In a two-part series published this week on NOLA.com, writer John Simerman revealed that ICareIHelp, the controversial and now-defunct rescue operation founded by Dina Alborano, is under investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.
Alborano, a New Jersey resident, gained considerable attention last year for crowdsourcing money to “bail” Thoroughbreds from the slaughter pipeline in Louisiana and Texas, while advertising the organization as “100% non profit” despite having no 501c3 status and routing donations through her personal PayPal account. Authorities would later discover dozens of horses rescued by ICareIHelp ultimately starved to death in the care of ICareIHelp affiliate Hal Parker, who was based in Union Parrish, Louisiana. Parker is in jail facing numerous animal cruelty charges.
Alborano, who declined to reveal how much money she took in from donors, claimed she paid Parker $85,000 to care for the horses. She attributes the pushback she has received after coverage from the Paulick Report and the National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization to an industry attempt to save face.
“I exposed all of these owners. I exposed the industry. I was really a thorn in everyone's side,” she told NOLA.com. “All of these people are kind of in bed together. … I think they're just worried about me putting a black mark on the industry.”
See Part 1 of the series here.
The series on NOLA.com examined the kill pen bail business through the lens of Jacob Thompson, whose social media efforts sell dozens of horses each week. Simerman points out the prices charged by Thompson to Alborano's followers and to followers of his social media pages far exceed average meat price for horses available at the border.
Mike Dominique, general manager of Dominique's Livestock Market told Simerman that since Thompson's arrival in the Louisiana market, Thoroughbreds go for top price at his auction when compared to other horses of similar age and type. However, with increased scrutiny of the connections of a horse identified in a livestock sale or kill pen, Dominique said many owners and trainers bring Thoroughbreds in off the radar to avoid public criticism or sanctions.
Read more at NOLA.com
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