Help us Keep Callie Safe | Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue & Sanctuary
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Help us Keep Callie Safe

When we first incorporated, the Iowa41 Morgans were placed under a different contract than we use now. The unborn foals fell in a gray area. Because we placed the Morgans mostly with very respected people in the Morgan community, we placed them with a Transfer of Ownership with First Right of Refusal clause. The unborn foals fell into a gray area. The Morgan adopters have been great about staying in touch, and we are eternally grateful. There have been some differences of opinion - some who have played loose with the "First Right of Refusal" clause - but for the most part we've been able to keep in touch and know that the horses are in good homes. There are only a couple that we have to trust are doing well, as their adopters do not update us. But the Morgan community is fabulous, and Morgan people know the horses that were part of this rescue and their bloodlines.

That's how we came to find that 3 year old Jellico Callie, who was born after placement and whose adopter had found her a good home, is now consigned to the Buckeye Morgan Horse Auction in Ohio in March. To be clear - we know she is NOT in danger at this auction. This is a good auction, where the average horse price is $3500, all the horses are registered, and it is not a kill buyer type auction. That's not what we are concerned about, nor do we think anyone who purchases her at this auction will neglect or otherwise abuse her. This auction is well attended and well respected. However, the clientelle is 90% Amish.

We do not have a problem with the Amish. We've known many Amish horsemen who are great trainers, take great care of their horses, and we'd send our own horses to quite a few of them for training. GSH's Jazz is Amish broke to drive. The problem we have in this situation is if Callie is bought by an Amish purchaser, we can pretty much guarantee we WILL lose track of her completely, until someday hopefully someone recognizes her name at an auction. Unfortunately, the Amish community in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area are pretty much known to use New Holland or Sugarcreek, both high kill auctions, to sell the horses that are no longer able to do their job. This is a future we do not want for Callie, or any horse that goes through our rescue.

We have a foster lined up, and possibly transport. We may even have a lead on someone who can transport her back to Iowa if we can make that work. We also know that there may be people in the Morgan community that are interested in her, and if that happens we will NOT interfere, especially if the purchaser is willing to keep us updated. However, we are prepared to purchase her if it appears she is going into an Amish home. Again - not because we fear for her safety or care in an Amish home, but because we truly expect she would end up in the auction pipeline 10-15 years down the road.

We need to fundraise quite a bit to purchase her. We know the arguments - $2500+ can go a long ways to help other horses. Heck, it is a huge chunk of the Renner hay fund right there! But to us, it's never been about the number of horses we help; it's about staying true to the horses that have been brought into our lives. Do we wish things were different? Absolutely. When Callie was given away, free, to the previous home ... of course we wish the adopter had honored the first right of refusal that we had on her mother, and by proxy, her. But he believed it to be a good home, but obviously something happened in the last two years for her to show up here.

This, right here, is why we have switched to a lifetime return policy, and have a rehoming policy in place. We make a promise to the horses when we take them in, and every single one that we never hear from weighs on our minds. Having to track down adopters for updates, or call the sheriff in when phone calls are ignored, or even have to contemplate going to court to get a simple update on a horse - to enforce a contract that the adopters willingly signs - weighs on us and sometimes we just don't want to go on. But then we hear a good update, or an adopter goes out of their way to share, or even just someone says something encouraging or we go out and spend some time with the horses here, waiting for their homes, and we push on.

No one ever said the rescue path was easy, and days like today, with this kind of news, makes it that much harder. So please, if you understand our situation and are willing to help, share this out, get the word out.