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There are twenty-five hours left for harness racing fourteen trotters and pacers still left in the slaughter-pen.   The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) was able to secure homes and or donations for forty of the horses tagged to ship to slaughter tomorrow, Sunday, August 23 at 9 pm.   Fourteen are still crammed in the pens, being injured, fighting to get to their basic needs, if they are available.   They are desperate for help to keep from shipping to the Canadian slaughterhouse.    Initially 54 horses were in need. SRF is pleading for help for them. Choosing who to let ship to that horrific end is a heart-wrenching thing to have to do. Every effort to help them all has been exhausted.   What is Needed 14 horses need homes, a few offers fell through. If 14 homes are secured, the needed funds noted in the link to pay for releasing the horses from the slaughter-line, will no longer be needed. This is unlikely to happen, nor happen in 25 hours. SRF can help a few more, however the goal is is not to choose who will ship for slaughter. in order for SRF to take all remaining14 horses it will need $23,550. Basically, for every $1682. donated SRF can take in another, thanks to kind donations. Typically, it costs about $4,000. to take a horse in from the slaughter-line. Sponsorship is also very helpful. Any amount in a sponsorship is appreciated, SRF can combine with others who may sponsor.   How to Help These Horses That Have Given Their All To give a home directly one can pay the pen and the horse will be theirs, contact SRF for the info to the pen; To offer a home or foster home please email or call; Please use the link below to make a donation toward the release of a horse, and for help with medical care for those pulled out of the pen in need of emergency veterinary attention;   Donations are tax-deductible.   To offer a home or call 609-738-3255; The list of horses Donation link (tax-deductible) or call SRF at 609-738-3255. Sponsorship Link   Racing must address the routine of these race horses and broodmares being sold off the tracks and from farms, then found in rural areas where so many work hard lives. They are too often treated like machinery; not fed or watered while working; work in emaciated condition while suspensories hit the ground; are foundered; and are tied up in the heat and left there for full days. They then sell them at livestock auctions in their teens just to do this again to the younger ones. The authorities are not stepping in to enforce laws.        

Cream Ridge, NJ - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) and those who helped did all they could to keep every one of the horses from shipping to slaughter. Payment was sent for all except three. "Because it was such a large amount of money, SRF asked for more time for three that have no help at all, and they agreed," SRF's Director said. "Today we must find three homes, fosters, or donations for them, this is not over yet."   Approximately 75 owners, breeders, and trainers who had a relationship in the past with these horses were contacted. Two horses have gone back to those who stepped right up when they heard their horse was in trouble. El Kabong, and Cowboy Cal had a safe and cozy stall last night. The others will be leaving over the next few days. Two are in very compromised condition and are shipping close by for immediate care.   So many people tried to keep these horses from slaughter, family and friend fundraisers were organized; visitors arrived at the SRF with donations; the younger sisters, adopters of La Cheesecake, filled the neighborhood mailboxes with flyers asking for help. The older sister took it upon herself to find the past owners and breeders on the published list through social media. Thanks to her, Cam Cha will now being going home too! (See photo below of these wonderful young ladies).   There were suggestions to seek assistance from the United States Trotting Association,(USTA); the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; the ASPCA; and the Standardbred Transition Alliance, (STA). These organizations do not help in these situations. Sadly, the ASPCA, the USTA, and the Standardbred Transition Alliance do not support helping horses tagged for slaughter. People who care made this happen!   Three of the following are in need, any three, as any four of them have homes; these homes are happy to help whichever ones are left: Royalpaindastreos, Earl's Madness, Rush Justin Time, Feeling Magic, Art's party Boy, Lorelei Lee, and DC Sweet Speed. These three have through Thursday morning to be helped. "We went out on a limb with these last three horses, said Judy, this is not over, this is still a very urgent situation."   How to Help   Offer a home; Become a foster home; Donate to help; Donate the cost of a horse at the pen, see the link below; Donate for quarantine expense $350, and shipping $250. Sponsor one of the horses so SRF can take it in. Sponsor per month is $350. Another option is a donation to care for a horse over a period of 10-12 months the cost is approximately $4,000. Donations are tax-deductible. Help raise donations and seek homes with SRF.   Please email for questions and offers of help, or message the SRF's Face Book page.   There are two SRF Face Book pages.   Standardbred Retirement Foundation/SOSS Face Book page is managing this and messages there are received more quickly right now. Standardbred Retirement Foundation- is the second Face Book page that may be used for messages.   Telephone 609-738-3255   Donations are tax-deductible and may be made through   DONATE TO SRF TODAY     About Standardbred Retirement Foundation   Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides human care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis, through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow--up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.   Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email address:    

