My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, Maple Valley, WA, USA
As a former volunteer and board member, I must advise anyone looking for a place to make a difference by donated money or time to steer clear of Serenity Equine Rescue. Just to start with, check their form 990 on this site. It says 2009, but is dated 2008 at the top right corner of the form. The top of the form claims to be Feb 2008 through Dec 2009, but it was signed in August of 2009 and the information is from 2008. Notice that now, at the beginning of 2011, there is still no sign of financial data for 2010.
Check out the details on this site - there are no financials disclosed aside from the 990 form.
There is no record of who the active board members are, which is no surprise as the board of directors for this rescue is a revolving door.
The place looks lovely on the surface and if you are just helping with chores, things seem okay. Once I got on the board, I started seeing how deep the issues went. They have great explanations for all the questionable bits. "We've already addressed that" or "it just happened" or "we need money".
Volunteers are expected to help care for privately owned horses in addition to the rescues and there are no provisions for separate storage of supplies for private and rescue horses. During my tenure on the board (seven months), I only ever saw one financial statement, and it was incomplete.
There were multiple oops pregnancies because a supposedly experienced horse woman did not have proper containment for the stallions on her property and allowed some mares to wander freely. Two horses sustained damage from barbed wire that was supposedly not on the property. An experienced horse woman to have put two lame mares with foals in the turnout closest to dogs that had previously come onto the property and threatened the horses. While the mares were in that turnout, the dogs attacked, driving the mares into the barbed wire.
Their website rarely changes and is never fully up-to-date. You have no idea how many horses are really at the facility, nor their condition. There is no listing of board members, no information about who is training these horses, etc. There are no financial reports to check.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Watching the executive director bring in horses faster than they could be rehabilitated and placed. She would bring in horses without board approval. She once said she could do whatever she wanted as long as she was putting her own money into the rescue. Almost none of the horses recieve training, some came back repeatedly because they were unrideable. I know of multiple preventable horse deaths on this property. Also of multiple foals born as a result of not have proper stallion containment.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Force the founder/executive director off the board. Reduce the total number of horses on the property from it's usual 30 to not more than 12. Reduce the number of rescues on the property at any one time to six. Require fully separate bookkeeping with monthly financial reports of both the private and rescue horses' expenses.