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!

EDIT 2/2/17: Wow! This story has really blown up. Hundreds of shares on social media has resulted in over 67,000 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).

It's important that you don't contact her. 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

EDIT 2/7/17: Too much to post here. Go to the bottom. 
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... 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.

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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Justice for Roy

EDIT 12/30/16: I have added more pictures and information from this article.
You can read the first-hand account of Humane Officer Nanci Olson here.
Here's one appalling excerpt from that report:


Hey folks, I'm still alive. I know, I know, it's been over a year since I last posted. But here's what got me off my ass and back here typing away:
 That's Roy.

Roy escaped from his swampy paddock on Sunday, September 25th 2016. A kind women named Wendy Savage spotted him wandering down highway 80, near Babcock, WI, and informed authorities.

Obviously, Roy was desperate for food and water, having been starved for a prolonged period. But you know what he wanted more than those things? After spending months and months covered in rain rot, slowly wasting away, enduring hunger pains, his suffering ignored by his owners, I don't think what Roy wanted nourishment as much as something else...

Roy didn't want to die alone.

Roy could have escaped his torture earlier. But he was a good boy.
He stayed in his muddy, moldy, lonely pen for a very long time. Only at the very end did he try to leave. Only in his last days, when he was a walking skeleton, did he break out.

Roy lived for six days after escaping from his private slice of hell. During those six days, he was lovingly cared for by Midwest Horse Welfare, who took him in and tried their absolute hardest to help him. Midwest has successfully rehabilitated starving horses before, using a painstaking around-the-clock care regimen. Roy got small meals of heated, watery, alfalfa mush* for his starved and dehydrated body many times each day. He was seen several times by an excellent veterinarian, Dr. Gary Johnson of Plover, who rated his body condition score 1 out of 9 (and that "was generous"). Roy's teeth, heart, and blood were checked. Roy got little walks in the sunshine, to try to keep him motivated. (They were very short because his body had literally consumed most of its own muscle tissue for sustenance, so Roy had trouble moving.) Most of all, Roy got loved. For six days, he was pampered, petted, brushed. For six days, he heard friendly voices, felt gentle touches, saw that he was among people who cared, and knew that he was not alone.

On the last day, Roy lay down and could not, or would not, get up again. He was euthanized peacefully, surrounded by love.

If there's a tear in your eye right now, that's good. It hurts, but it's important. It means you have empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Having empathy, recognizing what others have gone through, is what makes us moral beings.

What, then, should we do with people who do not have empathy? What should we do about Roy's owners?

Roy's owners were not elderly. They were not sick. They were not poor. They have a nice house, nice cars. They had no valid excuse (if there are any) to let Roy suffer this way.

As for Roy, there was nothing medically wrong with him that caused him to starve. He was a healthy older horse with a big appetite. Dr. Gary Johnson of Plover found no underlying cause that would have contributed to Roy's slow, horrific transformation into a walking skeleton. Even if Roy had had a medical issue, his owners could have euthanized him instead of letting him starve to death. There is no reason for a horse to end up like this.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, Roy's owners failed him. They allowed him to suffer, right in their backyard. It took a very long time for Roy to get this thin, and during that time, there were many things his owners could have done. They could have gotten help, surrendered Roy, or even just shot him. Anything would have been better than what they did-- which was absolutely nothing. They ate their own suppers a few hundred feet from where Roy stood in stinking mud, and left him to languish.

Roy's owners should be charged with neglect.
So far, they haven't been.
They have also been allowed to keep a second horse on their property.


It's not for lack of evidence against them. Everything the Wood County prosecutor needs, he has. He has photographs, expert testimony, and every possible page of documentation from the veterinarian who treated Roy. These files have been on his desk since October.

Several people attempted to call the Wood County District Attorney's Office in order to voice their concerns that no charges had been filed in this case. What they got was snubbed, brushed off, dismissed. Here's one example of how those conversations went:

After many weeks of watching the Wood County DA's office do nothing, supporters of Roy have begun a campaign to bring public attention to this matter. The movement "Justice for Roy" was started, and people are starting to take notice. WSAW-7 News recently did a story, which you can find here.

YOU can help! Tell the Wood County DA's office that animal neglect is a serious crime, and Roy's owners should be prosecuted.

Call, write, or email the guy in charge of prosecuting this case!
Be polite, be professional, but be firm.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Zell
his boss,
District Attorney Craig Lambert
Phone number: 715-421-8515


Snail Mail:
Wood County District Attorney's Office
PO Box 8095
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495
Let's make 2017 a better year.You can read more about Roy here and here, on Midwest Horse Welfare's message board.

Midwest Horse Welfare is an excellent Wisconsin horse rescue organization, with a 16+ year history of helping horses like Roy. Please consider donating to this reputable, state-inspected, GFAS sanctioned, registered 501c3 non-profit. Your donations go directly to help horses in need. The rescue owners are not paid for their incredibly hard work.

