In Memory of Barbara Clarke, Co-Founder & Managing Director of DreamCatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary


Barbara Clarke

“Wild horses are not saddle horses in waiting.  They do not belong in our backyards, corrals or show rings.    They belong in the wild where they can be free and separate from humans.”                                                                             –  Barbara Clarke

Wild Horse Freedom Federation is sharing the Press Release (below) by the Board and Advisory Board of DreamCatchers on the passing of Barbara Clarke.   We also honor the work of Barbara Clarke by sharing the link to the archived Wild Horse & Burro Radio show (2/26/14) with Barbara as our featured guest HERE


Press Release
Sacramento, CA, (Nov. 28, 2016) – With heavy hearts, the Board of Directors of the DreamCatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary announce the passing of visionary leader, co-founder and Managing Director, Barbara Clarke, on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. With her inimitable spirit, she fought long and hard against serious illnesses over the last few years, but lost those battles and left us for greener pastures. She will be sorely missed by the wild horses and burros in her care and by all of her colleagues and friends throughout California and the nation.

After leaving a successful career in the high tech world, Barbara became Director of Redwings Sanctuary in Monterey County in the 90’s. She wrote and had published numerous articles on the meaning of sanctuary in a technological society, winning the prestigious San Jose Mercury News Silver Pen award. She was named one of nine influential women in animal welfare by Town and County magazine, was featured in the 2002 International Animal World Encyclopedia, and was on the Board of Directors of The Association of Sanctuaries. There she helped develop standards of care for wild and domestic horses and sanctuary business ethics.

Barbara moved to the 2,000-acre Lassen County ranch where DreamCatcher is presently located in 2003, fulfilling the vision & mission to create a natural and stimulating environment for wild (and a few domestic) equines. Her goal was to allow mustangs to rediscover their freedom and independence and to let the public experience what would be lost if roundups and adoptions continue. The sanctuary is home to more than 250 wild horses and 35 wild burros.

The Board and the Advisory Board of the sanctuary have rolled up their sleeves and are committed to taking all the necessary steps to keep Barbara’s vision and mission for DreamCatcher alive and well long into the future. These steps include stocking up on feed for the Winter, tending to all the administrative and ranch duties of the operation and beginning the search for a new Managing Director of the sanctuary.

The 300+ horses and burros in the sanctuary’s care are counting on the Board and, in turn, the Board is counting on and would be most grateful for the general public to help support the sanctuary during this important transition time. Tax-deductible donations in Barbara’s memory can be made at:

“Barbara was an incredible human being. She was thoroughly professional and at the same time a humble woman with an ambitious vision for how to create sanctuary for horses, burros and all forms of animal life. Barbara overcame obstacles that would have stopped most of us in our tracks and dedicated her entire life and all of her personal resources to DreamCatcher and the equine herds that call it home.” Robert Marsh, Director

“DreamCatcher began with the idea of a place where wild horses and burros could once again live free in a natural environment. Barbara kept the dream alive. Now with your help we can, too.” Deborah Ellsworth, Director and Co-Founder

For more information, contact Carla Bowers, Advisory Board Member, at 530-777-8003 or or Robert Marsh, Director at (831) 601-1489 or

Call to Action: Only 3 Days Separate Former Wild Horses from Slaughter Auction

Information supplied by Elaine Nash of Fleet of Angels

3 Days LEFT!


This campaign’s purpose is to help facilitate the adoption (and discount transporting if needed) of wild horses that belong to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros in Lantry, SD, and whose care is currently being managed by SD State Attorney Steve Aberle and the Sheriffs of the two counties in which the sanctuary is located, as the result of a Court order. I am coordinating this adoption effort at the request of Mr. Aberle, and am in contact with Karen Sussman as needed. I am not being paid, nor accepting donations for my assistance in this mission.

The deadline for available horses to be placed is November 30, 2016.

There are many horses available for adoption, and unless the Court orders otherwise, those not adopted by Nov. 30 will be sold at public auction soon after December 1, with the most likely market at that point being kill buyers.
There are horses available in almost every age range and size. Many of the mares have foals at their sides, and most of the mares that currently have foals are also in foal. As occurs in the wild, some mares have young foals and also an older youngster still at their sides. We would prefer these family groups be adopted together.

