Friday, March 2, 2012

Land of the Free.... to abuse horses?

This case was not a borderline abuse case.  Animal Control had been present and seeking the cooperation of this breeder for 6 MONTHS.  Because of the sheer overwhelming number of horses, she was given every chance to get her shit together.  The situation progressed from informal check-ins, to a 30 day contract with Animal Control that outlines specifications of care to be met.  15 days into that contract, inspections revealed basic provisions had not been acquired in sufficient quantity, specifically adequate amounts of suitable hay and access to clean water.  Water tubs were filled with filth and slime, holding only inches of algae colored water for herds of 30+ horses.  Yet the hose and hydrant were right there.  I personally lifted the handle....  it worked.  How hard is it to cooperate with filling a bucket? 

7 horses were emaciated to the point of being destroyed on scene.  36 more were deemed critical.  And all 133 present were removed in April 2011. 
Does Ms. Parkinson, who allowed her horses to deteriorate to the above condition, deserve to have her hand patted and be given half of her horses back, continuing to be responsible for their lives?  She walked out her door EVERY SINGLE DAY and saw the horses pictured above.  And she did nothing.  She and her supporters justify this picture as excusable "because these horses were old."  No excuse in the world can justify that body condition.  I don't care if they are old, have cancer, debilitating disease, no teeth, or they have been possessed by the devil or whatever other absurd excuse she wants to offer...   you either provide them with proper care, or you euthanize them.  PERIOD. 

Our Noel is old, too.  She's 36+, and she has NO MOLARS.  She looks like this:
That is what an old horse should look like.  Despite having no molars and some liver and kidney damage from her advanced age, we are able to maintain her condition quite easily.  And if we could not, she would be euthanized.  It doesn't matter how much we love her.  It would be our final kindness.

And I don't want to hear the whole "Oh well she's a draft and they stay fat and {{insert multiple lame excuses for your failure to be a decent human being here}}...." because Noel arrived QUITE neglected.  And she's not an easy keeper.  And look how fast some complicated care like AGE APPROPRIATE FOOD brought her around!
I only add this because, as hard as it is to fathom, there is actually a community of horse enthusiasts who SUPPORT Ms. Parkinson, and despite all photographic and video evidence to the contrary believe she did nothing wrong.  In fact, in their minds she is an innocent and wonderful woman who was framed by all the big bad rescues out there who wanted to "steal" her precious horses...   

I can't roll my eyes hard enough.

But I digress. 

10 of Ms. Parkinson's 133 neglected horses arrived into our care for the duration of her trial.  While here they were vetted, had dietary plans individually created, had intestinal parasite infestations treated, had their dental needs addressed, and had their hoof neglect corrected.  They also were gentled, halter broke, learned to tie, stand for the farrier and vet, and learned to blanket and trailer load.  Our cost?  Just over $38,000 in less than 10 months.  You- our donors- paid that bill with your kindness and generosity. 
So imagine our heart-wrenching dismay when Queen Annes County States Attorney Lance Richardson decided to sign a laughably lenient plea deal of 10 misdemeanor neglect charges, complete with the return of 63 horses.  It's an outrage.

So why do jurisdictions seem to do this, again and again?  That's a complex problem, and its the heart of why I wanted to write this thread.  Gentle Giants isn't the only rescue that is dealing with the heart break of investing time, money, energy, and painfully limited resources to help rehab neglected horses only to have them returned to the perpetrator.  And its not just happening in Maryland.  It's a rampant problem.

Our friends at Hope for Horses recently had this horse deemed "fine" with its owners by Animal Control.   How is that FINE under any circumstance??? 
I don't care what the age, breed, health issue, or any other EXCUSE is...  that is not "FINE".

So why does it happen?  Well, follow the money.  As much as no one likes to admit it, the world runs on money, not good intentions. 

Basically, Queen Annes County had to look at how long this trial would last.  Trials like this can drag on for years and years of appeals.  Who pays to feed these horses during this time?  A burden of one or two, or even three horses isn't that much of a long term strain on a rescue, but what about when you are dealing with a herd of 133?   133 neglected horses overwhelmed the entirety of the resources available by the MD horse rescue community so severely that HSUS had to come in and offer support.  But how long could the support go on?  What would Queen Annes County do when rescues started saying "Hey Queen Annes County, we can't bear this financial burden anymore.  We have to give your horses back".  The tax payers of Queen Annes County don't want to pay for caring for Ms. Parkinsons horses.  And she can't pay for them, or they would have never been in this condition to begin with!

So who pays?  The horses pay.

She pays.
     He Pays.
 
She Pays.

But I don't see Ms. Parkinson paying.

123 comments:

  1. Well put! I couldn't of said it better myself. I, too, was involved that day of helping to load and gather the horses (with another rescue) and it was such a traumatic day for all. This whole story is so disheartening & its even more disheartening to know that YET again our justice system has failed the animals. Give it a couple more years & they will be back out there looking at those horses & taking them from her. "Shake my head" what a shame...

