[res-kyoo] Show IPA verb, res·cued, res·cu·ing, noun
verb (used with object)
to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil.
Law . to liberate or take by forcible or illegal means from lawful custody.
I see a lot of fuss getting kicked up about horse rescues lately. Some of them seem to be a favorite target of PSAs. While PSAs screech about their `rights’ and how they want choice, they don’t really seem to think that anybody else should have a choice if it doesn’t come in line with their twisted logic or how they think things should be done. If they don’t like how a rescue does business, they basically throw a fit and commence slandering and interfering with said rescue. I thought it would be fun to break down all the complaints I have seen from PSAs about how rescues are doing it wrong.
Complaint #1 – If you pay for the horse it is NOT a rescue.
To this I say `BS’. Yes, you can buy a horse and rescue him at the same time. If you outbid a kill buyer you have indeed rescued that horse. According to the definition of rescue, you have delivered that horse from danger/evil. Just the same way that you would be rescuing somebody who had been kidnapped and you paid a ransom note on. I paid for my horse but he was rescued. He had a date to get on a northbound truck the next day. While that doesn’t make me a rescue, I did rescue him.
I can already hear some of our more brilliant PSAs asking if they go to a select sale and drop a load of money on a horse, if that is rescue. No dumbasses, that is not rescue. You are not saving that horse from anything unless he is a) in pitiful condition b) in danger of being sent into the slaughter pipeline c) pick your evil. People buy horses for their own use and people buy horses to get them out of harm’s way. Get over it. Maybe, if somebody bought a horse off some of you that could be considered a rescue if I had to go by how some of you treat your animals. I’m not a black and white thinker, so go ahead and split hairs all you want. Most people with more than one firing synapse will understand what I mean.
Complaint#2 – Rescues STEAL horses. I always scratch my head at this one. One one hand, you have a certain MO Bovine that claims to keep horses in `protective custody’ for the local sheriff and then runs around with her skirt flying in the air threatening to kill it if somebody doesn’t adopt it within 30 days. On the other, you have a legitimate rescue that will take in horses that have been seized and keep them until they can be placed or foster them out. I have a newsflash for the PSAs. Horse theft is a felony. If these rescues were stealing horses, the people involved would go to jail. Sometimes they cannot disperse of the horses until things go through court. It’s just not that hard to understand. No, the person that either abused or neglected the horses to the point of having them seized should not get them back.
Cue PSA people crying that instead of spending the money to rehab however many horses, they could spend the same amount of money to help the original owner. Well, they are HORSE rescues not social service agencies. Most people get into horse rescue because they love horses, not because they want to become a social worker. Hoarding, abusing, neglecting or all of the above takes a certain kind of disconnect, whether it be psychosis, dementia or just plain evil. Just as in the Nancy Skakel situation, sometimes all you’re doing is prolonging the inevitable. I’ve seen people who could barely keep a roof over their heads or food on the table and their animals are still in great condition. You either have it in you to do that to another living creature or you don’t.
Complaint #3 – It’s not really a rescue if they only take in one breed
My response to the above statement is;`Why not?’. Why can we have pitbull rescues, pug rescues, and any number of other breed dedicated rescues for other species, but you can’t focus on one area in horses? Whether you only rescue Thoroughbreds, black horses or ponies, it is still a rescue. Any horse `rescued’ reduces the number of abused, neglected, or unwanted horses by one. If somebody wants to rescue only Appaloosas, so be it. That just means that there are that many less Appaloosas for other rescues to worry about. Remember, it’s about having choices.
Complaint #4 – Rescues charging for adoptions are a scam
Right now horse rescue is not regulated. There are as many ways to do it as there are rescues. I know of one rescue that only charges $1 for an adoption and others that charge according to a horse’s worth. Personally, I don’t care what an adoption fee is. I have the choice not to adopt from that rescue if I feel they are charging too much. The fact is that it costs a lot of money to run a rescue and many horses ending up at rescues have little to no value beyond sentimental. If they happen to get a horse in that can be rehabbed to the point of having a decent value, I think they are well within their rights to do that. Depending on how long they have had the horse and what its issues were, they probably rarely recover their costs on adoption fees.
I can already hear PSAs stomping their hooves and saying that charging accordingly for adoption is brokering. It’s not brokering at all. If you are `brokering’ you are acting as an agent in the sale of a horse. There is a certain group out west that has gone through many incarnations and name changes that broker KB lot horses. They never own, have possession of them or pull them from the KB lot until somebody steps up to pay the bail. It is not brokering if you have ownership of the animal prior to adopting it out. It is also not selling the horse outright when you make the adopter sign a contract with conditions on how the horse is housed, cared for and disposed of should they not be able to continue on with it. No, the contracts are not always enforceable, mainly because of the cost of litigation. What can I say? People often suck.
Complaint #5 – Rescues beg for money
Yup, most rescues will ask for donations. Since many of them have non-profit status, it’s kinda how they keep running. They either depend on cash donations or donations in kind. Either way, if you don’t like it, don’t donate to them. Trying to interfere with rescues ability to get donations is like being jealous of your neighbor’s salary and phoning up their boss to complain. I don’t know of very many legitimate rescues that are getting rich. I also don’t know many people who get into rescue to get rich. Again, that’s just projection on the PSA’s part. If you don’t like a rescue or agree with how they are doing business, DON’T GIVE THEM MONEY. I don’t even care if they have non-profit status or not. If you earn your own money, you get to spend it or give it away however you want. Nobody is holding a gun to your head in order to make you donate to a rescue or anything else.
I’m not even sure how the PSAs are going to spin this one. Maybe they’ll say that they post pics designed to tug on people’s heartstrings and get them to reach deep. Yes, the probably do. Just like I’m equally sure that Unicef, The Cancer Society and Jerry’s Kids all attempt to tug at your heart-strings when they ask for donations. It’s called marketing and everybody that needs public support and/or money does it…..even Slaughterhouse Sue.
Complaint #6 – Rescues waste money trying to save hopeless horses
I almost hear this one as much as the whining about begging for money. I think that unless you are sitting on a board of directors for a rescue then what they choose to spend money on is their own business. As long as the animal is not suffering and has a chance at a meaningful recovery, who are any of us to say it’s not worth saving? I had a vet tell me once that if an animal was still fighting for life and had a real chance at meaningful recovery within a reasonable amount of time, then it was not inhumane to try to save it. No, this vet wasn’t in my pocket or getting anything from me at the time. He was being quite sincere about his beliefs around euthanasia and when it was time to say goodbye.
PSAs will counter this by talking about rescues being over capacity all across the country and these useless horses taking up space. I don’t really agree with that as I don’t feel it’s my place to put a value on a life that way. Unless there comes a time when rescues are regulated, it really isn’t up to anybody other than the rescue whether they want to provide sanctuary for horses that are not candidates for adoption.
I guess this all comes back to my not being able to understand why anybody who actually cares about horses would want to rag on rescues as much as PSAs seem to do. I’m sure there are more than a few unethical and horrible places calling themselves rescue. I think any rescue that supports slaughter is highly questionable as to their motives. As with anything in life, we will never have 100% perfection. Maybe rescues should be accredited in order to get their non-profit status, but that means fewer choices and more regulations. Maybe if you don’t like how rescues are being run, you need to go ahead and open one and show everybody how it’s done. If you do donate your money to a charity or a rescue, that money is gone. It does not give you a say in what the recipient does with it. For people who are so concerned about choices and rights, the PSAs sure have some control issues…
“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky