It’s barely been two weeks since we first learned of the 34 Paint horses belonging to a very vocal PSA, that ended up seized in Fallon, Nevada. (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/sundays-psa-8/) To any sane person with a shred of compassion for animals, it seemed a fairly cut and dry case of neglect and the horses were better off being rescued. Well, what has occurred since Dorothy Robertson aired her dirty panties in public has been a clusterfuck of monumental proportions. I guess what surprises me the most is that there are people that vehemently defend her and think she was dealt a dirty given the condition of her horses, whether it was some or all of them. Since the UH brain trust elected to hush Dorothy up, and nobody loves an audience more than Dorothy, she decided to run over to one of the gazillion message boards she is a member of and update her `fans’. (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=368636&page=25).
“Where to start? There WAS hay at the farm…..I have purchased over 40 bales a week (each bale being 105-115 lbs of premium alfalfa)…have hay ranchers statements. The youngsters spent most of the winter on pasture board in northern part of the state with a gal that traded board/haltering/feeding/trimming/worming of the foals for a couple of mares of hers being bred to my perlino stallion for buckskin foals. In mid April her boyfriend called me and said they’d had huge blowup and she’d packed and left leaving horses behind and he had nothing to do with them, could I come get them? Arranged for that….got back babies with long, long feet, rough nasty coats, pot bellies and no handling. First priority was worming and feeding. Wormed with Safeguard without any real improvement in them in a couple weeks. Worked on handling during that time as well….”
– As far as we know right now, Dorothy has been charged with neglect. This does not necessarily mean those horses were all starved, but their CONDITION was such that control officers felt that some intervention was needed. In earlier posts, she did not state that ALL her young stock went to this other person, but `some’. At any rate, why wasn’t she checking on them? She had the horses back in April and they were seized in early September. Plenty of time to have their feet looked after, fed up and handled.
“Also packing ranch to move as ranch was in foreclosure and moving was necessary….spent a lot of time looking for new place to land. Found a place first week of May and began moving as I had to be out by 5/15. Moved (about 75 miles) one trailer load at a time and with only two days of help from anyone….had to move horses, then pens, set up pens, more horses, more pens….usually one load a day. While moving had a case of heat exhaustion and was down for two days getting electrolytes and fluids balanced…this was after horses and dogs, pens and kennels were done but none of furniture, books, photos, appliances etc was done. Went back to get them and place was padlocked…lost all personal belongings. Wormed babies with generic ivermectin gel after getting moved….three had almost immediate photosensitive sunburns including badly swollen legs. Those without sunburns were trimmed (photos taken by sheriff show this). Those with sunburns eventually began peeling, cracking, bleeding after swelling went down and were very painful and sensitive. I chose to allow legs to heal rather than fight with barely halter broke foals with painful legs…and to work on halter work until legs were healing and could be handled without causing pain….figured that was safer for the horse (and me and future handlers) in the long run…did not want foot/leg handling associated with pain.”
– There are a few problems with the `sunburn’ due to worming story. There is a video from 2011 that clearly shows a mature mare with the hide literally blistering off her from sunburn and several horses with slipper feet, including one that was photographed after the seizure nearly a year later that had clearly had no intervention in the mean time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHIydGccvyM) She states she couldn’t handle these horses or their legs, so I’m guessing she didn’t do anything to treat their `painful legs’ between April and September. Need a reminder of what these horse’s legs looked after the rescue became involved (nearly two weeks after they were seized?
“Meanwhile, new place is a sandlot…..over 12 feet deep in fine sand, weeds shoulder height over entire place…sat vacant for at least 2 years. Either previous occupants or possibly vandals had taken much of wiring from outbuildings, some from in house, pump and pressure tank from the well and woodstove from house. Deal with owner was cleanup/repair for rent. Pond in backfield for mares and hauled around 1000 gallons a day for two months for penned horses….have neighbors that will testify to that. Saved money for pump, generator and pressure tank and labor to install. Got that done in early July (6 weeks more or less from move in date). Old stallion was doing reasonably well at that point…had long history of health issues and had had strangles in fall and then pigeon fever in late fall/early to mid winter with last abscesses healing in Jan. Had colicked earlier and blown out one abscess in one front foot in June. Visit from sheriff on anonymous complaint in early July found no neglect, problems being addressed. Two followup checks found the same…things were not neglectful and work being done to address what issues came up (sand colic biggest one). By early to mid July several horses had shown sand colic symptoms, had been removed from pasture (approx 5 acres, saltgrass and weeds, were getting hay 2 x/day at approx 20 lbs/horse/day….keep in mind these are smaller cutting bred horses with most not going 15 hands and one or two in the 13.3 – 14 hand range), placed in existing old pens, treated with sand clear and fed extra to regain what was lost with the sand issues.”