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  2. Infuriating. I'm speechless, and that rarely happens. Makes me wonder if the only reason that they prosecuted Michael Vick, and I don't think his punishment was tough enough, is because he had money and could pay out that $1.6 million that was court ordered. Absolutely nuts. What do we do? You tell me, and I will do it.

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    1. I'm with Dawn...do you know of anyone we can write to?

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  3. Thanks for having the guts to speak the honest truth! The case was heinous and Ms. Parkinson sure did get a bargain. She got her horses cared for, vetted, and trained for almost a year at no cost. The horses, as well as all those who donated money, time, sweat and tears, are the ones that got the shaft from the system. If only we could make the owners who do this suffer the same misery.

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  4. This isn't the truth. Please investigate the actual case and make up your own minds.

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  5. Please don't turn this into a lynch mob.

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  6. Please identify the above horses and the dates the photos were taken. Are these some of the seized Arabians or other rescued horses to show examples of how well they can come back to health. thanks.

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    1. I don't know the number of horse in pic #1, as you can't see it in the photo. It was taken day of the seizure by a reporter. Pic 2 and 3 are the day after.

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  7. Please, Ms. Fitz, share your version of the truth. Provide us with pictures of the horses upon their arrival disproving that this was how they looked. Didn't think so ...

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    1. The horses should've been catalogued BEFORE they were moved.

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    2. THEY WERE ALL TAGGED, NUMBERED, PHOTOGRAPHED FRONT, REAR, SIDE and SIDE AT THE SCENE.

      Exactly what other method of "cataloging" would you have preferred? It's an accepted standard practice.

      Why do you continue to assume things of which you have no knowledge?

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    3. Good! Then that's what Dr. Henneke saw.

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    4. Are you Dr. Henneke or one of Marsha's lawyers? Were you in the room when he viewed the photos?

      How do you know?

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    5. It doesn't matter what I know, Analise.

      What matters is that an expert the caliber of Dr. Henneke, animal scientist and developer of the scale used to assess these horses and rationalize the seizure of them, placed his reputation on the line by volunteering to write a report in defense of Marsha Parkinson.

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  8. We have Dr. Henneke, in large part, to thank for this travesty. He was prepared to testify for the defense that the horses were not the actual body scores reported ... without ever laying his hands on them. I thought the whole premise behind the Henneke Scale was that a rating could not be determined WITHOUT putting your hands on the horse. And this from one of the foremost experts in equine body condition. If he can't see these horses are in deplorable condition then, um, I'm speechless ...

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    1. It's his scale. He's well within his expertise to decide when it's been misused. You should be speechless, because it was MISUSED.

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    2. I'm learning more about Henneke since I learned what he wrote in his report- he appears to be pro-slaughter, writing an article on the non-issue that is residual bute in meat. Now he wants to stop rescues from using his BCS. Maybe it's for the best we learn this now.

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    3. You mean a conspiracy theory?

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  9. ((standing ovation)) Thank YOU!! Unfortunately, it does always come down to $$$! Sadly, for these particular horses there are folks out there that are still wearing tin foil hats! The stories are downright comedic!! From the conspiracy theorists who swear it was a greedy land grab, to the blatant lies they spread about broken limbs, wild rodeo/BLM style helicopter chasing round ups.

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    1. You didn't SEE the news footage????

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    2. SarahSFitz,

      Unicorn Dreams was present on Marsha's farm the day of the seizure.

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    3. So she saw or participated in people chasing galloping horses across a lot of land with a news helicopter overhead.

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    4. So she saw what actually happened and has described that it was not the wild west rodeo roundup that people who were not there keep describing it as.

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    5. SarahsFilts- I was there, there were no helicopters present during on the day we rounded up, haltered, & tagged the 50+/- brood mares. You want to know what I saw?? I saw horses with no food (you know--hay/forage/pasture) & no potable water (unless you consider green slimed fluid potable). I saw horses that were unkempt, overgrown hooves, ribs and hip bones showing. I know in the 2 fields we spen ALL day in, quietly and patiently gathering these horses- did I mention they were pretty emaciated and had no food or water- I did not see wild rampant "fear." I did see neglect and I did see that many of the young stock was semi feral. I did not see, nor did I hear te crazy wild callin out... Are you certain you aren't confusing this footage with a BLM round-up?? Curious? Oh... And I don't recall ever seein you......

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    6. Unicorn Dreams, I think many of us would love to read your observations from that day. Any chance you took notes or otherwise saved those memories and can share more than you just did?
      I volunteer with a rescue too, local to me. These situation can be so sad, and scary and dangerous [upset unhandled horses and upset owners!], so from me, THANK YOU for being there. I always say that while what the people did to the horses is sad, it's balanced by the joy of seeing so many other people willing to get cold/hot and wet and sunburned and hurt and spend all day helping.

