Equine Rescue

Sanctuary Lost: Death in the Montana Mountains

Reported by Jerry Finch ~ President/Founder of Habitat for Horses

“Likeness to the 3-Strikes Tragedy is Chilling!”

To look at the website – http://www.mtanimalsanctuary.com you’d almost think that these animals found a little piece of heaven,  and I’m sure those who sent their animals here believed it also. Beautiful mountains, a flowing river, forever views and it what now seems like a far too typical caretaker – employees that flat out don’t give a damn about animals in pain.

With the same excuse that I heard from Jason Meduna at Three Strikes, the caretaker at MLASR Bryan says that nature should take its course and that animals should die a natural death. Just as Jason did with starvation, Bryan did with the lack of care for the basics.

After weeks of legal hassle, Bryan and his wife are gone, the corporation is in shambles and the efforts of a lot of good people are taking aim at removing all kinds of animals from what once promised to be a forever home. The promises now lay broken and shattered, mankind once again caught up in a lie to the animals, animals that have never once lied to us. I arrived up here in the snow covered mountains of Montana this past Tuesday, rented a 4wd car and drove north to the sanctuary. In from of me was the truck of Jane Heath, Montana Horse Sanctuary, a horse person from head to toe. And ahead of her was Phyllis Ruana, cut from the same stuff as Jane.

The main part of the horses are in a pasture several miles from the actual sanctuary. Although I had heard stories, that’s when the nightmare began.  Horses with hooves so long that, in one case, the hoof made a complete circle over itself. The horse was down, snow covering it’s body. There was no more fight left. Another one a hundred yards away with the same problem, splayed hooves so bad that walking seemed impossible. One once beautiful black pony walked in circles, it’s back hip broken, endless circles as he was trying to get to the hay, trying to be touched. Another horse ran across the pasture on three legs, the fourth held up because the hoof looked like a spike. Fences down, wire all over, hay that the toughest steer would reject, all on top of two to three feet of snow.

This was the promised land. This was sanctuary

A short time later we pulled up to the actual sanctuary. The grounds are magnificent, the scene of the snow covered mountain, the low hanging clouds, the beautiful buildings all spoke of a perfect place. Then the cover started coming off. Like a fairy tale turning into a horror story, it took a moment to see 600 llamas standing behind a fence in a large pen. Six hundred of them, six hundred faces looking back because there was nothing else to do but stand there and look, and poop and stand in the poop and look some more. Separated by sex,  the female llama pen is where the babies drop, lots of them, because the llamas were not gelded (I don’t know if you call it gelding or not with llamas). Most of the babies don’t survive, but they all have the same hay as the horses – which is worthless.

And back there, behind the llama pens, are two camels, large two hump, long haired beautiful camels and while one is up strutting his stuff, the other is down because of – yes, you guessed right – long, untrimmed hooves. He can’t walk. Oh, he tries to stand up, gets a few feet, then goes back to his knees. How long has he been that way? Too long. The one stands over the other, protecting him.

Promises made. “This is a sanctuary. You will be safe. You can live here the rest of your life, secure and happy and…. oh never mind.”

Geese are screaming at me. In a wire mesh pen, unable to get out. Next to them are the chickens. Pot belly pigs. Goats. Sheep.

And across the road is a herd of cattle, perfect animals. One is standing half way between the fence and the hay pile, long haired, horns circling is face, just staring at me as I stare at him. That’s when I notice his back feet, hooves curled up half a foot off the ground.

Jane and Phyllis already hauled 20 donkeys out of here, took them south of Missoula to a place where vets and farriers cut and trimmed and sedated and probably cried.

Which is what I did on the way back to the hotel. Yeah, it gets to me. The more of this stuff I see you’d think it would get easier, but it doesn’t work that way. It gets harder.

A zillion phone calls, money to raise, transport costs, brand inspections, blood work, farriers, vets… this is going to take awhile. I’m on the phone and sending emails. Patty at GFAS is doing everything she can. I might be in Montana for a few days longer than I thought. I might be forced to bring some horses home with me. Do we need them? Of course not Can we fit them in?

It really doesn’t matter. I’m responsible, and I hope you feel responsible, too,  because we’re part of this nasty bunch of people called the human race and a promise was made and I can’t ask these animals to forget and forgive. They just don’t seem to understand.

They want love and food and warmth and to be with their friends and to die in peace. That’s what “sanctuary” is suppose to mean.

Promises made…….

Jerry Finch
Habitat for Horses, Inc.
PO Box 213
Hitchcock, TX 77563

135 replies »

  1. Another horror story. It is unbelievable that people will let things get out of hand to this extent. The people involved should be charged with extreme neglect and animal cruelty.
    My hat is off to Jerry,Jane and Phyllis and the others who have gone to that dismal place to save the innocent victims of man’s stupidity.


  2. I just can’t think of much to say.

    God speed, Jerry….and thanks for being there. Thanks for being the better angels of mankind’s nature.


  3. Thank goodness these poor animals were found. The owners deserve a strict and swift sentence of justice. Have all the animals been confiscated? I pray so for their sakes.


  4. I work in the field of animal welfare here in the state of Montana and I have heard of this sanctuary, which is about 7 hours from me. The descriptions did make it sound as if it was a “heaven” for our hooved friends. I guess what truly irks me about situations like this is how did it get to this point? When people surrender their animals, do they not go out and inspect the facility before allowing their animal to go there? Why didn’t the owners raise their hands a long time ago and say “Help! We are in trouble!” All of us in the rescue world take a solemn oath that once these homeless animals are in our care, their lives will improve greatly and if that is not happening, well, then you best get out of the business. Sadly, it is circumstances like this which can give a “bad name” to rescues in general. I personally know Phyllis and Jane … they are warriors (as is Jerry). My feverent prayer is that these animals get the assistance they so desperately require and that the “owners” are taken to task for their negligence and flippant attitudes of our four legged bretheren.


  5. Jerry, thanks for making us aware of this tragic situation. This is an article from Thursday’s “Missoulian”:

    I noticed a woman named Cathy Spalding took photos of the llamas. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA if she knows about this, so PLEASE don’t anyone jump all over her, because she may be able to help. She’s located in Olympia, WA, but may have a pretty good network for helping to place some of the llamas.

    And PLEASE be careful when you consider donating to any animal rescue. Some “rescuers” line their pockets with other people’s money. Just because a “rescue” has a good-looking website and “talks the talk” doesn’t mean they’re ligit. I didn’t see a non-profit tax I.D # on their website. Call and ask for it, because those numbers can be tracked and confirmed.

    Due dilligance is in order. If you aren’t in their area, try to find someone who is to go and check them out, or call a local public animal shelter or humane organization. If you don’t get a response you trust, call the livestock board for that county, but be careful to tell them why you’re calling (considering a donation). Remember, livestock boards get plenty of calls by crackpots, disgruntled neighbors, and folks with personal axes to grind.

    I sure hope the Warrington’s are prosecuted. Their website says they own the property. A lein can be placed on it and any of their other assets, including salaries, to help pay for the care of these unfortunate, innocent animals.