 Cream Ridge, NJ - 6/23/2020 – Monday evening is Monday evening, as Saturday is Saturday. The cruelty of slaughter of these harness racing horses is in the hands of the person who has done this before, moved the deadline.    These horses now only have until Tuesday evening, June 23rd, 2020 at 10 pm to be helped or they will ship to the Canadian slaughterhouse.   The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) has experienced deadline changes before and has seen horses shipped to the Canadian slaughterhouse while it was working on helping them. "The truck is loading early Wednesday morning and I want it filled," SRF was told. The horses that were suppose to be held until Saturday now are in a very dire situation as are those with an original Tuesday deadline.   The one horse involved in a traffic accident, while working as transportation, has been helped. One with an adulterated tattoos, either burned off or cut out is going into foster care, but must have a home offer soon. Eight have help so far.   Each of the horses needs a home and donations to be released from the manifest to ship for slaughter.   HOW YOU CAN HELP:   Offer a home; Become a foster home; Donate to help; Donate the cost of a horse at the pen, see the link below; Donate for quarantine expense $350, and shipping $250. Sponsor one of the horses so SRF can take it in. Sponsor per month is $350. Another option is a donation to care for a horse over a period of 10-12 months the cost is approximately $4,000. Donations are tax-deductible. Help raise donations and seek homes with SRF.   There is no information on the level of care they may be receiving while in the packed pen, but horses have died from dehydration in the past. Here is the link to see the horses in need and to help.   SRF is facilitating help for them, screening home offers, foster offers, and managing donations and arrangements to to get them to safety. Due to the cancellation of social fundraisers, and 343 horses it is feeding right now, this is why SRF cannot physically take any horses under its care without help.   Please email for questions and offers of help, or message the SRF's Face Book page.   There are two SRF Face Book pages. Standardbred Retirement Foundation/SOSS Face Book page is managing this and messages there are received more quickly right now. Standardbred Retirement Foundation- is the second Face Book page that may be used for messages. Telephone 609-738-3255 Donations are tax-deductible and may be made through 

Warrior Inside started life as a winner. A Kentucky thoroughbred, the chestnut brown bay gelding racehorse trained at Churchill Downs in Louisville. In his debut last March in New Orleans, he placed second in a field of 63. But his fourth race at Churchill Downs was his last, coming in eighth. He'd developed career-ending bone chips in both front knees. Life after racing for most horses usually ends in one of two ways. Animals with good genes are used for stud service in hopes of producing superior stock. Others are sent to slaughter at rendering plants in Canada and Mexico. Furniture store chain IKEA made headlines in 2013 when traces of horse meat were found in the store's famous Swedish meatballs, which were sent out to several countries across Europe.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 80,000 horses annually get processed for meat. More: Oxford firefighters, Oakland Co. deputies rescue horse trapped under ice More: Woman gets jail for neglect of horses in western Michigan (L to R) Mr. Palmer and Warrior Inside play with each other at their stalls inside Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth, Michigan on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. This farm caters towards retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program that rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win. . (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Warrior Inside got lucky. He ended up at Canter Michigan, one of the few sanctuaries in the country that gives losing horses another shot. "When horses broke down, they would just get rid of them," said Canter Michigan's horse trainer Jennifer Blades on owners of racetracks. "Now, they're not allowed to do that, so that's made more horses come in through the Canter program." Warrior Inside, known as Indy by his handlers, is one of nine horses at Canter Michigan. The organization in Commerce Township, founded in 1998, today has 19 affiliates nationwide rehabbing former racehorses for new careers as show horses or for law enforcement. Blades, said most of the horses she sees “just weren’t fast enough” or suffered an injury — common for young horses. Jennifer Blades, the owner and operator of Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth poses for a portrait with Warrior Inside, a former race horse on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The farm caters towards retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program which rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win. . (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Road to recovery Indy's trainer, Tim Glyshaw, donated the horse to Canter Michigan which sent him to Michigan State University's large animal clinic for surgery in May. Afterward, he spent six months in rehab at a Lansing-area farm.  But surgery and rehab is expensive. Horse operations usually cost between $3,000-$4,000 and rehab an additional $2,000-$3,000, Blades said. Canter Michigan relies on fundraisers and support from other nonprofit agencies. In December, the ASPCA granted $225,000 to nine equine rescue groups, including the Michigan and national chapters of Canter. After rehab, Blades said, training begins. “We start with groundwork,” said Blades. “We put them in a crosstie and they learn to be groomed, handled and to be quiet. A lot of the racehorses are very jumpy and they will kick at you and will bounce around a little bit to break the ties.” Warrior Inside, a former race horse, burns off energy inside Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.  (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Not all horses receive the same training, since every equine is different. Some horses may only be able to spend 20 to 30 minutes outside, while others can last for an hour, Blades said.   “When I go to work with a horse, I have a basic plan, but I have to adapt it according to how they’re doing that day or each horse individually,” she said. “And they have their good and bad days just like we do. Some have more of a work ethic and really want to be good, and others don’t really want to be bothered."   Horse racing in Michigan  According to the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, a group dedicated to improving horse racing in the state, the rise of the sport in Michigan began in 1933 when Gov. William Comstock signed a law legalizing horse racing with wagering. Northville Downs became the state’s first racetrack, opening in 1944. Others soon followed, including Jackson Harness Raceway, Hazel Park Race Track and Detroit Race Course. Harness racers move down the home stretch at Northville Downs race track on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in Northville. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier)   Horse racing hit its peak in the late 1980s, with eight tracks operating across the state, in cities such as Flint, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant and Muskegon. But the industry began to decline with increasing competition from other types of wagering, starting with the creation of the Michigan Lottery in 1972. Casinos built on Indian reservations became big in the 1980s, and Detroit saw the opening of three casinos in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Simulcasting, where guests could watch and bet on multiple live races in one location, helped keep racetracks open a little longer, but could not solely save them. Muskegon Race Course closed in 1997, with many of the other racetracks following suit into the late 2000s.  Last year, Hazel Park Race Track abruptly closed after nearly 70 years of business.The track was one of two racetracks still operating in the state, and the only track offering thoroughbred racing. Shortly after the closing of Hazel Park, home builder Hunter Pasteur Homes announced that Northville Downs will be sold and converted into a mixed-use development. The track plans to stay open through the 2020 racing season, and hopes to operate at a new location after the property is sold. Canter Executive Director Robbie Timmons said the group received two horses from Hazel Park right after the track closed, with another brought in last September. One equine has already found a new home.    However, Blades does not expect any horses from Northville Downs, since it only has standardbred horses, which are used in harness racing. Canter only trains thoroughbreds, with the majority coming from places like Ohio and Kentucky. A new life Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth, caters to retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program that rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win.  (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   How long it takes to get a racehorse ready for adoption can vary. Blades said horses are available for sale within a couple of months. But equines that have been injured might not be suitable for adoption until they've spent five to eight months in the program. When Indy is ready, he's expected to fetch $1,800, Blades said. Horses at Canter usually sell for prices ranging from $800 to $2,000 to buyers from as far away as North Carolina and Texas. Blades has yet to learn what Indy’s new career path will be, but she believes he "can do almost anything." “He’s quiet, easygoing, so I think he could be a pleasure horse. He’s built to be a jumping horse the way he moves, but we have not jumped him yet because we didn’t want to push it too soon. I think he’s gonna make some Canter adult an awesome horse for whatever they choose. "I just want to see the horse go on and be happy and have a good career and a good home.” By Micah Walker Reprinted with permission of the Detroit Free Press

