Thursday, August 31, 2017

Guest post: Horrific Twin Creek Visions Rescue & Youth Ranch

A note from North Horse:

Twin Creek Visions Rescue & Youth Ranch is run by Renee and Darrell Nykanen in Clayton, WI. They said they were closing their rescue in 2014, but there are still about 40 animals on the property, living in horrible conditions. Renee claims to be a "trainer" and "gives lessons." Darrel claims to be a "farrier."

This blog post is written by a guest, whom I will call Rescue Warrior. I have done a bare minimum of editing for readability, but the words are R.W's.

Rescue Warrior was able to get some horses and donkeys out of the hell hole that is Twin Creek Visions on June 4th of this year. This is their story.

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I received a phone call from a friend saying one of her friends needed help hauling a couple horses from a terrible situation. I was prewarned of horrible pastures, how bad off the horses are, and how this lady was a tad on the crazy side. The horror I witnessed vs. What I was told is not comparison. There was piles of manure everywhere. Horses were standing in small, pens in feces about a foot deep. I have never in my life seen so many skinny, neglected animals all on one property in my life. I hauled for a living for about a year and have come across some dumpy places. This place takes the cake. Piles of garbage and building materials everywhere that the horses have access to.

The 2 horses I was there to pick up were penned in a make shift round pen. The owner of the horses asked if I could help her catch them to make it faster to get out of there.

Upon entering the round pen, Renee came out. She wasn't to happy to see me out there helping and grumbled a few words to my boyfriend. We caught the horses and while loading them noticed they smelled as though they rolled in something dead. It was horrifying.

I left in tears and vowed to help those poor souls left there to die. From what I could tell none of the pens had access to water. None of them had hay and most had no shelter. Not even trees. I started calling immediately after I got home.


I called Barron county sheriff's, the humane society, and news stations. With not much of a response because it was a weekend, I turned to social media. I asked a few friends that I had in common with Renee. To my surprise one of them had actually helped her start her rescue a few years back. It is called twin creek visions rescue and youth ranch. She knew all about how terrible things had gotten at Renee's. After I posted to weau13 all sorts of disgusting stories started piling in. About how she buries all the horses that die and how, in about 5 years time she has buried more horses than she should have. Any time someone calls her in, she moves her horses so the worst ones aren't seen.


Once my post took off on Facebook the sheriff paid her a visit. I thought for sure this was it. I had 5 rescues lined up to go help pull the 50+ horses she had there. What a disappointment. I received a call from someone within the department that said there was nothing they could do. The horses "weren't neglected." I was told the donkey in my photo had just had her hooves trimmed and that they came that way. I was told my pictures were old. That there wasn't near the 50+ plus horses I seen with my own eyes. He said there was under 30. He also admitted to me that he didn't know much about equines. I cordially thanked him and hung up the phone. I was in disbelief.

That same day I had another friend call me. She had contacted Renee about taking some horses off her hands. Renee agreed. So I had another friend call too. Between the two friends a total of 8 were pulled from that hell hole. I ended up with 5. I have since been able to rehome one of them.



"Lady" the day of intake. Vet gave her a body score of 1.5- 2. She was covered in wounds and some weird fungus. Her hair was coming off in clumps due to the severe rain rot. She was lacking in minerals and her hooves chipped and cracking.

"Lady" 3 weeks after rescue. Gaining weight nicely off of grass hay only. No grain, no weight builder, no supplements. Just grassy hay. I found a tattoo on her lip. She had won 40k at Canterbury downs. Her owner/ breeder sold her to Renee for $300 in December. She was in perfect health.

White donkey Progress Pics:







Brown donkey progress pics:







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A note from North Horse:

Rescue Warrior also got two mini horses out of Twin Creek. They too desperately needed baths and hoof trims.

As of this week, I am told that the
Nykanens have over 40 horses living in filth, hungry, dehydrated, and with no hoof care.

It's outrageous that local law enforcement won't take this seriously. No horses should have to live with no food, in kneep-mud, plastered in their own filth, their crippled hooves untrimmed for months. If you agree, contact Baron County Sheriff! They may tell you "we've checked on those horses, they're fine." Tell them NOPE, this is NOT "fine!"

Baron Co Sheriff Dept.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald
1420 WI-25
Barron, WI 54812

OR

(715) 537-3106

Huge thank-you to Rescue Warrior for the excellent work!!
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Miscellaneous pics from the
Nykanen property:







35 comments:

  1. I would like to help if possible. we are a non profit rescue in wi. www.luckystarridersrescue.yolasite.com

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  2. I would like to say this is unbelievable but unfortunately its more common than we would like to believe. Thank you to RW for being able to able to help the ones you have. Shame on you Baron County for closing your eyes and turning your back on these poor animals, and the media for ignoring this story as well!

