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Horsesisters & Associates Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Children & Youth, Health, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care, Youth Development Programs

Mission: HorseSisters Mission Statement promises: With finely trained volunteers, we promise to rescue neglected, abused and homeless horses and provide them sanctuary through rehabilitation, retraining and then adoption for some to approved homes. With equine assisted therapies, we strive to educate the public about how we can provide a special link between rescued horses and the dignified treatment of all children and adults with emotional, behavioral, social, mental, physical and/or spiritual needs. At any given time, as humans help the horses, the horses help the humans.

Results: Saving over 400 horses since our inception in 1998, we continue to help horses and humans. We are actively seeking a new, more permanent location where we can invest time and donations long term. Several new programs have been designed and will began 2013 with veterans and prisoners programs our highlight.

Target demographics: Anyone ages 3 and up that can benefit from equine therapies be that physical, emotional, spiritual, or educational. Those with any limitations will find miracles happen with horses. We offer programs for at-risk youth, provide community service hours, and have an equine 4-H at the Common Sense Ranch.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 56 horses, 2125 clients

Geographic areas served: The entire state of Florida, Brevard, Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Indian River counties

Programs: Special Olympic team, differently-abled riding and driving classes, 4-H activities, horsemanship training for volunteers, able-bodied riders & drivers classes, internships... "Stable Life" - equine assisted learning skills for children of all ages & their families or modified for at-risk youth and foster families, Red Ribbon Kids - Anti-bullying, Anger Management & Violence Prevention for children ages 8 - 18 Work & Ride - Entrepreneurship skills for children ages 6 - 22 The Art of Horses - equine assisted drawing & painting for children 3 - 22, Home School & Private School Equine Assisted Learning, Dignity Memorial® Escape School® - Stranger Safety Skills for children , Youth Group Awards & Scouting Badges, Bright Futures Scholarship Hours - mandatory community service hours for Florida college scholarships, beginning in the 9th grade, Brevard Community College & University of Central Florida service hours, "Rainbow Bridge" children's grief program, State of Florida Juvenile Justice Service Hours, P.A.Y. - Prosecution Alternatives for Youth Program, Native American Full Moon, Sunrise & Puberty Ceremonies

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great organization! My daughter and I have learned do much from them. Looking forward to spending more time there.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This couple have done so much for many horses that needed and need help. They work hard and are and do as much as they can do with limited funds. They do what they do for the love of all the animals and are very deserving. God Less them!!!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am very saddened to see the negative comments, regarding this organization, they come across as hate filled and full of spite. I have been to The ranch 4 times in apprx 3 years. I have seen some financial struggles, but I have never seen neglect or abuse of the animals. a couple of the animals I spent time with, had troublesome health issues, not unlike older humans experience, especially after being in a prior environment that was not healthy or nurturing, and some bodies, no matter the medical intervention just can never seem to bounce back. We do not immediate jump to put humans out of their misery, we make them as comfortable as possible, maintaining their dignity and give them as much love as possible til time for their final journey, this is not thought of as heinous or criminal when we do it for humans why then would one feel it is wrong to allow nature to take it's course with horses? Horsesisters , IS a peaceful, gentle and loving environment for convalescence and for hospice care of these hooved creatures. My final observance is again directed to those who continue to attack and bombard multiple sites, the county and other organizations with their very UNHELPFUL, HATEFUL and HURTFUL remarks and comments. YOU ARE THE TYPE OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD PUSH to the ground, a man struggling to stand in a fierce wind, then stand on top of him to prevent him from getting up. This IS an organization that is dear to me, and I value the work they are able to do and the services they provide to both the horses, humans.