Many of the horses at the sanctuary are in good condition. Most or all of the horses will need hooves trimmed and managed to good condition as soon as possible. Some of the horses are underweight, and some have special needs such as advanced age, blindness, or lameness. Most of the extremely underweight horses are of the advanced ages of 20-30+ years old.

A concerned person made it possible for two photographers to travel to SD to take individual photos of as many of the horses being offered for adoption as possible. We are posting many of those photos on this page. Those photos need to be seen primarily as examples of horses available, as it is difficult- and often impossible, to ‘fill orders’ of specific horses due to the logistical challenges at the facility. Large open pastures with no corral or gathering systems often makes selecting, gathering, sorting, and loading specific horse a big challenge.
I will be asking anyone who is interested in adopting to apply for at least two horses so that each horse will go to a new home with a horse it already knows. Adopters are asked to refrain from requesting horses from different herds if possible. There will be exceptions, of course.

We’re trying to facilitate the adoptions of as many horses as possible, so we are encouraging people to be open to accepting horses chosen for them when possible, as that will speed up the adoption process for Karen. If you will describe on your adoption application what age, type, and color horses you’d like to have, Karen Sussman will select horses for you that fit your request as closely as possible.

The ISPMB adoption application is found at on the Adopt page, and must be filled out by every potential adopter.
(Direct link to Adoption Application:…/Adoption%20application%20ISPMB.pdf .) Please send completed applications to, and also to me at Adoption contract agreement terms are negotiable, so line through any terms that you feel are unacceptable and initial those lines. THE AGREEMENT TO PROTECT THE HORSES FROM SLAUGHTER IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. Your applications will be reviewed ASAP, and we’ll be in touch with you regarding schedules, transport assistance – if needed, etc.

At this time, there is no adoption fee for most of the horses. Health certificates, brand inspections, and an express Coggins test can all be arranged for at veterinary clinics in the area, with Coggins certificate, health certificate, and brand inspection available within approx. two hours.

For information on adoption approval status and for details on specific horses, please contact Barbara Rasmussen, the Fleet of Angels representative who’s on site it the ISPMB location.

I’m also working on possible adoption opportunities for large groups of horses, and am exploring the adoption of whole herds by some parties who are interested in taking them to large properties so the herds can live out their lives together.

Fleet of Angels transporters will assist when possible. All FOA transporters assist with Fleet of Angels missions for discount rates. Some trips may be networked into groups going to common areas for the benefit of both transporters and adopters. Those efforts will take place on the Fleet of Angels networking page, and will be up to adopters and transporters to work out together. ALL adopters seeking transportation through Fleet of Angels will be required to submit a Request for Assistance form on Fleet of Angels’ website (below). Most answers to questions about Fleet of Angels and how we work can be found on our website.

I am in discussions with the State Attorney Aberle regarding the horses that may prove to be unadoptable during the small time frame that’s been allowed by the Court. There is a chance that they may be euthanized humanely, rather than sold for slaughter. To achieve that change from selling at auction (undoubtedly to kill buyers) as is stipulated in the current court order, a compassion adoption fee of $100-150 would have to be paid for each horse that is to be euthanized. The reason for this is that the two involved counties are two of the poorest in the nation, and are spending a significant amount of their budget on hay for the ISPMB horses, personnel, equipment, etc. They anticipate receiving some reimbursement of their outlay by selling the un-adoptable horses at auction. If you are interested in assisting with the funding of compassion adoptions, please email me at with your name and the amount you’re willing to contribute, so I can compile names and amounts to show the Attorney that advocates for the horses want to see this happen. I have no more information about this option at this time. Please don’t write me with questions unless you’re planning to contribute to the fund. I won’t be able to answer.

