Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Lawsuit Threat! (No Good Deed Goes Unpunished)

On my last blog, I congratulated several horse-rescuing heroes for taking in neglected and abused animals (or lonely human veterans). Would you believe my most positive blog ever netted me my first lawsuit threat? Yep, Angela Krueger of the Beaver Dam area is threatening to sue me.

It's official, this blog has passed a milestone-- for the first time ever, someone is threatening to sue over the stuff posted here! I feel perversely honored. When Cathy wrote Fuglyblog (THE blog on horse abuse & neglect) she was threatened with lawsuits practically every day, and with bodily harm just about every month. To follow in her footsteps even this tiny bit is like a badge of honor. It must mean I'm really getting my message out there.

On the other hand, I am also deeply saddened that my blog has caused hurt to two of the heroes mentioned in my last blog. Todd and his wife are also receiving insults and threats. I'm really sorry you guys.

To recap: Todd and his wife saw a free pony listed on my blog. I try to list free or cheap equines as much as possible, in the hope that they will find homes. I had linked the pony's Craigslist ad at least twice, once in November after seeing her ad, and again earlier this January after I'd seen an ad for her again. This heroic couple met Ms. Kreuger, the pony's owner, and say they found Willow (now renamed Autumn), a cute young paint pony, underweight with severe skin conditions, and just couldn't leave her there. So they took her home, got the vet out right away, etc. That's when I featured them as goodguys.

Ms. Krueger then saw my blog, and got mightily offended at the idea that she had been in any way neglectful. She sent me two emails, one semi-polite and making excuses for the pony's condition, the other less nice:

"You need to contact me before i decide to press chrges on you for slandering my name.  Me unlike you doesnt need to hide behind a computer, apparently we need to straighten up the lies you were told by this todd fellow and his wife please call me at deletedbyme lets chat . I have nothing to hide."

...and here's what I sent her. I've added pictures for your enlightenment:


Before you threaten legal action, you need to get your facts straight.

1. You can't "press charges" against me, as that would imply police involvement in a criminal case. You could hire a lawyer to sue me in civil court. However, you should first learn some basic vocabulary from Law 101, which brings me to...

2. Slander is oral defamation of character. You're looking for the word "libel," which is written defamation.

3. I called you mean names, which is not slander or libel or actually illegal at all. I also reported what Todd said. Reporting the words of others is neither slander nor libel. Speaking of what Todd said...

4. His description of neglect would only be counted as slander or libel if it were false. As far as I can see from the pictures I was sent, reports about your neglect are true. I believe there are vet reports to back this up. Not to mention your own words make you out to be a liar:

One of your emails states that you "had only had this horse for less than 6 months i had gotten her from a lady who didnt take very good care of her."

 If, in fact, you had gotten in such a bad state, why did you advertise her for free on Craigslist as an, "easy keeper [needs] no special diet can be on pasture?" This hardly describes an underweight horse. Indeed, one of the first pictures you yourself posted on Craigslist several months ago shows a pony in good weight, even a little fat. Now Autumn/Willow is definitely underweight. The pictures show her backbone sticking up. The obvious conclusion is that she got worse in your care rather than healthier.

You also stated in your email, "Yes she has burdock in her mane and tail had been working with her to get it all out, but she is not easy to catch and wouldnt tolerate alot so it was taking time."

Yet in the same email to me, you state that you had been worming her monthly and applying medicated wash to her whole body. You also advertised her on Craigslist as being able to be led and trailered and as being good for the vet and farrier.

So which is it? Were you lying on Craigslist when you described her as being well-mannered? Or are you lying now when you say she's difficult to work with?

Here's what I think. I think part of your story is true-- you picked up a pony that wasn't in the best of situations. Your intentions were probably at least neutral (she was cheap and cute, and you could either sell her for profit or keep her and have gotten a good deal). Maybe your intentions were even good (you wanted to give her a better home). However, like many neglectful people, your intentions didn't actually translate into good care. Thus, after she lost weight and you got sick of messing with her, you decided to dump her on Craigslist:

"need gone asap come and get her for free have other horses to work with just dont have time for her"

No mention of references required or even a "good home." Just "come and get her." If Autumn/Willow had wound up in the hands of a meat buyer, you would have gone about your merry way, happy to be rid of her. But now, because this pony is finally in the hands of someone giving her good care, and calling you out on your neglect, you're threatening to sue.

If I were you, I would just shut up and be grateful that someone cleaned up your mess. However, I would also find it delightfully amusing if you did contact a lawyer and explained to him that you want to sue someone for being mean to you on the internet.

Yours Truly,

~North Horse


In the week or two after Todd and his wife rescued Autumn, Todd suffered a heart attack. He is doing okay, but needs care, and can't help with chores much. This, plus Angela Krueger's threats, have pushed the couple to think about re-homing several of their horses, including Autumn. If you might be able to help (or just want to show your support!) please leave a comment here and/or email It would be unwise to leave your email or phone number in the comments, however, as Angela will surely be reading them. While I have not shared her contact information so that no one can easily harass her, she may not be so accommodating. Email me instead if you'd like to be put in touch with Todd about Autumn. I hope to post more details about rehoming her soon.


  1. No good deed goes unpunished, eh?

    Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  2. No, by all means please sue everyone who's mean to you on the internet, it will be both funny and afterwards you'll be so broke you won't be able to have horses! Everyone wins!
    Sorry to hear about Todd though.

    I actually had a similar story, I was training some Egyptian Arabians for a friend when they decided to get out of horses. They owed me money so they traded me a gelding, and a roundpen (Woo!) I'd known this horse since the day he stepped out of the trailer. They had traded their broodmare, of course unbroke, for two fairly young geldings, also not broke. They traded because their son decided he liked riding, he fell in love with my mothers TWH mare, who was very affordable and for sale. His parents refused to buy her for him because she wasn't pretty or an Arabian. *facepalm* Anyway, the geldings came very underweight and had blood problems. They bought them a ton of very expensive shots and supplements and they always got a ton of food twice a day until they were looking good.
    I put 45 days on the gelding after I got him and put him up for sale. Somehow the previous owner saw the ad, despite being several states away. She told me how much she missed him and all that, and how she would just love to have him back if I wanted to give him to her. Obviously I declined and even scolded her for the condition they showed up in. She then got very defensive and told me they must have been lying to me and they were in great condition! How dare I/they insult her name, bla bla bla.
    I sent an email back describing that I'd seen this horse since day one, seen the care, helped with the vetting and feeding and that they'd given these horses excellent care and she was full of shit. I showed the email to my friend who showed the email to his family. Holy heck were they pissed. Sent her a very nasty email and also called her out since she was selling the horse they traded her. More importantly she was selling her as disease/problem free broodmare when they had told her she was a carrier of lavender foal syndrome. Oops. After they called her out on it she had to change the ad and lower her price to 1/10th. Idiot.