6 MorganG

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I read, with some incredulity the review posted by An Expert. I have some questions and statements in regard to same. First let's start with the neighbor and the 2 injunctions for protection that were filed. You sort of neglect to mention both were dismissed by the judge following a hearing. Anyone can file an injunction, if you don't have facts to back your claim the judge will dismiss your filing as was done here.
If as you mention the land is free why on tax filings were $27,000 written off for land and buildings? The land is free so the landowner should get the deduction. The only permanent building is not even completed and I see no permits for this. This would make the building a legal liability.
As far as claiming that they are sabotaging the wiring, do you have any proof such as dated pictures? That is leaning very close to libel. The horses have gotten out many times as evidenced by dated photos, in fact some this morning, when they had to come back and move horses. Or do you have any proof that any of the thefts are related to this neighbor?
If they are not charging the nonprofit for fuel, tack and such why are they writing these expenditures off on their tax return (citing 2010) to the tune of $4970.54, truck lease $2,606, Saddles $4,800, riding tack $4,000, driving tack $4.000 etc?
But all this is trivial. The real concern, and the ONLY concern, is the horses. The judge in his final judgement stated this "6. Respondents/Owners shall not acquire any additional equines unless and until the
Court determines that Respondents/Owners are financially able to adequately provide for said
animals. Respondents/Owners may adopt out remaining equines, but shall not replace them
without Court approval." Unlike some of the other provisions in this final judgement, this did not have an end date attached to it. There are now 3 additional horses on this property that arrived on 6/30/2013. They are in a state of starvation, flat out painful abusive starvation. There was one other but it colicked and was put down. Not only does Horsesister's appear to be in violation of a court order by bringing in more horses but in the months since their arrival they have gone steadily downhill. On that mule you mention you can see the hipbones sticking out like wings and every other bone in that body. You see huge pits in the head where they should be fat and muscle. Yes, this mule is dying a slow and painful misery. Why, if this is the caring charity as is claimed, aren't all the horses being fed something besides beet pulp. Why do some horses have a full round bale while the horses on the other side of the fence have little to nothing. The concern is that horses do not die and to that end yes, a noise will be made. It is only right. I might ask too that why the horses that were confiscated from Horsesister's before gained weight while being held by the courts? If they were ill and unable to gain weight they would not gain weight anywhere.
I've worked at horse rescues and in none of the rescues that I've worked with even with starving horses off the feedlots was there anything like the conditions I am seeing at Horsesister's.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have personally been to Horse Sisters and have seen for myself the excellent work being done there. The people that choose to hide behind false names and make hateful comments have never been to or have seen what Horse Sisters does. The director works diligently to raise necessary funds for this rescue. There are many, many rescues that are not in it for the right reasons and I can tell you, this place IS in it for the right reasons. They do not abuse or neglect any of their charges. As a matter of fact, it is the exact opposite. Excellent place to go if all you want/need to do is hug a horse and they love peppermints.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization has been under court orders associated with the care of their equines, for over a year. Even though the time ran out of some of the requirements by the courts, the condition of the equines was so strongly in question that the case has been reopened. The animals are not being fed the amount needed to keep them at a health weight. Emaciated horses have been explained as "new to the ranch" when they were there a year ago, the time I started to watch this organization. An unusually large number of horses are not getting vet care when it is needed, and die or are put down. The most recent was actually a newer addition to their herd (specifically against court orders). The horse colicked and in front of a law officer, they chose not to have a vet visit, but instead shot it in the head. They were visited by BASE as recently as yesterday. The husband has full access to this organization and those that are on the grounds, even though he has been convicted of at least one crime that involved a minor.

I can not explain the other reviews that have been writtten here, regarding how wonderful this organization is. Take the time to review the court documents that are available. Take the time to go to the Brevard County records that are online.

1 Debbie

Donor

Rating: 5

HorseSisters is my very favorite place to visit when I need a break. Everyone there is sweet and gracious, and they make visitors feel like royalty. The horses are kind and gentle, well cared for and it shows. How I wish I lived closer. Anytime I visit I leave there refreshed and full of love for what Ron and Clairese, and all the great volunteers, do for the horses and the people in Titusville. Keep up the good work!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a friend of HorseSisters for nearly ten years and am now on the Board of Directors. This agency is full of kind and loving people who care very much about their animals and their community too! Please come out to the ranch and see for yourself. I have always left there with so much peace and love in my heart. Horse Happy Hour is every Thursday (weather permitting). Starts at 4 pm. Grab a bag of carrots or apples and come on out. Meet the people, meet the horses! Feel the love!