– Keep in mind that she had earlier stated this place was only 10 acres and she had 34 horses on it and now we hear it was a sand pit. Throwing alfalfa in the sand for them to eat is kinda asking for sand colic, no? At any rate, I’ve had a horse sand colic on me and he did NOT turn into a skeleton and any condition he lost was very quickly regained. Also, keep in mind metabolism has more to do with what you’re feeding than size. You need to take a critical look at your animals each and every day to assess how your feeding program is working. I have a 17.2HH horse that stays fat on about half of what one of our 15.2HH horses eat….just sayin…
“Old stallion began sliding downhill and decision was made if not improved by Aug 1 to put him down. Sister in California with colon cancer also began going downhill quickly and trip to see her for last time, death, funeral, house cleaning took time/$ I had set aside for putting stallion down. Vet would not take payments…cash up front, more than $300. Horse was on antibiotics, bute for pain, epsom salt soaks for feet, omeprezole for possible ulcers, approx 30 lbs alfalfa hay a day, 10 lbs alfalfa pellets, sr feed, calf manna and continued to go downhill. Had horses for sale, misc stuff from ranch for sale, on local radio classifieds looking for work etc…nothing was working. Sold one filly for $250 in July. On retirement with checks coming only once a month so had to wait until next check to do anything. The amount of money was sufficient to feed horses and to put the old one down but just not there until 9/12.”
– Vet would not take payments because she has earlier admitted to having a dispute over a bill with him. Must have been one helluva dispute for this vet to not want to help this horse. At any rate, why not call a neighbor with a gun or a rescue to come and do the right thing for this suffering horse? Also, if you estimate low and say it costs $3/day to feed a horse at maintenance (and that is a LOW estimate), times that out by 34 and that is over $3000/month just on feed. That is not counting farrier bills, vet bills and medications and it hasn’t taken into account feeding herself or her many cats and dogs. Dorothy has admitted she has been unemployed since at least last year and was living on social security. I’m assuming since her other farm was repossessed by the bank, she wasn’t sitting on a huge nest egg either. The math does not work out for these horses to be properly fed and cared for by this one elderly lady.
“Crowding me, in my face, yelling. I had panic attack…haven’t had one for maybe 15 or more years…stems from ugly experience with uniformed men about 35 years in past. About an hour later NV Dept of Ag brand inspectors show up with dept truck/trailer. Began loading horses including old stallion who loaded on his own. Loaded mares/stallions in same loads (stock type trailer) despite requests that not be done. Was told they sorted them out at the sales yard (later photos show this not to be true….stallion clearly visible in large corral with mares/fillies). Finished removing horses about 10p. No search warrant. No seizure warrant. No receipt for removed property. No “sellers” copy of brand inspection showing change of ownership to sheriffs office. NOTHING.”
– At this point there are so many inconsistencies, I honestly don’t know what to believe. It will be very interesting when this goes to court at the end of the month and pictures are revealed and the other side of the story.
