Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Letter From the few ! Thank You Nancy !

We found this on the G.E.R.L web site .. although I wish we saw this the week it was written. I am so happy to see there are more people out there who are really in it for the Animals and not the MONEY!!

September 25, 2007

Dear Brian,

First, please allow me to state that although I am both a member of the GERL and a GDA employee, the opinions here are not intended to be representative of either group; they are simply and humbly my own.

I read the article in the September newsletter about “Eddie,” the blind Appaloosa gelding who was adopted at the June GDA auction. I’m so pleased that he is doing well in his new home. For the past two years I have had the honor of helping to care for the horses who call the Mansfield Impound their temporary home. Those of you who have attended GDA auctions at Decatur or Mansfield during that time may have also seen me running around like the proverbial headless chicken getting information from buyers each time the auctioneer yells, “Sold!” In this capacity, I get to interact very briefly with each of the people who will take home the horses we have nurtured, loved, and fed back to heath.

I had the pleasure of meeting the couple who came to the auction to buy “Eddie,” known to us at the impound as, “RB Braille.” Although I unfortunately do not remember their names, I was very impressed with their story and hope I will recall the details correctly here. It seems that when the Pike County horses were impounded, this couple felt moved to volunteer at the emergency impound facility and they became particularly close to “Eddie.” They promised themselves that if he became free for adoption they would do what they could to purchase him. They also told me that his intended use would be as a hippotherapy horse for blind children. I congratulated them on their purchase and told them how pleased we were that “Eddie” was going to a home where he was already so clearly wanted.

In the newsletter story about “Eddie” the writer stated that they (she and her husband) no longer had faith in the GDA because at our auction they saw “horse traders” and ‘the woman who purchased horses for [Roger] Prater’ bidding on horses. She said that they found it hard to watch the horses being sold to “the highest bidder,” thus continuing what they felt was a vicious cycle of returning horses to possibly bad situations.

Public auctions are quite simply that, though. Although we may desire otherwise at times, we have no ability to prevent someone from bidding on or buying a horse at such an event. However, buyers at GDA auctions sign an agreement for the horse to be monitored by state equine inspectors for a period of time after the sale. Horses have come back into the state’s care as a result of this monitoring. There is no such agreement signed when people purchase horses through traditional horse auctions or through private sales. It may not be the perfect solution to the problem but it offers one layer of protection that the open market does not.

When the time comes for the horses sold at our auctions to be picked up by their new owners, more often than not we feel very good about the new family the horse leaves with. Occasionally, we are unsure if the horse and the family will be a good “match” for each other and we send the horse off with a hug and a prayer. Sadly, there are times that we worry as we watch the horse being driven away. Again, this is the nature of a public auction but I think that it also speaks to having a caring barn staff.

I’m still tickled pink that “Eddie” has found such a wonderful home. I thank his family for keeping us updated on his progress. We love hearing from folks who have taken “our” horses home. And if “Eddie’s” new family (or anyone else) should ever find themselves wondering if the dedicated volunteers, impound staff or equine inspectors really care about what happens to the horses after our auctions, please come to see us on auction pick-up days. We have a big box of Kleenex that we’ll be happy to share with you……or better yet, come on out, fill out a volunteer packet and find out for yourself.


Nancy Bogardts
Mansfield Impound


I am writing this on behalf of Harmony Meadows Equine Rescue, and for the other rescues working hard in the horse world.

We all know how bad it has been here in Georgia with the drought. Hay prices, and grain have soared, and it isn't going to stop anytime soon. It is getting to where horse owners can no longer afford the upkeep because of this drought, and selfish money hungry people in the world taking full advantage of the situation. They know who they are.

I am here to tell you that we are seeing severe affects of this. Rescue facilities are full, and can no longer take in horses in need. Many horses will starve to death, or even be shot because of this. Our hands are tied with limited funds. We need every ones help to keep these facilities going. Your donations are what helps us help the horses.

Just today I was being told of 4 horses needing a place to go to, or the owner will shoot them because he can no longer afford to feed them. While I listen to this I am trying hard to make decisions on what to do. It isn't easy; If we take them all, then how will we be able to afford to keep them all without help from the public.

I do not know what else to do, but to ask you all that can PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RESCUES.

Thank you for your time and support.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Hi Jessie, Just a little to the left please.
Hi Jessie
Would you scratch a little to the left PLEASE!

Eddie was getting a full body message from Jessie w/ Pegasus Equine Message.