Cream Ridge, NJ - 1/21/19 - Eight harness racing trotters and pacers in need of homes are now tagged and on the manifest to ship to the Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses. The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) is pleading for homes, other organizations for help, foster homes, and sponsors to get them out of these horrific “kill pens”.   Down from 35 in need, the remaining 8 are:   1.    Rookthatiscastling - or Fire Island (waiting on confirmation) Likely about 14 yr old. Gelding 2.    First Season, 14 yr. old mare. May only be able to walk under saddle. 3.    Bonnie Caviar may not be identified correctly-kill pen volunteer did not have time, may be Spartan Justice, 11 yr. old (not sure if g or m yet). Appears sound. 4.    DG’s Turnaround, 16 yr. old mare about 16.1h, appears sound. (Listed as deceased on her registration but incorrect) 5.    Have It Your Way, 14 yr. old mare, 15.2 needs hoof care immediately, appears sound. 6.    Naomi Blue Chip, 15 yr. old mare, 15.1 mother of 4 babies who earned $250,000. Appears sound. Scared in the pen. 7.    Taylor’s Design, 18 yr. old gelding, big handsome trotter, sore in back likely due to pulling weight much heavier than able to. 8.    Walk Of Shame, 14 yr. old mare, appears sound, may be blind in right eye but she appears to see the world.   Party Lights 13 yr. mare, is injured and being attended to, she has dropped suspensory, she is paid for, has a sponsor, but she needs a home. She has a heart on her forehead. Funny Girl - safe but needs an experienced home for mom and baby due in April.   In these pens the horses are rarely provided for any of their basic needs, shelter, water and feed. The harsh weather has made things much more difficult, however it also gave these horses a few more days of hope for homes, but the deadline is today at 5pm. SRF is beyond full, and it’s not just the large number of horses under SRF’s care that is blocking the help, it’s the financial restrictions. SRF has no regular funding, not privately, publicly, or from the racing industry. Some people feel humane euthanasia is better than shipping hundreds of miles to the borders to be slaughtered, even if that was an option, it is beyond the financial ability of the SRF. It is approximately $500 for the veterinarian and renderer to put a horse at peace.    SRF and everyone who has taken a horse or has contributed to help these animals is begging for help for the remaining eight. Two thousand two hundred dollars ($2,200) is still needed for bail, and eight homes, however, if homes are not found for all, sponsorship will help. In general, a horse will cost SRF $2,400- $4,200 annually, any part of a sponsorship monthly or for a year will save one of these horses.   To offer a home, a foster home, to sponsor a horse, make a donation please call SRF immediately at 609-738-3255, or email Tammy at                                 ‌             About Standardbred Retirement Foundation       Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides human care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis. Through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow--up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.   Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email  

Millstone Township, NJ - April 25, 2018 -  The last three of the 21 trotters and pacers in the kill pens the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) is trying to keep from slaughter, have a reprieve, but do not have homes, Valid Moment, Native Avenue, and DeMartini. They do have donations to care for them until SRF can hopefully find them homes. Secret Impression who has a home is now sick and injured. A veterinarian has been called. Her home is now pending.   SRF expresses its heartfelt gratitude for the support received for these horses. It's been a stressful six days trying to pull it all together, very sad to have had to do this at all, but a few sweet things have come from this effort. Four horses had their past owners take them home, and help came from a horse that was considered rescued himself, St. Elmo Hero, who went on to earn nearly $800,000 for his owner John Barnard.   Josh Green, one of 21 owners of Skedaddle Hanover, during his racing career, owning him for just 6 months,stated, "I don't understand how people can be in racing and not fall in love with and appreciate how hard these horses try for us." Eric Goodell and Josh Green took Mr. Mystic N, one from this group, home on the same day they heard he was in trouble.    We were surprised that the United States Trotting Association, (USTA) chose not to pick up SRF's press releases, as their readers are people more closely associated with these animals than anyone, especially past breeders, owners, trainers, and fans. These are the people who should have this information. The USTA states that they do not have a policy on slaughter. It is well known that some of the directors oppose it and some are pro slaughter. We suggest that when members vote their new directors in that they pose that question before casting a vote.    Homes are still needed.       To offer a home, make a tax-deductible gift to help any of the other 390 horses inSRF's program, or to sponsor one, contact SRF 732-446-4422 or email To see some of the other 390, to sponsor one, adopt one, or make a gift click here    Standardbred Retirement Foundation | | Judith Bokman