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    7. Unicorn Dreams, if you were there, you were oblivious. Blair, I can't wait till you get to take accountability for your libel.

      Wether it was or was not the wild west, the horses were unnecessarily stressed simply by the act of moving them and separating them from their herd mates.

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    8. Please point out where I've committed libel.

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    9. Do you think that this blog post is libel?

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    10. The horses were unnecessarily stressed by the LACK of food and care! Sheeshhhh.... ((face palm))

      Ohhhh Analise!! You must be aware that the libel comes from the secret signals the conspiracy theorists are beaming back and forth to each other from across the country!

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    11. Sarah,

      No, I don't believe it's libel. I don't see anywhere Christine stated an untruth with the intention of causing Ms. Parkinson harm. As near as I can tell, everything Christine stated is either true or her opinion, neither of which can be libelous.

      But we weren't talking about this blog post. You specifically stated that I had committed libel. Please point it out.

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    12. I'll take it back as it refers to you then... IF you HAVE committed libel, I hope the law addresses it in a sufficient capacity.

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  10. Thank you, Gentle Giants, for speaking the truth about this outrage. I don't understand how someone can look at any of those horses and say that they can survive to go back to Mrs. Parkinson. It's a cruel move. I also helped out on the day that HSUS seized the horses and, like LeahB said, it was traumatic. You could see the pain in those horses' eyes. They don't deserve to go back to that woman. No horse should be put back into the hands that were destroying them.

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    1. That "pain" that you saw was probably fear... fear of the people running around waving their arms at them, fear of loading into trailers, fear by being separated from their herd members, fear of a low flying helicopter and whatever else they had to endure. The "round up" was a disaster - poorly planned and poorly executed. If they truly needed to be rehabilitated, it should've been done on site.

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    2. QACAC was too overstretched to handle seizing or rehabbing these horses themselves (almost any animal control agency would be), hence why they asked the rescues to provide their services in rehabbing them in the first place.

      All of the rescues involved are located in Howard County, MD, about an hour's drive from Annapolis, MD and that hasn't even gotten over the Bay Bridge yet or accounted for traffic (of which central Maryland has quite a bit of). How on earth are the rescues expected to have their volunteers drive over to Centreville multiple times a day (when most of these volunteers are either minors or adults with day jobs) to properly manage rehabbing the horses in place?

      I really don't see how that would have gone over well.

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    3. They tried fixing it on site. It didn't work, which is why everyone went in and got the horses out of there. You don't leave a child with an abusive relative; you get them the heck out of there! And then deal with the abuser and their issues separately while the child's emotional, mental, and physical pain is healing with the help of those who love them. You don't give the abuser back their child when witnesses and evidence show that the child was happy and healthy where they currently stayed, away from their abuser. But now the child is going back to their abuser when there is no hard evidence that the abuser will refrain from beating their child.

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    4. None of this is going over WELL is it Analise??

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    5. Forgive me, I should have said I don't see how that would have gone over any better than the arrangement that was made. In fact, I figure it would have been worse due to the extra, extensive logistics that would have had to been involved.

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    6. It's that kind of short sightedness that got everyone involved in this mess.

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    7. How is what I said shortsighted?

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    8. Sonority, thanks to you also for being there. Never a 'fun' task, but always a worthwhile one. You made a difference for a voiceless victim. For them let me say thank you.

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    9. ((rolls eyes)) oblivious?!? I dare say, my theory is correct! The tin hats do allow for astral projection!!!

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    10. Just a simple question, but if they were so stressed by being separated from their herd mates, why did they gain weight and condition? Horses are known to lose weight when extremely stressed, even with good food, and once these animals were removed from that property they did the opposite and gained it.

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    11. Acute stress... as in running hard, nerves from separation and trailering and some level of dehydration. Have you ever dealt with a horse that's a nervous shipper for example? You can put them on a trailer looking magnificent and take them off looking horrible, sweaty, dirty, dehydrated etc. If you were going to take a photo of that horse to show its condition, would you take it before it gets on or after it gets off? It depends on what you want to communicate to people. Most people photograph horses at their best to show the best. A lot of rescues photograph them at their worst to try and make a case.

      Even a fat horse can gain weight.

      "Don Henneke, PhD., Director of Equine Science at Tarleton State University in Texas, was prepared to testify as an expert for the defense. Dr. Henneke developed the Body Conditioning Scale for horses that is used internationally. It is frequently referred to as the “Henneke Scale.” Dr. Henneke reviewed the evidence and, in his professional opinion, HSUS and its rescue partners (the groups responsible for the seizure) “showed a complete lack of understanding” in the application of the equine body condition 
      scale as applied to Ms. Parkinson’s horses and “exhibited extreme bias.” He concluded that “the charges of neglect against Ms. Parkinson were not warranted. The horses should not have been removed from her control and custody.” A copy of Dr. Henneke’s report is available upon request."

      http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DOC_20120227_ParkinsonPlea.pdf

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    12. The Rescues photograph them when they are removed from the neglectful and/or abusive home. Of course they are at their worst! Duh....Hello? It's not to "make" a case! It's to document the ACTUAL case.

