confiscated...DID NOT NEED TO BE!

    If more people would take two steps out of their way to take a look at a YOU DID...and offered a bit of YOU DID...(just by going and picking up a few things J needed)...our society would not be as F*d up as it is.

    But nooooo...there always has to be some loudmouth who has more opinion than experience or good sense that does nothing but cause problems for other people.

    Thanks for sharing...and I hope that more people take your lead and check things out with their own eyes.

    I also hope that if the rescue psycho does not leave J alone that the sheriff arrests her for harassment. These people have way overstepped their bounds and desperately need to be put back into line.

    (Sorry...that's my rant...I'm sick of the rescue crap!)

  3. I wish J Godspeed, and hope she gets to continue her journey without interference from busybodies. I appreciate that you took the time to get her story and to help her out a little.

  4. I am SO glad to know that there are people like you in the world! I think it sometimes takes courage to go right to the source and I think that what you did was wonderful!

  5. Sounds like PETA fanatics who think all animals should be free, if the horse is healthy and happy then let J and her mare be, sounds like she is not bothering anyone and I hope she makes it to BC before winter sets in..:-)

  6. "its not wrong its just different" is a quote many of us could learn from.I wish the lady and her horse all the best

  7. This post was great! Not in any other sense, other than we have had a "few", self appointed "cruelty experts" here. It would seem that there are those, who are hell bent on causing heartache and trouble where none exists!
    A recent case here had a lady in turmoil, after some crank, an "expert" on horses, decided that this ladies horses were too thin! Now from my limited experience, Thoroughbreds, are not the fattest of horses?
    Yet, this case got to court! The so called "expert" had actually forced the issue, and eventually almost lost the lady her horses. If it had not been for a well known welfare society stepping in at the last minute, and providing factual evidence on behalf of the horse owner, things might have been a lot different!
    Thanks here to a couple of local vets!! The day was saved, but it goes to show, just how one person can wreak havoc, by having an "expert" opinion. (rant over!) I always think, live and let live!

  8. Thanks for sharing this! How interesting...people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon. Way to go for going down there yourself to see if she needed anything. That is a really nice thing for you to have done.

  9. LOVE your post title - and good for you for checking things out yourself! People get so worked up over something that happens to be "different" - especially when the target isn't local and doesn't have supporters/defenders. Wonder how many horses or other animals in the community there are the could legitimately use the rescue lady's help but aren't getting it because their stories aren't unique enough to make the news.

  10. Had to add, if anyone wants to read a great, true story about a cross country ride, Last of the Saddle Tramps by Mesannie Wilkins is worth hunting down. She traveled from Maine to California with two horses - and very little horse experience - back in the 1960s.

  11. Glad you went and checked out the situation. So many times the story gets out of hand because there is one person who says awful things and everyone wants to believe it.

    I say leave her and her horse alone and let them travel to a warmer climate for winter. Just because I have no desire to live like that doesnt make it wrong or abusive.

  12. I originally read this just minutes after you posted yesterday. I sat on the page until I went to bed, not really knowing what to say or what to contribute. I, too, have been in a similar situation as J. When BP and I lost our home, through no fault of our own (our rental was forclosed on- not our fault), shortly after the first market crash in 2007, we were harassed because we had two cats living in a Great Dane sized wire crate in the back of our truck. Some "good Samaritan" EMTs reported us to Animal Control. Not bothering to find out the situation fully, (or the fact that they were WELL taken care of, probably eating higher quality food than the officer's own pets. Or that it was a VERY temporary situation- as we had only stopped for a couple nights before going on to stay with family north of Seattle) there were threats by AC to take our pets. There were no temperature extremes happening. The cats had a clean litter box, good food, and clean water available at all times. They were not ill, or injured, or mistreated. And for all the reporting EMTs knew, we were moving them to a new home. They didn't know. They didn't ask. They just reported us, making things difficult for about 24 hours for us, and nearly costing Disney Princess her job as a Vet Tech because we'd stopped at her apartment to see Doodle. It was bullshit, plain and simple.

    I think BECG and Cheyenne said pretty much how I feel about this crazed "rescue" crap going on today.

    I applaud you for stepping outside your comfort zone, meeting J, and giving her a helping hand. I think that's awesome. Perhaps a farrier will donate his or her services to help with the lost shoe, or pull them all and someone will donate a set of boots for her mare.

    Personally, I think this rescue lady has too much time on her hands. Perhaps someone should hand her a fork and point her towards some stalls...


Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!