The Wood County DA's office did file charges against Roy's owner, Belva Bowden. The bad news is, they only charged her with a Class A misdemeanor. She will likely get a fine, barely a slap on the wrist. I had hoped that a teacher (for the Auburndale school district) would have been held to a higher standard. I believe they COULD have charged her with a Class E Felony, since Roy's "mistreatment" (extreme starvation) caused his death.
Belva Bowden is due to appear in court on Monday, February 6th, at 9am. If you can go, please do. A few people simply standing outside or sitting in the audience with horse-related shirts on could push the judge to take this case more seriously. The address of Wood County Courthouse is 400 Market Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494.
Now, let's move on to some evil in progress:
Everhart Rescue: DANGER! Do NOT Trust!
EDIT 8/2/17: This story has really blown up. Hundreds of shares on social media has resulted in over 75,000 views of this post. Apparently, it's been so popular because Amanda has scammed so many people. I've collected a few of their comments and added them at the bottom. I have learned more than I care to about her past schemes.
Here's the important stuff: Amanda Everhart has also used the last names Scalissi and Miller. She may tell a sob story and ask for donations of baby clothes, pet stuff, tack, furniture, and other items for herself or her family, then sell these online. She may "borrow" tack and fail to return it, or even sell it. She has at least 3 Facebook profiles in variations of her own name, and may be using others' names or profiles. She may take in free or cheap dogs, especially pit bulls, as an "adopter," and then sell them online (flipping).
I have posted a follow-up on Amanda, and her lies about her starving horse, Phoenix, here.
Warning: It's important that you don't contact Everhart. It's one thing to warn others about a scam. It's another to harass someone directly.
EDIT 2/3/17: Amanda keeps changing the name of her horse "rescue." I'll keep updating the names here as I learn them:
E.E. Wisconsin Horse Rescue.
Everhart Equestrian Vernon County Wisconsin Horse Rescue.
EEVC Wisconsin Horses Rescue Page.
Wisconsin Horse Rescue
EDIT 2/7/17: Too much to post here. Go to the bottom.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A brand new horse rescue, the rather confusingly named Everhart Equestrian Wisconsin Horse Rescue, has popped up in Viroqua, WI.
Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart, the owner of this rescue, is... special.
If you're a fan of Judge Judy or Jerry Springer, you know the kind of "special" I'm talking about. Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart...
...has had at least 3 babies with different dads (none of which she has custody of)...
(Edit: 2 so far, another on the way)
...has tried her hand at being a singer, farrier, dog breeder, horse trainer, soldier, scrap dealer, barrel racer, motorcycle mechanic, and tattoo artist...
...claims to have obviously untrained "service dogs"...
...has been engaged twice, and broken up twice...
...and she's only 25 years old!
That's quite a laundry list for a little girl.
In her short life, Amanda has been found guilty of harassment, disorderly conduct, and damage to property. She's also been dragged to small claims court multiple times. (All of this is public record, available here.)
Oh, and did I mention she was arrested for prostitution?
Amanda may also have been stripping under the name Lassos American Hunnie or AJ.
Apparently, she's had to stop being a sex worker, because she's kinda broke.
"Jo Jo" would like you to donate to her most recent Go-Fund-Me drive.
|Click to see larger version.|
If this sounds like major psycho drama, buckle up.
We're not done yet.
On Facebook, Amanda claims to be "fighting cancer," although she has refused to say what kind:
She's apparently battled this cancer for several years, through at least one pregnancy, but only seems to bring it up when her sexy pictures and tattoos haven't been getting enough attention on social media. (Click any pic to see larger version.)
|"Born Guilty." Nice, really nice.|
"But wait, North Horse. All you've proven is that she's trashy and maybe a liar. What can you tell me about how she's running the horse rescue? What's the 'crime' here?"
Ah my friend, rest assured, now we get into the meat of the matter.
Let's start with a horse named Cassie.
|Cassie, Dec. 2016. Note the bandaged left rear leg.|
|Cassie's leg injury. Sept. 2016|
Cassie was donated to Everhart rescue by her owner, Ann Budzak. Ann owned Cassie for years, but as Ann and her husband's health deteriorated, she looked for a safe place for Cassie to go.
Cassie needed sanctuary, because like Ann, this mare has some issues. She's 18, has fairly severe arthritis in her rear legs, and in the autumn she had a nasty injury to her left rear leg which made her unsound. Cassie is also a known bucker, and is pushy on the ground. So when Ann saw the new Everhart Rescue pop up, she contacted "Jo Jo," looking to place her in a safe, permanent home that could handle her. Amanda gave Ann all the right reassurances, telling her that Cassie would be very well cared for, forever. So Ann gave Cassie to Amanda on December 28th.