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  3. Write/email/call your local/state delegates about this. Obviously, she has an "in" with the local law enforcement, etc.

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    1. The only "in" she has with them, is the fact that it isn't as bad as "North Horse" and "Rescue Warrior" make it out to be.

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    2. As someone who had the misfortune to go to this property, it is exactly as bad as the article states. Horses were in need of proper nutrition (they were eating manure), deworming, and hoof care. There were far too many animals on the property.

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  4. Forwarding to the ASPCA for some type of action. This is despicable and Renee needs to be tried and punished for this FELONY animal abuse.

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  5. Have you been there to this place recently? All piles of waste are removed. There are no horses in the pen with building supplies and every tank gets water in it everyday along with hay, grain, supplements and pasture grass.

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    1. Prove it. Let's see new pictures of all the animals including their feet.

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    2. I invite you to go take a look yourself. Get out and talk to Renee and have a tour of the ranch.

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    3. @doubtful
      I easily /could/ prove it. I have hundreds of pictures from TCV, and the current ones from the past few months have been stunning.
      But oh heck there's mud in some of the pictures. Scary. Because apparently when it rains it isn't suppose to get muddy. And those manure piles? They're gone. They were there temporarily until they found a way to move them. Everyone seems to be blinded because of what's on the surface, but every story has details deep down. It all depends on if you want to judge a book by it's cover, or if you want to read deep into the book until you can decide how you really feel.

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    4. So why not post your pics here? Take another look at these mud caked horses and their unkempt feet and then show us an updated picture of the same horses. All horses have shelters now and adequate space to live? RIIIGHT. HOARDERS plain and simple. ASPCA will agree.

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    5. @Doubtful
      She isn't a hoarder, not all of those horses are hers, and quite a few are for sale.
      Not sure how to post pictures here, otherwise I would. Feel free to check my Instagram at SpindlesNickeringJaz for pictures though.
      Not sure what magic planet you came from, but here in Wisconsin, when it rains a lot and floods, everything gets muddy. Most of their feet are great right now, although a few (including my mare and my filly) could use a small trim. Two have shelters, one has a windbreak, and one has a shelter that currently needs fixed up a bit. That leaves two pens that need shelters, and the building supplies for those paddocks is expected to arrive soon. Get your facts straight and stop being so narrow minded. As I stated before, there's always more to the story than meets the eye.

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    6. I heard drone pics were taken in August. Same old hell hole. Call the sheriff, sign the on line petition and shut this hoarder down. She is too mentally ill to have any animals.

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    7. And you're too bitter and full of personal hatred for Renee to get over yourself and see it isn't that bad. To stoop down to your level would be pretty hard, so congratulations for you. Have you even thought about the boarders? Last time this post went around Facebook, I had people threatening to take MY horses. Is that right? I think not. I legally own my horses and they're in great condition, but that didn't stop people from threatening to swoop in to try and /steal/ the horses. I almost /killed/ myself last time this went around because I couldn't handle the stress and the harassment my mother and I were receiving.
      It's pretty hard to watch you throw lies and slander about, while you didn't show a hair on your head when flooding got so bad that we had to move horses. Where were you when weather stopped us from picking up round bales, and had to throw squares instead? Where were you, when I had someone passing on the road shoot my horse two years ago on Halloween night?! That's quite right. You weren't there. You didn't help. You haven't gone to hell and back for that ranch and it's people and horses. It's just much easier for you to hide behind a screen and speak lies about how much you "care for those horses and want them to have a better life" but you can't get over yourself enough to actually help.

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    8. Isn't using drones without a search warrant illegal? Just asking! I am sure you covered all your tracks so that you can get out of it if Is! I'd sure hate to see you all paying $5000 plus sitting time in jail.

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  6. This makes me SICK! Why do people do stuff like this??? How does a person help prevent this from happening. Those poor animals- I would take them all if I could. I'm just SICK seeing this. Those people should be ashamed and have to go to jail for stuff like this.

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  7. No one writes that the horses that were being moved this dreadful day were boarding free at said "killer place" for a few months when owner of horses knew that the money owed went I to care of her horses. Does every ranch get free boarding passes?

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  8. And said owner of horses being "rescued" and removed from make shift round pen had offered to help around the ranch to care for horses to pay off back boarding fees, but very seldom showed up to work or let alone ride and work her horses.

