Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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A Series of Very Unfortunate Events

Where do we start with this letter…….

I guess we start by saying that it is very hard to find the right words to try not to make enemies, be accurate,  and still get across the urgency at which this letter comes to you. We will attempt to do that and hope that the urgency of this situation is very clear when you read this letter.

Very recently, someone who lives near MHWF passed away unexpectedly, which set off a chain of events that require our help immediately. At a farm very near MHWF, there is a situation where 13 horses have been left behind. The home and farm are now uninhabited, and it has fallen on MHWF to deal with this very difficult situation. This all happened within the past few days and we have been struggling to figure out how to deal with it and how to write this letter. This is going to be the toughest and most trying project MHWF has probably ever taken on, but with it being in our own neighborhood, we did not feel as though we had any choice but to make sure this is done, is done right, and to ensure a good future for these horses without killing ourselves and MHWF trying to do it.

We do not wish to point fingers, assign blame and will not share personal information that is not relevant to what we need to accomplish. Our only goal is to ensure the futures of the horses in this case. So here goes…. 

As stated earlier in this letter, there are 13 horses on a nearby farm that have been left behind. The property is now uninhabited, and it has been left to us to pick up the pieces. Before they left, we did permission from the owners to deal with this situation. There is nobody else at the farm to make sure the horses are cared for on a daily basis. Starting tonight, MHWF has taken on the responsibility to make sure those horses will have feed and water and are safe, so we will be popping in to top off water tanks and feed as often as is needed until all the horses are taken off the property. There is nobody there to do it and no hay or grain on the property.

Of the 13 horses, 4 of them are stallions, none of the 13 horses have had much or any training, and all of them need to be vaccinated, de-wormed, Coggins tested, trimmed and will need their teeth floated. They will all need to be trained as well. This is what makes this situation such a difficult one. All the horses look good and are healthy, but we need to get all this done before their condition deteriorates and that will happen fast without some major intervention. 

We will share info, photos and updates on all the horses very soon.

After a lot of planning, problem solving, phone calls and emails, this is our plan:

1. Make sure all the horses have fresh water and pasture or hay to eat, until they can be removed from the property.

2. Get all 13 horses vaccinated, de-wormed, trimmed, Coggins tested and dental work done before removing them from the property.

3. Get all 4 stallions gelded and find them foster care.

4. Find foster homes for as many of these horses as we can ASAP.

As you can see, this is going to be a ton of work and is going to cost a small fortune. Not only that, but with these horses not having any training, it is not going to be a quick process either. Add to it that until this is all completed, MHWF will probably not be able to take in many, if any other new horses, which truly scares us since this was not how we planned our busy season. The simple fact is that we cannot turn our backs on these horses and with your help and support, we do not plan to leave them to fate. 

When does this process start and what do we need?

Our plan begins tonight by not only going there to check on the horses, but by sharing this letter with as many people as we can as well. How fast we can get these horses some help in the way of shots, de-wormers, Coggins, etc. is 100% dependent upon how quickly we can raise the funds we need to begin. We are going to put our biggest efforts into trying to raise the money we need, first and foremost, so that we can get all the shots, Coggins, dental work, gelds, wormers, etc. done right away. These horses cannot be taken from the property and put into a safe place until this is done, so other than making sure they all have food and water, fundraising for their immediate care is our first and biggest goal and we are starting that right now, with this letter. We hope our supporters and fellow animal lovers will come to the rescue in this case will not only make this monumental task possible, but also less stressful and difficult by making their donations ASAP so we can move forward on this immense project immediately.

What do we need immediately?

  1. Hay (donations of small bales or large rounds)
  2. Grain
  3. Monetary donations for vaccinations and boosters for 13 horses (13 x 2)
  4. Monetary donations to pay for vet to geld all 4 stallions
  5. Monetary donations to pay vets for dental work on all 13 horses
  6. De-wormers and follow up de-worming (13 x 3)
  7. Four separate foster homes for the stallions once they are gelded * See Below
  8. Foster homes for the remaining horses (some will almost certainly come to MHWF as well). * See Below
  9. Monetary donations for large amounts of sedation drugs and the tools to administer them
  10. Monetary donations to cover the cost of vets and sedation to get Coggins done
  11. Monetary donations to send as many of these horses in for training as we can. All 13 horses will need extensive training to make them adoptable.


How Can You Help Right Now!