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4 Virginia11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5


My review is directed toward the misinformation and half truths spread by one, Lynn Lambo. Ms. Lambo has provided reviews to discredit HorseSisters as this organization struggles to maintain their donor base so essential to all charities. As stated by Ms. Lambo she does indeed spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining a Facebook group dedicated to presenting HorseSisters in a negative light. There are a handful of members of this “group” page and it seems Ms. Lambo does the lion’s share of posting, with no check and balance as she chooses who and who is not a member. Basically, no one challenges her. With that said, HorseSisters is a charity which survives on donations. Ms. Lambo attacks HorseSisters’ work to secure donors. Why? These donations provide the necessary funds to care for the horses Ms. Lambo so emphatically states she worries about. ??? Ms. Lambo, though not participating in any feeding or other care of these animals, presents the horses as “food insecure.” One has to ask, “how would she know?” What intimate knowledge could she possible have? ??? According to public records, three horses were removed from HorseSisters and a Fit to Own hearing held by Brevard County. One was returned, and even as admitted by Ms. Lambo, was “deemed healthy” by the Court. The other two horses were of advanced age and were “remanded” to the individuals who were in the process of adopting them. For those who don’t understand the legal term Remand… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remand_(court_procedure) Based on the definition, it is obvious that by remanding the horses to the care of the adopters, the Court was taking the animals from the care of Brevard County Animal Services and placing them BACK IN THE CARE of the adopters. The Court, citing the financial difficulties facing HorseSisters, did not remove any horses from their care but in fact, found HorseSisters FIT TO OWN. To ensure the correctness of the decision, the Court allowed Brevard County Animal Services to monitor HorseSisters for a period of one year. That has been several months ago and no adverse actions have been instituted against HorseSisters to date meaning…. THE HORSES ARE BEING CARED FOR. Therefore, it is my position that Lynn Lambo is single handedly blocking donations to HorseSisters based on misinformation which, in addition to reducing funds to the charity, also has served as interference to the investigative function of Brevard Animal Services in contradiction to Order of Judge Friedland and the law. Lynn Lambo’s actions to interfere with this charity have created the false appearance of failings on the part of HorseSisters but even with the set backs, they have persevered and continue to move forward. Lynn Lambo appears to live in a world where she believes herself the moral compass by which we all must live. She appears to not be able to recognize that others have benefited from this charity and that many people would like for the charity to continue its operations absent her interference, including with the lawful processes designed to reveal the truth and justice. Where I come from, this is called DELUSION, Ms. Lambo.

Comments ( 1 )

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horsesisters 01/12/2013

Thank you so much for your great research and the time you took to write your very factual and honest review here for all the public to see. Lynn Lambo is a fake profile - a fake person - hiding behind a computer screen as the worst kind of bully imaginable. Those she has gathered near her in her little "posse" of hateful folks have some sort of past with us through the 14 years as people who were perhaps ONCE a part of our HERD but asked to leave for their criminal, negligent, abusive acts or their drug/alcohol use. A few have been denied the opportunity to adopt because they refused to submit the necessary paperwork or were deemed unfit by our board of trustees - of which the Director is NOT a part of, therefore she cannot vote. Sadly this has always been a personal vendetta against Clairese and they have made the most unkind, untrue comments and now have included her entire family. Such hatred is pitiful. And the harm to those horses, our fragile clients and wonderful volunteers has been severe to the entire charity. The facility looks like a ghost town compared to what it was last year as a result. But still we stand tall - providing paperwork and references in complete transparency and truthfulness and continue to role model for our youth in how people MUST treat others. Thank you again, Clairese Yuhasz Austin, Founder and Director

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Pleased to see that the community is stepping up and helping this organization. With the influx of support they have been able to provide the care the horses have required and volunteers are working hands on with them. They may be room for them to potentially expand and help additional horses with support! Please I strongly encourage you to go to an Open House event and see all the horses and then discuss how you can help them prosper. Personal visits are very inspiring and will motivate you to take personal action! The ranch is open once a week and I promise it will be worth your time!