    • A coalition has formed for the llamas. This is a legit group of folks which includes Cathy Spaulding. They have started to collect funds thru the Southeast Llama Rescue group (who will keep the Montana funding separate) for the transport and care of a large group. I will include the press release. Sorry, it is long. To donate, go to http://www.SoutheastLlamaRescue.org.
      In response to the immediate and critical need to rescue the llamas at the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary, Northeast Llama Rescue (NELR) in collaboration with Southeast Llama Rescue (SELR), Southwest Llama Rescue (SWLR), Llama Association of North America’s Lama Lifeline Committee (LANA Lifeline) and several other Llama Associations is soliciting immediately needed funds for transportation of the llamas to their new homes. A specific fund has been earmarked for the rehoming of the Montana llamas. This will be an ongoing effort until all llamas are off the property.
      Plans are now in place to immediately move 70-90 llamas out of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary. This particular group of animals will go to NELR and SELR stations in Indiana, Missouri and New York for assessment and placement. Unfortunately, transportation to anywhere is extremely costly.

      This first round of transport will be occurring immediately and funds are desperately needed. Please visit NELR at: http://www.northeastllamarescue.blogspot.com and SELR at:
      http://www.SoutheastLlamaRescue.org to support this effort through your generous donation.
      NELR and SELR are recognized 501(c)(3) organizations.

      Many thanks, in advance, to YOU for your help,


  6. I thank you for being there Jerry, yet again. I’m sorry that the human race is so base that you need to be there. This beautiful, peaceful scenery juxtaposed against the atrocity that it houses. The black souls of the people that agreed to allow this atrocity to occur as they watched it, walked by it, ate and slept by it juxtaposed against the tireless, soulful angels that arrive to clean up the devastation. Jerry and all others on the scene, know that we cry with you.


  7. Sadly, Jerry and friends are all too experienced in these man-made disasters.

    I truly hope the HSUS and other notable organizations will open their pocketbooks to help.

    I hope the people in Montana will feel the same way.


  8. Thank you for being there for the animals HfH and Jerry F. Just like with 3 strikes ranch you all are the best Angels for animals.

    Complicated with the exotic animals, treatment and placement. I hope the owners are brought up on charges and made to pay the costs.


  9. Unless a specific fund has been set up, I’m sure going to the HfH website has a donation link that allows you to specify Montana Disaster.


  10. This is another case where animals could have been set to auction( slaughter) but instead were not cared for. This is further proof that slaughter will not stop animal abuse. It went on even with horse slaughter plants open here.


  11. Assuming Habitat for Horses could use as many donations right now to assist with placement and transport. Please give generously.

    This is very sad. As it is an idyllic setting for a sanctuary. Too bad some people have to ruin everything.


  12. I know this is going to tick people off. Anyone who knows me knows I have a tendency to get a burr under my saddle and things get rough for a while. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. But my work is and always will be for the horse. I may join your cause and lend my intellect in thinking through issues and problems, but I am not a good “groupie.”. And I don’t hold with fiefdoms. So here we go. Perhaps we should be working harder to find means to support the rescues and sanctuaries. Many many unknown individuals are trying to get the attention of all you with your hands on the media to get some real changes made. It is not good enough to splash the day with outrageous behavior – there are solutions that need work – solutions that have been continuously presented. And yet time and time again – we are distracted and exhausted by media-hunting on issues that have no bearing on the solutions and sometimes only entrench the problems. Like Cleaver said, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Moaning over yet another sanctuary run by low life fraudsters should be replaced by shame on you. While everyone’s focus has been on the sallying forth of our “stars” arriving to take on a group of people entitled to their opinion (this is a free country), horses are starving and obviously being neglected. We can argue the worthiness of swaying the public opinion. We need to focus as a unified effort to all expect the same standards in dealing with our animals. Because public opinion will wane, and the same problems will come again. It is creepy to have so few people in charge of the energies of millions of people. I am disgusted that more innocents have been suffering while thousands of dollars have been thrown into PR for our side. Please roll up your sleeves, take the blinders off and get the problem fixed once and for all. Believe it or not, I don’t look forward to these posts so I have something to talk about. I read these posts for humor at times, and for information on PROGRESS. I and thousands like me have been doing lots of behind the scenes work but the door has been shut while everyone’s “feelings” get unhurt. I would have loved to have been at the advocacy dinner which report I am waiting to see.


    • Jan,

      What does what you want to see happen look like? A number of people who write here are working with rescues and rescued horses…some behind the scenes and some out front—What do you want to see happen?


    • AMEN. Time for the Ego’s to be put aside and for all of us to join into one cohesive and powerful group instead of a bunch of little voices.


    • Jan Schultz you are my soul mate. I am neither an organizer or a joiner but I am good at analysis and strategy something that a lot of “rescue” organizations need but don’t use. I suggested some strategic directions for improving adoption, and fund raising, not to mention ensuring the longevity of the organization and you had thought that I was killing horses out behind the barn.

      Every thing from so and so works hard – then start your own organization – to this person is a saint. This saint takes in $190k per year for 20 head and does very poor reporting on required forms.

      Not much of a place for thinkers rather than feelers in animal rescue.


  13. I wouldnt hold my breathe for Wayne Pacelle and the HSUS to help any horses, they have on their Logo a picture of horse being a part of their rescues and help, but i have never seen on their site , that they have ever helped any??????????? I do know that the HSUS is the seller of PZP………………..


    • The HSUS just finished a huge rescue operation of many horses in the South, alongside ASPCA and other rescue organizations. They are often involved in horse rescue operations such as these and I hope they are assisting anyway they can along with HfH and others. I, for one, am seriously sick of the HSUS slamming.


    • So true, HSUS uses their millions for political interest and salary and benefits for themselves. Out of all the millions they collected last year less than one half of one percent actually went for any animal care. They are just as bad as the abusers. Only promoting their own political agenda.


  14. I am very concerned also to read of a failure of a “sanctuary” for horses and other animals. There are very good sanctuaries and obviously very bad ones that make the news and feed the fire of those advocating slaughter as an humane end to a horse’s life. I just noticed this past year that a “rescue” has popped up in my neighborhood and the “so-called” rescue has a website asking for donations of money, hay and equipment. It appears to me that anybody looking to get help feeding their animals can easily start a “rescue”. Are there any state or federal regulations on running one of these operations? Don’t you need a Board of Directors and and tax deferred status? Maybe it is time for Advocates for humane treatment of horses and other animals to form a national registry and push for some kind of protection of these animals from predators who see a “rescue” as a money making operation.


    • Brian has been taking care of his ex-wife, Kathyn. Kathyn has MS, and is confined to a wheelchair. The disease progressed rapidly in the last couple of years. They were both onsite at the sanctuary.


  15. It’s a crying shame that people can actually be so cold a callus. What will their excuse be at the time of their judgement. I know it’s not for me to judge but it’s hard in a case like this not to, these people if you can call them people need the same thing done to them that they’ve put these animals through. They need to be left out with no food water or shelter, no shoes, just leave them in an area that they can’t leave to get food or water or get away from their own urine and feces. Someone recently posted on my page -” I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
    A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
    …Without ever having felt sorry for itself. – D.H. Lawrence ” . Yet if you do this to a person you’ll get the poor me lines. These animals don’t feel sorry for themselves, I thank God that we do feel sorry for the animals and not the creeps that did this. This kind of thing is why we need stiffer laws and harsher punishment. Please contact your politicians and let them know how you feel about animal abuse – only YOU can stop it. The numbers are easy to find http://tellmypolitician.com/ copy and paste this link to get access to yours & be heard.


  16. OMG, OMG!!!!!! WHAT ON EARTH MAKES PEOPLE DO THESE KINDS OF THINGS??? First, I need to defend HSUS, they have just this last year rescued so many horses from different places, just finished over in East Texas, in Tennessee, etc…Now back to this story.Have these so-called humans been found???? Had to have been gone quite some time….They should be put somewhere so they could not get to food, etc. IT’S SO BARBARIC, CRUEL, HEARTLESS, HARD TO IMAGINE ALL THESE POOR BABIES LIKE THIS, how long does it take for the hoovies to be like they are????? I’m speechless, I’m crying & madder than a old wet hen(from the south) will they all be saved???? CAN DO NO MORE RIGHT NOW!!!!!! PLEASE KEEP US POSTED.