The need for help in this case is huge and to get the funds raised quickly is as urgent as anything we have ever asked for in the past, and probably more so. Very few situations frighten us like this situation does, but we cannot let our fear deter us from doing the right thing for these horses. Over the years, we have been able to rely on our donors, supporters, animal lovers, and caring people to help make these projects go smoothly. While this is probably the biggest undertaking we have ever been involved with, we have faith that once again you will be there to come through for us and these horses, like you always have been. We cannot fail and with your help, we will not fail. 

What we ask for today, is for anyone who can help, to help, by making a small donation or a large donation today. If you have a little extra hay you can spare and bring to us, we need that ASAP as well. If you have some pasture space and can manage another mouth to feed for a while and have a little time to work on the basics like tying, leading and standing for the farrier, we need your help there also. As we learn more about what we might need, we will post updates and will share all of this, each step of the way, with all our readers.

To make arrangements to drop off hay, please email to: scott@equineadoption.com 

To make a monetary donation today, simply click on any of the “Donate” buttons on our website. Those donate buttons allow you to make a donation with a debit or credit card or directly from your PayPal account. 

If you cannot make a donation online, please feel free to send your donation to: 


Lucky 13 Horses

10990 State Hwy. 73

Pittsville, WI 54466

Thank you in advance for your time, help and understanding! We could not do this without each and every one of you. That is a fact, and we appreciate every donation, large or small.

If we can raise the funds in time, we can get much needed hay and grain to the farm immediately, and we can begin the vet work as early as this weekend. Once the vet work is done, and only after the vet work is done, can we start to get these horses out of harm’s way and into foster homes. Eventually, we will need help from volunteers to catch, handle, load, and haul these horses as well. Stay tuned for updates on the need for volunteers!


*Foster homes:

Anyone interested in fostering one of these horses should be aware that none of these horses will leave their current location until the horses have been vaccinated, de-wormed, Coggins tested and hopefully all dental work is done. Stallions will be gelded before leaving the property as well.

Anyone interested in fostering must be willing and able to work with their fostered horse to make it more adoptable, by working on the basics such as catching, leading, tying, and picking up its feet for the farrier. 

Fostering is temporary and while MHWF will help with as much as we can, the immediate needs and care of the fostered horse is the responsibility of the person fostering the horse.

Anyone fostering one of these horses will be given the opportunity to keep the horse permanently and with no adoption fee once it has been established that it is in a good home and getting proper care. 

Foster homes must fill out and submit a short form that we will make available (http://www.equineadoption.com/foster.pdf) so that we have names, addresses, etc. in hard copy and on file for every horse and its foster home.

Thank you for your consideration, your time and your support!

What a situation! Is MHWF now the official owner of these horses?

(Check in the mail today)
Just a few words to say Bless You and your effort. I promise to stay open as to how I can help. There really are so many ways one can contribute even just a bit and this challenge is doable when people come together.
Scott: MHWF
Yes, MHWF got ownership of all the horses last night.
Barb S
Oh Boy😮No rest for the wicked. Not really sure how that applies to you both (besides your wicked sense of humor). You guys have the biggest hearts. Donation sent.
Bless you guys for the amazing people you are the amazing work you do.  Donation sent... but really wish we could do more...we will be watching for more opportunities to help
Just a few words to say Bless You and your effort. I promise to stay open as to how I can help. There really are so many ways one can contribute even just a bit and this challenge is doable when people come together.
Kim V.
I tried a Facebook fundraiser for my birthday, I was only able to raise $160 but the event is over either today or tomorrow and the funds will be coming your way... not sure how FB does it.  Kim
Thank you very, very much Kim! Facebook pays those out quarterly, I believe.
A very quick update......

The horses have water and some have pasture. We have about 10 small squares of hay on its way here right now and Lisa B. has offered to bring us 75 more tomorrow. We also have 15 more small squares in Mary H.'s barn a few miles away and if we need it, another 100 bales in Nancy M.'s barn about 1/2 hour away, so it looks like we probably have the hay we need until we get these horses moved.

What we need ASAP: Someone who can pick up a wrapped pallet of Purina feed for us in Oshkosh and bring it to us. This would be a full ton and we want to keep it on the pallet, so it would need to be someone with a heavy duty enough trailer or truck to handle the full pallet without having to break the pallet down. 

If that person is you, please email us at: scott@equineadoption.com

Oh, my gracious.  I just saw this, SMH.  I suppose it's good that they are all relatively healthy (reading between the lines) and won't need extensive rehab, but what a project! 