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

to put it simply any one that wants to give good hard earned money should ride out and see horsesisters horses,i did and after i saw how they are being kept for my self. and my daughter that used to live right by them used to have many problems with these same horse's breaking out and coming in her yard to eat.now anyone that knows anything about horses know they will not break out that much unless they are hungry.and when my daughter tried to call someone she knew that had a horse out there to let them know,she was cussed out by Mrs.Clairese. i was in fear that my 3 year old grand daughter or some of the other little children would get ran over by these horses.i my self along with my husband have gone by horsesisters more then a few time,and i my self see a decline in a lot of horses out there.i would say do go out and see for you self before you give anyone money.check them out for yourselves as i did.to me horsesisters is weakly ran,i feel my heart breaking for these poor animals.

3 Stacy12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I do not understand why something that happened in May is being brought up again if you people are all so concerned instead of trying to descredit them why dont you get off your assssss and volunteer and or donate. They are trying they may not have a perfect farm but how are they to survive and help horses if you try to get donations taken away.. If I was closer I would volounteer and I would help to the best I could. Yes maybe at times people maybe take more than they could handle that always isnt the answer but for crying out loud the spca came in and too the old guy and he died if any of you have any brains the stress on a old horse and virus that could be on the trailers the spca doesn't know crap about horses in my opinion and do they disinfect there trailer doubt it. You all need to get a life and stop stalking this rescue get of your asses and do something productive!!! like HELP!!!!!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Horses are not cared for, never brushed or hooves checked. Never loved. No grass for grazing. Receive 1 cup of beet pulp a day, and maybe a flake of hay to share one time a day. Owner is loud, rude, refuses to accept any criticism. People have inquired about adopting a horse and she refuses. Overall, just one big sad situation where the horses are suffering.

Comments ( 1 )

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horsesisters 10/26/2012

Well Robin - or whoever you are today - not Smart! NO ONE owns a nonprofit - the Board of Trustees DIRECTS the Executive Director to follow the policies and procedures the Agency has adapted, many from CHA, NARHA (now PATH), the HSA - EAGALA, AHA, 4-H etc. You clearly have never been out on a work day or weekly open house when the horses are mobbed. No less than TWO different people see, interact and feed & care for the horses DAILY. After 14 years, those few volunteers who have been TOLD to leave for lying, stealing, not feeding the horses when they said they did or will, breaking the rules, putting horses and humans at risk - and those that REFUSE to provide information to adopt and get refused make for a vocal group of miscreants. Animal advocates? If it was as bad as you say it is - why are the horses still in their care? They were brought to court by your lies and rumors - and fake date stamped photos - the only thing found wrong with them was the economy. Where's your donation of HAY? Grain? When did you last come to volunteer and help? That's what a real advocate for these horses do - not this.

11 deedibble

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I actually LIVE right here in the neighborhood where these horses are housed. I can visualy SEE the ammounts of feed and care these horses have received and have taken many photos of such to back up all my statements. All my photos are time and date stamped for proof and saved on Disc's and now Flash Drives. I have seen over 20 plus horses die over these 8 years with owner knowing and visually watching them down with colic. NO Veternarian was ever called and NO help was personally given to the horse. Not even the effort was put forth to try to get horse up and walk it. They are treated as "Dispensable Animals". Not ONCE has the owner fed a horse by herself, ran water from a hose into tanks to refill their water supply, brushed or groomed ONE horse. NOTHING. NIL. NOTTA. I have heard her lose her temper and go off into screaming vile vulgar attacks onto volunteers and also me. I watched them take one horse showing the signs of colic, rope it off into a stanchion with water and hay and leave it there as they drove off. The following morning it laid dead where it fell over the rope enclosure. These horses are by nature, grazing animals. They are housed on sugar sand lots. All grazing is bare sugar sand mixed with weeds and plants of Lantana and Poke Weed. At the present time their diets consist of 2...yes TWO cups of grain mixed with beet pulp in the mornings. This cup used for serving the horses resembles a older A&W Rootbeer mug with a false bottom. Keep in mind that is NOT a regular SCOOP that ranges in sizes of 1 QUART or more. Late afternoon they receive a flake of hay off a bale. Their fencing is supposed to be hot wire, but NO electric or batteries run to it. They stick their heads thru the wire spaces to chew on what grass they can get on the outside. Constant pressure eventually snaps the wire and they are free to roam the neighborhood and roadways.. Sheriffs Dept. has been called so many times that counts of times have been lost. Vet care and Farier care has recently been started because of many complaints from general public and animal services getting involved. But that has also been rare. NOT done on a regular basis. What Rescue must be FORCED into giving care to the animals under the owners care?? That is something a Rescue just does within their guidelines of being a rescue. This is NOT a rescue, just a death trap for many. Humane euthanizing would have been better!! Donations?? Certainly not used towards proper care of these horses so I question "just exactly WHERE does it go"?