  17. This breaks my heart. Thank you Jerry for your compassion and willingness to help these poor innocent animals. Please keep us posted and where we should send donations to help with the expense of these animals. I’m sure a lot of help will be needed. Thank you again, for caring.


  18. I visited and was given a “tour” of MTLAS about 4 years ago. The location was very remote, and when I arrived I was invited in to Kathyrn’s house which she locked and unlocked as she came and went.

    The interior of her home was strewn with expensive Persian rugs, the house was quite extravagant and she boasted about the thousands of dollars spent on landscaping as she began to give me what in her own mind was a “tour” of her “sanctuary.”

    The llamas at that time were in a spacious area and although they were also only visible from a distance, they did not appear to be in poor condition, but there were several hundred llamas, Kathyrn stated, at that time. I observed one camel who appeared to be in good condition.

    I asked where the horses were kept, and she said they were located at two different properties several miles away. I was given directions to one of the locations, there I was greeted by a man who instructed me that I was not allowed to view the horses, who were well off in the distance. I asked how many were in that pasture – there was no shelter, manmade or natural – he said approximately 125. He stated that he and one other man were in charge of feeding, trimming, and otherwise caring for the horses.

    There was no way to view the animals but I was still disturbed by many things – my effort to bring attention to these concerns went ignored by HSUS.

    I understand that HSUS refused to assist with hay when this initially became known and local animal welfare orgs were trying to help. That does not surprise me.

    Please donate to H4H and the local orgs listed on RT’s site to help feed and care for these poor betrayed animals. You will be assured the animals will receive the direct care from your donations. Based on my personal experiences, HSUS is only interested in publicity and profits.


    • Wow. I have personally known, volunteered, and/or worked for 3 horse rescue sanctuaries over the past 10 years. I knew Helen Meredith of the United Pegasus Foundation in CA, a decade ago, volunteered/worked for Equine Voices in southern AZ, several years back, and currently doing a small amount of volunteering for Heart of Tucson. All have bona fide non profit (501c3) status, with their board of directors, and advisors, highly accredited and regarded. Equine Voices recently attained their Global Federation of Equine sanctuaries status – a big accomplishment. I never saw Persian rugs, or any glitz. Actually, my experience has been they live in simplicity. Everything goes to the horses, and these founders/presidents are simply never home – other than to catch minimal sleep. One must be VERY careful of the sanctuaries with whom they are involved, and to whom they donate. Check everything. I can attest to one experience, in which a fraudulent entity actually set up a website – proclaiming a sanctuary – of which there was none, and believe it or not – succeeded in copying pictures of PMU mares at a bona-fide sanctuary – that she put on HER website – asking for donations. Fortunately, it was discovered and resolved quickly. Be careful. Check everything before you donate. ALL non-profits MUST have a board of directors, and they must be posted on website.


  19. God bless you Jerry, for all that you do. I wish I were near there, to offer a helping hand but alas I am in S. Calif. My thoughts & prayers are with you.


  20. This is all horrific ……and there is a pattern emerging; corrupt people praying on “animal lover” people’s pocketbooks, at the poor animals expense and suffering. I guess because this group,is one of the easiest to scam! The other issue is the kill buyer and horse trader’s backyard. I just read about 100 starving horses rescued from a “horse trader/killbuyer” yard? Then comes Fat Ass Sue Walrus, and uses these examples to support her “humane solution” SLAUGHTER! God at times like this I am ashamed to belong to the “human race”…….mind you these kind of people are called “Inhumane race” in my book!


  21. I, along with countless others wish we did not have a need to send you both such a great thank you wish.
    Thank you Jerry for the hours, miles, money, time, and heart it takes to do what you do. I hate to think of the suffering that goes on – that you witness all the time.
    Thank you, R.T., for being the voice that carries over the world for the animals. Your tireless postings, writings, and travels are the hope of freedom to so many animals. More than you know.
    People like this don’t just ‘get in over their heads’. This does NOT happen overnight. This did NOT go unseen or unknown by the humans entrusted to their care. I cannot believe the cold COLD heartedness of people who let this go on.
    Vicki Freiberger


  22. Guidestar is a nonprofit organization that rates nonprofit organizations. It is often recommended by business and money experts as a lace to find information about non-profits before making a charitable donation. It has a rating system and should list all non-profits with a tax ID. So one of the first things someone who is considering making a donation to one of these groups should do is check for a tax ID number. the second thing would be to go to Guidestar.org


  23. I didn’t quite get my last post finished. I checked out Montana Animal Santuary on Guidestar, and it was not listed–at least not the way I entered it. It is possible that a legitimate charitable organization might not be listed because of the sheer volume of organizations that need to be ranked. However, it is to the organizations benefit to be listed and rated by this service because it is designed to help donors and grant administrators make decisions about how to award their money.

    The horse rescue that I volunteer with receives funding from the ASPCA Equine Fund. I am not sure what all the anger directed at HSUS is about. I understand what some of it is about, but they are active. In the same newsletter which another blogger linked to about the HSUS comments about Sue’s Slaughterfest, there is a very well written piece about the BLM’s management of the wild horse and burro program being the perfect example of a well-intended law having bad consequences due to poor implementation.


  24. This is truly awful, but remember, for every horror story, there are a thousand success stories. The human race as a whole, is wonderful. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.


  25. Those who know me or have seen my posts know that I am not one who is ever lost for words, but this time I truly am. I’m in tears, furious & heartbroken. I am so sick of the way “humans” can be so heartless & sick!
    For those who do not believe in hell, just take a look at what was supposed to be a heaven & you will be shown the proof.

    Jerry, you & all those involved with helping those innocent & betrayed animals are true angels. It’s people like you who remind us that there is a reason to keep believing in the good.

    It would seem that there is far more evil in this world, especially when it comes to the care of animals but we all must remember that we are the shining light, we will never let go & we will help the animals overcome the horrors they are put through because each of our hearts runs deeper then a thousand hearts of the abusers.

    I wish we could pen up every sick “human” that has ever hurt an innocent animal & leave them to fend for themselves. Of course we would make sure they had food however, we would toss rotted lettuce & rancid fruit & vegetables on the ground for them!

    Of course it’s against the law to do what I would LOVE to do. Then again, what those “people” have done is illegal & they still went ahead with it. Maybe we should go ahead with it too!


  26. Jerry and R.T.: God Bless you and all who face these unforgiveable situations on a weekly basis. I do wish that these people would get a horrible demise. My suggestion has always been for the BLM, Slaughterhouse Sue and her cohorts, the helicopter crews that do the roundups, killer buyers and all those aim to kill these beautiful animals in places like Richaleau should be transported in a small trailer and taken to Richaleau for the very end they deem acceptable for our beautiful wild horses and burros.

    Is there any possibility if some other sanctuary, a good one with respectable and caring individuals heading it, to take this one over?

