Wednesday, August 2, 2017

All the Updates: Rachwal, Health Hazards & More


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
...and two misdemeanors in Manitowoc County:
  • Intentionally mistreating animals
  • Disorderly conduct
I have added this information to my main post about this fiendish psycho, which includes a picture of his SUV. I HIGHLY recommend that any horse owner within 50 miles of Green Bay invest in a security system. For some goddamn reason, authorities keep releasing him so he can do this again! He's been raping and mutilating horses since the 80s!

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

In the Manitowoc case, Rachwal will have a jury trial on December 14th, 2017. Make sure you write to the prosecuting attorney and let her know that you expect her to go after Rachwal to the fullest extent that the law allows! You can contact her at:
Assistant District Attorney Jill L. Vendetti
Manitowoc County Courthouse
1010 S 8th Street
3rd Floor, Room 325
Manitowoc, WI 54220
OR 920-448-5433

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 rescueme@ponytaleswi.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


West Nile
A non-vaccinated Standardbred cross yearling gelding from Clark County had to be euthanized this July, after contracting this mosquito-borne disease.

Strangles
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 Encephalitis
Two 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.






Saturday, July 22, 2017

Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart AGAIN

Well, well, well.

It looks like Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart has found a few supporters.

Just to re-cap: Everhart has been running a "horse rescue" out of Viroqua, WI. She has admitted to being a for-profit business, and asks two to five thousand dollar "rehoming fees" for unsound horses which, in at least two cases, were given to her for free by owners who were told the horses would be given retirement homes. Full story here.

It's a shame that supposedly intelligent folks like law enforcement officers and reporters are falling for her sob stories, but alas, a cute smile and bald-faced lies may convince even the cynical.

In the picture to the left, you can see Amanda standing next to a mare named Phoenix, a walking skeleton, suffering, waiting for death. Amanda Everhart claims in an interview that Phoenix was surrendered to her in this condition on November 27th, 2016.

No, folks. Not at all. Amanda has owned Phoenix for years. Phoenix was a horse she once described as the means by which she made her living (barrel racing). On a Go Fund Me page she created in October of 2016 (one month before the horse was supposedly surrendered to her "rescue") Amanda claimed the horse was stolen, and wanted the public to give her money.





 One month before THAT, in September 2016,  Amanda was talking about picking up Phoenix from a friend's place, saying the horse had been hurting "a few months."



Here's Amanda with Phoenix months before THAT, in 2015. This was what Phoenix used to look like, before Amanda allowed her to starve and become a walking skeleton. These pictures were posted on Amanda's own Facebook page, before she deleted them:





Just to remind you, this is what Phoenix looks like NOW:


And yes, this is the SAME horse. Same distinctive white stripe above the right nostril. Same four white socks. Same bit of white above the right eye.




Amanda is a "crybully," a person that harms others and then claims to be the victim in every situation.

The real victim here is Phoenix. This is ABSOLUTELY treatable neglect. And even if Phoenix has some medical condition that is causing her to suffer unavoidably (which I doubt), the humane thing to do is EUTHANIZE her, rather than allowing her to continue suffering like this.

I hear that some un-named veterinarian has "signed off" on Amanda's so-called "rescue."
Maybe that's true. However, it doesn't mean much. Long-time readers of this blog will remember the case of Lady, the senior old mare who suffered terrible neglect at the hands of Barb Thiry. Veterinarian Peter Drehmann of United Veterinary Service in Bear Creek, WI, also "signed off" on Thiry's horses, and said Lady was "just old." Of course, after Lady was rescued, she gained all the weight back that she had lost while Barb Thiry owned her.


My point is that, even if a qualified vet DID see Phoenix, veterinarians can be dead wrong.
There is a persistent myth that it's OK for old horses to look like walking skeletons, because, well, "they're just old." We would never accept that explanation for just about any other kind of animal, and certainly not for humans. Yet with horses, people just seem to shrug it off. They don't bother to do a little research and figure out that proper dental care, a better diet, and water-soaked, soft feed can make a world of difference. You can read my full rant about this subject here, and view a gallery of beautiful senior horses. And once again, I will state for emphasis: Even if Phoenix has some medical condition that is causing her to suffer, the humane thing to do is EUTHANIZE her, rather than allowing her to continue suffering like this.

While Phoenix suffers a slow death, Amanda continues to harm others.
"Reporters" (who apparently can't fact-check worth a crap)  have neglected to mention the open criminal case against Everhart, in which she is charged with Threats to Injure/Accuse of a Crime and Resisting or Obstructing and Officer. See the screenshot below. (I have blurred out Amanda's address, and once again, I warn you not to harass her. Doing so just gives her more of an opportunity to play the victim, and doesn't help the horses, or those affected by her scams. The important thing to do is warn others not to donate to, buy from, or deal with, Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart.)


Amanda is also being sued in civil court for taking a saddle without paying for it.

She may also be heading to court for another case that popped up this month:



Here are some other Craiglist ads Amanda has posted, attempting to sell horses. The "adoption fee" prices will shock you, but remember, Everhart herself admits that she's running a for-profit operation. Click on any picture below to see it full size.








I hope that this is the last blog post I will have to do on Amanda Everhart. The whole thing sickens me. In cases of neglect, an argument can be made that the perpetrator is suffering from a mental illness, or was simply ignorant of proper horse care. Everhart seems to be fully aware of the harm she is inflicting, and is simply outright lying for her own profit while convincing others to pity her. It is so morally disgusting that I can't even find words to express my contempt.

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Edit: Over 21,000 views in 3 days. Great job sharing, guys. Here's one more thing to share: a great petition that might help change the way WI law enforcement understands animal neglect. It was written by the young lady who originally broke the story of Phoenix being so thin. Please sign and share!

https://www.change.org/p/senator-jennifer-schilling-change-the-laws-to-protect-animals-particularly-horses-in-wisconsin?recruiter=108489475&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=share_for_starters_page&utm_content=nafta_share_post_title_en_3%3AFB_share_copy_3



Friday, January 27, 2017

Amanda "Jo Jo" Everhart Rescue SCAM


Justice for Roy Update:

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!


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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. 
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Original Post:

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.
I say "most recent," because Amanda is a big fan of Go-Fund-Me. She's used it to try to obtain money for one of her weddings (which she never went through with), for hiring a pet sitter for her "service dogs" while she gave birth, and for the recovery of a horse named Phoenix. Amanda claimed Phoenix was stolen, along with her wallet, by a vengeful ex-boyfriend who also beat her up. I'm not sure how throwing money at "Jo Jo" can fix a situation that the police wouldn't even bother following up with, but hey, free money is a balm that can sooth any wound.

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.

Ann says,

"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.


This is a picture Amanda stole from another girl. Amanda uploaded it as if were her own, as if she was the one riding the horse here. When she was called out on this lie, she had her friends send the owner threatening messages laced with profanity. Amanda still has the picture in her photo album.


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.







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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.