    And many of the horses that were there to begin with were boarding on free board. It appears it was a set up for them to fail. Instead of offering to move the horses off the ranch, why don't you offer to go in and help care for them on said ranch? It appears to me that no one is willing to go in and help build shelters for horses if they are indeed without or water horses if you have honestly witnessed them without water instead of wasting time waiting for law enforcement to remove horses off the place. Why not really help? Could it possible be that you dislike the owners of ranch and are really not in it for the animal wellfare?

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  9. I'm a veterinarian. I was asked by someone several years ago to be an expert in an intervention.....cops stood in the way then too. Did you try aspca?

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    1. The horses of TCV have a clean bill of health, so you're not needed currently. We do care about our horses, despite what you may want to believe.

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  10. No need to try contacting ASPCA or Wisconsin State Humane Society. They have been in contact with Barron County and have current pictures and documentation of current proceedings. They are working with the owners and owners are in compliance with all areas they were told to work with.

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    1. To the one anonymous poster who continues to defend and support these people... I do not care if they painted the place purple, threw a little hay and paid their water bill. What they did still stands. Don't care if it cost them 10k to trim hooves. They still mistreated animals. You can pour perfume on a pig all day long, it's still a pig. Those people can be sorry about what they did all day long, they still did it. Guilty as charged is what they are. Today does not erase the ignorant from yesterday

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  11. You dig a hole, but you fill it in again. No, this doesn't change the fact that you dug the hole, but in the end, you still fixed the issue of having a hole in the ground.
    Most of those "facts" in this blog were lies and slander. You cannot change those facts. Yes, sometimes things looked a little out of hand, but there's reasons behind them. Sure, there were manure piles in the paddocks for a short while. They're gone now, so what's the big issue? Oh bOY there /used/ to be big piles in this pEn so thATS obVIOUSLY still an iSSUE! None of those horses have ever went without food and/or water. Sure, horses were dirty, heck, must be spooky to have a dirty horse just because it rolled in mud during a wet and muddy time of year.
    Although it's had it's issues, it's improved. A lot. It's never been as bad as they've said. But no one seems to realize that. I'm just trying to say that if you care so much for them because they're so "mistreated" then why not actually help. Threatening to steal horses, and actually attempting illegal actions is not in the animals best interest. Hope it helps them sleep at night to know their actions have put animals in danger. But that doesn't matter in the long run, does it? So long as they can keep speaking against TCV.
    We aren't asking for your pity, we're only requesting the lies and slander stop. Shouldn't be too hard.

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  12. If your child reached up and burned themselves on a stove, you no longer can be parents. Your child should immediately be taken into protective custody because you are an unfit parent to not be protecting your child 24/7. Mistakes are NOT allowed in this world and forgiveness is never granted. Why so much hatred towards the owners? I feel this isn't really about the horses because this could be any ranch and you wouldn't give your two cents worth of time. It somehow is more than that. You want war against Darrell and Renee because you feel they mistreated you or the ones that believe they were mistreated have led you to believe they have a right to hate. If change is not ever sanctioned and no one should ever have any room to change, then we live in a very rigid world. How does one learn if mistakes are not legal? Are you all perfect? I am not defending the way things looked over there a few months ago, but not once did a horse ever go hungry or without water. If tanks were dry it was because they were being cleaned or perhaps the water had been siphoned out of the tank because that did happened. I wonder why people ever dropped off their horses there in the beginning? How did you get involved with them and why were you not a better judge of character if all you say is true about Renee being mentally Ill? They say birds of a feather flock together!The horses that are there now are well taken care of and they have never been in danger. I'd say birth the hatchet and live your own perfect lives.

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  13. A group of local neighbors actually a couple block radius of this place, have watched it over the years. It went from a GORGEOUS little farm stead to a mess. Unfortunately all have seen the piles of shit, not for a short while but a very very long while... the animals would get loose from the pens.... many died from over population. I don't have anything to say about the people personally. I don't care if they are mentally ill or not or good or bad... but have seen the living conditions of these animals. Even their dogs ran free all over the road..over into other people's property. Nothing was done. None of the people who habe shared this have much against them.. minus the fact they haven't cared for the animals over the past years.
    It didn't matter how the animals were brought there in the beginning.. it matters how they are cared for. The locals call it the petting zoo.... go ask around... they all know about it. They all don't like it.