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    13. You should request a copy of Dr. Henneke's report.

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    14. Again, sorry to burst your bubble, but every single horse was photographed AT the scene. So... do you want to dispute that the first pic on this blog isn't two of Marsha's mares in one of Marsha's stall on her farm know as Canterbury?

      I'm happy to go there, because yes indeed-y it IS.

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    15. Good. I'm glad to here it. Even more reason for your readers to obtain and read Dr. Henneke's report.

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  12. I truly think animal control is, for the most part, useless! We have the SPCA up here in Canada...someone called them regarding a horse who was 250 lbs underweight, there were also cows in the paddock. NO water and a moldy round bale was deemed "acceptable". There were also goats in the barn-without food, water or bedding. They left a bag of dog food with the owner and left. I know this because I was involved with rescuing the remaining animals and could not believe those asshats had been there and left. USELESS!!!! Because, and ONLY because, of the efforts of private indivuals, the animals are all safe. I was totally disgusted with the whole deal.

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  13. I think guys you really want to do some good, you should be proactive in helping people and horses before they need intervention. Buying horses from a kill buyer doesn't help people, unless you want to help yourselves feel good about something. PEOPLE need help too. Shouldn't helping horses AND people be the number one goal? It doesn't help the horses that truly are abandoned, starved and neglected. How about taking your kill buyer money and buying neglected horses off of individuals that need help instead of funding a practice you clearly don't support???

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    1. Gentle Giants isn't in the practice of buying from the kill buyer. They buy at auctions BEFORE the horses end up with the kill buyer.

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    2. Horse traders make a profit.

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    3. So, write off your $38,000 and move on... unless you want to go after the county or DEFHR like the judge suggested.

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    4. I'm not sure why you're calling it my $38,000....

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    5. How much have you really had to do with this Blair? When you write, are you writing with instruction from Christine or completely 100% as yourself?

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    6. Considering I'm an independent person with her own mind and also about 600 miles away currently from Christine's location, I think I can safely say that nothing I've been writing is under Christine's instruction.

      Do you think I'm writing this blog post? That's the only reason I can come up with for you calling the $38,000 Gentle Giants has spent on rehabbing and caring for the 10 Canterbury Arabians in their care over the last 10 months mine. I have no access for posting anything more to this blog than you do. I have not set foot on the property of Gentle Giants since January and that was only briefly, before that it was October, and before that was the end of May/beginning of June when I was still living in Maryland. And even when I was there, I was only a volunteer at GG, not a board member or anything that would give me cause to have any direct part in managing how Gentle Giants spends its money.

      Does that answer your question fully enough?

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    7. What kind of relationship do you have with Christine and how often do you speak with her privately?

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    8. I really don't see what bearing that has on whether or not I can think and speak for myself.

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    9. Is the answer close and frequently then?

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    10. I haven't physically spoken to Christine in over a month, so it must not be that frequent.

      Despite that, yes, we're friends.

      And yet, I am capable of being friends with a person and still making up my own mind without requiring them to tell me what to say or think. So I repeat, I don't see what bearing it has.

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    11. What does physically spoken mean?

      Do you write, email, IM or otherwise communicate frequently?

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    12. Sarah,

      Seriously. What the heck does it matter? What are you trying to get at? I really don't feel any compulsion to detail every little bit of how I may or may not communicate with someone just because some random person on the Internet wants all the juicy details.

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    13. Answer or don't, but don't try to mislead me.

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    14. I haven't been trying to mislead you, I'm seriously baffled as to why the frequency of my communication with Christine matters.

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    15. You attempted to mislead me by stating how you specifically communicate by physically speaking infrequently due to your 600 mile separation. You also asked me if you answered my question fully enough. The answer is clearly no you have not, which is why I asked further questions.

      I would like to know how often you communicate by any method with Christine. Like I said before, answer or don't.

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    16. You said speak. I took that to mean voice conversation. Hence the physical speaking. Hence my confusion STILL as to WHY how often I communicate with Christine matters. Are you going to ask that of everyone who's been posting here or am I special for some reason?

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    17. So why choose to answer misleadingly then and not straightforwardly now?

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    18. Because I'd rather just directly answer whatever it is you're trying to infer from the frequency of my communication with Christine.

      Why don't you just answer what it is you really want to know?

      (for that matter, I'd like to know why you haven't answered the other questions I've asked you on this post but I imagine that won't get an answer either. Either way, it's way past my bedtime so I'll have to say goodnight for now.)

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    19. I find it interesting that SaraFiltz is so concerned with your (Analise) relationship & the interrogation that followed. Well, interesting & humorous! She must be a fisherman because she certainly is trolling!

