Pages Navigation Menu

ON-LINE MAGAZINE & WEB SITE - SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWS

☛ Horse Rescue Founder guilty of mail and tax fraud 6-24-17

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

IT’S HAPPENED AGAIN!

HORSE RESCUE FOUNDER GUILTY OF MAIL AND TAX FRAUD

June 24, 2017

Unfortunately it’s getting to be an old story: “Horse Rescue Founder Found Guilty of Mail and Tax Fraud.”

The latest story is of Pamela Vivirito, 46, formerly of Valencia, Pa., who founded a West Deer, Pa., horse rescue called “Equine Angels Rescue.” Vivirito recently pleaded guilty to two federal charges including mail fraud and tax evasion.

 

The guilty plea came after an investigation into Vivirito’s handling of Equine Angles Rescue’s finances and taxes.

 

Initially prosecutors filed an interference with commerce by extortion charge against Vivirito in 2015 after the FBI investigated Vivirito’s affair with an undentified local businessman, who she used to extort donations from him in exchange for keeping the affair a secret from his wife. However, prosecutors indicated they will move to dismiss that charge at sentencing as part of her plea deal.

 

She also pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent non-profit tax return with the IRS for her non-profit Equine Angels Rescue. According to various articles in publications regarding Vivirito, prosecutors found that she used nonprofit resources, including cash to pay for personal bills and items and she also filed a fraudulent 990 form with the IRS in 2013, which is the latest filing available.

 

Vivirito listed her personal compensation as $46,877 when in reality it was approximately $93,000.

 

However, this isn’t Vivirito’s first rodeo as only two years after filing her nonprofit in 2013, she was sued by five people for blackmailing them into signing over their horses. The lawsuit stated that she would sneak onto people’s property, take photos, and threaten to expose them to the media if they didn’t sign the horses over to her.

Sentencing has been set for July 20 by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Read More

☛ Think animal abuse law is really a felony? 6-18–17

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, Uncategorized, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

THINK THE ANIMAL ABUSE LAW IS REALLY A FELONY?

30-YEAR-OLD SENTENCED TO 99 YEARS

June 18, 2017

If you think that the Animal Abuse law passed in 2014, making animal abuse a felony, doesn’t have teeth in it, think again – especially if you live in Alabama.

According to WSFA of Alex City, Ala., Nick Patterson, a 30-year-old from Alex City was sentenced to 99 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated animal cruelty charges,

Patterson, in a plea deal, pled guilty to nine counts of animal abuse plus three counts of financial transaction card fraud.

After finding 14 living but malnourished dogs in outdoor enclosures where Patterson lived last June, with only dirty water to drink, fed sporadically and neglected for months, police also found the remains of six other collies on the property. Patterson was sentenced to 10 years on each of the nine animal cruelty and abuse counts and three years on each fraud charge. All sentences will run concurrently.

Patterson also tried to flee from police, all the while fraudulently using credit cards and stolen checks. He turned himself in to authorities in Council Bluffs, Iowa on July 24.

,

He may be eligible for parole after he serves a  minimum of 18 years and is not allowed to ever own an animal again.

Read More

☛ Animal cruelty now a felony 4-29-17

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE | 0 comments

IT’S A NEW DAY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY

 

THE YEAR 2016 MADE ANIMAL CRUELTY A FELONY

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 29, 2017

 

The Dayle Kountz case:

According to a May, 2015 article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Dayle Kountz, owner of Kountz Arena in Bozeman, Mont., was charged with two felony animal cruelty charges after a horse with a missing foot and a comatose calf were found on his property. Kountz was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and a second offense of cruelty to animals.

 

A deputy contacted Kountz, who owned the horse named Young Doc Bar. Kountz told the deputy that the animal was 22 or 23 years old and he was going to get some semen from the horse and then put him down. He said the horse was injured around Christmas 2014 when he got his foot caught between panels and “hurt the foot real bad.” He claimed he cared for the horse but the foot was so damaged that it fell off. The horse was never taken to a veterinarian. Kountz had previously been convicted of misdemeanor cruelty to animals in Gallatin County in 1999.