Millstone Township, NJ - April 23, 2018 - Since Friday, April 20, 2018, of the 21 horses weighed and tagged to ship for slaughter, Mr. Mystic N was helped by his past owner, Eric Goodell, and trainer Joshua Green, and is being returned to Mr. Goodell; Jeremy Sharky was helped by Linda Maine, and being returned to her; DC Piggy Bank left to go to another organization in Indiana; Captain is going back to his owner Dr. Claude Gedreau in Canada; Forward Action has found a loving home in Kentucky by a dear friend of SRF;  two others have been offered a home at a rescue/sanctuary in NJ, that will be confirmed today. Two adoption applications have been received and will be screened. That leaves 14 others still in need of homes, and donations.   Funds have been raised for all expenses to help 2 more horses, but they do not have home offers. Should SRF need to find a place on their roster they can afford to do so with these donations, but by securing homes for them, donations can go to others in great need.   "We have asked for an extension beyond Tuesday's deadline, but we worry that the kill buyer will again pull a few from this group to fill his truck, should he have empty space," noted Paula Campbell, SRF's President. "This effort needs a collaboration of good, kind and generous people to get it accomplished. These horses worked hard when racing and most have had a miserable life afterwards. Slaughter is unacceptable."   The Standardbred Retirement Foundation(SRF) is presently paying for the all the care, board, and medical needs on 390 horses. It is stretched, and concerned about its financial situation, and without a farm of their own, the concern is even greater. "Since 1989 we have managed to follow-up every horse in the program for life, secure more than 4,000 adoptions, and care for those still not homed," shares Judith Bokman, SRF's Executive Director. "  We need so much more help to give these animals a little dignity. It shocks me that we have survived this long.  If it wasn't for a few small bequests over the years we wouldn't be here today trying to help these 21."   Here is how you and SRF can save these horses:   1. If you choose to take a horse back that you bred, owned or trained or wish to help a horse, SRF will assist with the facilitation. The list with their prices is available in the group of photos. 2. For horses with a home offer, but the home is unable to pay for the horses and the shipping (often to rural parts of the US), SRF will collect donations to help. 3. For a horse without a safe place to go, if donations cover all expenses, the price of the horse, shipping to quarantine, then shipping again to a boarding facility for rehabilitation and retraining for adoption and several months of board, SRF will consider whether it can take on the responsibility of another horse. This is approximately $3,000. 4. For horses with no help at all, the controversial option that is being considered is humane euthanasia. The cost is, the kill pen's purchase price, in addition to shipping to a facility, the veterinarian and rendering, approximately $550.   To offer a home, make a tax-deductible gift to help SRF Facilitate a horse to a home being offered, or to send a gift for SRF to afford taking on one, contact SRF 732-44604422 or  CLICK HERE TO DONATE: OR - GoFund Me page. The list of horses is included in the group of photos.   A choice can be made whether a horse leaves the earth by the heinous act of slaughter or through humane euthanasia. Should some horses not receive help and you wish to provide a more peaceful passing please call us to discuss. To contact by telephone- 732-446-4422, email         TAG # NAME SEX AGE TATTOO EARNINGS   PRICE SIRE/   DAME 1871 Mister Mystic N G,16 ZH205 $403,984 $800 In The Pocket-Seafield Mystic-Nero's Bebe 1877 Yankee Fur OR Stubling G, ? ? ? $720   1864 Nole G, 14 1BE96 $54,911 $810 Yankee Glide-CR Seminole Sister_Royal Trubador 1865 T-N-T Dozer G, 20 T4635 $23,102 $910 Sir Taurus-Midnight Oasis-Desert Night 1866 Forward Action   G, 15 4AE47 $761 $810 Save and adopted into a loving home  1868 Valid Movement G, 14 4DB75 $31,602 $800 Towner's Big Guy-Chevie Sprints-Sport Master 1863 Artistocracy G, 14 9BD28 $56,013 $810   Artiscape-Expensly Ashley-Expensive Scooter 1867 Loutopia M, 18 WC096 $0 $660 Sir Taurus-Golden LOu-Baltic Speed 1869 Demartini (formerly Whitsand Predator) G, 17 XR713 $0 $835 Grinfromeartoea r-Filly Bahama-Matt's Scooter 1880 Us Invader G, 20 T0018 $38,784 $660 Balanced Image-Picaboo Flame-Keystone Flame 43 Dale G. 15 8AC46 $10,454 $892 Inquirer Mandalay Bay-Overcomer No Tag Native Avenue G, 7 2J771 $3,460 $940 All American NAtive-Lady Welagin-Walton HAnover 688 Indiego G, 21 SC361 $0 $892 Die Laughing-Nude Indigo-Abercombie No Tag DC's Piggy Bank G, 15 5A679 $589,811 $675 Saved by another organization in Indiana. No Tag Hillbilly Style OR Letsgo Dort G, ? ? ? $650   No Tag Bob J L G, 15 9CN42 $48,026 $600   Dauntless Bunny-Etoile De Mai-Rumpus Hanover N/A Captain G, 13 9C641 $1,540 $700 BREEDER SAVED Him and Took Him Home. No Tag RC Kettle Chip G, 11 4EC77   $12,099 $1200   Dream Vacation-Malhana Gunilla-Bonefish No Tag Jeremy Sharky G, 15 4A407 $255,982 $750 Saved by Linda Maine and took him home. No Tag Secret Impression M, 14 4B682 $49,380 $625 Go Get Lost-Tuf Tonya-TZ 760 Casimir Army Patrol G, 20 TR315 $0 $700 Shre Patrol-Casimir Mooky     Standardbred Retirement Foundation | | Judith Bokman       Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101, Millstone Twp., NJ 08535    

