The Jefferson County Fair is known each year for its variety of farm animals, food, rides and events. This year, Allison Adams brought her family horses, Frosty and Picasso, to the fair for show. Frosty and Picasso were both kill pen rescue horses from Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Both were ribbon winners at this year’s fair.
Adams’ son Albert, with, Picasso, won a blue ribbon for pony conformation while daughter Caitlyn and horse, Frosty won a blue ribbon for showmanship.
Adams, a West Chester, Pennsylvania native who currently resides in Kearneysville with her family, helps rescue dozens of horses each week from kill pens.
“Both of our rescues here are from Moore’s kill pen in Pennsylvania. Brian Moore and Bruce Rotz are both in Pennsylvania and those are the two kill buyers in the North East,” Adams said.
According to the Habitat for Horses website, in May 2013 Bruce Rotz was the driver of a truck on I-81 in Lisle, Pennsylvania, whose trailer carrying an estimated 30 horses caught fire killing all of the horses. Rotz was said to have been traveling to Viande Richelieu Meat, Inc. slaughterhouse in Massueville, Quebec.
“What Moore’s kill pen does is he has a Facebook page and he’ll let some of the horses have a second chance. He will post them to the page on Sunday night, it is usually around 30 horses, and he will set a bail price on them. People will then have until Saturday at 6 p.m. to bail them. They call it ‘bail’ like get out of jail and if they aren’t saved by 6 p.m. then they’re tagged and shipped for slaughter,” Adams said.
Although horse slaughter is illegal in the United States, it is legal to have them shipped out of the country for slaughter, according to Adams.
“What people don’t know is that people like Moore will have them shipped to places like Canada and Mexico for slaughter,” Adams said, “You can’t slaughter them here but you can have the Canadian slaughter plant have a tractor sent down to Pennsylvania to load up a whole load. If the horses sick, weak or blind they’ll get trampled.”
Adams said many of the horses in kill pens are there for reasons like people losing jobs and not being able to afford them, kids going to college and not having time to care for them, foreclosure or divorce.
Adams said she got into rescuing horses after her daughters horse had to be euthanized.
“My daughter had a horse that was named Jenny Blue Eyes, a little chestnut paint and she died last September. She was really old and had gotten really skinny and was having trouble walking so we had to euthanize her,” Adam said, “She just left a hole in our heart. When we started looking for another horse, we stumbled onto the Moore’s rescue page on Facebook and saw this grey one. The Moore’s page actually allows fundraising and since I am a stay at home mom it’s hard to come up with the full bail. I asked for $200 and one lady sent me $100 and a friend sent me $100 and then we bailed that horse. That’s when we saw Picasso and we thought that since we were already riding up there we should get the second one too so we ended up with Frosty and Picasso.”
Adams said the generosity of others encouraged her to start helping people rescue horses from the kill pen.
“I followed the page for a few months and decided to start helping other people fundraise and help them to work through the system to get the horses safe,” Adams said, “We have a little group we call the Moore’s Angels. We help behind the scenes and help get donors to the people to help get the horses safe week after week.”
Since her start with Moore’s Angels, Adams helps rescue up to five horses each week.
“I think we’ve maybe only lost around three or four to slaughter total since the Moore’s started the page in May,” Adams said.
Adams said she prefers to rescue horses.
“A lot of people are dishonest when they’re selling a horse so sometimes it’s better to just have no history at all about a horse. If you watch the videos they post and you’re educated enough you can tell whether it’s lame or well behaved and you can get some information in the comments from people who have seen them ride through the sale,” Adams said.
Adams added, “I think rescue horses are better horses and they love you more because they know you saved them.”
Those interested in saving a horse from slaughter can visit “Moore’s Equines for Rescue” on Facebook to see those horses who have been given a second chance.