Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Horse-Starving "Rescuers" in Idaho: Sean & Bonny Black

Photo credit: Shawn Gust, CDA Press. This horse is safe thanks to Cindi Beeler.

UPDATE 10/15/13: It appears as though five horses may still be in the hands of the Black family. They have claimed that these horses were "adopted" to "someone in the Midwest," but there are reports that these horses are instead be shipping to relatives of the Blacks, possibly located in Missouri. I ask that the public keep an eye out for these horses... and of course for neglected horses everywhere. 

UPDATE 10/13/13: Thanks to the efforts of local horse rescues and citizens, horse abusers Sean and Bonny Black have been pushed into giving up horses! Five have been released to Rough Start Horse Rescue (1 stud, 3 mares, and 1 three month filly). Rough Start Rescue posted the following pictures of their horses on their Facebook page. They have already gelded the stud, and it looks like they are a real, quality rescue. You can donate to them here. Thank you again to all those who called, wrote, emailed and networked to get these horses some help!

Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them:





UPDATE 10/9/13:

This story has now made local news: 
Coeur d'Alene Press: 'Horse Holocaust'
Shoshone News Press: "Horse Holocaust"
KXLY: "Horse Operation in N. Idaho Investigated for Abuse"
Krem 2 News: "Horse Operation in Cataldo Investigated for Abuse"

Sean Black has responded in the comments section of this article in the CDA Press, making every bullshit excuse in the book to explain away the suffering at his Mustang Ranch. Nothing can justify multiple horses suffering for months. I am particularly disgusted that Sean Black blames a horse being "unhandleable" for the lack of vet care it got. If you can't make a horse handleable enough for basic vet care over a period of months, you FAIL at horse rescue. I also can't understand his blame of untrustworthy farmers for selling him poor hay. If you can't tell good hay from bad, you shouldn't be "rescuing" horses. Finally, allowing dead horses to rot above ground until they are skeletons is NOT giving them "some semblance of dignity."

I have fixed Bonny Black's workplace (it's a McDonalds in Kellogg, not Rose Lake). While I do not condone harassment or threats, I DO believe that it's very important for everyone to be aware of the identity of animal abusers, so that they can avoid dealing with them in any way.

I have also added a picture of Shammy before he was starved (thank you Amber).

You can support the excellent Survivors Rescue Inc! Find out more: their Facebook page is here, their website here.

Finally, I would like to say this: Although authorities are now involved in this case, it does seem like the will not be pressing charges or seizing horses. This is unacceptable. I've seen it time and time again, and each time, it infuriates me no less: authorities don't take animal abuse seriously enough!

So please, DO keep calling and writing! Tell Kootenai County not to let the Blacks get away with abuse!



The man and woman above are Sean and Bonny Black of Mustang Ranch and Rescue, 14325 South Hwy 3, Cataldo, Idaho. This fake "rescue" has been starving horses for months. Six horses have recently been adopted from the Blacks in order to save them, but unfortunately at least one was so badly starved, she had to eventually be euthanized after extensive medical treatment. This is that horse, Shammy, befores he was starved (July 2013) and after being adopted/rescued from Mustang Ranch (October 2013).


I can't believe my eyes. I have NEVER seen a horse this thin. And yet, this horse is reported to have died at only 3 years old. Eight horses remain at Mustang Ranch, and Survivors Rescue Inc, a real horse rescue based out of Sandpoint, Idaho, is begging people to contact local authorities to try to get those horses some help. They ask you to please call Animal Control Officer Maureen at (208)446-1300.

Amber Coberly, who has been working tirelessly to try to get these horses help, was able to provide these pictures of the horrific "rescuing" going on at Mustang Ranch: 



Meanwhile, Sean and Bonny Black continue to deny anything is wrong with the horses in their care. They have refused offers of help and refused those who have offered new homes for the emaciated horses. Bonny Black previously worked (volunteered) with Angel Haven Ranch and Rescue in Littlerock, CA. She currently works at a McDonalds in Kellogg, ID.