Seven years ago, Sue Wellman thought she had secured a retirement home for a harness racing horse named Bob Again. Wellman, from De Soto in southwest Wisconsin, runs the American Standardbred Adoption Program. Bob Again was shipped off to Missouri. But in October, Wellman was sickened to learn that Bob Again had been spotted online at a horse disposal business in Bastrop, La., in grave danger of being shipped to a slaughter plant in Mexico. She had no idea the 18-year-old horse, whose racing career ended in 2003, had been dumped by his owner — a breach of the program’s adoption contract. Immediately, Wellman said, she went about raising $2,350 in “bail money” to get Bob Again out of the kill pen and back to safety at her farm in De Soto.   We are still dealing with the adopter to find out how in the world this happened,” Wellman said. The last horse slaughter plants in the United States closed about a decade ago. But about 100,000 U.S. horses a year are shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, according to government statistics.  Horse meat, which can’t legally be sold as food in the U.S., is available in South America, Europe and Asia where it’s sometimes mixed with ground beef as a filler and even fetches a premium price for leanness and flavor. “What brings the most money is a young horse with lots of flesh because the price is per pound when they go to slaughter,” Wellman said. “They’re young, vital, sound horses. That’s the sad part of it.” Critics say the animals are crammed in trailers, without adequate food and water, for a journey of up to several thousand miles. Rescue operators scour the internet looking for horses, and then try to intervene, or outbid the kill-pen buyers at livestock auctions. ;A little bit of your heart dies every time you go to one of these places,” said Erin Groth, founder of Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary in Elkhart Lake. From 2006 through 2010, U.S. horse exports for slaughter increased 148% to Canada and more than 600% to Mexico, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report noted after the U.S. horse slaughter plants closed.  Frisco, the oldest horse at Amazing Grace Equine Rescue, is boarded with the blind horses. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)   The rescuers say they’d like to see a ban on shipping horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico, and some say the shutdown of U.S. plants made things worse because of the rough travel conditions the horses now have to endure. The battle goes back and forth,” said Scott Bayerl, director of the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, a rescue operation in Pittsville. “But what a crappy way to end an animal’s life.” 'This isn't for the faint of heart' What types of people are putting these animals up for slaughter? Some are individual owners overwhelmed and tired of owning a horse; some are hoarders forced by law enforcement to clean up unhealthy and inhumane livestock operations.  Groth said it’s taken her a while to accept the fact that she can’t save every horse in desperate straits. You get numb to it after a while. This isn’t for the faint of heart,” she said. Several businesses alleged to be kill-pen buyers did not return Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls asking about their practices of acquiring horses, sometimes for $100 each, and reselling them for a profit or sending them out of the country to slaughter.  One of those businesses, in Minnesota, calls itself a rescue operation. But it's really not, according to Wellman.  A sign greets visitors at Amazing Grace Equine Rescue in Elkhart Lake. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)   She said the Minnesota business buys horses at various sales across the U.S. Then, it posts pictures weekly of some of the animals that are slaughter-bound. Those that don't get "bailed out" are put on a truck headed for Mexico.  The Wisconsin State Horse Council, which says its mission is to foster a unified equine industry, says it is neutral on the issue of horse slaughter plants and declined to answer Journal Sentinel questions. The American Horse Council says it “has not taken a position on horse slaughter as the equine industry remains divided” over the issue. The rescue operations, however, say a couple of things are certain: Out-of-control horse breeding has resulted in a surplus of animals, and the problem has been compounded by irresponsible or overwhelmed owners.  Wellman said she's helping a woman in Crawford County who has about 50 Arabian horses but little means of taking care of them properly. The woman, disabled and in her 80s, is living in a camper trailer with no running water. The sheriff's department has been called when the horses have broken out of their pasture, but deputies said there's not much they can do about the situation as long as the horses have adequate feed and water.  Wellman said there are horse skulls all over the property where some of the animals have died, but enough new offspring are being born that the herd continues.  She's started a networking effort to find homes for some of the horses.  "But most of them have never had a halter on, so it's going to be really tricky," she said. Horse rescues have waiting lists of people wanting to surrender their animals to them. They rely on donations and adoption fees to keep going, and some won’t take in another horse unless they’ve adopted one out first. Amazing Grace can handle about 25 horses at a time, including some that may never be placed in another home because they’re blind or have other needs. “We’re not going to take on more than we can handle. In the winter, we have very few volunteers,” Groth said. Expensive animals It costs about $1,500 a year to feed and care for a horse, and that doesn’t include unexpected medical bills. Some years, when the price of feed soars or the economy takes a bad turn, the rescues are flooded with calls from desperate horse owners.  We all get those calls daily,” Bayerl said. Dee Dee Golberg, president of Spirit Horse Equine Rescue Center near Janesville, said unwanted horses should be euthanized if homes can't be found for them.  "The very least you can do is offer a humane ending, and currently there's no method of doing that in a slaughterhouse," she said. Horses are sometimes shipped to feedlots in Oklahoma and Texas where they are fattened up before being sent to slaughter outside of the U.S.  Lisa Barth with N.E.W. Equine Resource Inc., a rescue near Shiocton, said she has taken in horses from kill-pen feedlots. "I personally did not bail them out," she said, but other people did and paid to have the horses shipped to her farm.  A 3-year-old mare and her colt were two of those horses. The colt was born on a feedlot in Oklahoma.  If she hadn't taken them in, Barth said, they were probably headed to Mexico.  Her rescue farm has accepted Belgians, Arabians and many other breeds of horses. Some arrived healthy and fit; others were thin and lame. Some had been well trained; others had never been handled.  "On average, I adopt out five horses a year. I have had as many as 23 in my backyard, but that's too much for one person" to take care of, she said.  Legally, horses are classified as livestock, but in the U.S. they enjoy a higher stature than cattle, pigs and chickens. For many people, horses are more like dogs than hogs.  People quickly become enamored with the idea of owning a horse before they realize the costs, the work that's involved, and the fact that it can live 25 or more years. Sometimes both the horse and its owner are miserable.  Barth said she gets the calls from people who are upset, frustrated and have no idea what to do with their horse. "They just want it gone," she said. By Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reprinted with permission of The Wisconsin State Farmer