I'll match the first $100 of donations today, from now (approx. 10 am) to midnight, Thurs 6/7.  Challenge on!

Are you able to make adoption appointments while this is going on?  Would it help to find fosters for some of the ones you already have, just for a month or so? 
We have been out with the farrier all morning (our regular herd), so this post by BetC is getting posted almost 4 hours from the time she actually sent it.  Sorry about that!  Thank you for your generosity with the challenge!!!  

To answer some of your questions, BetC, we are able to make adoption appointments.  We also have BabyCakes, Inigo, Trigger and Woodrow leaving for the Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge after June 22nd, so that time is drawing near.  We have no need to put any of our current herd into foster at this point in time, we are seeking foster for the Lucky 13.  

As far as the Lucky 13, they are very close by us and it is best we leave them right where they are and care for them in that location until we get all the vetting done and then move them on to foster/training and/or adoption homes.  We will probably bring a couple of them here to the MHWF farm as well.  Vetting will begin on the Lucky 13 next week and getting the stallions gelded is first priority.  
2 pm and I am just getting in now....farrier for 13 horses, chores, etc. 

Since BetC issued her challenge, there was $275.00 donated, not sure if any of it was toward the challenge, but it was certainly met 😉

Yesterday, Mike S., adopter of Annie the paint mare, brought us 10 squares of hay to get us rolling and that was enough hay to feed to the 13 horses last night and this morning. What a nice thing to do and it seems whenever we really need something, Mike is right there to offer up his help. Thank you Mike!

We also want to thank Lisa B., adopter of Pauli's Little Lena, for bringing 75 bales of hay from her own barn, half way across the state for us. We are happy to say that the horses have a decent supply of hay there now and there is still more coming.

Not only did Lisa donate her hay, load it onto a trailer all by herself, then haul it 2 hours here to us, she also helped unload it, then was nice enough to volunteer to drive all the way to Oshkosh to pick up 40 bags of feed that was graciously donated as well. That is quite a drive and quite a generous thing to do and we cannot thank you enough Lisa! Thank you! You are a super hero for sure! 

The horses now will have grain until we get them all moved as well.

Of course, we also want to thank Rhonda and her husband at Bohns Town & Country Feed in Oshkosh for donating a full pallet of Purina Strategy! Thank you so much. Sometimes people are truly awesome and we cannot thank them enough for such a huge donation.

It was a very good feeling to be able to give the horses hay yesterday and this morning and they looked like they were pretty happy to have it 😉

Stay tuned!

Such incredible people stepping forward doing incredible things! That includes Scott and Karen and Mike and Lisa, Rhonda and her husband, BetC, all the donations whether it's monetary or time or hay or hauling, fostering, training, along with adopting...it all makes such a huge difference!! Pretty damn proud to be associated with such a fine group!
Jenni O.
Way to go, everyone! These 13 horses certainly are lucky. They ended up in the hands of some very reliable and hard-working people. Sending in a donation if I can remember my new PayPal password. 😂
Challenge $ sent by paypal.  Since the number was so far beyond my pledge, I increased the amount, too.

Will you be able to post pictures or are there security issues preventing that?  Just wondering about the ages/types of animals you are dealing with over there.
Thanks BetC!  

We will be posting photos and descriptions of all 13 horses, but until we are able to post more accurate descriptions along with vet evaluations, we are hesitating to post all that much about them.  Pictures are pictures, but the descriptions are what really counts in looking for the proper placement of these horses.  We have vet appointments set next week and we will be posting a lot more about the horses at that time.  In the meantime, I am keeping ongoing notes on all of them.    