    I work with a sanctuary here in So. California and she goes without in order to make sure her charges have their required food and is now getting ready to trim all the horses hooves. She is having a tough time but these animals are her family and she can tell a story about each and every one of them, the condition they were in when she got them and all you have to do is look at them today, and it is a miracle. The first time I met her, the soles of her shoes were coming off but her animals look good and you can tell she takes care of them. She has had a hard fight the last 4-5 years, having fought tongue and throat cancer, at one time being wheeled in the center of all her horses to say good-bye. She paid for their feed but almost lost the sanctuary to foreclosure, but with help of two people, she was able to get it back. After the time in foreclosure, it went in a state of disrepair and since then, her home has burned down, she lost everything with no insurance. She fights every day to keep open but seeing her with these animals you know she loves each and everyone of them. She cries when she has to tell someone she cannot take another animal.

    Four weeks ago, a man called her and told her he had an Arabian that he hadn’t received stable/corral fees for the last two years and he would take the horse to auction. The horse is blind in his right eye and is not broke to ride. She told him she couldn’t take him but thought she knew someone who would. That someone was me. He is a beautify gray Arabian and he is a sweetie. He was in better condition than I thought he would be. She has him fattened up even more now and after my grooming him a few times now, he is beginning to come around and accustomed to it again. He loves to have his rump groomed or scratched.

    THis horse would have sent to slaughter and I am so happy to have saved him. This is a woman that if she had the funds, I know she would take more. This is her life. THat these individuals could let this happen to these animals is unforgiving and they should be punished with an horrific end for doing this to our beautiful horses.

    Please keep us posted if all these animals make it. If I was closer and someone could help with funding, I would love to do this for the balance of my time on this earth. To me, this would not be a job, it would be such enjoyment to see their beautiful faces and know they love everything that is done for them. AT the sanctuary mentioned above, there is a beautiful TB that neighs at me each time he sees me coming to groom my horse. I am now grooming him and another nearby horse and hope to start taking them for walks outside their corrals for extra exercise. The more horses I can groom and help when I’m there, the happier I will be and they will get accustomed to more human contact.

    What disgusting people these were to let this happen. WHy didn’t they call other responsible rescues and sanctuaries in the area to take the animals. THey people are vultures and should die alone without food or water or anyone to care about their existence. I hope they get what is coming to them for what they have done.


    • Lynne – You are a dear, sweet soul. I wish blessings to you, this Arabian you have rescued, as well as the sanctuary, (founder), and horses with which you are involved. I honestly marvel at those who establish sanctuaries, and make them work well. (such as Habitat for Horses, Cloud Foundation, and on and on) These people are more gifted, more ambitious, more talented, more perservering, than any CEO of any large corporation. They have to be. If only all humans would have compassion and respect for all life, and take on responsibility for all living beings in their care, and not take on more than they can handle. I suppose life, then, would be boring. I, for one, would welcome such boredom.


  27. I don’t think this is the same situation as Jason Meduna who not only let the hoofs go, but no food or water could be found.

    I think these people had the best intentions and probably held it together for a long time before everything started to crumble. It appears food was available, although not the quality that was needed or we horse lovers like to see. In addition, they obviously did not have enough help or labor. Perhaps, they thought people would volunteer.
    I fault them for not screaming help sooner. I don’t think they have the cruel heart that Jason Meduna has.
    Of Course, it is a terrible situation, but I can’t hate on these people. The pictures look to me like the animals as described by Jerry have a place to stay, but it will require lots of cooperation on both the property owners, organizations, veterianians, farriers with plenty of donations to fix fences and donations of truckloads of hay. I think with good mangement, one battle could be won. What to do with 600 llama’s, camels, cows and horse. They have the land, building to oversee the “management” of the animals and now volunteers are coming forward. What I am saying is work from the “sanctuary.” Don’t burn down the barn before you have a placement for so many in need.


    • What often happens with such orgs is they are implemented by well-intentioned individuals and then there is no income coming in for animal food and care, nor able bodied humans to help with cleaning and caring. We had a similar instance in SoCal with a large dog rescue just a few years ago. Everyone (shelters, breeders, etc.) were happy to call and or refer ppl wanting to dump their dogs to this woman, who worked full-time and only had her 15 year old son at home to help. Volunteers were promised when she offered to establish a rescue and well, we know how that went. Care and feeding of close to 100 animals fell to this woman and her teenager. I was furious that so many breed clubs ran around wringing their hands about the ‘travesty’. Yet, they were the ones touting that ppl could take their unwanted dogs and puppies to this woman and never offered to go help her clean runs, bath dogs, take them to the vet, buy food, etc..

      If you have a favored rescue, stay in touch (if they don’t have a newsletter or email list), ask questions, ask where they need help and stay on top of what they do. A respected rescue will appreciate the interest and offers of assistance and will tell you what they need.

      It is obvious this couple didn’t know how to ask for help or say ‘no, sorry, we are full’.


  28. Thankyou Debra, i too believe in my heart that this Sanctuary began from the heart and as the numbers and responsibility grew it got out of hand. I have been there in the earlier days when life was managable. Animals came from many situations.,Aged / dying caretakers, life & economical changes as well as llama breeders changing breeding direction. When things were better they received a good donation base as well as large sponsors. Kathryn sold her paintings. I don’t know what went wrong, Kathryn has failing health (MS), economy soured, goals were not met. they should have asked for help. To answer a few of the questions asked here…Cathy Spaulding has owned llamas & alpacas and presented clinics at the sanctuary years ago when the pictures were taken. You can understand her better by googling her and Gentle Spirit Llamas. She is still involved in the betterment of life. And yes, the llama community is sadly aware of this crisis and many are mobilizing to help during this most difficult time of weather….The 600 plus surviving llamas have finally been rounded up from the huge property so they can hopefully be dispersed to rescue/foster homes in handlable groups around the US for rehabilitation and rehoming. 100 plus were supposed to leave for Colorado this week. If anyone wishes to donate funds, rehome a group, animeals is the organization collecting for feed and has been dealing with this end and has information on their website. Its easy to point fingers…but as we look around people continue to perpetuate the overpopulation problem, by breeding or allowing offspring to happen and discarding horses, llamas, dogs, cats…As long as we consider them a comodity rather than *life* as we are, to be respected as such , often living long lives we will continue to see this sadness.


  29. Thanks to all those involved in taking care of all these animals!

    There must be some kind of “rescue standards” developed on state and national levels to protect animals from these kinds of happenings that are making the national news. The road to Hell is paved with best intentions.


  30. You can see some of the animals and part of the rescue by going to AniMeals Missoula on Facebook. They have several photos of the animals. Go to Photos and there is an album with 90 photos for you to see the animals.
    AniMeals is a great group and helping along with Jerry.


  31. HSUS might actually help on this situation, big enough to cause a media sensation. Otherwise don’t count on it. Thank you to those who are there in the trenches helping.


  32. Just made contribution for the llamas, Bless everyone who is helping them in anyway possible !!!!! That they can …. with this sad tragedy !!!!!


  33. Thank you for recognizing the hard work and credentials of Jane Heath MT Horse Sanctuary and Phyllis Ruana, Montana Animal Care Assoc. It is also so disappointing that county officials have chosen not to prosecute responsible parties in this emergency.


