As most of you are aware, Slaughterhouse Sue and good ole Mendy Tobiano love to tell us how super awesome kill buyers and feedlot brokers are. They are just hard-working family people trying to make a living. Suey will go so far as to tell you they are horse lovers that are doing more for the plight of the mysterious unwanted horse than all rescues and anti-slaughter people combined (http://elkodaily.com/lifestyles/killer-horse-buyers-are-heroes-saviors/article_1a09968a-ef71-11e0-813b-001cc4c03286.html). The kill buyers scoop up all these sad animals at auctions and restore their dignity by giving them a one way trip to a slaughter-house in Mexico or Canada. The brokers kiss the kill buyer’s ass and are granted exclusive access to his feedlot so that they can cash in on anti-slaughter people’s desire to save horses and they both make even more money so they can go out and get even more horses to ship to slaughter. Isn’t that great? Don’t you wish you could have friends like these?
Let’s start off with our friendly neighborhood kill buyers. If you are a good little PSA (pro-slaughter advocate for our new readers), you will accept the fact that they are awesome and spread the good word just because Suey and her pet pony NT tell you so. Even though we know for a fact that in addition to trolling auctions, many of them scan Craigslist for cheap horses and are not above telling the seller some trumped-up story about how they are looking for a nice solid horse for their handicapped, two headed foster child and it will have a loving home forever and ever, in order to get that horse for cheap. We have heard stories about horses like Backstreet Bully, who mistakenly got tagged for slaughter (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/a-sickening-end/)and did, in fact, end up slaughtered despite his former owner and rescue interests doing anything they could to buy him from that sale but having their bids ignored. The KB further refused to part with him after the fact either because he needed a full load or because he’s just a huge douchebag. Maybe both. Yup, that’s a stand up guy right there. Still need an example about the great morals and ethics of kill buyers? Take a boo at this little article: (http://www.newson6.com/story/19133395/oklahoma-grand-jury-indicts-six-men-in-stolen-farm-equipment-scheme?clienttype=printable). At least two of the men involved in this little grand jury indictment, are known kill buyers; George Baker and Phillip Hawk. I’m not sure about you, but it’s not such a huge leap to think if they are involved in this type of criminal activity, their horse trading practices might be questionable as well. I know I certainly don’t do business with indicted criminals if I can help it. The interesting part of this it that this all happened in Oklahoma, where Suey and her buddies say they are close to getting a slaughter-house opened. These are the types of buyers that are going to be signing off on documents stating the horses are drug free and putting adulterated meat into the food chain. Given the horse meat scandal in Europe, that gets more widespread every single day, this doesn’t look good for the Oklahoma slaughter industry at all. Just like it takes a certain `type’ and mentality to be pro-slaughter, the same goes for kill buyers. Argue all you want, but no horse lover would ever get involved with facilitating the torture and slaughter of even one horse, let alone hundreds.
Already I can hear the shrieking about measuring all kill buyers based on the transgressions of two. Do you still want another example of the `heros and saviors’ of the horse industry? Meet Trenton Dale Saulters, the man pictured above. We first heard about him here : (http://rtfitchauthor.com/2011/09/15/special-agents-looking-for-horse-slaughter-kill-buyer/) Ole Trent got charged and pleaded guilty to stealing cattle down in Texas. He is currently serving a 10yr sentence for his efforts. Cattle, horses, what’s the difference as long as you can turn a buck, right? I bet ole Suey and NT will tell you Trent was just a little misguided and this has nothing to do with his buying horses for slaughter. Kill buyers are great guys and they SAVE unwanted animals. Well, it seems the rotten apple doesn’t fall that far from the asshole tree. Take a look at the picture below. That was taken on Terry Saulter’s feedlot. That would be Trent’s Daddy, making him yet another poster child for mandatory sterilization. You can also read about the Saulter boys’ arrest records here: (http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/)’ Seems Papa Saulter has had some aggravated assault convictions to go along with his own set of theft charges. What great guys they must be!
I could go on all day listing the indiscretions of all the various kill buyer that infest the country, but you get the general idea. Let’s move onto how awesome brokers are. I know we basically covered a lot about how feed lot brokers work not so long ago (https://shedrowconfessions.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/those-pesky-grey-areas/). Since then NT has seen fit to offer a rebuttal on how awesome brokers are using a specific example, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at it here. Of course Mendy Tobiano is a great big fan of Rebels (pun intended) because she has gotten a horse off them. The same heifer that pisses and moans when a rescue asks for money, had no problem letting strangers chip in to pay the cost to buy this horse off the feed lot and then take it for free. She allegedly paid to have it shipped to her (more than it costs me to ship a horse across the country, but whatever), but the fact remains, she admits to not paying the initial bail on the horse. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that any horse gets a reprieve from slaughter, but in this horse’s case it might have been out of the frying pan into the fire. The horse was originally listed by Rebels like this”:
15h, 18 yr old, brn QH type mare. This mare is sensitive and hot. She does not want to buck, but she wants to work. Rides like a hot barrel horse. She would not be suitable for a beginner or inexperienced. She is big bodied, athletic and a power house. She neck reins and gives to pressure. She was not good about picking up her back feet.”