1.  Alex.  10-year-old (2008) stallion.  Pinto/Arab, 1/2 Arab.  Sorrel pinto tobiano.    
2.  Semper.  6-year-old (2012) stallion.  Sorrel pinto, 1/4 Arab (Alex son) 
3.  Riley.  6-year-old (2012) stallion.  Sorrel tobiano, 1/4 Arab (Semper half brother). 
4.  Henry. 5-year-old stallion.  Bay.  Purebred Arabian, can be registered. 
5.  Oz.  8-year-old (2010) gelding.  Half Arab.  Solid sorrel.  (Alex is half brother, same dam)   
6.  Never (Nevermore).  13-year-old (2005) gelding.  Purebred, registered Arabian, black.  No relation to other horses. 
7.  Willow.  14-year-old mare (2004).  Sorrel tobiano, registered Pinto, QH type.  (Dam of Alex and Oz).  Lead type of mare in pasture.   
8.  Faith.  14-year-old (2004) mare.  Gray.  1/2 QH, QH type (bulky) (Half sister to Willow)   
9.  Glory.  13-year-old (2005) mare.  Sorrel medicine hat.  Paint, not registered.  (mostly white, one blue eye)
10.  Cora (Coraline).  20s in age, probably about 24. 
11.  Rennie (Serenity). 6-year-old (2012) mare.  Sorrel(Alex is sire) QH/about 1/4 Arab.
12.  Belle.  5-year-old mare.  Dark bay.  (Alex is sire)  High percentage Arabian.   
13.  Hope.  Age 17 (2001), mare  She's had one foal with Alex (Belle). Half Arab/Pinto, bay with white. 

Laura R

*groan* Sounds like someone was breeding "colored" horses for fun. Any idea if the mares are pregnant? I wonder why there aren't more babies in the group, with all the mares and stallions. It's great that you have at least this much info! Thanks for keeping us updated when you're obviously very, very busy.

I sent $50 via paypal yesterday, sending in my foster app soon.

Here are a lot of numbers that I'll go over to give a little clearer pictures of what we are looking at.  The horses are remaining on the property they are at (close to us) until we get all of the vetting done and fosters lined up (as well as MHWF will be taking a couple of the horses here after vetting).  

The horses are separated into four separate areas and are respecting the fencing and gate systems.  One of these areas has enough pasture to support the four horses that are in that area at the moment (three mares and one gelding).  The other three areas do not have pasture to support the horses needs and we are feeding the hay to, for the remaining nine horses. 

Three of the four stallions are separated and not with mares, those situations being two stallions in one area together and one stallion and a gelding in another separate area together. 

One of the stallions is with a group of 4 mares...  so those are the 4 mares that may not be open (possibly bred).  (this is how they have been for some time)

We do have gelds, all other vet work and farrier work scheduled next week.  

There was one baby in the group, a 3 month old orphan (foaled premature and never latched with mom) and a friend of previous owner of the horses is taking that baby today.  I believe this baby was sired by the 5-year-old stud that resides with the 4 mares, and one of those 4 mares is this foal's mother.  The baby has been separated from all of the other horses in another area all of her 3 months, sharing a fence line.  We are delivering the baby to a vet clinic for Coggins and then delivering her to her new home today.  We were more than happy to and offered to take the baby in here, but the friend wants baby, and has a great boarding facility that she is going to.  

And thank you very much Laura!!  

Just want to say thank you so much for stepping up for these horses!!! I can't imagine the stress, strain and commitment this will all take to see it through.
These horses truly are lucky. Four or five years ago I ran across a similar situation when I went to visit my mares dam and half sister. Both at the same facility. This stable also bred pinto Arabians. The owner was moving and had 13 unbroke Arab and Arab crosses. She luckily had stopped breeding years previous but still was hanging onto 3 stallions, broodmares and some older offspring. She did place some with a friend but left 2 stallions, several broodmares and offspring with the people who bought the place. The people buying the farm had horses and supposedly said they would keep them. Well guess what? Within 6 months one died, several were taken to an auction, but they kept one stallion to breed and a couple mares. So the cycle continues...Who knows where the ones sold at auction ended up. Such a bad scenario on so many levels. So glad these horses will have a better scenario.
Scott: MHWF
The second load of hay came for the horses today and a huge thank you to Kristina M., adopter of Sailor, who loaded up 65 bales of hay and drove here all the way from the Green Bay area today. That was super nice of you and very, very much appreciated!
Scott: MHWF
Today we start the process of figuring out what we have in front of us. The plan today is to spend some time with the horses and see which ones can be approached, haltered, etc and which ones cannot, then to come up with a plan to be able to catch and vet each of the horses. The hard work begins.....
chloe s.
what are the foster home regulations?
A very lucky group of horses!  Sent you a small donation!  You don't know me but we talked at length about adopting Arabians one night awhile back.  Just wanted you to know the donation is under Linda L.  I use my middle name.  Good luck with all this!  Wish I had some hay or grain to send but I am 200 miles away!
Thank you Diane (Linda)!!  We truly appreciate it!  

Chloe, I'm not sure what you mean by your question about regulations.  Can you elaborate?  
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