  34. My husband Larry and I founded and operate Serenity Acres in Silver City NM. We have worked primarily with horses from the PMU industry, finding homes for over 500
    horses. A few years ago we delivered some horses to a ranch in MT for a family who where being transferred overseas with the military. The ranch had 4000 acres, used primarily for cattle ranching. The owner’s children wanted to open a sanctuary for horses. A place where they could live out their days in peace and nature. I told the rancher to call me if he needed any help. About a year later he contacted me, looking for advice. I told him that unless he had a pocket full of money, that the sanctuary was not a good idea. Who was going to pay for trims, vet bills, winter hay? He couldn’t just “let the horses out” on his 4000 acres. They are domestic animals, not Mustangs.
    Even the hardiest of wild horses have to fight to survive the harshness of winter. I never heard from him again. I hope he discouraged his children from starting the
    “sanctuary”. Horse owner’s need to take responsibility for their old or infirmed horses. They need to keep them and feed them and vet them, or euthanize them when that time comes. That is part of the responsibility of owning a horse. The funding for rescues is getting harder to get, and awards are small. We are having to find new ways of reinventing ourselves, so we can continue to help the horses. We now work helping horses locally and use them in programs with at risk populations. We have not received funding for these programs to date, but we keep applying for grants. We are working towards an EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) program. The people in MT that are working to help place all of these animals are ANGELS. God bless!


  35. “I’m responsible, and I hope you feel responsible, too, because we’re part of this nasty bunch of people called the human race…”

    Lately I have been searching for a new name for the species I will consider myself to be. Saying I am human puts a bad taste in my mouth as of late. I know there are good things happening out there and humans are a part of it, nonetheless the heinous acts are in front of my face daily. The good acts are far more difficult to locate.

    I have often said that after a human domesticates any other animal, the entire human race is thereafter responsible for the care of said domesticated animal and the offspring that eventually comes. I feel very alone when I make that statement.

    I will hope for many good outcomes in this situation…it appears not all the animals involved will see a happy future due to being neglected for so very long; a very dark stain on human beings indeed.


    • “I have often said that after a human domesticates any other animal, the entire human race is thereafter responsible for the care of said domesticated animal and the offspring that eventually comes. I feel very alone when I make that statement. ”

      Aero, don’t feel alone. I said exactly that to someone the other day. Once we take a species and make it dependent on us for their care and overall welfare and especially reap the rewards of their being we ALL are responsible. It matters not the species, we hold the responsibility.


    • And you’re right. That’s exactly how I see it. It’s getting immeasurably harder. I adopted a horse, or he adopted me. That took 15 years. Now it’s happened again. OMG I’m glad to have found this site. How did this country come to such utterly criminal and flagrant violation …….. of life? Brazenly, proudly, as a matter of policy! BLM and Dept of Agriculture are the very heart of darkness.


    • Aero and Morgan, you are both correct. Once we humans domesticate an animal, it is forever our responsibility to care and protect them. Here in Ohio I help to fund TNR (trap/neuter/return) programs for feral or what I prefer to say, outdoor, neighborhood cats, though maybe not able to pet, still rely on humans for food, water, shelter and veterinary care.

      I care about all animals, horses, donkeys, llhamas, dogs, chimps, and all animals in the wild. We humans, have a responsiblity for compassion and active protection of all God’s creatures! ”

      “And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations? The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man.” Abdul-Baha (note this was written in the early 1900’s)


  36. … sending a dab of money to Habitat for Horses for these horses and llamas and camels and donkeys and geese and goats and chickens and sheep and pigs … as I am sure most of you are doing also … every bit helps and wish I could do more…
    Thanks to all of you with big hearts who are helping these innocent souls.


  37. Please don’t forget that the local organizations are, and have been, working tirelessly and without fanfare to get relief for these animals for over a month. They have not sought any spotlights, have not sensationalized or tried to capitalize on this crisis, as some would, for any personal or financial gain. They possess the facts surrounding this incident. They have received no help from the larger organizations when help was requested. They did not betray the animals. Let’s not betray them by forgetting who worked quietly on the ground and likely drained their own resources in doing so.

    Let’s remember to address the needs of the animals first and foremost, they are true leaders by their example.


    • Debbie I so agree with your statement in every way! The local heroes, go unrecognized, once the big groups seeking their media attenion leave. So I live in Ohio and have no idea who the locals are, so please tell me who to donate to. I will give a total of two-hundred dollars, but to whom? Maybe Jerry can tell me.


  38. i have been with the minis donkeys, 1 mini horse and the donkeys, i help bring them from that bad place! i have help them the 2 days it took for them to be trimmed, i have help with the after care, and seeing some go to there forever homes, now the horses are coming, i will be helping with that, Please keep all of these animals in your thoughts and prayers. remember Jane, Phyllis and Jerry, the emotional toll this is takeing on them is heavy!!! up whole them in your thoughts and prayers, give to them.
    the minis and donkeys have been so very sweet and loving to us all, they are so full of try and heart! very loveing kids!! watching them come back to life has been a mircle for me. the first week quite, the next week they started singing! lol and the third week, they even started playing! it is exciting to see them go to their forever homes, and sad for me cause i have gotten to know them. for me it is hard to let go. through my tears as they leave my heart is rejoicing!


    • Thank you for your first hand report Dbarj and for the work you are doing on the ground. Your report and your obvious love for all these animals is so touching and heartwarming. The world is a better place due to people like you.


  39. Over 70 applications for 15 pairs of donkeys! I do hope people continue to step up and help all these poor animals however possible.

    Its bad enough that the feed is worthless but the conditions of the hooves are inexcuseable!

    I cannot believe the animals were permitted to breed. I sincerely hope that neutering/gelding/spaying etc are requirements of the adoption contracts.


    • at least with the donkeys and horses, that is being taken care of before they go to their forever home. thanks to a lot of people stepping up!!! 🙂


  40. Well, I have said it before to other people. EYE FOR AN EYE. Find the people who did this and treat them the same way. No shelter, now water, no food. Lets see how far they can deal with it. Make sure they cant get out of the pen. Any person who does this to animals OR to other people should be treated the same way. Make them suffer just the way these animals have. Just my opinion.


  41. The new Animal Rescue Shelter Challenge begins today. Please help Jerry and Habitat for Horses by voting EVERY DAY and speading the word!

    Register at: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3&ThirdPartyClicks=ERA_011011_ARS_Html
    (Considering my memory, I chose to receive a daily email reminder.)

    Sign up and vote today, then tomorrow and EVERY DAY until this challenge ends:
    Open the reminder;
    Open the ARS home page (I always click food for pets);
    Click the “Shelter Challenge” tab. (If you’re new, enter “Habitat for Horses” and “TX”. From then on, click “Shelter Challenge” and HfH will come up automatically.);
    Identify the animal (eliminates “bot” voting).

    It doesn’t cost a dime (just a little time) to help Jerry save horses!


  42. Yes you are right..it only gets harder…..to think people can be so cruel..as I sit here warm in S TX every 1 hr or so I still think about my animals out side and remember yes I just put hay in their houses and new lean to for the horses and good fresh horse hay for the horses and the old cows…life should be so good for all the Animals…Jerry this is for you, it is at the bottom of all my emails !!
    I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. “God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?” God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. I have done something,” He replied. “I created you.” ~ The Animals’ Savior Copyright Jim Willis 1999


  43. We live in the Bitterroot Valley, and first read about this through Animeals, who have bravely taken on this project, though they, themselves,often have had trouble feeding the hundreds of cats they care for. I would never think that I would write anything but the most scathing denouncement of anyone who neglected an animal. However, the two people who virtually ran this 400 acre remote Montana sanctuary alone, did a good job for 15 years. They are older, but the wife was disabled by MS a year and a half ago, and relegated to a wheelchair, after crutches no longer worked. The major contributor that had backed their $400,000 a year project, lost their job, as have many in Montana, about the same time Mrs Warrington became unable to help attend to the animals. You can imagine how these people, who had dedicated their life and their land to the animals must have felt – overwhelmed, with no funds (after they maxed out their credit cards) and frozen as to what to do. They did call for help after the realization that they were in deep trouble. The claim that the owner was armed and dangerous appears to have been only half true – he is armed, as are most Montanans with stock that live out of town. We are armed, as we are finding wolf tracks in our driveway, so you can imagine that he would be armed. I don’t know the exact details, but I do know the feeling of being at a loss as to what to do. We were simply lucky that we did not have lives depending on us and our financial situation. So, while we celebrate and appreciate the rescue of these animals, and criticize the owners for waiting too long to ask for help – a hard thing for Montanans to do, it seems – we do ask that the couple – who are now homeless, or were a week or two ago and dead broke – be given a little break. Send donations where you can, adopt an animal if you can, and pray that these innocent animals recover and find homes. As well as the Warringtons