And then Amanda "Jo Jo" turned around and listed Cassie for adoption as a sound, 16 year old does-it-all horse that's great with kids!! The "adoption fee" started at 2K in December, but rose to 2.5K on January 1st. Now Everhart wants $3,500! These screenshots below show exactly that:
Yes, this crippled mare, described as "broodmare sound only" by her previous owner, is now being sold as a younger, healthier, more well-trained, better-mannered horse. Has Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart discovered some kind of magic horse enhancer potion?? Or is she running a scam that aims to defraud and endanger well-intentioned adopters?
When Ann contacted Amanda about her concerns, Amanda replied with a 4 minute voicemail filled with screaming, swearing, accusations, and vague threats about her boyfriend being a cop.
Ann is very upset. She regrets not doing more to check out Amanda's background before donating Cassie. She is horrified at the prospect that an adopter could be seriously hurt, and concerned that Cassie may wind up abused or sent to slaughter.
Ann wants everyone to know that Cassie is NOT sound. Even if she didn't have bad arthritis, her leg injury took three months to heal, and has made her unrideable. She has NOT been ridden by teenage girls most of her life like Amanda claims. Cassie has NOT done barrels, gmykhana, obstacle courses, etc. No one should be riding Cassie.
"We struggled with managing her on the ground as she is very pushy and my husband is 73 and just had hand surgery. I am needing shoulder and hip replacement. I thought a rescue where Cassie could live out her days with love and comfort would be the kindest thing to do for her. It was a hard decision. Now that I realize where she actually is I just want to cry. I've made the biggest mistake of my life. But now she's there and the chances I can get her back are slim. If I had $3500 I would buy her back and just let her live at our house forever."
Everhart has at least six other horses now, and is asking for people to donate more horses and more money. Aside from Cassie, there are no descriptions of any horses available for adoption. Nor is there even an adoption application available. In fact, according to the IRS's database of tax-exempt organizations, Everhart doesn't even have 501c3 status, meaning it's not a legitimate charity.
Of course, you might have already guessed that.
I'm going to throw a few more pictures down there at the bottom, but I think you've already gotten the point. Spread the word: Do NOT trust, or donate to, Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart's "horse rescue!"
The buckskin mare Cassie is NOT sound, and should be returned to her distraught owner!
|Barbed wire on the property. One of several pictures/places on the property.|
|Barbed wire on the property. One of several pictures/places on the property.|
|Click to enlarge.|
Amanda claiming to be "Dr. Scalissi," a PhD/surgeon/UW student with no kids.
This is one of Amanda "Jo Jo's" Craigslist ads advertising Cassie. Note how she has cropped out or covered up Cassie's injured left rear leg.
Yet another EDIT 2/7/17:
This post has over 69,000 views now. Amanda has responded by absolutely flooding her social media and this blog's comments with more lies and delusions.
One of the things she's done is to post blurry pictures of store receipts, as if receipts somehow prove her rescue is legitimate. Um, good job Amanda. You successfully bought things. Possibly with the money you got by scamming others. Gosh, we are sure impressed!
She has also offered to write receipts for people who donate to her. This makes no sense whatsoever. The only reason you would need a receipt for a donation is if you wanted to claim the donation on your taxes. This can only be done if your donation was made to a registered charity or non-profit organization. Amanda herself has admitted her rescue is not non-profit. So on this one, I'm not sure if Amanda is confused, crazy, lying to potential donors, or some combination of all those.
Amanda has also been making desperate attempts to appeal to the cops.
First, she's been constantly boasting about dating/being engaged to a "sheriff" in the hopes that this will scare away her critics. This guy is actually just a security guard.
|Oh, and she says she's pregnant again...|
Next, she tried to report me for harassment. Hah. I've been in contact with Vernon County's Deputy Roy Torgerson, who was assigned to check out Amanda's complaint. Deputy T was incredibly polite. He quoted the First Amendment and said I am well within my rights here.
Then, Amanda called the cops again and recorded part of the conversation. (I'm posting a link to her video here, because it's hilarious. However, I feel bad for the poor, confused officer/secretary on the phone.) Amanda seems to think that the cops have "cleared her name" and legitimized her fake horse rescue simply because they said aren't currently investigating her.
Cops don't have time to handle this kind of crap. Scamming buyers, sellers, and donors is a matter for civil court (think Judge Judy). The cops only get involved when an actionable crime has been committed, like animal abuse or neglect. It might be possible that Amanda's not too far away from actually committing one of those crimes, however.
One of the horses (Phoenix) is actually pretty underweight. You can see Phoenix here, spine sticking up, the shadow of her ribs visible even through her winter coat.
Whew, that's enough skanky, petty drama from this case to last a lifetime-- and I didn't even touch on many of the things people emailed and messaged me about. I think I'm done here. I'm closing the comments.