“I was not served with any charges until AFTER the horses were sold for the board bill by the sheriffs office to the rescue. The sales yard operator was under the impression that he could sell these horses on Tuesday after they were removed on Friday….only 4-5 days (depending on if you count the day they arrived at the sales yard) and ended up holding them for 2 weeks…..says he’s done dealing with the county on horse seizures. There were two hearings so far….both to determine placement of the horses. The first I knew of this was on Sunday after the seizure….was served a paper called “notice of seizure” on Sunday morning…not date or timed or signed by officer serving it…most upset that I demanded he do this. Son was on phone with me during conversation with deputy. Hearing scheduled for Wed. Paragraph near bottom stated vet found all horses malnourished (did not do hands on on any of them) and one in need of immediate euth (the one I had called about in Aug and been refused) which was not done. On Tues. another deputy climbed over my fence (had phone number and could have honked horn) to ask me to sign permit to have old horse put down (I thought it had been done asap at the sales yard on arrival there midday on Friday). Since brand inspector had signed over ownership to the sheriffs office at the time they were taken I was no longer in the position to legally sign for euth and suggested they get a court order or the sheriff to sign for it”
– So for the nest of assholes on the horse grooming board (http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/vet-had-sheriff-seize-one-our-members-485192-143.html) can see for themselves….she has been CHARGED. This is straight from Dorothy herself. The horses have been sold. That means NNER OWNS these horses and they are well within their right to geld them as they see fit. Any dispute she may have about the sale of these horses is between her and the sheriff’s office, NOT the rescue. This stubborn old woman also prolonged the suffering of that old horse by refusing to sign for his euthanasia just to prove her point. Seems to me she had little concern about that horse suffering or she’d have signed the paper without question. She was whining that nobody would help her put the horse down earlier, wasn’t she?
“Tuesday, just incidently, is sale day at that sale yard with lots of people walking around. I question why this old sick horse who needed immediate euth was held for 4-5 additional days until there was a sale with publicity opportunities. At the hearing on Wed I pointed out to the JP (former job, jail deputy for sheriffs office) that I had had only two days notice (three if you count Sunday when one cannot get an attorney) and had no legal representation. Deputy stated that I knew of hearing on Friday at time of seizure until I held up paper with other deputy signature/time/date. Hearing postponed until the following Wed at 9a. During the week I tried to find an attorney….since no charges were filed I was not a defendant and could not find an defense attorney to take the case. Not entitled to ask for public defender until charged and arraignment (at which one pleads guilty or not). Unknown to me, the JP signed and DA filed charges (misdemeanor) at 8:19a the morning of the continued hearing…so I was officially charged (although not served at that point) and was a defendant. At the hearing which got to me at about 10a (did some others first) the DA offered me immunity for anything said in the hearing saying no charges would be filed based on hearing statements. That somehow stunk like three day old bait in the summer and I refused. The hearing then turned into “were the horses neglected” hearing at which I was NOT allowed to testify. The deputies developed amnesia about what they saw, stated they had no training in horse care/evaluations etc. The vet testified that he didn’t need to do a hands on eval to do a BCS and that there were no horses above a 3 and most were 2 with a few 1’s. The vet did state that if horses had lost wt due to sand colic it could be dramatic and quick and regaining would take 1-3 weeks to start and would be at a rate of 1-1.5 lbs per day max and that if that were the case then the horses would not be considered neglected. The JP then turned the horses over to the “rescue” for the board bill. This is in direct violation of NV law regarding board liens. NV law also allows a one year redemption period for the owner to repurchase such horses at the price paid by the buyer….until that year is up the buyer does not have clear title to them. In addition, those horses were/are the evidence that a defendant is allowed to examine directly….I have not been allowed to do so. I could not even get photos of them at the sales yard but rather from outside the property. The JP in essence sold the evidence upon which my defense would rest. The photos I do have (see previous posting by Epona I think it was) were taken 9 days after the seizure and also clearly show one of my stallions in the large corral with the mares and fillies. I have additional photos taken with a much better camera and tele lense on the day three horses (leased) were returned to owners…all three of them had sanded and were in pens away from the herd in order to feed extra feed and have gone back to their owners….one of which the brand inspector has made claims of being very upset…and the owner denied making those statements…someone I’ve known for 11 years or so and trust.”
– I guess when there are stick necks, ribs and hip bones in clear sight, they didn’t need to put their hands on the horses to see that they are skinny? As far as NV state law, somebody else is going to have to chime in here. The only thing I have ever had to do with that state is the odd weekend in Vegas, and that’s probably how it will stay.
“The land in Lovelock, where I moved from this spring, was clay, not sand and there were no sand colic issues there. The strangles case was almost a year ago and the pigeon fever cases were late last fall with the last abscess on the older stallion draining in Jan and healed by Feb, long before moving here. Both can leave internal abscesses (which the vet said was true of only strangles and not pigeon fever….Merck begs to differ as far back as 1991…the oldest Merck I have). No autopsy was done on the stallion so the cause of his weight loss is not known…could have been cancer or any of a number of other things (assuming it would act as it does in humans where my sister went from almost 240 to 88 pounds when she died).”
