Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mountaineer Ban: From the Rescuers Point of View or, "The Rest of the Story"

Well you will have to read back a few posts to follow this thread, but it started with the Announcement that Mountaineer was iniating a "No-Kill" policy at their track, and it wasnt two days later when TB rescuers found at least one horse from Mountaineer in a Pa Killpen.. The story goes when the rescuers called Mountaineer for help with this horse, Mountaineer either couldnt or would not help. We contacted Mountaineer to inquire into the matter and their response is in the post entitled "Mounaineer Responds" which is the post just below this one. As a result of Mountaineers response, the rescuers involved responded, us, and here is the rescuers "rest of the story," and of couse, our reply to that.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 6:12 PM
Subject: Re: [againstslaughter] Mountaineer Replys to Inquiry re:Sugarcreek TB Saves


Indeed there are two sides to every story and since I am the person who called Rosemary Williams last Monday to inform her that Hopi's Lolo (a Mountaineer Thoroughbred who had just raced on Oct. 24th) was in a kill pen at New Holland, I would like for everyone to know the real story and not only the half truth reported by Ms. Williams.

The fact is that when I called Ms Williams, she relayed my call to Tamara Pettit who is the Marketing Director at Mountaineer. I informed Ms Pettit that one of their horses was in a kill-pen at New Holland and asked her what if anything they would be willing/able to do to help us get her out of there. Ms. Pettit's response was that Mountaineer had already made its charitable expenditures for 2008 and that we should submit a request for 2009. Well, suffice it to say that I informed Ms. Pettit that Hopi's Lolo need help NOW and that offering to help in 2009 would be far too late for Hopi as she would be DEAD IN 48 HOURS!!

It was disgustingly evident during my conversation with Ms.Pettit that Mountaineer was going to do NOTHING to help us save Hopi. So when I had another call come in via call waiting and realized the call was from someone who would actually STEP UP to help us save Hopi, I quickly ended my conversation with Ms Pettit.

The funny thing is that while Ms Pettit and Ms Williams were busy giving me excuses as to why they couldnt help their horse, I was in the process of recovering 5 TB's from a zero tolerance racetrack that actually does STEP UP for their horses. In fact, it was the track who paid for the horses, paid for their transport, and will pay a fee per horse to the TRF to care for them until they can be rehomed. This track is putting its money where its mouth is and is truly concerned that their horses are NOT sold to slaughter and that they are humanely treated once they leave the racetrack.

Mountaineers policy of banning trainers from sending horses to slaughter at Sugarcreek is NOT a zero tolerance policy. It is pathetic attempt on the part of Mountaineer to fool people into believing that they are protecting their horses from being sold to slaughter. The truth is that in singling out Sugarcreek they have left the door wide-open for trainers to send the horses directly to kill-buyers lots who will then transport the hroses to other kill auctions. Hopi is a perfect example. She was originally purchased at Sugarcreek on Oct. 31st and then transported to New Holland where the kill buyer was gathering more horses before heading them off to slaughter. This kill buyer will simply pick the Mountaineer horses up at Rudibaughs now (bypassing Sugarcreek) and will take them to New Holland where they will still be sold for slaughter.

Mountaineer's ban on horses being sold at Sugarcreek does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to protect them. It is all Mountaineer smoke and mirrors. Until they implement a zero tolerance policy on slaughter and until they put in place a plan to transition horses from the track and provide the funding to do so, there is no reason whatsoever to "thank them" or to pat them on the back. Nothing has changed for Mountaineer horses. Just ask the ones we couldnt save who went to slaughter last week.



The announcment wasnet a day old when this NH incident occurred, and I think you probably caught them off guard, not quite ready to deal with the instant "backlash" as a result of the announcment. There is no plan or program yet but they are working on one. Yes, you are right, we do need to warn them about places like the Mel Hoovers of Pa and the Rudibaughs of Oh., and YES also to get them to adopt a strong "O" tolerence slaughter policy like the others.
However, I DO feel thanks are in order for them for finally going public, whatever their reason or ultimatium may be, for taking a stance against slaughter. Even if it is only lip service for now, it is something we can work with them on, now that they have professed to be on the right is a statement they DID NOT HAVE to make at all....they could have stayed with the arguement like so many other horse-loving folk do, that slaughter is a "necessary evil" or "humane euthansia." . At least they proport now to be on the anti-slaughter side, so we can work with them. It will take time and good people like yourself & Anne, Canter and other good TB rescues to guide them and "grow with them," and show them the best way. I can very well understand your frustration in not getting any help from Mountaineer for that emergecny,...I have been in that position before numerous times, when there was no help to be had for an animal from those responsible for its condition or situation, or in authority to act. It is very frustrating indeed. I have learned to accept that we are really all "on our own" in this business when it comes right down to it, yes, "Friends," "networks" and coalitions are nice to have and provide much needed support, but what happens when the support is not there, what can we do? Move on and do our best with what we have...and HOPE that support will come eventually someday "to stay," at least in some cases.
Now I dont know Ms Williams personally but she seems sincere in her desire to do the right thing. It is a new policy and they havent worked out all the kinks yet....and she is asking for help with setting up a program to help. She is talking with Canter whom I believe will be working with Mountaineer to help rehome some of the horses, and you dont think that is something to appaud and celebrate or to be thankful for? You do not think that is "progress?" We do!
Thanks for caring.
And then this, from us to Mountaineer re: the rescuers "rest" of the story;


We received this from the TB rescuers involved in that NH case where a Mountaineer Horse showed up. Apparently they were not happy with your reply and have responded to it through us. They do not think you (Mountaineer) are sincere but "Friends of Equines" has defended you, cause we believe you are. Time will tell and we hope we are right.

Here is a link to their blurb and our reply;

Together, we CAN make a difference!


CJ, aka "MuleKist," Founder,
Friends of Equines FOES of Equine Slaughter
"Because We Care"

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