All that matters right now is getting the horses into good homes where they can be well cared for, for the rest of their lives. Thank you SO much to all the people who are willing to step up and work in positive ways on behalf of the ISPMB mustangs. Any negative, hostile, or threatening messages that include personal attacks against Karen Sussman, the State’s Attorney, the Sheriffs, ISPMB employees, ex-employees, me, or my team members will be deleted. Please refrain from commentary about this situation, what occurred, or how. There is considerable information that has not been made public, so the opinions of onlookers are made absent of all the facts and therefore not at all helpful to this effort.

Please work as independently as you can, find answers to your questions on ISPMB and FOA websites, fill out the proper forms, and network with each other as much as possible. My Fb friend list is at maximum number, so I’m sorry, but I can’t ‘friend’ everyone who is sending requests. I will try to check the Message Request box for non-friend messages frequently. If you have any new, factual information about this ongoing case, please contact Steve Aberle, the State’s Attorney. He probably will not be able to respond, unless he has questions.

Each horse will have to have a current Coggins, health certificate, and brand inspection to leave SD. It is not usually possible to get those while the horse is at ISPMB. Below are two vets- one in each direction of ISPMB, that can help you inexpensively and promptly. Takes about two hours to get express Coggins, which are available at both of these vet clinics:

(Two known providers of Express Coggins service in SD. There may be others.)

Howard Veterinary Clinic (Approx. 230 miles)
William Howard, DVM
1400 SD-20
Watertown, SD 57201
Phone: (605) 882-4188

Express Coggins, $40.00 per horse
Health Certificate: $35.00 (per destination)

Make appointment for no later than 4:00 pm for two horses, no later than 3:00 pm for four horses per trailer

Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Northern Hills Veterinary Clinic (Approx. 130 miles)
751 Pine View Dr
Sturgis, SD 57785
Phone: 605-720-1347

Express Coggins: $50.00
Health Certificate: $25.00

Make appointments no later than 3:00 if possible. Let front desk know how many horses when making appointment.

Mon: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1.30 PM – 6:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thurs-Fri: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Link to listing of SD brand inspectors:

SD brand inspection laws:


Donations for hay are VERY important, since the main reason for the short window of opportunity for adopters is based on the counties anticipated hay costs. The more funds that are donated, the longer we may be given to find homes for these horses.
Donations for hay are being accepted by Dewey County, and by ISPMB.

Please do not send donations to Fleet of Angels for this campaign.
Dewey County ISPMB Horse Fund donations information:
Checks are to be made payable to ‘Dewey County’ and write ‘ISPMB Horse Fund’ in memo line.
Mailing Address:
Dewey County Auditor
PO Box 277
Timber Lake, SD 57656-0277

To pay by credit card (a fee will be charged):
Call Dewey County Treasurer’s Office

Questions? Call Dewey County Auditor:
Elaine Nash

Int’l Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros
Karen Sussman,Director
Web site:

ADOPTION APPLICATION:…/Adoption%20application%20ISPMB.pdf
Fleet of Angels (Transportation network for at-risk equines)

Web site:
Facebook networking page:

Steve Aberle
Attorney for State of South Dakota

Dewey County Sheriff

Please be positive, proactive, and adopt horses ASAP if you can!
Thank you, everyone!

Feel Good Sunday: Temperament Test for Donkeys to be Used in Assisted Therapy

Source: and authored by Carlos Antonio Gonzalez-De Cara, Alejandro Perez-Ecija, Raul Aguilera-Aguilera, Evagenlina Rodero-Serrano and Francisco Javier Mendoza


  • Donkeys are ideal for assisted-therapy (AT).
  • First study evaluating sensory and temperament tests for AT selection in donkeys.
  • Donkeys are more reactive to visual than sound stimuli.
  • First study establishing a cutaneous sensitivity mapping in this species.
  • Donkeys are cautious, reacting more strongly to unexpected stimuli.