    • FROM: Carla
      After reading more of the above letters, I’m not so sure I was given the correct information about the owners. I have no problem with someone having expensive rugs, but not if they have one animal that is hungry or thirsty. I do know that they
      had a donor that helped them a great deal, and that, as with most places, the last year and a half have taken a toll. And I do know about being frozen in place without hope. But, if I HAD expensive things, you can bet they would be sold to buy food for animals. If you would prefer not to print this, feel free. I am giving these people the benefit of the doubt, but it is extremely hard to do so after seeing the suffering of the animals and reading one of the above letters..
      Thank you,
      Carla McDonald.


    • Tell me the owners starved with the animals, with no heat or light and no money to pay for food and I shall feel sorry for them. I have M.E. but my animals get fed and watered before I eat. I have struggled across snow on crutches, I know what it is like, but I did it. None of my animals starved. I feel NO pity for the owners unless their plight is the same as the animals in their care.


  44. the horses have started to come! they all should be here hopefully by tomorrow night. then wednesday, thursday, and friday the vets and farriers will be working on them. all hoofs are bad, quite a few thin. that is with only 14 so far.i have not seen any of the Drafts yet. Pray for travel safety. the people that are hauling are ANGELS!!! they are professional haulers out of Lewistown MT. amazeing Husband and wife team.


    • Once again thank you Dbarj for the on the ground updates. Your love for these animals and your enthusiasm for seeing them embark on a better life never fails to put a smile on my face. All the animals that you touch are very lucky indeed.


  45. I do not cry easily, but your words have caused me to. It was the way you expressed it….sanctuary….promises made.
    So I have to ask, “How….just how could this person, these people (there must be more than one) do this? How could they eat a meal at night (because you just know they will not have missed any meals, none of these people ever does) knowing that animals were starving to death, just yards from them? I would take a shotgun out and shoot every one, rather than allow them to starve. How could they do it?


  46. “Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact the man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.”

    Mark Twain

    These people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Question is….what law?


  47. There would have been no shame in asking for help, they knew long before it happened, they would have gotten help had they asked !!! what processed them not to ask for help at this point was is stupidity…………… for which the Animals must suffer for???? My God what is wrong with these people???????I find no excuse for this …………..


  48. d enough to get it on the ballot, they got scared (the Ohio Farm people asked Wayne to intervene like he was a hero) , Then he proceded to sell out Ohio Farm Animals ……………… to the Governor…………….Making a deal that was no deal………………….. I saw right through his farce………………… WHY GREED OF THE OHIO FARM ANIMAL PEOPLE……………………………… Cruelty runs rampant…….. To the farm animals also…………………..


  49. Sorry I’m from Québec and my English is not so good, but I have a lot to say on this subject.

    Yes it’s a shame what happened there, and maybe this people really are cruel. But it can also be, that they where overwhelmed with all these animals and did not now how to say no to more animals. Don’t get me wrong, things like that should never happened, but where should all the animals go that are in need? It’s our society that creates this problem!

    I now of what I speak! At the moment we have 250 animals on our own site. We are a therapy farm for needy children and handicapped people, but most of all, we help unwanted animals. We are also a non profit organisation and it’s very, very hard to do what we do! We have 38 years old horses here that coast us 300 Dollars a month each, and a lot of other needy animals that are not easily adoptable. Not to forget that it is very difficult to find good, lifelong homes for any animal.

    Taking needy animals in, it often means that you have to pay for food, staff and veterinary bills for years to come. When these people in Montana toke these animals in, they maybe had good attentions and because there situations changed, everything’s changed. I don’t now them, but I now a lot of small animal shelters that have big problems to survive and they to a good work.

    Donations, ha! These are rare and often irregularly! But how can you take animals in if you don’t now how many money you will have at the end of the month to pay the bills? If you want to get regular funds, you almost need to employ a fulltime fundraiser, and belief me, these ones that do volunteer work for you, are not easy to find.

    How we survive on our farm? Well, my husband has a job during night and during the day he helps on the farm. End of this month there will be no hey left and we have to find a way to buy some. Probably we have to sell the family car. Our animals are all well feed and good taken care of, but only because of our own actions and the private money we put in. No other help in sight!

    I don’t remember how many animals I had two turn away over the last months because, if we would take in more animals, we would not have enough funds on the end of each month to take care of the ones we already have. That very hard to do and often I cry, because I now that the animal I just turned away, will have a sad future and I feel guilty, even if it is not my fault.

    Yes, the SPCA tries to help, but often they have to euthanize or slaughter the animals, because there are simply not enough good homes for theme. I admire their work, but I also believe deeply, that every animal has the right to live and should not suffer or be killed because of our own human incapacity.

    So if I find a homeless dog or cat, I do not bring it to the SPCA. I take care of theme my self until I found a new home. And if I don’t find one, I keep the animal and take care of it.
    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem! Every one can do something!

    Now in winter we have to put up with all the 4-legged Christmas presents and the camping puppies. Do you now what a camping puppy is? These are the puppies people buy in spring to amuse there kids during summer and there time in the holiday cottage. By winter the puppy became a not so easy and less cute adolescent dog and is no longer needed. SPCA Shelters are full of theme each year and they are often euthanized. And then… next year, the same people buy a new puppy for the kids.

    Horse owner are often the worst ones. They buy a horse and if it does not fit there competition need, ore because they not even now how to ride and train a horse properly, they sell the horse again and buy a new one. And so on, and on… Hold horses have no where to go. If they are no fun anymore, there former loving owners have no scruple to get rid of theme and replace theme with a “shiny” new one.

    Organisations like us help out with all the shit, society produces and takes care of all the animals, people buy without thinking. If every one would keep there animals until the end and take good care to them, there would be less unwanted animals.
    We need new regulations, new laws (like they have in Switzerland, where I’m from) and more public education.

    The solution?!? There should be some “Animal welfare taxes” that every one has to pay. Like school or police taxes. With this money good no kill shelters and public educations have to be founded.
    Society create this problem, society has to pay for it!


  50. From Fugly:

    For those of you who didn’t get your fill of senseless suffering and death at the hands of a “rescue” reading about Three Strikes last year, this year we have the same with the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary. R.T. Fitch has covered this thoroughly so I’ll show you the link: (warning, dead animal pictures)

    Sanctuary Lost: Death in the Montana Mountains

    And as with Jason Meduna, the excuses have come fast and furious, but the main problem is simple: They committed the cardinal sin of putting all of their eggs in one basket. As this news story notes, “In a 2008 interview, Warrington told the Missoulian it cost $400,000 a year to operate the sanctuary. Almost all of it, it turns out, came from a single donor who cannot foot the bill any longer.”

    So let me get this straight, Brian and Kathryn…you allowed a thousand or so animals to depend upon ONE person contributing almost a half a million dollars per year, and you somehow assumed this would continue into eternity?