– Dorothy is a straight up liar with this statement about no sand at her old property. The above linked video is from her old property and they appear to be rummaging around in sand.
“Regarding the rescue….in business for a bit over a year claiming since last August that she’s non-profit…no business license in the county, no listing/registration as a business with the Secretary of states office until 9/13 of this year, no 501c3 with IRS as of Friday of this last week. Had about 50 “rescue” horses plus her own breeding animals as of first of Sept. Was posting “desparate” pleas for donations of money or hay in June and July (have screenshots). Was notified by animal rights activist brand inspector (who has since made her listings of organizations private) in about an hour after the animals were taken that she had a big bunch of horses for the rescue….at that time no determination of neglect or charges had been filed. Rescue claims to be dependent on donations. Last summer/about Aug. she told someone that she was having her hay shipped in from Montana, didn’t know how much she was getting or the cost. Some questions exist about whether or not she’s in compliance with zoning/special use of her land as she applied in ’09 for 30 acres to be divided off of her 160 for a residential site claiming no increase in environmental impact, traffic etc. That was granted. She now has roughly 100 horses.”
– Any non-profit is dependent on donations whether monetary or in kind. That’s how they operate. She wants to attack the rescue who paid the bail on her horses (so they didn’t get sold to slaughter) and have absorbed all the vet and farrier costs which were huge from what I understand.
“I had a possible buyer for the half of the property that the rental house was on….would have paid back amount and cut mortgage in half….bailed on me two weeks before foreclosure date when he found there had been historically some well issues on the well on that half of the property. Sorry if I don’t post all my financial details for your edification.”
– She maintains she was able to feed 34 head of horses and yet she can’t make her mortgage…
“I never said there weren’t problems…there were and I admitted it and had plans in place to deal with them and was dealing with them which the deputy responding to the first complaint (July 1) testified as to being the case….and he saw no problems on the two followups he did…also testified to that. The repairs on this place cost more than originally thought, my sister’s increasingly serious issues and then death from cancer and the costs related to that frankly come before other things. I HAD horses for sale (and got one sold after moving here), was job hunting.”
– Refer to previous posts about this situation where she rejected all help and suggestions. It has also been widely reported that when people turned up to buy horses, she jacked the prices or refused to sell.
“Yes the yearlings had long feet the end of April when they came home, had NOT been handled as agreed upon (were handled before leaving to winter pasture but not during the 6 months they were there). Those without photosensitive sunburns (skin cracked, peeling, bleeding) were trimmed and there are photos by the sheriffs office showing that. There is also a buyer who bought one of the foals and her foals feet were trimmed…is willing to testify to this. “
– What was the excuse for the infected and untreated cuts on a mare’s leg and the elf boots on some of the mares? These were clearly in a state of neglect back in the video from 2011. I would think April to September was ample time to treat the sunburns and get some feet trimmed. These horses were given NO shelter from the sun.
“Regarding breeding….historically most of the “down” markets in the horse world have lasted at most 4-5 years. With a year of gestation and 2-3 years to market age I chose to breed a few mares in ’10 (planning for sales either in ’11 or more likely in ’12 or ’13….following comments in a number of horse publications that there was coming a time soon when well bred young stock would become hard to find due to breeder cutbacks), bred none in ’11 and bred none this year. The rescue however has bred for foals all of those years. “
– The `rescue’ is not breeding any horses. The chair of the rescue may have some personal horses that she breeds, but then again, so does Theresa Manzella. Why is Dorothy attacking the rescue?