Marjorie Farabee and her good friend Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Marjorie Farabee and her good friend Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Donkeys are used in animal-assisted therapy (AT) for mental disorders or motor disabilities in elderly people and children, but tests for selecting donkeys for AT have not been studied. The aim of this work was to characterize donkey’s reaction to sensory (tactile and sound) and temperament (fearfulness and reactivity to human) tests in order to select donkeys for AT. Sound test, tactile tests (stifle-haunch axis test, von Frey filament test and a novel test described by the authors), fearfulness (novel object, surprise and crossing an unknown surface tests) and reactivity to human (unfamiliar passive and active human tests) were evaluated in thirty-six Andalusian donkeys. Descriptive analysis was performed and differences between groups were determined. Donkeys were not very reactive to sound stimuli. Donkeys were more reactive to thinner filaments and instruments, with no body side laterality detected. A cutaneous sensitivity mapping was also established. In relation to temperament tests, donkeys were more reactive to visual than sound stimuli. Donkeys appear to be markedly cautious and an unexpected stimulus disrupts their routine longer time than a stimulus that approaches slowly and gradually. Moreover, donkeys seem to have a reserved character. Age affected human interaction tests, since longer time was needed to finish some tests in older donkeys. In conclusion, aforementioned tests can be used for AT selection, allowing to discard donkeys with undesired traits. Further studies are necessary to investigate age or breed effect on aptitude for AT.

Man Rides Emaciated and Abused Horse 700 Miles

Source: Channel 7 News Miami

“Investigators said the horse was not provided with any food or water throughout the journey and was extremely underweight and malnourished.”

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man who traveled on foot from South Carolina all the way to Miami has been arrested after his horse was found malnourished and in urgent need of medical attention.

According to Miami-Dade Police, Christopher Emerson walked with his horse, Trigger, from South Carolina all the way down the Florida coast to Southwest Miami-Dade over the span of a couple months.

Emerson said he left South Carolina with his horse after getting into an argument with his wife. “I just had a bad rough patch with my wife. Got a divorce, I wrecked my truck, the whole country story thing.”

Emerson has since been taken to the Miami-Dade County jail, Wednesday evening. “Ride a horse in America and you get locked up,” he yelled at the camera from behind the fence.

Throughout the final leg of their journey, witnesses who observed the man and the horse contacted police about seeing the extremely weak and malnourished horse. A Florida police department then sent out a BOLO in search of the man.

On Wednesday, the man and his horse were finally discovered along U.S. 1 and Southwest 142nd Street. The man was immediately arrested for animal cruelty and taken in for questioning. Investigators said the horse was not provided with any food or water throughout the journey and was extremely underweight and malnourished.

However, officials and witnesses believe, he actually used the horse to panhandle his way down the coast. “You can see his shoulder blades here, you can see the top of his spine, the individual vertebrae on his spine, all of his ribs,” explained Laurie Waggoner of the SPCA. “He was using this horse as a way to make money, and this horse is the one who paid for it.”

Trigger is now safe at the SPCA. Officials said the horse has a healthy appetite and is filling up on hay and essential nutrients.

A veterinarian looked at Trigger and said he is definitely underweight. “A horse can easily be ridden from South Carolina to the Keys as long as they’re fed properly and in good condition,” said Dr. Zachary Franklin. “Don’t ride a horse that’s in this condition.”

Officials at SPCA hope Trigger will make a full recovery.

Police said they found Emerson while he was sleeping in a bush and Trigger was tied up along U.S. 1. He said he wanted to make it all the way from South Carolina to Key West to go snorkeling.

Emerson remains behind bars with a $15,000 bond.

Man rides malnourished horse from South Carolina to Miami

Slaughter Auction Looms for Former Wild Horses as Sanctuary Leader Struggles with Deadlines

Story by Seth Tupper as published on

To Help Save These Horses Click (HERE)

Journal File Photo of impounded former wild horses

The leader of a wild-horse sanctuary in north-central South Dakota is struggling to meet deadlines and conditions for the return of her impounded horses, leaving her vulnerable to the loss of at least some horses at a public auction.

Karen Sussman is the president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, which has a small ranch under her supervision near the town of Lantry. Last month, following reports of starving horses and with the society struggling financially and lacking feed for the winter, all 810 of the society’s horses were impounded to be cared for and fed by local authorities.

The court-ordered impounding included conditions and deadlines for Sussman to seek the return of the horses. The first deadline was Oct. 21, when Sussman was expected to submit a comprehensive management plan for the ranch.