 

It is now 2017 and Kountz hasn’t had a trial yet and he was recently denied a request for a change of venue in his upcoming trial for animal cruelty, saying that despite the defense’s claims, media coverage of this case has not been overwhelming. In an order issued Tuesday, April 25, Butte-Silver Bow District Judge Brad Newman denied a request by Kountz to move his trial to Madison County.

 

In a motion filed by Kountz’s defense attorneys in September, the defense claimed that stories written by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Belgrade News and two local TV stations were sensational, inflammatory and one-sided. The motion also noted a Facebook page called “Justice for Young Doc Bar created by animal supporters and a Change.org petition lobbying for Kountz to be prosecuted. However, Gallatin county Deputy Attorney Erin Murphy; however, said pretrial publicity was not overwhelming or prejudicial and the judge ultimately agreed, stating the news media coverage has been factual rather than editorializing designed to sway public opinion. The case is scheduled to go to trial before Newman in Bozeman for seven days starting Sept. 11.

 

However, the most important part of this case is that it is being held in 2017, rather than 2015 when the animal abuse charges were filed. On Jan. 1, 2016, “acts of cruelty against animals” was counted alongside felony crimes like arson, burglary, assault and homicide in the FBI’s expansive criminal database. At that time the Bureau’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) began collecting detailed data from participating law enforcement agencies on acts of animal cruelty, including gross neglect, torture, organized abuse and sexual abuse.

 

Before Jan. 1, 2016, crimes that involved animals were lumped into an “All other Offenses” category in the FBi’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s annual Crime in the United States report, a survey of crime data provided by about 18,000 city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

 

In September, Kountz could be found guilty of a felony and be sentenced from a database as if he had committed a burglary, assault or even a homicide, which could include years in prison, rather than days in jail.

 

The Sherri Brunzell case:

Showing the difference a couple of years can make, Sherri Brunzell, who owned the 10 horses, including an emaciated Quarter Horse cutting stallion, Dual Peppy, along with llamas, that were found living in a crypt-like Black Forest, Colorado, barn in 2014. The barn contained the decomposing remains of the living horses’ former stablemates.

 

In May 2015, an El Paso county jury convicted Brunzell of eight “misdemeanor” counts of animal cruelty; however, she filed appeal after appeal until they ran out. However, Brunzell had paid a financial price, as she was ordered to pay $5,400 per month for the horses’ care and the AQHA automatically suspended her and denied her any and all privileges, including privileges associated with registration related to transactions and participation in any AQHA events. The horses were sent to a Colorado rescue and Sherri never received ownership of the horses again.

 

At that time, the judge said he would have liked to give her more time, but during her 2015 jury trial, that was all he could give her, according to the law at that time

 

But her freedom time was up! This week, after her appeals were exhausted, the same Colorado judge ordered her guilty of horse abuse, giving her a 60-day jail term, beginning at 7 p.m. that evening, followed by a 5-year probation term and banned her from owning or possessing livestock, including horses and llamas. .

 

If this case would have been held in 2016, Sherry could have more than likely been sentenced to prison for years rather than days in jail.

 

Robert Dimitt, a hoof-carving horse trainer:

Recently, an Oklahoma judge sentenced a hoof-carving horse trainer to five years in prison for the mutilation deaths of multiple horses.

 

Robert Dimitt, Sallisaw, Okla., looked shocked when Sequoyah County District Judge Jeff Payton announced his fate. Officers immediately remanded him to custody to begin serving his sentence. After he is released, he will spend 10 years on parole and he is prohibited from being around any horses during that time. If he skirts the conditions of his release, he will be returned to prison. Dimmitt’s attorney had sought probation for his client.

 

Dimitt was arrested in August 2015, when authorities were alerted about dead horses on his property. He had cut the frogs out of the horses’ hooves to “make them run faster.” Several racehorses died, one in a paddock without water or veterinary care before her body was burned.