Millstone Township, NJ- 10/24/17 - During the week of August 26th, 2017, the harness racing twelve-year son of Mach Three, Killean Cut Kid, was found in a Louisiana pen where horses are held before shipping for slaughter to Canada or Mexico. The volunteers of Save Our Standardbreds From Slaughter (SOSS), present on Face Book, stepped in to offer help with the assistance of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF).   Kid has been the controversial focus in the racing community and also received a great deal of attention from horse lovers everywhere, as it was posted on Face Book that he had been euthanized about one month earlier in Ohio.   Kid presented in thin weight when removed from his appalling situation. He had Decubitis ulcers on all four legs, and a fracture. Decubitus ulcers are pressure sores causing the tissue to die and slough off. Kid had also chewed or gnawed through the flesh exposing his extensor tendon on one of his legs. There is no confirmation of how he sustained his injuries, but veterinarians suspect that they are from bandage on for too long a period of time or they were too tight, or both.   This week, now that kid is in good weight, had time to heal and recover from his heinous ordeal; he will ship to Cream Ridge, NJ to Dr. Hogan who will perform grafts on his legs to reduce the scarring. The procedure, and recovery care are a gift to Kid. The same generous offer was also received from Dr. Barry Carter, located in Ohio. All who care are anxious to see him get to his last stage of this ordeal, a loving home. A few wonderful offers have been received to give him a soft place to land for life. Click here to see a current video of Killean Cut Kid.    Donations are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible, SRF, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Ste. 101, Millstone Township, NJ 08535, through the website, through PayPal to, or by calling SRF at 732-446-4422.                   SRF is different as it helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused; is feeding and caring for more than 280 trotters and pacers; is providing lifetime homes for more than 150 who are aged or injured and passed over by adopters; provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again. SRF is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. with over 3,000 adoptions since 1989.                                  

My name is Anastacia and a friend Amanda Tanzer and I are fund raising to save a former harness racing horse named "Memphis".   Amanda was his groom when owned by his racing owner and was supposed to be sold to her once retired. His former owner sold him to a person who raced him and he ended up sustaining a serious suspensory injury. (see pic attached) When this happened, this person sold Memphis (drugged) to the Amish as a buggy horse.   Once it was discovered he was not sound, he was moved on.   It has taken 9 months to locate him and he has been found in Ohio. His current owner agreed to "sell" him to Amanda however, if funds are not secured he will be heading to auction. He simply stated he has no use for him. Memphis is now at the threat of being sent off to a horrible fate.    Amanda loves this horse very much and has even had a tattoo of his registration number placed on her arm.   We are aware that Memphis can no longer be ridden and it honestly does not matter. We just want him to have the chance to just be a horse.. He is only 6 years old.. a boy with alot of heart and he is much loved.    We are looking to raise $3500.00 which incl his purchase price, transport from Ohio to NY and his first vet examine for assesment.    I am including a link to the gofundme page here.   Amanda has also sent up a fundraising accout with SEFCU credit union to show sincerity as she did have to present her drivers lisence and provided her social security number in hopes this would ease minds that this fund raiser is legit, sincere and genuine.   Any help would be so appreciated if possible.    Hoping someone can find it in thier hearts to help this very good cause.    Anastacia M