      I also find it entertaining how from almost 3000 miles away one speaks as if they know first hand what occurred, how the horses were handled & what the horses looked like. I can say that now they are quite healthy (amazing what food, water, vet care, & attention can do). Ohhhh that's right! Astral projection is part of the tin hat super power!!

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    20. SaraFiltz does not know what she is talking (typing actually) about so she is lashing out and attacking everyone with silly nit-picky stuff to make up for her ignorance and insecurity. A secure person confident in her knowledge would not be be typing what she is typing.

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    21. That's wishful thinking. Nice try.

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    23. First off, Gentle Giants DOES help people and horses. They have established the Maryland Hay Bank that "assists private horse owners who are experiencing a financial hardship or a personal crisis with free hay for their horses for thirty (30) days up to a maximum of 100 total bales."

      Secondly, if a person can't afford to provide for their animals for the long haul, they should do the responsible thing and find them a home that can properly care for them, not expect others to provide for their upkeep.

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  14. Wow, how can they return horses to such an unfit owner? She should have to pay all the rescues that were that were involved at least 5 grand each, if not more. I think we animal lovers need to take stand, and let our voices be heard for the welfare of animals everywhere, and not just the neglected ones, but also the healthy ones. Animals can't tell us what they're feeling, so it's up to us, and their caretakers to figure out what's wrong.

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  15. So Sarah, you don't think that The Maryland Hay Bank is "helping people and horses?" Gentle Giants started it. And why would anyone help people and horses "before they need intervention?" That would be way out of line for a rescue to go in and assist someone before they needed intervention. It's ridiculous to think that ANY rescue would go into a situation where they are not needed. But I can see by this last post of yours that you actually believed that Ms Parkinson needed intervention.

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    1. Logic clearly doesn't work for you.

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    2. What isn't logical? The Maryland Hay Bank assisting people who ask for help? That seems pretty logical to me.

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    3. The part that isn't logical to me is assisting someone before they need intervention. Please explain why you think a rescue should be going and trying to buy people's horses before they need intervention. They only need intervention if there is a problem. By your logic rescues should go in and by up all the healthy, well kept horses because their owners don't yet need intervention.

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  16. FYI, SarahSFitz is a troll. No matter what you say, they will say the opposite just to inflame opposition. If you ignore them, they go back to CNN or The Washington Post comments section.

    To Gentle Giants I would say start stockpiling the funds now because you know those horses will be back with you and the other rescue groups in a year or less.

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  17. For those asking, 'what can be done to prevent this kind of thing from happening again'? - in MD, anyway, badger your representatives to require and fund training for animal control. You may not know this, but MD has no requirements re: training for animal control officers. And this is one case where it shows. Yes, remedial action was possible prior to the seizure and does not appear to have been done sufficiently. Nor was all due process followed in the seizure, which subsequently limits what prosecution and the judge can do. All preventable with better AC education. Just sayin. peace.

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  18. I've never posted on CNN or the Washington Post.

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  19. Can anyone comment on whether or not this seizure was done with a warrant? I keep hearing that all of these horses were seized WITHOUT a warrant....I'd love to know the truth.

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  20. You don't need a warrant to search or seize someone's property if it is in "plain view."

    "The plain view doctrine allows police to seize contraband in plain view when 1) the seizing officer is in a location he has a legal right to be; 2) the incriminating character of the evidence is immediately apparent; and 3) the seizing officer has a lawful right of access to the object." So, assuming the animals were in plain view from somewhere the police/animal control officers had a legal right to be - public property, or private property if the owner allowed them there, then the seizure was legal under the US Constitution.

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    1. You probably need to know a little more about what is legal under the US Constitution. What is "legal" is not always "constitutional" according to the US Constitution. You might want to research the term "contraband".

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  21. http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DOC_20120227_ParkinsonPlea.pdf

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  22. That link gives nothing except for details of the plea agreement. And the owner saying her constitutional rights were violated is not credible in any way - people say that all the time, and they're often wrong about it. The only way to know if her rights were violated is for a judge to rule on it and have that ruling affirmed.

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    1. Your view that judges are the ones to determine whether constitutional rights have been violated is not really on target. And who affirms that judge's ruling? We have a lot of judges today making a lot of unconstitutional rulings. The only way to know if anyone's constitutional rights have been violated is to know those constitutional rights and to find a constitutional lawyer who understands the constitution. Those kinds of lawyers are getting more rare today because they study more case law than the actual constitution.

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  23. Do you mean the only way to prove that her rights were violated? People's rights are violated everyday and most of them never see a court room.

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    1. People "claim" their rights are violated every day, but until there is a trial and due process, it is not FACT. Until the claim sees a court room, the rights were not violated. Just as in this case, if Ms Parkinson meets all the terms of her Probation, she will not have a "Guilty" finding against her. If she does not complete her probation, then ALL the charges can be brought back against her and the case can be tried. When dealing with the law, NOTHING is fact until it is ruled on by a judge.