 

Awesome Ashley had to be euthanized after three weeks of treatment, as the mare’s foot turned to mush causing her coffin bone to protrude through her hoof. A third filly, Gold Digging Ashley was a race winner in her 3-year-old division. Her left hind foot separated from the coronary band. She also suffered from pneumonia; however, a veterinarian reported her other three feet had injuries similar to the left rear from the severe trimming, frog mutilation and infection. Dimitt even “applied live electric wires to her chest to make her cough,” according to a vet.

 

Had Dimmitt gone to court and been sentenced in 2015, he would have more than likely had to serve only days in jail rather than years in prison.

 

 

Read More

☛ Horse trainer gets 5 years for torturing horses 3-31-17

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HOOF-CARVING HORSE TRAINER SENTENCED FOR TORTURING HORSES

ROBERT DIMITT GETS FIVE YEARS FOR DEATHS OF SEVERAL HORSES

March 31, 2017

Almost two years  after Robert Dimitt, 57, a horse trainer from Sallisaw, Okla., was arrested, the hoof-carving horse trainer was sentenced to five years in prison on March 23 for the mutilation deaths of multiple horses. With the new year, comes new laws about animal abuse, which changes their penalties to a felony.

Dimitt will also spend 10 years on parole after he is released and he is prohibited from being around any horses during that time. If he breaks any of these rules, he will be returned to prison.

A month ago, Dimitt modified his plea from to guilty to no contest, which allowed the judge to decide his fate rather than a jury. Dimitt’s attorney had sought probation.

According to an article in the Sequoyah County Times, the sentencing followed a lengthy investigation following a tip from Charlotte Northam. She said she went to pick up three horses and instead of three healthy horses, she found one dead and two starved with mutilated feet. The owners of one of the horses had turned down $500,000 for her as she had won in excess of $355,000 in 15 months. The only horse alive was Gold Digging Ashley, with the mare spending a long time at the Oakridge Veterinarian Clinic in Edmond.

Agent Larry Bailey said that a number of horses taken from Dimitt’s care showed signs of being beaten or tortured.

“The horses had considerable damage to their back feet. We were told that Dimitt was bleeding their back feet to let the demons out,” said Bailey. Sheriff Ron Lockhart said that investigators found several horse carcasses on the ranch and the veterinarians had to check on the other horses that were still alive. The sheriff’s office had contacted the owners of the animals and many were surprised to find out the horses they thought were being taken care of Dimitt was released on $25,000 bond.

Northam, a agent for Kentucky racehorse owner Edward D. Leslie, MD, said “Dimitt cut the frogs out of the horses’ hooves to “make them run faster.” Northam says she hopes this case will make horse owners more aware of what can happen when you don’t check on your horses in training. “People need to make more physical well-being checks and be very careful of what trainer they use.”

Information for this article was taken from the Sequoyah County Times and Rate My Horse Pro articles.

Read More

☛ SAFE act reintroduced in Congress 2-22-17

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SAFE ACT TO BE REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS – AGAIN

Feb. 22, 2017

According to an article by Pat Raia in The Horse, a bipartisan group of Congressmen has reintroduced legislation that would declare horsemeat unfit for human consumption and ban the transport of American horses to foreign processing plants. The bill is the latest attempt to outlaw the purchase and transport of U. S. horses for slaughter.

In recent years, federal lawmakers have introduced legislation that would prevent the transport of horses to foreign process plants and would have prevented equine processing plants from ever opening in the United States and would have banned the transport of horses to foreign plants for processing. This legislation would also have protected consumers from horseman derived from animals injected with drugs and other substances; however, the bill died before getting a vote on the congressional floor.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, where it remains pending.

Click for SAFE ACT article>>

Read More

☛ What can be done about horse slaughter 1-14-17

Posted by on Jan 14, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 17 comments

HORSE ABUSE, PART 8

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT HORSE SLAUGHTER?