Dewey County State’s Attorney Steven Aberle told the Journal this week that Sussman submitted the plan, but it was deemed inadequate.

“What she submitted was not comprehensive enough in our opinion,” Aberle said. “There were gaps and holes in it, and things that needed to be addressed if any animals are going to be returned.”

Local and state authorities met with Sussman on Nov. 9 to work on the plan, and Aberle said the improved plan is still being put into writing.

The next deadline was Nov. 11, when Sussman was supposed to produce evidence of funding or feed sufficient for 18 months of ranch operations. At the Nov. 9 meeting, Sussman sought and was granted an extension of that deadline until Dec. 1, on the condition that she reimburse Dewey and Ziebach counties — which share a border straddled by the ranch — for the costs of the impounding by Wednesday of this week.

Aberle said the counties were several days late in submitting their $76,000 cost estimate to Sussman, so she was given a grace period until Monday. Meanwhile, she made a partial payment of $30,000 on Wednesday, leaving a balance of $46,000.

If Sussman is able to pay that amount, she will still face the Dec. 1 deadline to produce evidence of feed and funding for 18 months of operations. With recent hay costs of $10,000 per week on the badly overgrazed ranch, an amount well into six figures is likely needed to convince authorities to return a significant number of horses. Aberle said the amount raised by Sussman will be used to help determine how many horses — if any — will be returned to her control.

In the meantime, Sussman, who has not responded to Journal interview requests, is free to arrange sales or adoptions of horses. She is apparently doing that, to a limited extent. Dewey County Sheriff Les Mayer recently said that about 55 horses had left the ranch.

After the Dec. 1 deadline, Aberle and the other authorities involved with the impounding order will decide whether to return any horses to Sussman’s control, and how many. Any horses that are not returned will be scheduled for sale at a public auction, with the proceeds going to Sussman’s society only after all remaining county costs have been covered.

Though there are no active horse-slaughter plants in the United States, an auction might attract buyers for foreign plants that slaughter horses for human consumption. Buyers could also include individuals and groups committed to protecting wild horses.

Please help these horses:

An Equine Thanksgiving: Who’ld a Thunk It?

A holiday message from R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Peace On!”

Moose and his buddy, R.T. FitchThanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for a very simple and straightforward reason; ‘it is what it is’.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is not tied to any religious custom(s) or overtones nor is it partnered with politics or some governmental event, it is simply about people getting together to give thanks for what they have, be it small or large, and sharing with family and friends.

Granted, there is a tie to an alleged historical event but even that event speaks directly to the simplicity of getting together with family and diversified friends to break bread and publicly give thanks for the simple fact that we did not wake up under six feet of dirt and that we have the power to effect positive change upon life’s upcoming events.

Perhaps, we equine advocates should quietly tick off a few of things that we could, and should, be thankful for this day.

If you are lucky enough to live with horses and/or donkeys you might be thankful that:

  • all of your equine companions were standing on four legs this morning
  • you received a clean bill of health from your vet’s last ranch call
  • there is ample feed in your tack room and hay in your loft (and beer in the barn fridge)
  • you were greeted with loving nickers when you walked out into the pasture today
  • hugging your horses gave you strength to jump another life hurdle last month
  • the sense that the equines breath life into your land and spread magic in your pastures
  • you cannot fathom a life without them

For those who’s hearts are tugged by the wild ones that grace our public lands we are thankful that:

  • we, collectively, have the power to effect change and can protect those wild equines that are a positive addition to our western plains
  • our hearts race when we see the magic and drama of family bands running free and enjoying their freedom
  • the wild ones have taught us about family, freedom and the bonds that hold a herd, tribe or society together
  • we have each other

Perhaps the last entry is the one that speaks the loudest to us, this day…we have each other. When the chips are down and we feel like we just don’t have the strength to fight another battle we do have the ability to look into an equine eye, center our souls and hold the hand of like individuals who not only feel the same pain but also understand the elation of doing what is right, just and required to help ensure the future safety and well being of our equine brethren, be they wild or domestic, for generations to come.