So, you have an older mare that is NOT suitable for beginners, just to be clear. What does Mendy Tobiano do? When she loses her job and has to sell off or kill the majority of her hoard, she elects to give this horse to her kid’s boyfriend for free. A kid that is admittedly a rank novice and she does so less than a year after getting the horse. She even throws in another of her skeletons for good measure stating that the new family needs education on how to care for a horse. Given the condition of NT’s horses at the time, I shudder to think of the education they are getting. Before I go too much further, I’ll give you a visual on the horse. This picture has been posted far and wide, but I have decided to protect the poor kid’s identity for our purposes.
Mendy Tobiano’s comment on this horse is “‘Nuther picture of Bundle, it’s a bit closer so you can see her lovely conformation :)” I’m sure Bundle’s new owner loves her and she’s a perfectly nice horse, but `lovely conformation’ is not one of her virtues. She’s way back at the knees, high and post hocked and long-backed. If she gets used too hard, she’s the perfect storm for unsoundness. I only bring it up to illustrate that NT really hasn’t the first clue about what constitutes `lovely conformation’ or form to function and should be the very last person to ever advise anybody, let alone a novice. Hopefully, this horse isn’t too much for the kid and doesn’t end up in the pipeline, but even if she did, Rebels doesn’t give a shit and neither does Mendy Tobiano. All these people will happily slap a horse on the ass and send them to slaughter themselves without losing a wink of sleep over it. All of them have done so more than once. We should thank her for her incessant need to brag herself up because she gives us so much to work with. Now, what’s my beef with Rebels? Read on…
Rebels Equine Feedlot Sales operates out of the Pacific Northwest and pretty much exclusively deals with kill buyer, Chuck Walker. It is run by Sam Milbredt with the help of Helen Love and Cindy Dolowy. Love and Dolowy would tell you they are anti-slaughter, but you know the old saying about laying down with dogs and ending up with fleas…REFS is their current operating name, but many people would probably remember them better as Columbia Basin Equine Rescue and all the scams they ran under that name. You only need to take a quick tour around the fugly horse blog to get an idea on the types of scams Sam has run in the past. Here’s a link to start you off (http://fuglyblog.com/2011/01/17/keep-it-up-a-whole-new-generation-of-suckers-are-being-born/) Some of their past antics have included: misrepresenting listed horses, sending diseased horses into new homes, sending bailed horses to slaughter without telling anybody, bullet euthanized other horses that were paid for by sponsors without consulting them, placed numerous horses in unsuitable homes including placing some with somebody that sexually abused them. Yes, you read that last part right. They don’t give a shit about where those horses go or what happens to them and nothing has changed from one name change to another. Sam, herself, has a few different names she uses. Here is an interview she gave to a person by the name of Sarah Lane last year and I think it is very revealing as to the motives of a broker: (http://www.insidebainbridge.com/2012/02/07/an-interview-with-controversial-horse-assessor-samantha-milbredt/) I’ll highlight what she said about the cost breakdown:
“I asked Milbredt how much money Walker makes from each sale of a horse. She calculated that he often spends $25 on a horse at auction, and the average horse will sell for $500 through Rebels. Milbredt tacks on another $100-$150 to cover the costs of her work, her phone charges involved in the transaction, her travel the 40 miles each way to the feedlot, and the hiring of a rider to test the horse. This brings the average cost to $625.”
So, a mark up of over $500 on the average horse? That buys a LOT more horses to kill by my calculations. Mendy Tobiano will tell you that Helen Love, at least , does this out of the goodness of her heart. I call bullshit on that when you see that Milbredt freely admits to taking a mark-up for herself and what anti-slaughter person would work so hard to enable even more horse to go to slaughter? Helen Love has been hand in hand with Sam Milbredt for YEARS. If you want more confirmation about Rebels and their previous incarnations please read this link and all about yet another rescue that Sam was on the board for that got shut down by the local DA for animal abuse in 2005: (http://www.insidebainbridge.com/2012/02/04/wa-horse-rescue-operation-suspected-of-fraud-with-kill-buy-horses-destined-for-slaughter/)
So, here ends yet another overview on how awesome it is to be a kill buyer and feedlot broker. Hopefully, this will remove any doubt about what kind of person it takes to engage in these activities. If not, there are plenty more examples where these came from. I also need to thank NT for constantly stomping her hooves and putting people on my radar that I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered to name and shame, as well as continually fouling her own nest for our amusement. As long as we have people like her advocating for slaughter, we’ll get our message out to reasonable people that make a difference. Until the last horse is safe, our job will never be done.