 

By Rick Dennis
Jan. 14, 2017

 

As we move into 2017, it has come to my attention that the repugnant business of slaughtering U.S. horses in Mexico and Canada is still an ongoing and viable business trade. Kill buyers still monitor U.S. auction barns seeking new slaughter prospects and the Canadian and Mexican slaughter plants are in full swing.

 

I recently received a 2013 video, by the Humane Society, illustrating the barbaric killing and dismembering of our beloved horses at a Mexican slaughter plant. The video captures the entire shocking scenario from the stabbing and severing of the animals’ spinal cord with a knife to the final rendering process.

 

The stark reality of the end-of-life process for our horses can be viewed by clicking on the following link. Caution: This video contains extreme graphics!

Click for Horse Slaughter video>>

 

2016 SLAUGHTER STATISTICS

Statistical data provided by the USDA Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News through Jan. 5, 2017, revealed a total of 103,717 horses, burros, mules and ponies went to slaughter in 2016. A total of 78,077 U.S. animals were sent to slaughter and were transported from the U.S. to Mexico, via, Las Cruces, N.M. The statistics are arranged by breeding males, breeding females, geldings and burros/mules/ponies.


 Live Horse Export figures, from the U.S. to Canada in 2016 revealed 25,640 animals were sent to Canada.

 

 

 

 

ORIGINS OF THE HORSE SLAUGHTER PIPELINE

Theoretically, the three main components contributing to the horse slaughter pipeline are:

 

Overpopulation produced by:

Over breeding, which includes intentional breed-specific foals and haphazard or backyard or unintended breeding, e.g.: 1) American Quarter Horse – Performance and Racing, Thoroughbred Association, Paint Horse breed, Appaloosa Horse, Morgan Horse, Arabians.

Cross-bred or unintentional breeding: Unorthodox breeding practices such as Multiple Embryo Transfer or ICSI – (Intra- cytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

These two breeding methodologies are scientific processes whereby a single mare can produce multiple foals in a single year by removal of produced eggs. These methods clearly place the small breeder at a disadvantage to the affluent breeder from a production cost and foal production ratio alone. The average embryo transfer per/foal is $3,500 plus the stud fee. The average cost per ICSI foal using frozen semen is $12,500 plus the stud fee.

 

Unwanted or abandoned horses produced by economic decline.

Today’s economic decline certainly has taken a toll on American lives that, in turn, has caused a downward spiral in horse ownership and participation in the U.S. The simple law of physics “so-to-speak.” For every action, there’s an opposite and equal reaction.

This downward trend and spiral is well documented in horse ownership, class participation at equine events, as well as significant membership declines with nonprofit horse organizations such as AQHA, NRHA, NCHA, etc.

When the choice arrives between feeding your family or paying a mortgage note to house your family or feeding a horse usually results in getting rid of the horse. This unfortunate circumstance usually explains why a significant number of horses end up at low-end sales that, in turn, provide kill buyers with easy access to healthy horses.

 

BLM management of wild horses and mustangs. This category is included due to the fact BLM-branded animals have been documented being sent to a Mexican slaughter in the past, even though BLM vehemently denies this exists. However, and for the record, statistics state BLM captured and corralled horses that cost the U.S. taxpayer $50 million annually.

The attached video, taken by www.animalsangels.org, documents the unloading process at a Mexican horse slaughter plant in Mexico. An article entitled, U. S. Government selling horses to known kill buyer, is attached hereto.

 

Click for Animals Angels Video>>

Click for BLM article>> 

 

LARGEST CONSUMERS OF HORSEMEAT:

According to an article in the Huffington Post dated Feb. 17, 2013 there are nine countries that love horsemeat, including: France, China, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland and Scotland. 

These are the markets U.S. horses are generally destined for.

