I got an anonymous tip that horse rapist and murderer Sterling Rachwal is driving a 2000 Red Ford Explorer, Wisconsin plate 377 XXE. I was unable to confirm this, so don't treat it as gospel. However, if you see this truck parked where it shouldn't be, and there are horses around, do call the police. There's nothing wrong with reporting a suspicious vehicle and asking an officer to check it out.
|(example photo, not his actual truck)|
Michael Feist of Otter Creek Ranch in western Wisconsin was supposed to be sentenced after FINALLY being convicted of 32 counts of animal abuse (starving horses) in March this year. However, he fired his lawyer (again) and the court is giving him an extension. His new sentencing date is August 28th, 2015. Read more on that horrific case here. If you want the judge to throw the book at him, feel free to contact her at:
Hon. Judge Molly E. GaleWyrick
1005 W. Main St. Suite 600
Balsam Lake, WI 54810
Feist is also involved in a big civil suit, and I would love to know the gory details behind all that. Seems like a bunch of people are owed a BUNCH of money.
Next up, A 21 year old dude visiting from Chicago decided it would be funny to slap a WI police horse as hard as he could and then run away. Guess who won that race? (Yes, the horse.) Doc, one of Madison's Mounted Patrol horses, was basically unhurt but a bit startled by the noisy slap on the rump. The idiot, Nathaniel Robinson, who by rights should have been kicked in the teeth, was instead hauled into jail. Here's his mugshot. You can plainly see him reconsidering his life choices. Can you imagine having to explain that misdemeanor on your criminal record at a job interview?
Hey, Dane County Humane Society is FINALLY going to do a barn-building fundraiser! For years DCH has relied on an unstable group of fosters and at least one sketchy "rescue" to house the horses they take in from neglect cases and owner surrenders. Now they're going to build a horse barn of their own-- if we can help them! Hope you can make it to this fabulous fundraiser.
Speaking of neglect cases, a group has gotten together to try to improve Wisconsin's abysmal track record of weak animal neglect laws and even weaker enforcement of those laws. Let's hope they keep us in the loop!
Last piece of news: Midwest Horse Welfare, the largest and finest horse rescue in Wisconsin, just took on some horrifically neglected horses in Clark County. The law enforcement officers there got them involved as soon as they could, and are trying to seize as many animals as they can-- kudos to them! We need more officials willing to go after neglectors. Midwest is obviously going to need some help in the coming months with these severe cases, so now would be a good time to donate.
|This is one of several in similar condition.|
Now on to the main event.
Kristina Foss (previously Kristina Kauffman) is the owner of the "rescue" Second Chance Ranch.
She caught my attention when she posted on a WI Facebook group:
Now, upon seeing this, you may happily exclaim, "Hooray, a wonderful new rescue! Golly, I'll donate to this great facility right away! I am sure this is an honest person and a worthy cause!"
...and if that is the case, then poor, naive, uninformed sucker that you are, I'll have to hit you upside the head with a clue stick. (Don't worry, the only permanent side-effects are chronic cynicism and a taste for neat whiskey.)
It amazes me that so many people automatically jump up to support anyone calling themselves a rescue, regardless of obvious warning signs, and then act absolutely flabbergasted when these places turn out to be scammers, hoarders, or neglect cases. What obvious warnings signs? Well, you could spend ten minutes on Facebook and Google and see for yourself... but I'll tell you below. So you don't think I'm making things up, I've included links and screenshots for proof. You can click on the pictures to see them full size. Again, this is all easily accessed public information. What I'm doing here is what anyone should do before giving a person or organization trust, public support, significant cash donations, or live animals.
Possible Lies: Foss says she has experience with rescue because she "worked at an animal shelter for years." When someone commented on Foss's group post asking which shelter she'd worked at, she claimed both Eau Claire County and Chippewa County. I called them to find out. Chippewa County did not call me back as of press time. Eau Claire said it's possible she could have worked or volunteered there before 2013. However, they could not find any records of her doing so, and the name was unfamiliar to them.
