April 12, 2009
Pahrump Valley Times
2160 E. Calvada Blvd.Pahrump, NV 89048
Marie Wujek, Publisher
Mark Smith, Editor
Re: Letter to the Editor
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing in regard to your ridiculous and completely unfounded April 3rd story regarding my “alleged” photo shopping of the after photographs of the five horses that were taken from the Dream Chaser Ranch Horse Rescue located in Pahrump. Not one photograph was altered in any way. When I asked Ms. Wujek why I was never contacted, or anyone at my facility ever contacted, to get our side of the story, I was told that it was not necessary as I do not live in Nye County. Shiloh would have been more than happy for your paper to come out and take your own photos of the horses. Instead, Gina B. Good went ahead and wrote her lopsided and laughable article and you went ahead and printed it on the front page. To me that is shameful journalism and frankly, you should be embarrassed.
If the horses “looked” healthier- it’s because THEY ARE! All five horses have gained weight and are healthier in the two months that they have been in the care of Shiloh Horse Rescue. I invite all your readers to visit Dream Chaser’s website at http://www.dcrhorserescue.com as I am sure they will understand why we were, and still are, extremely concerned for the horses at this facility. Since the rescue of these five horses, I have been contacted by many members of your community who have been concerned for years about the health of the horses in Ms. Davis’ care. Ms. Davis also claims and accepts donations as a 501(c) 3 non profit, for which no documentation has been provided after numerous requests. This is a violation of IRS guidelines for non profit organizations.
Perhaps a better use of your newspaper would be to try to better the lives and improve the laws to better protect the animals in your county. I would suggest you get a few Animal Control officers who actually know something about horses and who don’t fall for the old “they are skinny because they are in a rescue” excuse. Mr. Tim McCarty admitted to us in our February 18th meeting concerning this issue that he readily acknowledged the problems at Dream Chasers, but as too often happens, he took the easy way out. He complained that there would be a load of paperwork and turned his head away.
Dr. Hensler went out on the site check with Mr. McCarty to evaluate the conditions of the remaining horses. Sadly, after body scoring some of the horses at emaciated and starvation levels, Dr. Hensler also failed to come to the aid of these horses. Claims that “there is food on the property” does nothing if the horses are not actually being fed the food. In my opinion, horses in a “rescue” situation should not suffer from a lack of shelters from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. They should not lack adequate turn out and exercise nor regular vet and farrier care. On February 12th, by Ms. Davis’ own admission, these horses were “doing fine” on a diet that falls far below minimum feeding guidelines for a full sized horse. These are basic needs that any responsible horse owner and horse rescue should be happy to provide.
Shiloh has been in meetings all of this past week in Las Vegas with the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Welfare Institiute, as well as fifty other large and well run horse rescues from across the country. We are hoping to standardize horse rescues and improve the welfare of horses throughout the United States. Perhaps it is time now for the people of Pahrump to turn their eyes to their own backyard and make some positive changes for horses, and other animals, in their county. Let’s stop turning a blind eye, stop making up lame excuses, report abuse and neglect, and take a stand for the animals who are not able to stand up for themselves.
Founder Shiloh Horse Rescue