Rachwal Rides Again
In April 2017, Sterling Rachwal molested a horse in Eaton, near Green Bay. In May, he raped a gelding at a ranch in Maribel, also near Green Bay. He hasn't been convicted yet, but if it wasn't him, I'll eat my hat.
He is currently charged with three misdemeanors in Brown County:
- Intentionally mistreating animals
- Disorderly conduct
- Resisting or obstructing an officer
- Intentionally mistreating animals
- Disorderly conduct
Sterling Rachwal has plead "not guilty" to the all charges against him. He has not been able to pay bail (even though it's a ridiculously low $1,000 and $5,000 respectively) so he's sitting in jail for now.
In the Brown case, Rachwal's next hearing will be September 12th, 2017. He may or may not go to trial.
Contact Deputy District Attorney Dana Johnson and let her know that you want her to deal harshly with this repeat offender! Let her know not to let up on the prosecution, accept no deals, and ask for the most stringent sentence possible.
Brown County Deputy D.A Dana J. Johnson
300 E Walnut St
Green Bay, WI 53401
OR (920) 448-4190
Assistant District Attorney Jill L. Vendetti
Manitowoc County Courthouse
1010 S 8th Street
3rd Floor, Room 325Manitowoc, WI 54220
I will be alerting you all closer to the dates, so that hopefully you can physically be there in the court room to make your voice heard. I wish Rachwal had been charged with something more serious than a few misdemeanors, but the laws here in Wisconsin just don't cover this kind of situation. That needs to change.
Belva Bowden Gets Off Easy
Speaking of the lackluster laws and lax punishments in Wisconsin, Belva Bowden had the charges against her reduced to an ordinance violation, and was fined only $582.50 for starving her horse Roy to death. He died a day or so after being found wandering on the highway, his last attempt to escape his miserable existence. He was wearing a custom halter with his name on it, yet his owner couldn't be bothered to sell him, euthanize him, or fix him up. Bowden still teaches at Auburn Elementary School here in Wisconsin.
Are you angry about Bowden's slap on the wrist? Contact Wood County District Attorney David Knaapen at 400 Market Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 or (715) 421-8515 and tell him this isn't acceptable. Be polite, but firm. Let him know that someone capable of watching a helpless animal slowly starve to death in her backyard deserves more punishment than a lousy ticket.
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab Is Grade-A Excellent
Pony Tales, a relatively new rescue in Colfax, Wisconsin, has been doing some great things! In October 2016, they hosted an Open Door Shelter, where people were able to surrender their animals. Pony Tales, as well as several other local rescues, took in dozens of horses.
Pony Tales has been certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, a rigorous process. They're holding successful fundraisers, they recently attended a horse rescue training seminar in Pittsville WI, and best of all, they are adopting out horses to great homes on a regular basis. For these reasons, they've made my list of endorsed WI Horse rescues. You can check them out on their Facebook page, or meet them in person at two upcoming events:
Chippewa Falls Pure Water Days Parade, August 12th at 1pm
1st Annual Labor Day Trail Ride Fundraiser near Colfax, WI.
Saturday Sept. 2nd & Sunday Sept. 3rd
$50 for both days, $40 for Saturday only, $20 for Sunday only.
This cost includes primitive camping, lunch, dinner and a drink at each stop. Children 12 and under ride for 1/2 price. Children 5 and under and participating landowners ride at no charge.To register, sign up online here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call/text Brenda at 715-933-4671. Current negative coggins IS required and will be checked.
Wisconsin Horse Alliance: Working Hard
This great organization just held its second annual Rescue Roundtable. These seminars are meant to bring together horse rescue organizations from across Wisconsin, and offers them training, resources, encouragement, and networking opportunities. It's great that Wisconsin has so many horse rescues, but we could all benefit from more communication, agreed-upon standards, and more helping hands. I'm very impressed with what the Alliance is attempting to do to further those goals.
The last Rescue Roundtable was attended by Racer Placers, Beautiful Hearts Rescue, Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary, Firefly Acres, MHWF, Pony Tales Refuge and Rehab, and Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies.
The Alliance holds monthly meetings in Madison. You can check out their website here, or join them on Facebook here.
Recent Horse Health Hazards
A non-vaccinated Standardbred cross yearling gelding from Clark County had to be euthanized this July, after contracting this mosquito-borne disease.
A horse that lives permanently at the Walworth County Fairgrounds has a confirmed case of strangles. Shows at this location have been cancelled, and equine visitors are asked to stay away. Strangles can be spread in fluids (like snot) spread on brushes, stall walls, and tack. There is a good vaccine against strangles, which, if left untreated, can be deadly.
Eastern Equine EncephalitisTwo horses died of a severe, mosquito-borne disease in the Tomah area this week. The Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, housed at University of Wisconsin-Madison, discovered eastern equine encephalitis virus in the brain tissue of the horses, who were last vaccinated in the fall of 2016. The virus is deadly in horses about 90 percent of the time and, in rare cases, can be transmitted to humans. The virus infected 19 horses in 11 Wisconsin counties last year.
Potomac Horse Fever
On July 17th, Dells Equine confirmed a case in Reedsburg in close proximity to the Baraboo river. The horse was found dead before displaying any symptoms, and was later tested positive for the disease. Another horse on site (this one still alive) also tested positive. Vaccination is not guaranteed to prevent the disease but can still lessen the severity of the illness. Owners should watch their horses for signs of fever. The disease is passed along by insects into streams, pastures, and even local bird populations. Read more here.
North Horse Swaps Horses
I need to update my "author" page! My last two mares were recently adopted out. I was looking forward to taking a break from horses. And then I stumbled upon two mini horses tied to junked out truck beds. Of course I couldn't leave them. *sigh* Stay tuned for a hilarious yet heartbreaking rescue story.