Click for EU horse meat trade>>

 

ECONOMICS OF HORSE/FOAL PRODUCTION

All horse/foal production, except for unintended or backyard breedings, are primarily regulated and driven by MONEY. As the old cliche’ goes, “Money Is The Root Of All Evil.” So it is with horse/foal production. Affluent investors seek to make a profit in horse/foal production, 501(3) c nonprofit equine organizations seek to make money on breeding reports, foal registrations, horse ownership/transfer registrations, as well as horse show and/or racing participation. Racing owners seek profits on the racetrack. Stud owners seek to make money on breedings and top mare owners seek to make money on egg or embryo sales.

 

Furthermore, equine Veterinarians, trainers, farriers, feed organizations, tack suppliers, show producers, arena owners, Pro Rodeo organizations and participants, video production companies, magazines, book authors and supplement manufacturers all enjoy a profit from the horse – myself included.

 

 THE BIG GAMBLE

Each year thousands of horses are produced in the U.S. in hopes of fulfilling a profit derived from the horse. Many foals are produced but many are also washed out, due in part to genetics, age development limitations, debilitating accidents during training or raising, as well as bad trainers, performance or racing accidents and illegal drug use. In many cases these washouts become prime candidates for the horse slaughter pipeline before they are 5 years old. In today’s equine market, horses have essentially become throwaway commodities for many.

 

I believe this is a dangerous mindset for the beloved horse. A callous, greedy and unyielding mindset will only further fill the slaughter pipeline with an endless supply of unsuspecting and innocent horses. Their only guilt is being of no further financial benefit to their owner. It seems the horse is no longer revered by society as it was in days past. Money has replaced compassion, as well as responsible horse ownership.

 

HORSE NONPROFITS

Over the years, horse-related nonprofit rescues have emerged in our society under the guise of being a viable alternative to horse slaughter. However, in truth and reality, a lot of these groups have fallen by the wayside in their commitment to the noble horse. Commonplace news articles clearly define the abuse horses are subjected to by being starved. The owners are arrested and prosecuted and the remaining horses are seized by the state for reassignment with other agencies.

 

The valuable lesson to learn here is to perform a diligent background check on the alleged nonprofit. The best place to start is www.Guidestar.org, a governmental website that lists the 990 tax returns for all nonprofits in the United States.

 

The main focus of your research is to ascertain whether or not the 501(c) 3, or other designation, is current on their 990 tax filings. In some instances these same rescues sell your horse for a profit and in many cases individuals posing as horse rescues sell your donated horse to kill buyers. If your selected rescue is not current on its 990 filings, abandon that rescue and find a more suitable one.

 

DETERRING AN OVERPOPULATION OF HORSES

There are many avenues available to the responsible equine breeder to limit the annual foal production, one of which is limiting foal production. I have adopted this responsible breeding practice by limiting annual breedings to a specific number each year. Other practices include: 1) Unwanted stallions and stallions unsuited for breeding purposes should be gelded as soon as possible

2) Equine nonprofits advocating Multiple Embryo Transfers should be lobbied to stop this unorthodox breeding practice that only adds to the overpopulation of horses

3) Lobby the BLM to return to the original ideology of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Essentially, the BLM has upset the balance of nature by removing the predators on our rangelands that would normally cull sick, old, dying and young horses by natural attrition. Essentially, individuals like Forrest Lucas and his company Protect The Harvest have lobbied for years for increased cattle production on our rangelands while demanding the removal of our wild horses and burros as well as predators. (For the record, Lucas has become highly publicized as the benefactor of major equine sporting events. Don’t be fooled by the narrative.)

4) Lobby the Congress and The Senate for the passage of the S.A.F.E. Act. Since introduction, the bill has languished in passage. Passing the S.A.F.E. Act will eliminate U.S. horses from going to slaughter.

5) Stop selling your horses on Craig’s List or low-end auctions where kill buyers abound.

6) Do diligent research on a chosen equine rescue before donating.

7) Only own the number of horses you can adequately take care of and afford to own.

 

However, the most important mindset to change is the American public and being a responsible horse owner. Stopping horse slaughter begins with us.

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630- 3500
Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

Read More