Have a peaceful and thoughtful day today as you gather strength and reassurance from family and friends ‘cause’ we will be saddling up later and hitting the rugged trail as there is a lot of work to do and if we don’t do it, no one else will. The wild horses and burros are in need and we are the cavalry; tomorrow we will pick the sword back up and ride on.

Keep the faith, my friends, and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Share Thanksgiving with Your Horse with a Special Treat or Two


Thanksgiving isn’t just for people.

 photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Horses and other animals enjoy participating in the festivities, especially when it comes to receiving a few treats. Many horse owners feed their horses a treat or two while training, but horses enjoy a treat now and then as a reminder of the ties that bind while spending a few enjoyable moments simply hanging out.

Anything related to horse feed makes a good treat, but a few treats you may not have thought of include

  • Small pieces of pumpkin or an entire pumpkin,
  • Pitted dates or raisins,
  • Sunflower seeds, shelled or unshelled,
  • Sugar cubes
  • Peppermints
  • Seasonal treats made with pumpkin, molasses, or other tasty ingredients.

Some horses can become over excited or aggressive when they sense that treats are available, so keeping control of the treats in a bucket or basket can be helpful. If you keep treats in your pocket and feed from your hand, some horses become pushy while trying to get at the treats.

When thinking of appropriate treats for a horse, it is important to realize that some things are not good for horses including:

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Acorns
  • Chocolate
  • Anything from the cabbage/broccoli family

Some treats can create a choking hazard so make sure pieces are small enough not to get stuck in the horse’s throat and when it comes to hard treats such as peppermints or sugar cubes feed only a few to prevent the horse from gulping them down in a lump.

Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Crunchy Cookies if you have the time and are in the mood to prepare a special Thanksgiving treat for your horse:

Oatmeal Pumpkin Crunchies
1 cup dry oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cut chopped pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the oatmeal, salt flour and sugar in a bowl.
3. Stir in the chopped pumpkin.
4. Stir in the vegetable oil and the molasses.
7. Form into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
8. Put in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Longtime Horse Slaughter Radical Gets Violent at Equus Film Festival

Source: opening opinion by R.T. Fitch

“Well, well, well, guess who crawled out from underneath his moldy rock and showed his hairy backside last week?  An old, has-been topic of many an OpEd here at SFTHH who we thought died and shriveled away when his cohort in crime, “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallace, literally left the planet earth to go spend eternity in that special place where killers, and consumers, of companion animals go to rot.  Drum roll please; ole Dave “Doink” Duquette, the great failure of the west, reared his ugly head and laid his hands on a member of the press asking a well thought out question last Friday.  You see, when you corner an animal abuser with an intelligent question they respond in one of three ways; either they cuss, lash out or leave the room.  Duquette was, and is, too stupid to leave the room.  Known for eating horses, not training them, Duquette considers himself a Subject Matter Expert on murdering equines and then spreading out their body parts on the table for all the sickos to enjoy.  And whenever the subject of horse and donkey murder comes to light, or attempts to, there is Duquette spouting off non-nonsensical dribble laced with expletives because he wouldn’t know the difference between a pronoun and a dangling participial if they hit him in the the head.

Please read on about Doink’s abusive conduct and the thinly veiled horse slaughter organization that he belongs to which sponsored the festival this year.  It all stinks of decaying horse flesh and will make you want to shower, or at least wash your hands, after reading about this low-life.  Duquette needs to crawl back into that slimy hole from whence he came; the world has moved on and his primal urges are no longer considered acceptable in contemporary society” ~ R.T.

An employee of Protect the Harvest, wearing a Lucas Cattle Co jacket, Dave Duquette, violently grabbed the microphone from See’s hand, and continued to bully him in an aggressive manner.