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    2. Exactly. She claims her rights were violated - but merely saying something does not make it true.

      For instance, I could say trolls routinely violate my constitutional rights with their stupidity. But that does not make it true. And, if I managed to get a prosecutor to press charges against all trolls that bother me under RICO, there is still no proof my rights have been violated. And if, later, that same prosecutor allows the trolls to plead "no contest" in exchange for some concession, that doesn't mean the trolls were right (that my rights were not violated).

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  24. I've got 4 simple words to start off with...

    Don't feed the troll. :)

    And now to everyone else:

    Those of us who were involved with this know what happened that day, what we did as individuals and as a group, and the amount of progress that each of the horses have made. We also know that what we did was right, because the horses showed it at least a little bit in every way possible. One of the most obvious signs of progress that I, personally, have seen is that their manes, tails, coats, and eyes are sparkling. That image alone warms anyone's heart and proves that those horses are being loved. :)

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  25. OMG Sarah, you are the most naive person I've ever read. Holy crap. My four year old has more sense than you do. Keep talking and making yourself look more foolish. Good grief.

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  26. Don't pick on Sarah, she is obviously blind as a bat.

    It breaks my heart that anyone would get any animals back after treating so many so badly. I don't care if some of the animals looked "good", some looked "OK", too many died and too many had to be rehabbed. This person gave up her right to own horses. And I can pretty much bet that this situation will be repeated within the next 3 years. As for the Dr. I can only surmise he never saw or touched any of the starved horses.

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  27. Who is this Sara Fitz person, and why is she blind and deaf to the plight of these horses? All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing (paraphrase) - these horse rescues are good people, selfless people. They have no axe to grind with the abusive/neglectful owners, so what is this Fitz person making it seem that way? Perhaps she should acquire a life.....

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  28. One more time: http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DOC_20120227_ParkinsonPlea.pdf

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    1. Oh Dear Sarah- bless-your-heart!

      I'm not certain WHY the PRESS release keeps coming up under your name... Is your "refresh" button stuck by chance?

      Isn't it so nice that Ms. Parkinson is getting back such nice, vetted, healthy, well-fed horses?? It's like she has a whole new herd! Nothing at all like te malnourished, wormy, neglected lot that were taken from her.....

      I'm not quite understanding your blind allegiance... I guess everyone needs a "hero"

      Delete
  29. What does someone's press release really prove? A press release is like...basically an advertisement for whoever's submitting it. It's naturally slanted toward a particular view. (note, not saying they're lying or anything so don't accuse me of that, just saying that just like most everything else posted regarding this case, if you're viewing only that one thing you're not getting the whole story....or even close to it. That's why I've made an effort to read as much as I can regarding this case.)

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  30. Do you not want people to read the other side's account of the proceedings?

    Including this:

    Dr. Henneke reviewed the evidence and, in his professional opinion, HSUS and its rescue partners (the groups responsible for the seizure) “showed a complete lack of understanding” in the application of the equine body condition scale as applied to Ms. Parkinson’s horses and “exhibited extreme bias.” He concluded that “the charges of neglect against Ms. Parkinson were not warranted. The horses should not have been removed from her control and custody.” A copy of Dr. Henneke’s report is available upon request.

    http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DOC_20120227_ParkinsonPlea.pdf

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    1. Did I say anything about only reading one side? I think I specifically said I made an effort to read as much as I could regarding this case and that one should not read only one press release heavily slanted to one side and NOTHING ELSE since by continually linking to the press release you seem to think it's the only thing anyone ought to be reading.

      I'll post a link too. This is my comment on the fugly blog regarding the case, within it is a bunch of links to various sources (and not all from one side and yes, I included links to both Dr. Henneke's report and the press release you seem to be so fond of) regarding this case.

      http://fuglyblog.com/2012/03/04/sunday-update-march-4/comment-page-1/#comment-112293

      Delete
    2. This site and blog post is heavily slanted.

      Delete
    3. And notice I didn't tell anybody to only read this blog post.

      Delete
  31. SarahSFitz, I love how you only post the press release again and again. If you read his WHOLE report you catch other important phrases like "should have remained in her care AS LONG AS SHE MET THE CONDITIONS OF THE AGREEMENT".

    Whelp, there's your problem. She DIDN'T meet the conditions. Her fans can whine and cry about how she did blah blah blah, but she had a Replevin hearing to make her case and have the horses returned, and it was DENIED. The Judge agreed she had not made effort to meet the agreement, and the seizure was upheld. Period.

    Additionally, no one yet has disclosed if Dr. Henneke saw all of the pictures of the horses, or only select choices.

    I get it. You all love Marsha and she's some kind of hero. Whatever.