"She must have a story to tell," said Judy Bokman, the Executive Director of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) when speaking of HH Tracy, a 29 year old daughter of Distant Thunder. Not much of a harness racing horse, but Tracy was somewhere for 28 years. She might have been a workhorse, used for transportation, or was a beloved a pet, and today she stands tagged for slaughter in Pennsylvania waiting for her turn to ship to the Canadian slaughterhouse.   SRF is pleading for a place for her to live out her last few years, maybe only months. Her very sad eyes and grey face are very touching. Her fees will be paid to the kill buyer if someone would give her a place to live, a last opportunity before she passes peacefully.   HH Tracy was foaled in 1987 in Allentown, NJ. With hopes of making it to the Winner's Circle, either she didn't have the speed or desire to race around an oval, or perhaps she had an injury. What happened is anyone's guess. Some may feel it is time for her to be put at rest, but a long and difficult trip crammed in a packed livestock trailer from Pennsylvania to Canada can take up to two days. At 29 years old, or at any age this is grueling.   To offer a home for Tracy, please contact Tammy Hollock at 732 446-4422 or To make a tax-deductible gift for SRF to help her, go to!donate/ctzx or Paypal to Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535

Good news from Capitol Hill. After months of wrangling over dozens of riders and spending levels, Congress has just released an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government until September 30, 2016 and included our annual language defunding horse slaughter inspections by the USDA. This language, first included back in 2005, continues to block the opening of new slaughterhouses in the US. The President is expected to sign the bill immediately. It was a long fight to ensure the defund language was contained in the package, but we are pleased Congress listened to the people and stood by this important language. While this language will only last for a year, it will prevent plants from opening and give us time to work towards passage of the SAFE Act which is critical to permanently ban horse slaughter and ensure horses aren't exported for the same purpose. Thanks to everyone for your hard work on the defund language. Tomorrow we start even harder on passage of the SAFE Act. Please take a moment to send an email to Congress urging support for the SAFE Act! CHRIS HEYDE

The John Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The SAFE Act, identical to a bill recently introduced in the House, would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose. Be sure to visit the Animal Welfare Institute for more information: CHRIS HEYDE Deputy Director Government and Legal Affairs ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE

WASHINGTON, D.C.- (April 22, 2015) - Federal lawmakers today introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund announced their enthusiastic support for the legislation. Last year, more than 140,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. The animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest. At the slaughterhouse, horses are brutally forced into a "kill box" and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter-a process that can be inaccurate due to the biology and nature of equines and result in animals sustaining repeated blows or remaining conscious during the kill process. "For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride," said Rep. Guinta. "To that end, horses are not raised for food - permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food." "Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment," said Rep. Schakowsky. "We must fight those practices. The SAFE Act of 2015 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve." "The slaughter of horses for human consumption is an absolute travesty that must be stopped," said Rep. Buchanan. "This bipartisan measure will finally put an end to this barbaric practice." "Horse slaughter is an inhumane practice that causes great pain and distress to the animals, and poses numerous environmental and food safety concerns," said Rep. Lujan Grisham. "The vast majority of my constituents oppose horse slaughter. I'm proud to support the SAFE Act to ban this cruelty once and for all." The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American horse meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Because horses are not raised for food, they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments over their lifetimes that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Those drugs, although safe for horses, are potentially toxic to humans if consumed. In December 2014, the European Union (EU) announced its suspension of imports of horse meat from Mexico after a scathing audit of EU-certified Mexican horse slaughter plants, which kill tens of thousands of American horses each year. Additionally, the discovery of horse meat in beef products in Europe shocked consumers and raised concerns about the potential impact on American food industries. The ASPCA, AWI, and The HSUS encourage the public to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act, in order to protect America's horses and overall consumer health from horse slaughter. ASPCA: Rebecca Goldrick, 646-291-4582, AWI: Amey Owen, 202-446-2128, HSUS: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943,  

Montreal, August 7 2014 – Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, announced his intention to put forward a bill that would redefine animals in the Civil Code of Quebec and grant them the status of sentient beings. In order to proceed with this reform, Mr. Paradis reached an agreement with the Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée. Mr. Paradis’ announcement comes in response to the Animals are not things manifesto, which was launched on January 22nd and has been signed by over 46 000 people. The manifesto, which is supported by theMontreal SPCA, calls for a reconsideration of the legal status of animals in the Civil Code of Quebec. Currently, our Civil Code considers animals to be moveable property, indistinguishable from a toaster or a chair. Under civil law, the act of hurting or abusing an animal is therefore tantamount to the destruction of property. The SPCA applauds Minister Paradis’ willingness to reform the legal status of animals. “Given the importance and complexity of this issue, as well as the fact that over 46 000 Quebec citizens have expressed their concern about it, it is crucial that public consultations take place before moving forward with a bill” said Me Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and Campaigns Manager for the Montreal SPCA Animal Advocacy Department. “We feel that this is an opportunity to effect real change for animals in this province and for Quebec to become a leader in animal welfare instead of lagging behind.” Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or