Please do not trespass on the property (the horses aren't visible from the road). DO call local authorities listed below and ask that they take action in this case. Authorities say they are currently investigating, but of course they always say that. As you know from my reports of previous cases, it can be extremely hard to make authorities actually act, even when they are absolutely able to do so. Please call or write:

Kootenai County
PO Box 9000
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000
(208) 446-1000

Kootenai County Sheriff's Dept.
5500 N. Government Way
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000
(208) 446-1300
kcso@kcgov.us

Kootenai Co Prosecuter
Bernard W. McHugh
P.O. Box 9000
Coeur d'Alene ID 83816-9000
208-446-1800 or 208-446-1833

Idaho State Brand Inspector 208-884-7071
Kootenai Humane Society 208-772-4019
Idaho State Police 208-846-7550
Governor Butch Otter 208-334-2100
Idaho Animal Health 208-332-8562 or 866-435-0490

Animal Control Officer Maureen at (208)446-1300









53 comments:

  1. sounds like another starlight..

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    1. My thoughts exactly, except Starlight has over 60 STILL...The Starlight Sanctuary on FB, if anyone wants to help there too. She's totally in denial, says everyone is being mean to her. Her horses are not being fed.

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    2. Arrghh, Starlight makes me so very, very angry... the scale of suffering there is just huge. I guess the tiny blessing of this Mustang Ranch case is that the Blacks don't have too many.

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  2. I called the # above and the Sheriff is calling animal control.

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  3. You could go protest and show pictures outside of the McDonalds. I doubt that they would appreciate the bad press of one of their employees an animal abuser.

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  4. She works at kellogg mc donalds.... she is a grill worker "cook" both her kids was working there as well.

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  5. Lol imature wanting to Mess with her job. That Gots nothing to do with this. It's about the horses

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    1. she lied about me to a former employer so i will sit outside on the road of mc donalds with a sign on my van telling the truth about her.. see how she likes to figure out how to feed her kids.. maybe cps should do a welfare check on the child in that home as well

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  6. I will be calling tomorrow. Please take as much action as you can everyone to help these poor horses!! <3 even if you live out of state like me. Im from Vermont and will do what I can to take action to help these horses!!

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  7. I sent an email with pictures to the Sherriff's department and also messaged the brand inspector.
    I am willing to donate my time and gas to help move the horses, I have an oversized 4 horse.

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  8. People like this should have the same thing done to them. Left in a small area, not fed, not watered, out in the cold with only mud to lay or sleep in, made to work when they are skin & bones, or at least pack the saddles around on their back that they have put on these horses while riding them around & having fun. Left with no hope till they loose any will to live. How the Hell do you think you would feel you poor excuse for human beings. Bet you haven't missed any meals.

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  9. Come on.....what the hell is wrong with the Sherriff's Dept. Don't they care about animals? Put this on the news, embarrass them, picket outside the office !!! What ever it takes !!! I wish I lived there!!!!

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  10. jennifer scardina,owner " hands of light equine massage"October 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Everyone keep calling the sheriffs office and animal control. Flood them with calls. Also call the media. Tv and newspapers!! If only we could put these people in the same conditions they have put the horses in.

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  11. Miserable waste of space these people are. they people like them make it so hard to concentrate on horses getting going home horses in a rescue you'r so you can concentrate on other horses doing or not this is sade supposed to trust that they are safe no excuse for this if your rescue at all local governments have went in there and sees those animals where the MSPCA the ASPCA on the border health inspector for the Department of Agriculture of course of the obviously in severe need of medical help food they should be confiscated immediately I have called and emailed everybody I can from out of state will call again everyday until something is done for the horses I am disgusted as a fellow horse owner I pray refuge comfy horses fast enough

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  12. can't you get overhead pics with a helicopter or a plane?for everyday proof?

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  13. There is no McDonalds in rose lake

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    1. omg that is so uncalled for i think people like that should be throwed under the jail or prison if you cant take care of them then give them to people that can and that would love them unconditionally that poor horse suffered in a way he or she shouldnt have it just makes me sick my husband and i have two ourselves and we treat them like they are our kids if they get sick we take them to the doctor we dont let them just lay there and die

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    2. You are correct, thank you. I've fixed it to Kellogg, ID.

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  14. Why don't we start an " Animal Abuser Register" just like they do sex offenders. The certainly deserve the same recognition.

