Ripley’s Believe it or Not

November 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is the tale of two rescues.

In one corner we have Ripley’s Horse Aid Foundation (RHAF) and in the other corner we have Hope for Horses (HFH).

Approximately two years ago, in Pierce County Washington, fifteen neglected horses were rescued from a “mud pit” on Waller Road.  Two of the most severe cases went to Rose Corey who runs RHAF.  One horse they named Valor had a serious issue with his penis and the other was a stunted crippled yearling named Teddy Bear.  The other thirteen horses went to HFH run by Jenny Edwards.

There is one online “news” source who wrote extensively about this case, providing blow-by-blow accounts of the issues; Dispatch News.  They seem to be an entirely online news media – but from what I’ve read the “journalists” are not really journalists.  They write biased articles, choose “sides” and apparently don’t know how to spell check or use proper grammar and punctuation.  Mind you, most of the spelling and grammar are passable – but if you call yourself a news source, well, I hold you to a higher standard.  But it was the completely obvious bias they wrote with that really got my goat.  It was something I noticed almost immediately.

Background

A little background is needed here.

Rose Corey

RHAF on the surface seems like a fantastic organization.  They specialized in and set up a “disaster relief” sort of program for horses and livestock.  If there was a farm in need they rallied together and provided a much needed hand by providing feed.  This is a fantastic idea, and ended up being adopted by the county.  In this time of economic upheaval many small farms, hobby farms, and owners of livestock including horses fall on difficult times.  Many times, all they need is a stop-gap  measure of help to get them through the worst month until something else comes in.  It’s unfortunate that animals suffer the most in these times.  They are the first to go unfed, and it seems to lead to owners giving up entirely and ignoring the problem.

Jenny Edwards

Hope for Horses has been rescuing and rehabilitating horses in the next county over for over ten years.  Their specialty is taking in horses that have been confiscated by Animal Control.  They rehabilitate them and adopt them out.  They’ve been involved in a number of high-profile cases including Doug Spink, the Enumclaw case (otherwise known as Mr. Hands), etc.  Their knowledge of the law and chain of evidence regarding legal cases is well known.

Waller Road

Neighbors had been calling repeatedly to complain about the condition of these horses for several months.  With unfortunate timing, one stallion (later named Valor) appeared with a dangerously swollen penis that was dripping blood on New Years Eve.  Since everyone (Animal Control, Hope for Horses, etc.) was closed for the evening neighbors called 911 who called the sheriff who called the local vet, Dr. Linda Hagerman.  The local vet went to the property and determined Valor and Teddy Bear (as they are now known) needed to be removed immediately, so she called a friend (enter Rose Kelley of RHAF) to come take them in and provide treatment for them.   A short time later Hope for Horses was tapped by the county to take in and care for the remaining thirteen horses until the charges were laid and the case was heard on horse abuse.

As mentioned above, Hope for Horses has experience with legal cases, and due to that experience Animal Control officers asked HFH to go pick up the other two horses from RHAF.

Enter Emotions

It is understandable that rescuers get emotionally attached to animals in their care.  The caretakers have to spend a lot of time with each animal; ensuring it has the medical treatment needed, handling and training.  Even though these caretakers know they must, in the end, allow these animals to move on to “forever homes” they surely must get emotionally attached in some cases.

Rose Corey got emotionally attached to Valor and Teddy Bear.  She was devastated when, after a couple of short weeks, those two horses were moved to HFH to be with their herd.  According to witness accounts, Ms. Corey did a fantastic job in the short time she had these two horses.  Where the manure starts to stink is how Ms. Corey reacted to having those two horses removed from her care.  She started a slander attack on HFH and the director Jenny Edwards.  Ms. Corey commented on almost every single article written over at the Dispatch, “correcting” things, and while she comes across as very well written and intelligent – she does slip some pretty serious accusations about Ms. Edwards and others into her comments (for example: … “have also witnessed first hand the incompetence and poor treatment to citizens by several of PC Animal Control officers, and their supervisor”.)

The Dispatch was quite obviously impressed with Rose Corey and RHAF, and wrote voraciously about her in such a flattering way.  It was quite obvious they’d chosen to “back” Rose Corey over Jenny Edwards.

But wait, where was Jenny Edwards in all this?  In the nineteen+ articles written on either the Waller Road issue or Ms. Corey… there is not one comment by Ms. Edwards.

Even when Rose Corey posted a video about Valor, slandering Hope for Horses quite viciously, Ms. Edwards was not commenting.

Then, Ms. Corey and her veterinarian friend Dr. Linda Hagerman went to Pierce County Council and “warned” them about Hope for Horses.

Final Chapter

Fast-forward two years.  Rose Corey tried to change herself into an equine rescue and took in 25 horses from another case.  This all the while running her disaster relief program and her job as a realtor!  Suddenly, people start whispering.  Then they start screaming.  Of the 25 horses her “rescue” took in, no less than ten were summarily euthanized.  Suddenly, she stopped commenting on the articles written about her.  Suddenly people were asking questions.  Questions Ms. Corey refused to answer.  She refused to enlighten the masses as to how the horses were euthanized.    Or why.  One of only two horses she mentioned to reporters was “the last horse to be euthanized was suffering from nerve damage in one foot, a condition she called “navicular disease syndrome.“”

Now, Navicular can be a nasty syndrome, but it can be treated.

The first horse she mentioned?  Well, that horse was euthanized because “one of the horses was suffering from a chemical burn thought to have been caused by an over-application of a lice pesticide“.  Hmmm, who applied the pesticide?  The horses hadn’t seen a vet or farrier in a very long time before you received them into your “care”.

Suddenly, The Dispatch was writing some none-too-flattering articles.  And Ms. Corey shut her mouth.

According to one vet: “They just needed a little care. They were all skinny and underweight, and covered in lice. I didn’t see any condition that was life-threatening.

Then, Ms. Corey shut down her “rescue”.

What’s Next?

My first suggestion would be that those involved issue a written apology to Ms. Edwards of Hope for Horses.

Then Ms. Corey should be tasked with writing an article detailing how she had a personal vendetta against Ms. Edwards and Hope for Horses.  The article should include links to donate directly to HFH.  The article should include full disclosure regarding the ten horses she euthanized, and the steps she intends to take to help educate others so they do not make the same mistakes she did.  A copy of her written apology should be included.

Ms. Corey should then search the Internet and find every single bad comment about Ms. Edwards and/or Hope for Horses and leave a comment such as the following:

I am personally responsible for this unfortunate tide of bad comments regarding Jenny Edwards and Hope for Horses.  I sincerely apologize to her and wish you would read the article posted here (provide link back to article) regarding the good work they do and how I tried to destroy them with my own personal vendetta.

That would be a start.

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