It is hard to understand how someone is capable of mistreating an animal and not think twice about it. Eddie, a blind 7-year-old Walk-A-Loosa, is one of the many horses from the Pike County rescue effort who lived through being mistreated. I fell in love with him the second the trailer pulled up. I saw the Appaloosa spots and that is all it took for me. When it was his turn to get unloaded, the lady unloading him knew he was blind and gave him the time it took for him to find his way off the trailer. As I watched him, chills ran all over me, and it wasn’t because of him being blind; it was a number of things - his size, color, and the softness of his face, but most of all I could see his intelligence. I could see, despite being neglected and abused, that he had a lot to offer and the willingness to do it. He had my heart that second and still does.
Once they started working the horses up several days later, they were also giving names to them. I do not know who named him Braille, but I felt it was not an appropriate name for him, and it seemed like a slap in his face to me. I started calling him Eddie; yes, Eddie it is. Every weekend I volunteered at the barn just so I could see him. As soon as I would come in the barn, I would call his name in a soft voice so he would remember me. Eddie would raise his head towards me and his ears would be looking for me every time I called his name. I always made it point to say something to him as I went past his stall. There were several people who thought he was useless since he was blind. Some people even said he was ugly. I told everyone that I was going to purchase him so that no one would want him. If you can see past bones, you can see the real beauty, and that is what I did. My friends that helped at the facility couldn’t believe that he was the only horse I had any interest in.
I didn’t agree with how the volunteers were told how to clean the stalls, so I had to stop going. I missed Eddie so much, but I just couldn’t be a part of it anymore. I knew it would be a long time before they would auction off any of the horses. I was able to find out from a friend how Eddie was doing while they were as a still at the barn. Then I found out that they were all being moved, and I had no idea how to find out anything because no one would tell us anything. I kept an eye on the papers and the news, as well as talking with other people to find out when the auction would be scheduled.
When we received word about the first auction, we tried desperately to find out if Eddie was with the group. Brian, my husband, made several calls and was able to talk to a man who helped haul the horses. The gentleman was kind enough to keep Brian’s number, and he told us that Eddie wasn’t in the first group.
My birthday was coming up, and the only thing I wanted was Eddie. The next thing I knew, the emails were coming in about the next auction, and Brian got the call that Eddie’s name on the list this time. Man, you talking nerves, mine were shot out by the time auction day came! I couldn’t sleep, and when I did I had dreams that would wake me up. Heck, I couldn’t think of anything but getting Eddie home.

I was looking through the Stable Mate and ran across a picture that looked familiar. Oh! My God! I realized it was Eddie. It was a picture of Eddie and several of the other rescued horses while they were still at the farm they were taken from. I have that page on my wall above my desk. I looked at it every day and had no choice but keep saying that he would be here soon. He became my focus and I had to be patient, and that I am not. I went as far as emailing anyone that had anything to do with the rescue effort. This even included Tommy Irvin. My email was intervened by Lee Myers.

My email stated on 5/23/07:
Dear Tommy Irvin,
I hope this letter will help me. I really want the blind horse that is part of the Pike County horses. I was there at Horse Town the night they came in and helped on the weekends. I fell in love with him. I call him Eddie. He is the Walk- A Loosa gray gelding, the only blind horse in the group.
Anyone can come check on him. So on…………….

The following is her reply on 5/24/07:
Hi Debbie,
I am responding to your inquiry on behalf of Commissioner Irvin. First let me thank you for all you have done to help these horses to this point, including volunteering at the Cobb County barn! The sale is on June 2nd and is a public auction. So, each horse will go to the highest bidder! You may certainly take Eddie home with you if you are willing to be the highest bidder.I look forward to seeing you at the sale. Again, thank you for your support and passion to give Eddie the loving home he deserves!

I kept a copy of all the emails and info that was written on this case.
Doesn’t sound to me like anyone was concerned about where Eddie would go. The highest bidder gets the horse! Good thing I was there.

June 2nd finally arrived! We were up and running to get to the auction before it started. I jumped out of the truck and ran up to the barn looking for him. I found him in a paddock. Boy, was he bigger than I thought! He looked so much better than the last time I saw him. I called his name softly - “Eddie, Eddie,” and the ears went up looking for me. My heart was beating so hard I thought I was going to fall out. When anyone looked at him, I would tell them that I was going to get him. I even offered my card so that they could keep in touch with his progress. No one was worried; they knew how bad I wanted him. They were all happy just to know how much he meant to me.
When the auction started, I noticed a lady bidding to jack the price up on certain horses. She would back off once the bid hit a decent price. She was the only one who was bidding against me for Eddie. It didn’t matter though; I knew what she was doing, and I knew she would back off eventually. She finally stopped bidding at $550.00. Little did she know, I would have gone higher. I was not going to leave without him!

Eddie is here now, and we enjoy him. He lives with my 24-year-old half Appaloosa, Chief, in the big part of our yard. Chief has a bell on his halter so Eddie can hear him. We have taught Eddie several words already: stop, find it, and follow. He has free range of grass and begs for his alfalfa several times a day. He knows where everything is and knows when it is feeding time. Eddie loves to be scratched on his withers and neck. You should see the faces of enjoyment when we scratch him which is several times a day.
Eddie will be going to the Special Olympics this year to let kids ride him in classes. Despite his blindness, he is a calm, loving horse who will be a wonderful mount for some lucky children. We start his training in a few weeks. I have never been, and I am sure neither has Eddie. I am very excited about going with him. So much was taken from him, but a lot more will be given to him out of love.
Picture perfect!
Eddie Loves his picture taken!
I did have my vet out to check his eyes to see if he was able to have surgery. Unfortunately, Eddie will not be able to have eye surgery, but we accept him as he is. His excellent hearing and sense of smell compensates for his lack of eye sight, as well as the help from our friends and family. We are so blessed to have him in our life; he is a big part of our daily life along with all the animals we have on our farm. Thank You for taking the time and interest in Eddie's story. Debbie w.