Please remember that Auction Horses has a strict "No Fundraising" rule. That means we do not support, encourage or endorse fundraising for these horses anywhere. We do enforce this rule on all of our sites, pages, and forums and we ask that you not try to go around this rule by posting fundraising. We have gone out of our way to make this abundantly clear by including a "Please NO Fundraising" tag on all the horse pictures. If you suddenly find yourself unable to comment, that usually means we saw you participating in fundraising and have banned you.
Why would a network group who wants to save horses forbid fundraising for them? Because we have been working in horse rescue for a very long time and have the unfortunate experience to know that most fundraising actually hurts the horses. Please read below:
Thinking about donating to save a horse from slaughter?
WHOA! Easy there!
Before you rush in and give your hard earned dollars to save a desperate horse, please take a moment to read this. Rescuing horses from "rescuers" has become a trend due to folks getting horses via donations that they really cannot afford. Please don't buy horses for strangers without considering these factors:
1. If the person cannot afford a minimal purchase price, can they really afford hay, grain, wormer, vet, farrier, training etc?
2. Do you really know this person? People develop a sense of relationship chatting on Facebook, but this can be deceiving. Please don't trust that "everybody knows" this person and what they do, because often no one actually does and instead they are just going off of collective assumption. What do you really know about this person? How many horses do they already have? How long have they had them? What kind of care do they provide to their animals? What is their level of horse experience?
3. Has this person already gotten other horses via fundraising? One of the biggest red flags we run into is habitual fundraisers. There may be a reason why someone can't afford the purchase price of one horse, but can manage it's care. However there is almost never a reason that someone can afford proper care of many horses and not their small upfront purchase price.
4. Is this person calling themselves a "rescue"? If so, please be very wary. When an individual calls themselves a rescue it usually simply means that they have a lot of horses and need help affording them. Legitimate rescues are organized and made up of several people and rarely need help getting a horse since they tend to have waiting lists of horses needing to come in.
5. Is this person planning on keeping the horse, or simply fostering it? If they are fostering it, who is responsible for ongoing expenses and rehoming? Who will take the horse if it outstays it's welcome?
6. What is the backup plan? Lots of times folks say they will take a horse and then, after the horse is paid for, have second thoughts. What then? If you have provided money for the purchase of the horse, aren't you in part responsible for it if the intended home backs out?
I want the horses to all get homes and I appreciate your desire to help them do so. However, you are not helping the horse if you send them to a bad home because you didn't do your research before donating... in fact you may be contributing to their suffering. Anybody who is asking you to donate to a fundraiser for them to get a horse should be more than happy to answer your questions and provide assurances of their intent and abilities. Wanting to help a horse is a noble thing and donating to save their lives is generous indeed; please don't let your efforts be tainted by unworthy people. You deserve better and so do the horses.
The Truth About Fundraising on Social Media
The sad truth about fundraising is that it only extremely rarely is about saving the horses.
1. Most of the horses "saved" via fundraising actually had other, private, homes who would have taken them in. This means that instead of a home who could afford the horse getting it, instead a home who cannot afford the horse got it. How is that helping the horse? Feedlot horses are some of the most costly horses available. They have unknown training, unknown handling and unknown medical history... however we do know that they have been exposed to illnesses and that mares have probably been exposed to stallions. This means that your average feedlot horse is going to be a far more costly investment than a horse off of craigslist or another private party.
2. I know it makes people feel good to donate, but you are NOT donating to a rescue. You are donating to a private person who is soliciting funds for another private person to get a horse. Very frequently the people doing the fundraising are "skimming". That means they are keeping back a portion of the funds raised for themselves or are even fundraising for horses that they never intend to purchase.
3. Even if the person running the fundraiser is doing it with good intentions, do you know where the horse is going? Many times someone posts a fundraiser and does not disclose the location of where the horse is going. How, in that case, can you be even remotely sure that the horse is going to a good home? You cannot. In fact many fundraised horses go straight to slaughter or to an intermediary home that then sends the horse back to the kill pen. This happens very frequently and we are usually not allowed to relist the horse which means that fundraiser was actually a death sentence.
4. Fundraised horses are the most common horses that are abandoned at the feedlots and never picked up which means that they once again become the property of the kill buyer and usually ship to slaughter. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone as the purchase price of the horses is always the cheapest factor in keeping them. Most of the people who cannot afford the purchase price cannot afford to pay for their transport or their feed bills. Most of these folks agreed to take a horse spur of the moment and did not look into boarding etc. Most of these folks find out that quarantine is expensive if your horse doesn't end up sick and extremely expensive if it does end up sick.
So if fundraising isn't about the horses, what is it about? Often times it is about the glory and it is related to the phenomenon of animal hoarding as seen on social media. When someone fundraises a horse (or dog, or cat) they are rewarded by tons of praise and online congratulations. They become a savior and reap the social rewards. However in the fast moving world of social media in order to maintain your angel savior status you must be constantly in the limelight - which means constantly rescuing new animals. So they start another fundraiser to purchase another horse. That horse gets saved, more praise, more savior status, and more recognition. In order to maintain the level of high, they must continue. Usually these folks are feeding some sort of hole or lack of appreciation that they feel in their regular life by becoming the online angel persona. Ask yourself this… for every horse saved, where are the updates? Someone who is saving these horses for the horses' sakes will have dozens of update posts for each purchase post. However if they are about the glory, they will have far more purchase/fundraiser posts then they will have update posts. This is because it isn't about the horses, it is about them.
We list these horses on AuctionHorses because we desperately want them to get into homes. We have been doing this for over a decade and have tried almost everything. If fundraising was a successful idea we would be implementing it! However, in the long term, fundraised horses are the least likely to end up in a good home.