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    1. Mama Defending Her CauseSeptember 5, 2017 at 8:11 AM

      If it was gradually getting so bad and these neighbors could see this why didn't they go in and offer to help clean pens, fix shelters and etc? What good does it do to just gossip about something instead of going in to see if they could use any help? Nope no one does anything for anybody anymore out of the goodness of their hearts. Our whole nation is out to destroy everything and everybody. Generation after generation get more and more self absorbed and only do things for others if somehow it benefits them. I am as guilty as the rest. What ever happened to neighbors getting together to help with harvest or when someone was laid up to go in and help with daily tasks? I remember growing up when our neighbor got his foot in the haycutter and was in the hospital for months. The neighbors took turns milking cows for them. Well I don't see that happening now. If Twin Creek Visions where yours what would you do to save it? Renee had couldn't find good help. She hasn't been able to for awhile. So she sold a lot and downsized, but that still isn't good enough for some. She allowed people to bring their horses to her based on their good intentions to pay boarding fees on them. Months went by without a cent paid or half a payment there and half here. Darrell and Renee covered the difference continuing to care for horses that weren't even theirs.
      My daughter didn't have a clue how to ride before we went to Renee's. In the past 3 years I have seen a girl who was scared to go get her horse to one that goes out and saddles up her own horse. My daughter is in college for equine science at 14 due to the love and passion Renee has cultivated in her. My daughter has high anxiety and the thought of losing her horses and a place to ride, along with people she's built up a trust in, is causing some real issues right now.Renee would never intentionally hurt an animal nor endanger it's life.
      Sometimes ranching and farming is a risk. I never hear of dairy farms having too many animals on their place or people complaining about their animals going through fences etc. Horse ranchers have always been the hit for ridicule and judgement. Sometimes unseen factors happen that were not expected, such as trusting your hay source to sell you good hay, but later finding out it had fesque in it. Was that Renee's fault? Also the rain we had in the spring was something unexpected and the creek rising so high that horses had to be moved to higher ground. No one was there to help move their horses.
      Moral of the story here is go in and offer to help instead of being so ready to gossip and judge.

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    2. And what about the tens of thousands of dollars she owes for hay to various people? That place has been a shit hole since I moved here in 2003. I live a mile away for 4 years and currently 5 miles away. The dogs have always ran on the road, worse years ago. And the horses are and have been in terrible shape. Many people have offered help cleaning up stuff, including my husband, but she didn't want it. I don't feel bad for her. I feel bad for the animals.

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    3. Wow, this place has been running since 2003? Do you know when they started?

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  14. Mama Defending Her CauseSeptember 5, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    And I'd like to ask each one of you if you are praying about this whole thing? Are you asking God to fix it it or just taking matters into your own hands by not getting all the facts and flying drones over the ranch? The person who originally wrote the article never once talked to Renee that day she came to pick up horses that were being taken care of without boarding fees paid for months. She never asked any questions at all. Now a good journalist knows they need to get all sides of a story before printing it. This wasn't done, so right there this article would hold no weight in the court of law. I am praying fervently that this all gets taken care of and that both sides get due justice. Thank you all for being so caring about everyone and every living creature.

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  15. The lady doth protest too much me thinks? When you agree to take animals on your property whether it's free or not, you are responsible for the care of them. By pissing and moaning that no one offered to help with that care you are admitting the owner was in over her/their/your head and needed to find homes or send the boarders back to the owners. But a hoarder mentality keeps taking them in and has every seemingly good reason to do so. It is not the responsibility of neighbors to help. Did she ever ask for help from rescues in the state? Should I call around and ask? Stop with the excuses and face the fact that this mess isn't going away until all the animals are removed.

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    1. All the animals? She isn't allowed to have any?

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    2. And yes there may have been too many horses on the place a few months ago, but they have downsized tremendously. They no longer have too many horses unless you are of the mind that one is too many?

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  16. If you as an individual was in charge of a solution to this article, what would you like to have happen? Why do you choose this type of solution? And do you think your solution is the best way of fixing this if you are sure about what needs to be fixed?

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  17. I knew a couple of the people who offered to help her and she did nothing but get angry with them and accused them of being rude. She once came screaming out at a young girl because She accidentally ran over one of her dogs that were roaming free all over the road like usual..... like they did every single day but everyone is supposed to drop everything they do and come help someone who took responsibility for animals that she couldn't take care of.
    As far as I knew where I lived all the neighbors were pretty willing to help each other it was just those few who either took advantage or were were rude to them. Even the ones who completely disliked one another were there for each other when something truly awful happened. The animals have always looked rougher there and sick....but because has she finally has somehow changed things doesn't mean what she did in the past was right. It's no excuse and constantly saying how wonderful somebody is for one person doesn't mean that those animals that are kept there don't have a voice. I'm sure she has done nice things for people But she has also done some very very wrong things. You say that you wish that you could post pictures of how nice it is there I have numerous pictures of how awful it is there and I was not the one who wrote this article.

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