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    1. I love the idea of an Animal Abuser registry. New York has one already (although the person has to have been CHARGED and CONVICTED to appear on it, and their name only stays on for a few years).
      Want a registry in your state? There's a petition you can sign here: http://exposeanimalabusers.org/

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  15. These horses need to be taken away immediately!!!! This couple needs to be locked in a barn (or maybe a dark underground root cellar) and fed bread and water only......only a small portion and only once a day! Wait a minute....why feed them anything! They didn't feed these poor horses....they need to be tarred and feathered and sent back to California!!!!!!!

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    1. No, we don't want them, either! I vote for tossing them in a leaky lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic

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  16. An animal abuse register!!!! This is an OUTSTANDING IDEA!!!!!!

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    1. Agreed there should be a registry. This would allow individuals to check rescues and make sure they are safe. Also would give authorities the right to check out these places if complaints were made.

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  17. It is dreadful what ppl do to these creatures and others. Take a stand, be a voice and do something. I have seen this before, i worked animal control and it is one thankless job. It made me so stressed that ppl would do this, i had to leave that job, but the memories r still with me. My thought is if they can do this to animals, what would they do to children.

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  18. Contact Idaho State Vet at the Capital.
    State of Wa. Vet helpped on a case here.
    The State Vet will help if the jourastiction in that area where they are will ask for help. Send State Vet the pics.
    Also contact USDA. Who also works with State Vet here.
    Contact the local Commisioners.
    This is what I did and got results .
    Hope it helps.

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  19. I think they deserve the same treatment that they give to the animals, as an avid horse lover I would love nothing more than to see these people shut down and have the animals removed. I also think that in order for them to ever have animals again they need to go through a tough and hard inspection before they can ever have another animal again!

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  20. I'm with Betty. Put this on the news. Putting it out there will bring unwanted attention to them and, more important, the local sheriff's office. Sheriff's are elected. They do not want angry animal loving people making loud noises about their incompetence.

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  21. ""unhandleable""? Really. This makes me so angry!

    If this horse was indeed down on the ground four hours before they loaded it up and took it away, then it was definitely handle-able right at that moment. They could have called a vet then and there and had it euthanized, if they were so convinced that her "inbreeding" was the cause of her condition, and felt no shame.

    Let's face it, the condition of this horse shows LONG TERM DETERIORATION. This horse was "handle-able" for WEEKS before was finally euthanized, it would have been too weak to walk away, let alone put up a fuss for the vet. Even if this was a pre-existing medical condition, this horse would have been HUNGRY. A couple of trips with an oat bucket would have likely made her "handle-able" right quick.

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  22. Cases such as this is reason to think about the future. Unfortunately in Idaho animals are considered private property, therefore it is difficult to get law enforcement to remove abused horses from private landowners. Law enforcement "enforces" our man made law and because of our man made laws, little can be done. We need to make effort to change our laws concerning animal rights. This whole story sickens me....too close to home.

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  23. how could somebody do this to any animal! this is down right disgusting

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  24. It has been found that the family children volunteered at Angel Haven Ranch and Rescue in Palmdale, Ca before moving to Idaho. Angel Haven has no affiliation or responsibility for or with the parties involved at The Mustang Ranch and Rescue nor ever has. They are not responsible for the actions of the fore-said party. Any reference towards Angel Haven Ranch & Rescue is liable. Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms Angel Haven Ranch & Rescue's or the people involved's reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.
    Defamation may be a criminal or civil charge. It encompasses both written statements, known as libel, and spoken statements, called slander.

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  25. Very similar to conditions at Horse Sisters in Mims, FL. They recently had another 3 horses pulled by the authorities. I'm so sick of fake rescues I could rip my hair out.

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  26. notice dates, thats an awful fast decline. dont ya think

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  27. It is HORRIBLE what is being done with these horses, but honestly you need to remove Angel Haven Ranch and Rescue from this article...if you care about horses so much then WHY are you including another horse rescues name in this article!?!? A rescue THAT ACTUALLY DOES what they set out to do!?!? To me this is despicable on your part. You could potentially damage another rescues reputation by affiliating them with these people in this poorly written article. Honestly you probably already have. Another thing to consider. You have now disclosed where both HER and HER CHILDREN work. I doubt that her kids had ANYTHING to do with what happened to these horses, but congrats. You have now potentially put her in harms way and HER CHILDREN.SHAME ON YOU.