    How irresponsible and short-sighted and stupid WAS that? When, during all of those years you DID have that funding, you could have been developing a steady stream of donations from multiple sources and putting on events and fundraising online and doing everything that every other decent sanctuary and rescue does? Oh, and FYI, you had a CHOICE to keep your numbers manageable. You chose not to, and you allowed willy-nilly breeding. You are not a sanctuary, and never were. You are a particularly low-end, multiple species, backyard breeder.

    How many times do I have to say it…hundreds of animals is just asking for trouble. Have 20 or 30, or less animals. You do not need 200 or 400 or 600 or 800. Have you ever even tried to do the math on what that costs? No one has the resources to clean up a disaster of that magnitude, and it WILL be a disaster eventually — because NO ONE cannot run out of money. (Yes, even you, Madeleine Pickens).

    For those of you who may be able to give an animal a home, or donate, here is the info:

    Hot Springs: Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue (MLASR) has run out of operating funds for anything other than the mortgage and payroll. A cruelty complaint has been filed against MLASR by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries based on the condition of some of the animals, and other agencies may follow suit as the investigation into this situation unfolds. A list of animals in urgent need of adoption is below, as well as names of people to contact if you can help.

    Horses – 85 (about 15 are wild)
    Donkeys – 25-30
    Llamas – 650-700
    Potbellied Pigs – 7-10
    Sheep – 15
    Goats – 20
    Cattle – 37
    Guinea fowl – Unknown number
    Chickens – Unknown number (mostly roosters)
    Emu – 15
    Camels ?
    For inquiries about adopting llamas:
    Contact: Phyllis Ruana, Montana Animal Care Association | E-mail: MACAusa@aol.com

    For inquiries about adopting farm animals:
    Contact: Susie Coston, National Shelter Director, Farm Sanctuary | Phone: 607-583-2225 ext. 223 | E-mail: shelter@farmsanctuary.org

    For inquiries about adopting horses:
    Contact: Jane Heath, Executive Director, Montana Horse Sanctuary | E-mail: ht@mt.net



    • So true Marge, never ever rely, no matter how generous, on one donor! Now how do you think that generous person feels now seeing all these suffering animals? Just so sad…

      How about taking courses on how to open, run, and fund an effective sanctuary offered by the big boy organizations before setting up shop.


  51. Altho people have tried to explain this situation and that these people are not really monsters to me the bottom line is one fact. Those hooves did not get that long in a period of a couple of weeks. That was months of neglect/abuse. I don’t sympathize with anyone not wanting to ask for help. Foolish pride and ill health made so many animals suffer and caused others to have to step in where they should not have had to. A lot of resources are going to this rescue. Much more than if these people had just swallowed their pride and made the call months ago.


  52. we need a mircle, answer to prayer. there are 20+ more that need to come
    down here and we can not find anyone. please pray about this, the ones
    that were hauling had to haul some animals out of state. Pray that those
    20+ can get here real soon. thanks


  53. I have been following this travesty for a bit, and I have donated what I could to transport some of the animals to NY. Will someone please explain why any of this situation (to my knowledge) has not made it to the NY metro news sources? I personally have tried to forward the link to ABC, NBC and CBS.

    The news channels love to report tragedies.


  54. This may be kind of a stretch, but has anyone contacted zoos about taking some of the “exotics”? Saving animals can be good publicity for zoos. I know the Albuquerque Biopark exhibits emus, guinea fowl, and buffalo (Did I read there are buffalo?). I think they have llamas, and had two Bactrian Camels at one time. I have no idea whether the camels are still there. Can’t imagine they were comfortable in NM summers!

    Here’s a listing of accredited zoos in the U.S., searchable by state:


  55. I cannot even fathom what all of the rescuers are witnessing there , and not only i am crying for all of them, but i believe also that God is crying too, , but i think he rejoices that he created people like you and the others that are there, to do the best for them, i only can imagine what all of you feel inside having to deal with this tragedy…. but you have the strength and courage to carry on …….it is given to you all from the love and the caring you all have inside …………….. The devastation is felt also by all here…… I know you all are thinking if only we all would have known maybe just maybe their would have been a much better answer for them………………The ones all of you can save are so blessed by of all your presence there with them, i am sure they all feel the love …….The ones you cannot save know in their hearts that as there lives slip away they die surrounded by caring people , who have done anything to save them if it were at all possible…………….. To end their pain and suffering in a humane way is blessed for the ones that cannot be helped in any other way………..


  56. This is indeed a terrible travesty, and a awful wrong. However, before suggesting cruel punishments for the cruel, remember……….:
    Someone said that the person was caring for a sick wife? Not sure what the story is, but there could be legit reasons why they fell behind. Now, don’t get me wrong, they did wrong, and if they couldn’t handle all the animals anymore, should’ve asked for help or let someone else take over the work. I’m just saying, learn both sides and all the storied, before condemning. I bet (and this is just a guess) that they fell behind in caring for the animals, but being in debt and having bills (explanation for the glittering house) to pay, they did nothing, and used the money to survive. And/Or, they skimmed most of the money for themselves, and therefore didn’t want to get help with the animals, for fear of their cheating being uncovered. of course.

    Oh, and calling all of mankind horrible, nasty, inhuman, inhumane, sick, or shameful, is the fallacy of generalization. Please do not get carried away. Hate the sin, perhaps even the sinner, but not mankind. I mean, never heard of “wild beast attacks person” ?

    ~fallacy police


  57. THE HORSES ARE ALL HERE!!!! the last two loads came this afternoon!!
    thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts it WORKED!!! now all
    will be able to be taken care of and FED.


  58. YAHOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much dbarj for updating us!!

    Prayers now for lots and lots of hay, great homes – bright happy futures awaiting them 🙂

    Thank you to ALL the locals, HATS OFF TO MONTANANS who have been working so hard for over a month to help hundreds of needy four-legged babies, you are the best!!


  59. the hay they are getting is rich in timothy and smells so good! and the ones
    out in the pastures are able to graze on ankle deep grass, they are leaving
    the hay to do this! their future is so bright now. Blessing and Mircles do still
    happen! AMEN


  60. one standard donkey, #10 and 2 minis donkeys #16 and #25 found a home
    today! and the blind mare and throughbred went to their new home on
    sunday! she loaded in that trailer so awesome! hopeing some more horses
    start getting adopted.


    • Thank You Dbarj !! for everything you and the others are doing !!!! Thank You for the Updates they are wonderful news to all of us…………………………


  61. Thank you for keeping us updated about the new homes for the animals and even more for the loving work that you and all the others are doing. I cannot even begin to comprehend what you or the animals have gone through but the “rays of sunshine” that you share here are only a glimpse of the “sunshine” you are sharing with the animals … and I speak for them when I say thank you.


  62. Well said, Mrs. Gregg.

    I’d like to share a prayer for all the animals from MLASR:

    You are not alone
    The centuries fight for you
    Eternity is your ally

    You are in the keeping of
    The One who holds you with love
    That will not let you go.



    • Debbie Thank You That was beautiful…… These wonderful animals I am sure are very Thankful also for these Gracious and Caring people , May i say Thanks from them to all there who have so gave of themselves to help them and give them this awesome Sunshine ……………………….. I believe they were all brought together for a very Special reason………………That of of them will come to realize !!!! in the days ahead………


  63. On the issue of this rescue effort, kudos to all that are able to help, either by way of offering a home, transportation, or just a donation of funds for proper feedstuffs.