    But is it really easier for YOU as an ADULT to believe all of the consipracy BULLSHIT rather than to think a 60-some year old horse breeder got in over her head and kept breeding in a depressed economy; didn't ask for help because of her pride, and animal control had to step in to help the horses.

    No?

    Oh, I guess that's just so.... Unfathomable.

    Instead you would RATHER believe that the following parties all played an orchestrated role in "bringing down" an Arab breeder from East Bumfuck MD.

    Lets name all the conspiring parties for those who may have missed ALL the allegations:
    The State of MD
    The MD Horse Industry Board
    The Md Horse Council
    All the rescues in MD
    HSUS
    PETA
    Queen Anne's County in general
    Queen Anne's County Animal Control specifically
    All three Veterinarians present at the seizure
    Sheriff's Dept... they were there that day
    Queen Anne's County Police- they were there too
    MD State Police- I saw one at the end of the driveway
    The MEDIA!!!! Don't forget the news who "rounded up" the horses via their helicopter....

    Really? You are desperate to believe all this just to refuse the notion that your "hero" was just a human, and that she fucked up and treated her horses in a really despicable manner.

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  32. Exactly as you’ve just pointed out, Marsha IS only human. By the way, she is not my hero. Even if she treated her horses in the despicable manor you suggest, it doesn’t excuse the abominable behavior coming from this blog and Gentle Giants facebook.

    Like it or not; agree with it or not, there is a viable other side to this case. The best and most impartial way to present that is to post the Press Release.

    Unfortunately this situation is a bit more complicated than the good of the animal. Good intentions don’t give people the right to do whatever they see fit in order to accomplish justice. If that were the case, a multitude of potentially inhumane situations would be dealt with any way seen fit.

    This blog and others like it are nothing short of a cyber lynch mob with one purpose in mind: to string up and hang another human’s hardships for the internet public to freely beat, judge and demonize. I don’t support that sort of extremism.

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    1. Again...HOW is a PRESS RELEASE sent out by the DEFENSE ATTORNEYS who are being PAID by ONE PARTY in this case the most impartial method?

      Oh right...it ISN'T.

      If you want to be impartial, link to the judiciary information. Straight up, black and white, what she was charged with and the outcome of the case. No value judgements, no bias. Just facts.

      Delete
    2. I've only posted it about a hundred times in various discussions around the Interwebz (surely you've seen it if you've been following this case), what's one more?

      http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp

      Agree to the terms, search for Marsha's name, read her case information yourself. Ta-da.

      Delete
  33. And I don't support the extremism of "personal rights and freedoms" that some feel should allow a 68 year old woman to starve her herd of Arabians. Ms. Parkinson LOST her rights when she failed to care for her horses to the point that neglected horses were seen on her property, and concerned folks called to complain.

    Who do you think called on her? People who saw HEALTHY horses? People who had NO CONCERN for the welfare of animals they had to drive past and see with inadequate food and worsening conditions?

    The point of this blog is that her defense, in our opinion, IS NOT VIABLE.

    And give me a break about her "hardships". CRY ME A RIVER. She was in business, just like any other human who is in business in this poor economy. And she kept doing something that wasn't working, and getting herself in deeper and deeper. At any point in the year leading up to the collapse, and specifically the 6 months that animal control was politely breathing down her neck prior to the seizure, she could have:

    Reduced her asking prices
    Had a herd reduction sale
    Give away horses
    Started training her best viable sale stock
    Ask the Arabian community to help by taking some of her horses
    AND STOP BREEDING HORSES WHO AREN'T SELLING.

    But she did none of these things. She hid her worst at the back of the property. She didn't do even small things to help make the farm better, like clean water tubs, muck stalls, fill buckets, or mend fences. Those things cost little to no money. She might be older, but she is not handicapped. She walked all around my farm, so no reason she couldn't walk out and water those horses.

    And, I'm sorry.... but to those who want to howl about "how she was complying with the contract from animal control, she just needed more tiiiiiime....."

    Are you fucking serious? You tell me... if animal control came in and put you under a 30 day contract that you must comply with providing adequate feed and water or your horses were being impounded, WOULD YOU WAIT 15 DAYS TO GET FEED?

    I keep hearing "But hay was coming!!! It's so unfair".

    15 friggin' days had passed! Hay had not arrived and clean water was not provided! Who waits more than 2 weeks to get hay when animal control is on you like stink on shit? She lived in the middle of a hay country! Hell, I could have found local hay for her, and I live 2 hours away.

    But you want to defend that, because it was "her right". And we are "the extremists". Give me a break.