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  28. I agree with you Vickki. The attention has gone away from the real issue...the horses, and turned into a witch hunt.

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  29. This makes me absolutely sick! These people need to suffer like these horses. Neither look like they missed a meal. I will call, write, whatever I need to do. They need to be stopped immediately.

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  30. Anyone check to see if they got in trouble before in Ca?

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  31. These folks are renters, do not own the property they have this operation on. There is evidence that they have buried horses on the property not far from the Lake. This could represent an issue related to disease and decay leaching into the lake.

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  32. It has been 'rumored ' that these people (Black's) had 4 horses left waiting for the adopter to come & get them. Word has it that the new adopter is none other than Bonny Black's Mother. They were asked if it was any relation to them & they said NO. That they are all leaving town & taking horses with them. Person said to be taken out of state to another Rescue facility, sounds kinda fishy. What is the name of this new facility? And also the 5th horse there was waiting for the owner to come pick it up & was said that the owner was the girl living with them. I don't know if any of this is correct but it does bring up things that should be addresses in the future when things like this happen to make sure the "facilities or rescues" are ligit. Get the proof. The legitimate people who took the other 5 horses are already posting updates so you know & can see they are real. I just hope that they are not going on to further misery. Someone PLEASE prove this wrong.

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    1. We never said they were going to another "facility", we said they were adopted to a person in the Midwest. That person is a private party, and therefor shall remain that way PRIVATE!! As for where they are going... the Midwest is a fairly large area, so direct people to Marshfield, Missouri... or send then to Diluth, Minnesota if you wish. Everyone that has ever adopted a horse from us will remain PRIVATE!!! Why should anyone else have to suffer your witch hunt for us when they were not involved in this at any point. Whomever provided either you or Dawn your information was in error in this as it was in many of the details you two love to publish.
      Really??? Now there are horse skeletons?.. you two are good!! Once again proving you guys like to not only continue the spread of misinformation and embellishment, but now are just flat out fabricating information to keep up your crusade.

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  33. I came across this article while researching the life of the darling little bay mare with big doe eyes that we call Luna. You see, Luna is in the very first picture. She is the bay with a white blaze. I would really love to know about her life prior to this horrific event, but sadly I probably won't ever know. I do want to say that she is now fat and sassy and belongs to a 10 year old horse crazy little girl. She has some pretty deep emotional scars from her former life, but I just wanted everyone to know that at least one of these horses is loved today and she is very well taken care of. My heart breaks to think of the life she had at this horrible place, but I know that at 20 years old she has found her last home!

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    1. THANK YOU for being one of the rare and amazing individuals to help an abused horse! I am incredibly glad to hear that Luna has a happy ending!!

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  34. This is why Humanity is what's wrong with the world and I would much rather prefer to be a wolf.

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  35. Please be very careful in making donations to any pet rescue. Rough Start Horse Rescue is not known to pay their bills (with local businesses) or to be very reputable in the community. They are often referred to as being "shady". The news stations have been given false information on this rescue and they have profitted from it. It is very much about money and the animals are sometimes mistreated here.

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  36. Everything I have heard or seen on Rough Start Horse Rescue -aside from their own promotion, makes them seem no different than the other greedy rescues out there. Research before you donate!

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  37. There is a quote which says "you can either be an asshole or you can have a small penis"- "pick a battle", Jay Freeman

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    1. Lol, if I had nothing but 3 inches, I'd be an A-hole too!

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  38. Yeah, I agree with the two above. Don't give your hard earned money to low life's who say all the right things but have no integrity or accountability.

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  39. It takes balls and brains to run a horse rescue. The male owner of Rough Start is severely lacking in both. The intelligence part is fairly evident to all, but no one ever feels the need to greatly exaggerate the size of their brain, ladies!

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  40. Rough start? Don't you mean a bunch of degenerates who don't want to do any work that requires them to pay taxes? They sure know how to work the system wouldn't it be fitting if someone reported them to the IRS?!

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    1. Someone should report Jay Freeman of Rough Start to the police for his using a position of authority over volunteers to prey on young girls. It is rape and is punishable by a five year prison term. It is unfortunate that they have a youth program, now. I sincerely hope those parents are watching closely!

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