Yesterdays article briefly went into my experience with Sharon Crumb and tips to ask a horse rescue before you donate assuming rescue is not yet a GFAS facility - the article is here.
Several folks shared and reposted the story, Alder Hill Farm went a step further and took the time to answer the Angel Acres "questions to ask before you donate" (for horse rescues not yet GFAS Accredited or Verified facilities) List for their rescue.
I hope they will place this on their site for everyone to see...hhhmmmm....if you are rescue and answer these questions, please let me know and I will post them and add a permament link to them to our site and blog, etc ;o)
From Alder Hill Farm "Here are the tips with Alder Hill Farm's answers right out for everyone to read!!!" (I bolded the article questions and comments, Jo)
1) Where are you located? Different areas of the country have different setups for horses. Walnut Grove, MO in the heart of QH and fox trotter land where hor...ses are a right not a privelege and everyone has a backyard with a horse or 2
2) How long have you been operating? Are they brand spanking new or been at it awhile? We have been in operation since 2004 with pictures, newspaper articles and references to prove our care and commitment to EVERY horse that enters our facility
3) What kinds of horses do you rescue? All breed or breed specific? Although we originally started out rescuing 64 PMU foals by directly outbidding a kill buyer, we rescue any horse any need and have almost all breeds represented out our farm!
4) What are you rescuing them from? Abused, neglected or slaughter bound, or some of each? All of the above, we also try to accept as many surrender horses as possible when the owners care enough to contact us and are not trying to make a quick buck. Our goal is prevent horses from ever entering the slaughter pipeline by working with owners.
5) What is your greatest need? Don't be surprised if they say "monetary donations" it is a legitimate and important need in rescue. However, many will also need blankets, hay, feed, equipment, etc. Our greatest need at the moment is monetary, but donations can be made directly to our vet. We have a large vet bill on Wrangler, a 5 mo-old colt we rescued that we just lost to ulcers. We also need money for grain and donations can be made directly to the feed store. We can always use more blankets, feeders and most all "horsey" items. We are in great need of mini tack to train our minmis for equine therapy. We also need a small tractor with a 3-oint hitch as our horses are 5 miles apart and it takes 1/2 a day to drive our tractor between the farms to feed hay!
6) Do you allow visitors? Any good rescue should be able to allow a visit within a few days if they do not already have visiting hours in place. We love visitors and although we have not yet established visiting hours, we always welcome and encourage everyone to come out and meet the fur gang! Treats, carrots or attention MUST be provided, however!!!
7) Do you have non volunteer references I can call? (BE SURE TO CALL THEM!) Vets, farriers, other rescues, professional horse people etc!!!!
8) How many horses are you placing (if they adopt out) each week/month? Point of reference - NO ONE is placing 30 to 40 horses weekly / 120 horses monthly - into good, solid, inspected, application approved homes. If the claims are that high, ask to speak to adopters - if they balk, send your hard earned money elsewhere. I am very happy to say that we placed 2 horses in 2 absolutely wonderful homes! Not very many placed, but the homes were throughly vetted, references checked out AND I personally hauled the horses to CA from MO to ensure the homes were going to work out! We also brought two of our horses we adopted out in 2005 back to MO from CA because their owner was having financial difficulties and it was in the horses' best interests! NO horse will leave our facility unless we are assured it is going to as good or better home than we offer! We may not rescue 1,000 a year, but EVERY horse (currently 93) at our farm will be safe forever, not for a few days or weeks! 30 days to 30+ years, however long a horse needs sanctuary is how long they will be with us!
9) Ask how they find homes for their horses? Are they screaming the truck is coming and dumping them wherever they can or are they spending time matching horse with adopter? Advertising on horse website is ok! Most find us! We still have 34 from the original 64 we rescued in 2004, many others are surrender owners, a few are Craigslist free horse or below KB priced horses and 4 auction horses we rescued June 25, 2010 (2 of which are adopted and will be leaving in the spring, 1 is pregnant and will be available for adoption after she foals, and 1 is going under training at the rescue this winter).
10) General rule of thumb - if you are not digging the vibe you are getting when asking these questions, thank them and move on. Any good rescue will be receptive to your questions and answer them willingly, many rescuers are happy to talk about their rescue as it is their passion. If you catch them at a busy time, ask if you can set up an appointment to chat about their program. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or4 call (417-543-4711) anytime to ask questions, just talk about the horses or to set up an appointment!!!!
11) If the rescue person refuses to answer questions or gets defensive that should be a HUGE red flag. See #10 above! You will not be blocked, ignored or treated rudely by anyone at Alder Hill Farm for any questions or comments so long as it isn't profane or threatening.