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  34. Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion, there is a legal minimum standards of care required from all horse owners in the State of Maryland. This legal requirement is for ALL horse owners and not just ones who are not having problems of one kind or another.
    Ms Parkinson was not meeting this standard of care for her horses and her neighbors noticed it and notified the authorities. Ms Parkinson brought all of this on herself and she and all of her supporter have no one else to blame but her.
    Arguments about how Ms Parkinson was mistreated are invalid and inaccurate. She received the same treatment as any other person being legally processed for neglecting/abusing their horses. And not understanding her point of view or not understanding her situation are meaningless and not relevant to the fact she was not feeding or caring for her horse as required by law. And she was not feeding/caring for her horses even while being monitoring by animal control.
    Ms Parkinson had total control over her own actions, which included, but was not limited to, breeding more horses than she could feed and care for, let alone sell or rehome. The only thing not Ms Parkinson’s fault in this case is the down turn in the economy. But it is entirely her fault how she responded to the difficult economy. She had so many options to deal with her difficult situation yet she did not avail herself to any of them.
    The fact that her court case was abbreviated by a plea bargain does not change the facts of Ms Parkison’s neglect of her horses. Guilty people are found not guilty by juries in our legal system. That does not mean the person did not commit the crime…it means the jury found them not guilty for whatever reason. The same is true with plea bargains, which are simply cost-benefit calculation by DAs. Complaining about Ms Parkinson’s plea deal is what this blog post is about.
    Do think I am being too harsh? Too bad! I don’t care if you think that. I have the same compassion and concern for Ms Parkinson as she had for her horses. Yes, I’d call 911 if she needed it…but beyond that she is on her own. I’ll help her horses because they are powerless. But not her..she has shown she able to take care of herself.
    And in my experience people who abuse animals tend to not be very nice to their fellow humans. Nasty or selfish people tend to be nasty or selfish towards everyone and everything. And don’t kid yourselves…Ms Parkinson has shown by her actions she is selfish. If nothing else, her pride and ego are more important to her than her horses' welfare.
    Also, supporting someone who is doing something wrong is called enabling. I will not enable abusing animals.

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  35. The photo's taken do not lie, I fail to see any air brush techniques there. Nor can it be claimed that it was "just 1 old sick horse". The people who DO rescue work and rehab horses ARE the experts in this case despite the minute semantics that Henneke ( I have lost ALL respect for this man) is being Paid to argue. Sarah, you must read for Comprehension, what is said and what is NOT said in any document that is going to be used in a court of law. Perhaps you should at least finish high school and get a BA before you start throwing around terms you clearly are clueless about like "libel". I'd also suggest some basic A&P, BioChem and Bio classes so you have a clue as to why these horses should have Never gone back to Con-Camp Parkinson. Perhaps a few years of Psych and Sociology will help you look at Mrs. Parkinson in a more objective dispassionate light. I think once you understand who and what she is you may be a bit damaged.

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  36. Henneke volunteered.

    I'm well out of high school with a BS (yes a science degree) and have over ten years of elite equine experience. I also took psychology and plenty of other social sciences with a distinctly more than adeqaute GPA.

    I'm not sure you have an appreciation for the hard work, experience and dedication it takes to become as well respected as Dr. Henneke. Did you graduate from college?

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    1. Excuse me ... Over ten years professional
      elite equine experience.

      Delete
  37. Well, with that much education I don't understand why you fail to see underweight horses in poor condition.

    Henneke's report didn't SAY the horses were OK. It said the scale was not used properly on ever single scoring. OK, I'll give him that. In his esteemed opinion some of the scores might have been disputable. And he didn't say the horses should stay in Marsha's care carte blanche, it was with the limitation of IF she was complying with the contract.

    All parties would have been far happier if she would have simply complied with the contract.

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  38. It's Dr. Henneke's opinion that the contract was being complied with and the horses taken unnecessarily. Anyone here is free to actually read his report without getting the knowledge second hand. The contact information needed to obtain the report is in the press release that I keep posting. Here's the final few lines: "It is my professional opinion, that the charges of neglect against Ms. Parkinson were not warranted. The horses should not have been removed from her control and custody. Her efforts to conform to the agreement between herself and Animal Control should be commended." Yes, he said COMMENDED. Again, you can request a copy of it if you (meaning you all) read the press release: http://www.bkglawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DOC_20120227_ParkinsonPlea.pdf

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    1. What is disturbing in Don R. Henneke, PhD’s report is that he used the terms “appear,” “appears,” and “appeared” a dozen times. Dr. Henneke even concluded in his statement that it was his “opinion.” In that respect, his is ONE opinion of MANY involved in the case. I take the word of those who personally involved (GGFHR, DEFHR, HSUS, and others) who witnessed, touched, cared for as being the expert over someone (Dr. Henneke) who has only seen a video and photographs. It does not take a PhD to see these horses were in deplorable condition. Common sense and basic human decency is all that was required.

      Delete
  39. Im happy there are foundations like these one I myself would love to have a draft horse but I can't so I have six quarter mile horses that I try to Kip healthy

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  40. The troll is a psychopath. The grammar is so poor, I doubt she graduated from high school. I don't know why you are bothering with it.

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  41. The blog article very surprised to me! Your writing is good. In this I learned a lot! Thank you!
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    ReplyDelete