Thirty-three horses under the care of Fallen Horses Rescue, a 501c3 equine rescue and sanctuary located in Pinon Hills, California, have been found to be underfed and in need of intervention, according to an article published on the Victoriaville Daily Press on February 13.
Victoria Hardesty, who leases a portion of her property to Fallen Horses Rescue's owner, Traci Hutmier, said the horses were severely underweight and that there was enough hay left to feed the horses for four days.
Hutmier, who has leased land from Hardesty since March of 2013, had been supporting the horses largely with her own funds. After losing her job recently, money was scarce.
“I lost my job, so things are tighter than normal, but (the horses) don't go without,” Hutmier said in a text message to the Daily Press. “It's hard (and) rescue donations are limited and feed prices are higher.”
The following day, a second article in the Daily Press appeared regarding the outpouring of support shown by the local community, and national equine community. The article also discussed the possible euthanasia of two of the 33 horses and outraged expressed by some locals, as well as information on where people could get more information or give donations to the struggling rescue.
Two horses who have been featured in the Paulick Report's “OTTB Showcase” in recent years have been graduates of Fallen Horses Rescue. Nassau/Buster had been helped by Fallen Horses after he ended up in an at-risk situation, and eventually he was reunited with his original owner, who had been searching for him for several years. Hey Elvis, an Australian-bred horse adopted from Fallen Horses by Michelle Birdsall.
According to the Fallen Horses Facebook page, the rescue is undergoing major changes. Board member Dottie Harrison posted on Sunday, February 15. Then, the following day, this post appeared:
At this point I'm asking that no one willing to support us through this donates to the PayPal fallen-horses.org as there's only one person with access to that account and there's no guarantee that person will do the right thing and give that money to the horses. Thank you for understanding and again I'll update when I'm able to do so without compromising our current mission. – Dottie
The Paulick Report will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.