Dave "Doink" Duquette: The Bully who gives the cowboy hat a bad name...(take it off in the house, Doink)

Dave “Doink” Duquette: The Bully who gives the cowboy hat a bad name…(take it off in the house, Doink)

New York City – On Friday the 18th at the Equus Film Festival during a panel discussion of horse welfare issues sponsored by Protect the Harvest, a reporter was assaulted and the microphone violently ripped from his hand mid-sentence. Clant Seay, reporter for, asked Duke Thoreson, owner of Thorsport Farms, if he was pro-slaughter.  The moderator of the forum stated “I’m getting the hook from the management, so what I’m going to do is thank the panel,” as she attempted to close down the discussion.  Mr See asked why he was being shut down from speaking, and explained he believed he was being censored, and “I believe we have a situation where money has bought and paid for a situation to dodge the issue.”  An employee of Protect the Harvest, wearing a Lucas Cattle Co jacket, Dave Duquette, violently grabbed the microphone from See’s hand, and continued to bully him in an aggressive manner.

Protect the Harvest, $100,000 sponsor of Equus Film Festival and sponsor of Thorsport Farms, is a Political Action Committee founded by Forrest Lucas, founder and owner of Lucas Cattle Company and Lucas Oil Company.  Protect the Harvest’s goal is to round up all mustangs and ship them to slaughter, open horse slaughter plants in the United States, deny any legal rights to dogs abused in puppy mills, sue any state that passes animal agriculture welfare laws, and generally oppose any law that furthers animal welfare goals.  In their logo, Protect the Harvest has a horse head, which would indicate they are in agreement with harvesting horses for food.

Duke Thorson, owner of Thorsport Farms, is no stranger to soring allegations.  Thorsport Farm has been investigated by the Humane Society of the United States and found to sore many of their Tennessee Walking horses.  Thorsport Farm horses are routinely barred from competing by USDA inspectors for soring violations.

The Most Shocking 1.5 Min Video the World Must See!

by COWSPIRACY: the sustainability secret

“Just imagine what this does, in the form of welfare ranching, to our public lands and it’s effect on wild horses, burros and all other wildlife, let alone ourselves!” ~ R.T.

Feel Good Sunday: This Stray Pit Bull and Donkey Were Abandoned and Now They’re Best Friends

SOURCE:  San Antonio Current

Posted By


We’re suckers for a good stray animal story – especially one with a happy ending – and this is definitely the best we’ve heard in a while.

According to Koren Mercer of Lone Star Saddlebreds in Magnolia, at around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, she was alerted to the presence of a stray dog in her yard when one of her own dogs started barking.

“When I got to the front door,” she wrote in a post on Facebook, “I saw a rather tough-looking black and white bull dog standing two feet from the door, and behind him, peeking around the corner, a large pair of fuzzy ears attached to a sweet-faced Jenny. She was hiding behind the shrubs, trying to be discreet. It was obvious they were looking for help.”

Mercer said that when the dog saw her, he ran off toward a nearby wooded area, and the donkey followed him. It was obvious that the two were traveling together. “I thought I was dreaming,” she said. “I thought, if nobody else sees this besides me, they’re going to think I’m psychotic.”

She took the two travelers to her nearby farm for the night, and the next day she started looking for their owners. Apparently, the duo had been seen roaming together for about a week. People who spotted them told her they had lived together on a piece of property with some other animals (the Bremen Town Musicians, perhaps?), and someone would come to deliver food a couple of times a week. But when the owner stopped coming to feed them, the dog and the donkey somehow broke loose and struck out on their own. Nobody put up signs to look for them, and no reports were made with local police or animal control. Mercer said there was no sign that any other animals still lived on the property, either.

“I think the property was probably abandoned,” Mercer said. “Whoever owned it, they were either incapacitated or maybe they passed on, but we don’t believe they have anything to do with the property anymore.”

So now the dog and the donkey are living in her barn at night, and they’re in the pasture by day. On her posts on Facebook, which have now gone viral, Mercer wrote that the two are inseparable. They sleep together in a stall at night, and they play during the day. The dog runs through the donkey’s legs and licks her face, and she responds by rubbing her face on his back.

It’s clear, she said, that this isn’t some fluke – the two animals are bonded. “It’s very strange, but it’s adorable,” she said. “I can see why, if they were abandoned, they would have taken to one another. They needed each other to survive. She eats his dog food when I give it to him – I try to keep her away from it because it’s not good for her – and he’ll try to eat her grain. It’s obvious they are used to sharing.”



Read the rest of the story HERE.