2 Kc__

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Clairese and her volunteers work tirelessly to do all the things we all wish we could do. Help the sick and abandoned animals that no one else will take in. She and her family spend endless amounts of time and money with far too little help. She and her family and volunteers have my undying gratitude and respect. Even though she is under constant scrutiny from the authorities who invest too much time investigating unfounded complaints from anonymous sources, HorseSisters continues to do their best to help the unwanted and abused animals with their own funds and far too little help. God bless Clairese Austin and HorseSisters. This world is a better place because they're in it.

8 Karen99

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Volunteers have declined. Donations have slowed. Horses are losing weight. As of tonight the executive director posted on Facebook that she is shutting the doors. I pray that ALL the horses find new homes and can be safely rehabbed and retrained.

Comments ( 1 )

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horsesisters 10/17/2012

This is a self described "animal advocate" who has been served with a "cease & desist" letter by our attorney for harming us in any way she can, like posting this. Her name is Karen Lewandowski from Tampa and you can contact her at 1specldy@bellsouth.net or find her on Facebook - she has me blocked but just look for her logo there. She tried to take over another woman's nonprofit this year by demanding she be paid $5000.00 per month as a board member and throwing the woman off her own board. She and another fan, Dee Dibble, contacted the State of Florida fictitious names agency and paid to file for OUR name - then made a public notice demanding we remove our name from all our items. WE are not required to have a fictitious name filed as we are are a Florida Corporation. She claimed we were not. She has I am not certified in my field when I can post the certifications now. She has claimed our bylaws don't list "rescue" but fails to see we can do all that we need to do for the good of the agency - and for us, we get some wonderful therapy horses in rescuing. She also decided to join a group of people full of hatred and a personal vendetta against me that have now had almost a year to try and discredit me and HorseSisters in an attempt force us to close our doors based upon their behaviors. 1) Like contacting our venues, vendors, donors and sponsors and any place they can leave a review with their lies 2) telling others in our county they will be charged with "impeding an investigation" for donating to the horses 3) threatening to boycott and picket any event we attend 4) have their members call any city, county or state agency they please to make up any kind of lie they can to get us stopped and investigated - which is a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars! They can't win. We are squeaky clean in all they try to trip us up with - because of what we learn here in how to conduct ourselves with complete transparency and an open door policy. NOT one of these spineless creatures has taken the time to visit the rescue or speak to the Director but rather they hide behind their computer screens causing the horses and innocent clients grief. Give it up! I told our sponsors on MY private facebook account which she has fraudulently accessed - that I know of no other way to help the horses now than to close our doors as the donations have dropped, grant money is harder to come by - and WHO can look in the mirror and know who made this existence for our horses this way? These "haters" can - so consumed with ego and hatred for me that they have lashed out in such backhanded ways to hurt the innocent horses and the disabled riders and drivers at our 12 year old charity. HUGE companies and corporations are closing their doors - reorganizing - getting government bailouts - being purchased by others - and we are in the county of barely 1 million people where the Space Shuttle has been scrapped! Our county has lost 8000 jobs - our city of 35,000 residents is suffering greatly. The companies that sponsored us have closed their doors as well. Yesterday I stated if we don't get some help, I will be forced to shut our doors. Well guess what happened??? People poured out their hearts to us from all over the country and stepped up to help us. So it's up to our donors and sponsors - and our ability to find grants and to provide horse drawn vehicles for events as we have since 2000. 2011 was the first year HorseSisters had a negative balance at the end of the fiscal year. It's been a tough one folks. We even opened a thrift store this September, making $900.00 our first 30 days! We are dedicated to our horses and don't want to see them suffer. Some of the draft horses have lost weight due to the 90+ degree weather we are still having in October here in Florida and one horse is ill and under a Veterinarian's care. Their feet were done Sept. 5, their teeth June 6 - 7 and today they had complete body scores, physical and dental exams from an independent Veterinarian based upon all the complaints from the haters here. Its happening all over America - groups of people attacking rescues - when it would be so much easier and a better use of energy to ask to help!! Donate! These mean-spirited comments show what kind of folks they are - and I am only human, I get weak and they get to me sometimes. But today we had great response from many people about our future - even the offer of a new home with over 100 acres! So please contact me at clairese@horsesisters.org for any questions you may have or if you would like references from our Vet and Farrier! Thank you.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