    But Jerry? I once owned a camel, and…they have toes, not hooves….Just sayin…


  64. Many of us like to donate and assist animal rescues and sanctuaries. My advice is PLEASE be sure it is a cat/dog/large animal legitimate rescue. In Montana, some are real, most are not. Don’t be ignorant! Many owners of these rescues are simply using the non-profit sanctuary status as a tax write-off for money earned/received in other jobs and businesses they are involved in. And the worst of them use the sanctuary monies to fund their own extragavgant lifestyles. Be aware!! Many of these organizations are believe if they simply feed the animals, that is enough. Wrong! Animals need medications, routine de-worming, claw/hoof care, dental care, eye care, etc. Those of use that have animals understand how much it costs to properly take care of our furry friends. In Montana there is no governing authority to oversee such organizations and make sure they are actually taking care of the animals. The county humane societies won’t much. They say they ‘can’t.’ Their advice is to call the local sheriff’s office. And most of the deputies could care less as they have other more pressing matters. Most counties in the state don’t even have an animal control officer. I have called the sheriff’s office a many times about dogs taking down and killing deer, neighbors starving goats and horses, etc. Nothing has ever been done. If the state of Montana is not going to create an agency to oversee sanctuaries and rescues, we need someone else to come in, private or federal govt. to watch out for these animals with no voices.


    • I totally agree that there are some ligit and many fraudulent rescues in every state, and, IMHO, the only way to truly control/monitor this is by requiring them (especially registered non-profits) to be licensed by each state’s Livestock Board.

      There are lots of non-profit equine rescues in New Mexico, but only 6 are licensed and regularly inspected by the state. I believe Maine requires a license, and licenses are available in Illinois, Arizona (as of last year), and perhaps Georgia. Maybe they’re available in other states as well.

      Both the rescue’s license number and non-profit I.D. should be on their website and other materials, so you can check them with the LB and the state/feds. If you don’t see these numbers, call the rescue and then do a check.

      The state licensees should be part of a national registry and cooperate with each other. When a rescue is overloaded or needs help, a national alert could mean the difference between life and death for animals, and the survival or failure of a sincere rescue.

      These are the AAEP Guidelines for an equine rescue. There’s lots of good information here, not only on rescue and rehab, but horse care in general. It also includes a facility checklist. And please don’t climb all over me about AAEP, euthanasia methods, or Carolyn Stull’s involvement as a nutritionist. I consider that throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      Click to access AAEP%20Rescue%20Guidelines.pdf


      • Thanks for the suggestion re outting our EIN and NM Livestock Board License number on our website. We are currently updating our site, and I will be sure to do that.
        Serenity Acres in Silver City, NM


      • Hi Becky! I just went to your website and it looks perfect for your rescue’s name – very serene. I love the colors, and the little paints on the headers are so sweet! Plus it’s easy to navigate. For some reason I couldn’t scroll all the way down any of the pages. The image kept jumping up, so I couldn’t read your email address. Maybe it’s just my old computer, but it might be worth checking out.


  65. Thanks for the heads up on the web page. I will contact my web designer. I received a grant to update my website, just cannot find the time to finish the changes and send it off to her. Becky


  66. This is going to be an unpopular post, but here goes:

    First of all, I don’t know the Warringtons. However, I DO know many, many people who have been devastated by this recession. Almost to a man they, every one, froze as things got worse and worse. They developed a ‘bunker’ mentality. At the point at which they faced the reality of their situation, the situation was unsalvagable. I suspect much the same thing may have happened here.

    Everyone has a different level of resiliency. Someone mentioned that she, too, has MS, but still gets her work done. I salute her, I really do. It’s not easy to face an illness like MS and not let it overcome your life. But not everyone has those personal reserves. Each of us are different. I came from a childhood that would have sent most people on a fast path to addiction. But, somehow, I escaped that fate. I call that “The luck of the draw.” and I am profundly grateful for whatever cards of Fate gave me the resilience to pull through.

    It’s easy to condemn the Warringtons. It’s easy to be smug. And forming a baying mob of self-rightousness is even easier. But consider… there but for the Grace of God…

    This should be an object lesson for EVERYONE who involved in animal rescue. The Warringtons made some crucial mistakes. Relying for the bulk of their operating funding on a single donor is suicide waiting to happen. Not thinking through their labor needs and how they were going to sustain that need. Not having a plan or funding for spay and neutering for every animal in their care. And the biggest mistake of all – not having a contingency plan for what would happen if they were no longer able – for whatever reason – to continue their work.

    And, as someone else mentioned – there appears to be little welcome in animal rescue for the Thinkers and Rationalists. I’ve experienced this myself.

    This sanctuary was a big one, and so has received a lot of attention. But this EXACT same story is repeated all over this country every single day: Well-meaning people, trying to do something good, but who don’t THINK through the LOGIC of what they want to accomplish. This is just a large-scale version of some horder locked up in their house with 147 cats.

    The doesn’t appear to be any kind of systematic cruelty in this situation. It’s obvious the owners were overwhelmed. It’s equally obvious they should have reached out for help as soon as they lost their major donor. And it’s painfully obvious the animals suffered neglect as a result.

    But overwhelmed rescues are to be pitied – and helped. Save your outrage for the many, many cases of wilful animal abuse that occurs in every part of this country every day.

    And start THINKING: How do we make sure this doesn’t happen to rescues? Maybe it’s legislation. Maybe it’s rethinking the rescue community’s disdain for recruiting people who are less emotional in their approach. Maybe it’s looking beyond the one animal to finding ways to solve the larger problem.

    Maybe it’s extending this philosophy of caring and compassion for all living things to… ALL living things. Including rescuers who screw up.


    • You are right on one thing- yours is an unpopular viewpoint IMHO. It did not take a few weeks or even months for those animals to get in the condition many many of them were in. I do not think the collective “we” have formed a “baying mob of self-righteousness”. MANY if not MOST people who post here speak up everyday about the gross, willful animal abuse that goes on in this country as well as countries worldwide. Our outrage is completely justified, and our hearts were and are still open to help. Thousands of people stepped up physically, emotionally and financially to help with the enormous task of rescuing, once again, these animals. As far as looking beyond the one animal, you only have to look in our backyard as well as our back forty. We all do a little to help with a big problem- over population, neglect and abuse.


  67. For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma


  68. Off-topic to this particular post, but a reminder that equids around the world are suffering. The current situation in Egypt is dire for horses, has resulted in a number starving to death, and is bound to get worse. Hopefully, people in the US and Canada can lend a hand.

    This is what The Brooke (an organization that helps equids in poor countries) is currently doing to bring aid to the Egyptian horses, with a link for donations:

    This is a very sad account of the current situation, along with contact info on donations to the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals:
    This statement is particularly important: “No cash money will be handed over to the horse owners, only food.”
    If you want to donate to ESMA specifically for the horses make that clear, because they’re working to save dogs and cats as well.


    • Linda thanks for posting about the animals’ situation in Egypt. I have already made my donation to them and have posted the need on my facebook page, which I use for education, mostly on the fourlegged and the occassional two-legged.


  69. UPDATE: ALL THE DONKEYS AND MINIS HAVE BEEN ADOPTED! that is 32! 32! have been adopted. all of them in the state of Montana! we have only 29 more horses to be adopted, that is down from 57! again all were adopted in state! THANK YOU MONTANA’S!
    we were given a wonderful gift this past week, two Parelli Trainers, Lynn and Anne, both from Utah. they worked with 14 horses, wow what awesome start they gave to them. hope and the way to loving homes. we are continue working with them. so sweet and willing girls and boys!
    pray for the rest that they find their forevere homes, thanks


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