Cheating on your spouse is not very nice; and is still a crime in many places. While prosecutions for Adultery are admittedly rare, the Scarlet Letter crime is still on the books. In fact, at last count it's a criminal offense in 21 states. While liberalized divorce laws in all 50 states have eliminated the need to plead and prove civil grounds for divorce, such as Adultery, some spouses try to encourage prosecution of their wayward betrothed to extract an advantage with issues such as child custody and visitation. Public Intoxication is also a criminal offense in several states, and, unlike adultery, arrests and prosecutions occur with regularity. A related crime, Public Lewdness, occurs when too much beer leads to the need to relieve oneself in an open place. How prevalent are the types of activities described above?  You don’t need to have a degree in the social sciences to conclude that everybody has, and everybody will, do regrettable things during their lifetimes. While not everyone sleeps around or drinks to excess in public, there are those who have shoplifted a candy bar; made graffiti; sold a bootleg recording; hosted a poker game; walked across railroad tracks when the gates were down; passed a joint to a friend (constitutes a drug sale); cheated on their taxes and committed hundreds of other criminal offenses. Imagine someone being permanently banned from participating in pari-mutuel harness racing because his spouse caught him carousing around her back, or because he screamed obscenities in a park at midnight in an inebriated state. Not nice; and possibly criminal activity… but do these actions truly speak to the appropriateness of participation in our industry? Moreover, if the activity occurred away from a racetrack, what possible business would a racetrack management, much less a racing commission, have in using it to judge the character and fitness of an individual who always acts as a professional while in the paddock? Finally, all other things considered, would the penalty of perpetual banishment truly fit the crimes referenced? The stakeholders in our industry have varied opinions when it comes to horse slaughter. Irrespective of my opinion or that of anyone else, the present legal status of horse slaughter in this country is what it is; like it or not.  Against this backdrop, consider the lawsuit presently pending in a Federal District Court in Ohio entitled, Mumaw v. Ohio State Racing Commission. The plaintiffs are longstanding owners and trainers of Thoroughbreds at Thistledown Racetrack. They contend that in 2012 they retired one of their horses by giving it to a woman seeking a riding horse for her children. The plaintiffs did not transfer the Jockey Club registration papers, explaining that they didn’t want the horse to end up racing ever again. They allege that it wasn’t until 2013 that the Jockey Club permitted a “Sold as Retired from Racing” designation on registration papers. Thus, they remained the paper owners of the horse. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs were contacted by somebody they describe as an animal rights’ advocate who indicated that the horse was purchased at a livestock auction house known as a conduit for horses destined for slaughter. It is alleged that this individual demanded money in exchange for her silence. Plaintiffs state that they balked at what they describe as blackmail, and the advocate then contacted both the stewards and track management. Purportedly based upon a racetrack boarding agreement provision prohibiting any horse from being transported from the track for the purpose of slaughter or to an auction house who sells horses for slaughter, the stewards and racetrack management permanently banned plaintiffs and their horses from participation in racing at the track. The question as to whether plaintiffs received a full, fair, constitutional hearing before the stewards is an open question in the litigation; as is the question of whether plaintiffs knew or should have known that the horse was going to a slaughter auction. The answers to these questions and many others are dependent upon what the court ultimately elicits as the true facts in the case. There are, however, questions that can be addressed without the need for much fact finding.      The truth is that there is no jurisdiction, including Ohio, which makes it a crime to either buy or sell a horse for the purpose of eventual slaughter. In other words, while some may think selling a horse in a grade sale is horribly wrong, nobody has made it criminal. Yes, slaughter is illegal in certain states, but selling a horse with even nefarious intent doesn’t constitute slaughter. Moreover, not every horse at a grade sale necessarily goes to slaughter. In Ohio, some are purchased by Old Order Amish community members for transport or farm work. In fact, it appears from the complaint in the matter that the horse in question was actually purchased by a horse rescuer and never sent to slaughter. Plaintiffs deny that they transported a horse from the track for the purpose of slaughter. Even if they were found to have done so, what was violated was a track rule embodied in a stall application, not a state statute or regulation. While Thistledown management might be allowed to exclude plaintiffs’ from participation at their premises, what authority did the state’s stewards have to enforce a “house” rule? The question is important, because there are other Thoroughbred venues in Ohio where the actions of the stewards could have wide-ranging implications. What’s more, the very validly of house rules have always been a shaky issue. Decades ago, New York’s highest court voided a “policy” which was never promulgated according to state-mandated procedures that required jockeys suspended by the state during the Saratoga race meet to take their days at Saratoga. Years later, a federal judge refused to dismiss a complaint by New York jockey agents which challenged the legitimacy of a house rule limiting them from representing more than one journeyman jockey. In essence, if a house rule adversely affects a licensee, it impinges upon the vested property right granted to him or her via their state-issued occupational license. It’s for this reason that New York’s highest court also invalidated the state’s attempt to delegate licensing authority to the private, non-governmental Jockey Club. In sum, you could commit a crime and not serve a day’s suspension. You could also violate a racetrack’s house rule, not be in violation of a single law or regulation, and be banned for life not only by racetrack management, by the stewards in their official capacity as state commission agents. Don’t think slaughter is good? I don’t either, but that’s not the point. If Ohio doesn’t have a rule on the books, their officials shouldn’t be enforcing the rules of private organizations. Judges should fine and suspend the state licenses of individuals for regulatory violations, not because a private organization doesn’t like something. After all, aren’t the judges beholden to state law and regulation? When track managements persuade the judges to enforce track rules, it gives those non-governmental rules the impermissible imprimatur of the state. That’s just wrong, because while today the issue is slaughter, tomorrow it might be about free speech, driving style or perceived disloyalty.  Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network. Chris E. Wittstruck Courtesy of The USTA Web Newsroon

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