“Regarding “unbroke” horses….there were three mares that came to me hard to catch and were gradually improving. Two of them had been roped and choked unconcious by their previous owner when he wanted to do something with them…and he bragged about it. ALL of the other mares were easy to catch and several had been started but not ridden for years so were considered “green” at best and I had them for sale as unridden or barely ridden. ALL of the colts by my breeding that were old enough had been saddled, bridled, ground driven and would bathe, load, tie, lead and had their feet done….they were ready to be mounted and ridden but at 64 and being sole support for them and living out in a relatively isolated area I chose not to take the risk of injury. ALL of the horses had their shots and all were wormed this spring before moving so that the worm exposure on the new place would be minimal. There are some mighty big assumptions being made regarding my income and my animals and their training and about my breeding. I bred several mares in ’10 with an eye toward marketing those foals either as weanlings or holding them until this fall or next spring as training prospects. I did purchase several mares in the spring of ’11 when I had renters that paid their rent and utilities and some inherited income in a chunk (you don’t really need to know how much now do you?). At that point there were some horses for sale as well….that’s how breeders improve their lines….selling what doesn’t fit or isn’t as good as what they can buy to replace. While some have made remarks that my horses may not have been what was marketing….others have shown interest but the transport cost has precluded the purchase (much higher than the cost of the horse itself). A few of the horses were granddaughters, true, but most were daughters or sisters of multiple time world chs (top and bottom) and one was a proven producer. In the Paint world, Paint own daughters or sons of top QH bloodlines generally don’t exist…and grandget are often as close as one can get. Perhaps some familiarity with the bloodlines would allow for a more educated comment.”
-Doc Bar and Peppy San both sired culls. Every single big name horse has sired less than stellar individuals. If she didn’t have the money to train and promote at least her sires and mares, she had NO business breeding on this scale as the horses were basically worthless. Which is what has been proven considering nobody beat down her door to buy them and the `paint performance world’ elected to not bail her out…
“Regarding asking for help….I did on several postings say that I needed to cut back, had horses for sale. I did get inquiries but most were from longer distances than people were willing to ship…..and most of the posters here on CoTH are not into western events or stock horses so posting horses here was not likely to be productive to begin with. Horses were on CL, on the local “trading post” (a radio classifieds), on Dreamhorse and several other on-line sites. With moving to a house without power (not safe to hook to the power company since wiring so damaged…need to have electrician check out and rewire) I was off-line for several months….still using a generator for power but have some circuits wired and usable.”
– No library or internet cafe anywhere in the state of Nevada either? If she couldn’t even afford to have power or be online for several months, I’m going to go ahead and assume she couldn’t afford to care for these horses.
“Regarding attorney availability….if arrested I would have been arraigned within 72 hours and had a public defender possibly appointed (likely since private attorneys quotes have been $5-10K for retainers and I know no one with that cash sitting around). BUT I was not arrested….I was served a summons (after the majority of horses were at the rescue) which means the arraignment date can be whenever the court decided….in this case the 29th of this month…more than 7 weeks after the horses were taken. UNTIL THAT DATE I have no access to evidence (which has been sold and hauled more than 250 miles away and altered) or legal counsel. “
– Dorothy has access to her own truth and documentation. IF there was nothing wrong with these horses, there would be no proof. I guess we’ll find out on the 29th. I have seen some mention of people collecting donations for her. Hopefully, they will use them to upgrade this woman’s personal living conditions rather than waste it fighting to get back these horses.
“For those interested in my finances….I have a social security retirement check as well as an oil company royalty check each month….my rent is worked off in cleaning, repairing, improving this property and would be $250/month if paid in cash. My hay is $10/bale for 105 to 115 lb prime alfalfa and I bought more than 40 bales a week…..that’s 4,200 to 4,600 lbs a week and made two buying trips a week, sometimes an extra. I had grain and alfalfa pellets as well in storage cans which the sheriffs deputies failed to note or to look at when I told them about it.”
– If her income was sufficient why was/is she living in these horrific conditions and why were vet bills unpaid to the point she couldn’t get help for a suffering animal?
Dorothy goes on to slam the rescue even more, the weather conditions where the rescue is and the personal living arrangements of the rescue’s chair. I’m sick to death of everybody blaming the rescue. What a thankless task they have in caring for these animals with everybody trying to block them and raise hell. Would they have preferred them sold through to slaughter? That is exactly where they were going given the fact the sale yard was selling them that very week and their condition. I’m really having a difficult time believing anything Dorothy Robertson is saying given her inconsistencies and complete lack of remorse. That isn’t even addressing her delusions about the value of her stock. The market may be down but it’s sure not down for quality stock. A stallion for the Rita Crundwell dispersal just sold for $775,000 and the rest of her stock brought in the neighborhood of $6 million. Quality stock that was properly managed and promoted. Despite the fact that Rita is a ginormous crook and should spend the rest of her life in jail, her breeding program was sound, unlike Dorothy’s. Hopefully, the court case at the end of the month will shed some light on the TRUTH about what happened.