Suspicious and sketchy: Foss has said she went to school to get a vet tech degree and intends to finish up later. (She attended the for-profit, dubious Globe University/Minnesota School of Business. It's basically a degree mill, a scam.) You would think someone with some vet tech training would know what pneumonia is. Instead, Kristina calls is "amonia" and apparently one of her rescue horses died from it. Unless it was a heart attack too? Hmmmm.
Did I mention she gave her puppy away in 2014 because of its annoying behavior, only to buy a new one later?
And then there's her un-spayed cat and dangerous barbed wire fencing.
If you're starting to have a little bit of doubt that this girl is a suitable horse rescue manager, good! Keep reading. It gets worse. Again, this is all easily accessed public information. What I'm doing here is showing you what you, if you weren't so busy, would be looking at to see if this is someone you can trust.
Outright lie: Kristina Foss says her rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Yet the IRS has no record of that, under any of her personal names, or under her rescue's name. How do I know? The public can look up the tax exempt status of any organization on this part of the IRS website, or call the EO dept of the IRS directly at 1-877-829-5500.*
Sketchy: Kristina seems to be awfully short on money to be able to take in a bunch of rescue horses. This year she's started two pages on GoFundMe, a
If you're still not convinced that Kristina Foss is bad news, let me show you three more things.
1) Doing stupid shit to kids. Kristina says this horse has never been backed before, yet here she is putting a little girl in the saddle, a girl not wearing a helmet. In one of the pics, there isn't even anyone holding the horse-- the mare is tied to a fence.
And here's another example-- a helmet-less little girl sitting on a horse that's "almost broke." Nice. Yes, that's more barbed wire in the background.
2. Let's go back and take a further look at one of Kristina's debt records for a moment. Notice anything odd? (Remember, click the pic to make it full size.)
Yeeaaah, as of March 2015, Kristina was telling the court that she has "no current address." Meaning that either she refused to give them one, or she was lying and saying she's homeless.
3. Kristina's Second Chance Ranch Facebook page contains virtually no information on her rescue, other than her name and contact info. The GoFundMe page for her "rescue" is basically just pictures copied directly from Ryon's Rescue Pen, a Facebook group dedicated to buying up slaughter-bound horses in Minnesota. There's a side-by side comparison below.
Kristina has provided no information on where the horses she's "rescuing" are coming from, what donations would be used for, how many "rescue" horses she has, how many have been adopted out, or how the adoption process works. I've found exactly one ad posted by her, for a 19 year old mare being sold for $900. Kristina mentions she's a rescue, and that the mare has recovered from various ailments. She does not mention any kind of adoption application or contract. Later, Kristina re-posted this mare for $600. Kristina also offered to trade "a horse" for a bumper-pull trailer, I assume it's this one since she hasn't listed any other equine for sale/adoption.
In summary, allow me to parody what I believe Kristina is telling us:
Seriously, people. DO support horse rescues. Just don't jump on the bandwagon when some dingbat comes up with a brand-new shady "rescue" chock-full of blatant red flags. Instead, take your enthusiasm, your donations, and your volunteer time, and support one of the great, reputable horse rescues that already exist! There's a list of them here. Many have proven track records of success. They actually DO have 501c3s, and are state inspected. They can actually show you before-and-after pics of rehabbed horses, pictures and descriptions of horses that are available, and pictures of adopted horses in their new homes. They have an adoption contract, or at the very least, an obvious adoption process.
P.S. I just discovered this last night: There appears to be another Second Chance ranch "horse rescue" that just popped up here in Wisconsin, this time in Eau Claire. Same person? Different? Their facebook page also copies pictures directly from Ryan's Rescue Pen, but they list their website as L and H Quarter Horses. What's up with shady new rescues and Ryan's Rescue Pen?! Is this some kind of twisted franchise deal??
*Note: there used to be a fairly legit non-profit Second Chance Ranch in Blue Mounds, WI, run by Jennifer Pulvermacher, but she closed her rescue in 2013. This is backed up by an IRS document which states that Pulvermacher's non-profit status was revoked in 2013.