First and foremost the last financial listed here is from 2007......only listing "total revenue" and "total expenses". Nothing on where and how much went to who or what. How much does the Executive Director (C. Austin) pay herself? How much does each board member pay themselves? Who are the board members? C. Austin stated on the stand in court (03/29/2012) that it takes $700 a week to feed the 28 horses she currently has on 10 - 14 acres, that equals $36,400 a year (2012), that leaves around $50,000 unexplained (2007). I do realize there are expenses but than why are they not listed? If this organization truly had the horses best interests as a priority, the Horse sister Organization would not be having these issues. C. Austin is like a child, always pointing the finger at someone else.....never accepting responsibility for her lack (abuse) of management, with horses and financials. She talks the talk, but the people she refers too never come to defend her........she does not walk the walk. I have been to this facility and I have heard horror stories from many different people. In my opinion, and yes Clairese, I am entitled to have an opinion, you are truly a disgusting human being taking advantage of peoples good hearts and finances. People, wake up, get this woman away from any kind of animal.

Comments ( 2 )

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horsesisters 04/01/2012

Since the beginning of HorseSisters in 1998 - there has been NO staff - so certainly NO paid staff! We are all volunteers. Our Board Trustees are all volunteers - no Board Trustee is ever paid. When we pay a therapist or an instructor, they are not staff but are private contractors and must file their own 990 and have their own insurance. Anyone can find out who our board trustees are by visiting the State of Florida - this is the 2007 report - http://www.sunbiz.org/COR/2007/0504/40199094.tif When we do our strategic plan for each year - we "budget" $700 per week for hay and feed. We feed 4 bags of grain/alfalfa and 12 bales of hay each day. In 2007, we had a large sponsor that donated our barn, a tractor with loader bucket, bush hog, post auger, box blade and trailer. That's where the extra income derived from. Anyone can have a copy of any 990. 2007 was the year a sponsor donated a certified audit prepared by an independent CPA. If there was any impropriety, it would have been duly noted. The audit proved all record keeping outstanding. In our charity, the Board is nominated/voted upon by the membership at the annual meeting. The Board is responsible for the policies and procedures within the charity. The Co-Directors are appointed, selected and dismissed by the board. They are responsible for the administration of the charity and do the board's bidding. Here's more information about how many nonprofits are governed. http://www.scoreknox.org/library/board.htm. We are all sorry to hear how you feel "phivic". Hopefully with a clearer understanding of the government and management of HorseSisters, your "opinions" will be more about the truth of any matter and you might have less personal hatred for Clairese.

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horsesisters 10/17/2012

I know "know" the identity of this person - and we went to court with his stepdaughter who neglected her two horses that were left to languish at our rescue while she and her Mother fought about where the horses would be boarded. Disgruntled people...

Review from Guidestar