*Horses that have been starved to the point of death must be fed very slowly, very carefully, in order to prevent "re-feeding syndrome," where the body is so far gone, it can be easily overwhelmed by even a little too much food, or the wrong kind of food. This phenomenon occurs in humans as well as horses. Many Holocaust concentration camp survivors died from re-feeding syndrome after being liberated and nursed by Allied soldiers.
 Learn more about re-feeding syndrome in horses at this link: 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Falls, Toxic Quest Dewormer, Tractor Porn & More

So I recently had a couple of bad falls. Rearing was involved both times. One involved the horse flipping backwards and body-slamming me WWF style. Remember folks: wear a helmet.

Horse uses body slam! It's super effective!*
*Not actually me in this pic. Close enough to what happened tho.

Fun fact: although your brain normally controls your body's movements, under certain circumstances, an ancient, primitive structure in your spine takes over. This is what happens when we touch something hot and reflexively jerk away. It's what happens when we "jump" with fright. It's also the thing that takes over when, after slamming into the ground, you kick like a rabbit in a death struggle. Your brain can't react, but your body does: "Holy crap, fight! Run! Run and fight!" it says, and you do so automatically. Cool, huh? A few minutes afterwards, your brain floods your body with chemicals that simultaneously lessen agony, kick your muscles into high gear, quicken your reactions, sharpen your vision, and in general make you feel awesome. Except for the terrible pain part, it's neat to experience the lengths your body will go to in order to keep you alive. If you're stubborn and foolish, you might use this rush to get back in the saddle within five minutes. Or even coast on that high for days, working and trailering horses to clinics, or fixing fences, before the sheer volume of fluid buildup from your internal bleeding makes you uncomfortable enough to go to the ER. And that's pretty much the story of my last six days or so.

Mandatory public service announcement from my dear mother:

If you have a bad fall, shut the hell up and
go to the ER, you fucking idiot

Well I seem to be all better now, and I even went for a short ride today, so let's move on to some quick news.

  • There's been a strangles outbreak in southern Wisconsin. Not newsworthy, except for the fact that some owners/barns are continuing to show contagious horses at large events! For the love of all that is holy, people, quarantine your sick horses! Don't pass that crap around! Strangles can be deadly in certain cases, and it's a miserable disease in all circumstances. If you're going to a bigger public event, always bring your own water buckets, don't go around petting all the noses in sight, and of course, vaccinate your horse! A few bucks can save your horse from a lot of pain and pus.

  • There's a neat story here about a street in Madison named after a famous Civil War general's horse.

  • Interested in contributing to the analysis and improvement of laws relating to the equestrian world? Chris Riggi is an Ohio law student considering working on equine issues full-time. Send him your concerns and complaints regarding breeding contracts, boarding agreements, adoption and first-right-of-refusal commitments, stolen papers, etc. His email is No guarantees on anything, but a cool idea.

  • There's a sad story going around about a yearling who died after bring dosed with Quest Plus dewormer, and I wanted to put my two cents in. Moxidectin, the active ingredient in Quest, has been causing problems since the 1990s, and it's not something I'd use on my horse. Some experts claim that "user error" is the real problem, that people are just overdosing their young, old, or underweight horses. I call bullshit on that. There are just too many cases of extreme illness in healthy, adult horses dosed with Quest for that to be the only explanation. Farnham used to have a moxidectin-based dewormer, and took it off the market after too many lawsuits. Quest should do the same. I know there are some people that swear by Quest as the most effective dewormer out there-- well yeah, that's because it's one of the most toxic! If you have a wormy horse, you don't want to get rid of all the parasites at once anyway. Doing so can cause such a huge die-off that the horse colics severely. Talk to your vet about a gradual, targeted deworming program.

    Click the pic below to enlarge and read Lynn's account of what happened to her boy Bogo after he was wormed with Quest Plus gel. You can read more and watch her video here.

OK, let's talk about Farm Tech Days. This year, it took place near Madison. It's like a convention, but for farmers, and it takes place in a giant field of tents and machinery. When I say giant... I mean, they destroyed 100 acres of alfalfa field to create a temporary metropolis, complete with a mini ambulance, gardens, streets (and street signs), "restaurants," tractor taxis, parking lots, and ATMs. Every day that I went, I cringed as I walked on the crispy corpses of alfalfa that takes a full year to grow before it can be harvested the next year.

I want to talk a little about Farm Tech Days because I saw some amazing things there, and there were some awesome horse demonstrations, but also because part of the big show was the opportunity to tour the Statz dairy operation. Owning three to five thousand cows at any given moment, they're one of the largest "factory farms" around. So of course I had to take a look, in the interest of animal welfare.What I found out was pretty surprising. Read more below. Since this is already a pretty long blog, I won't get too wordy though.

What follows is basically a massive picture dump with captions. If you're just here for the tractor porn (you sick, sick bastard) you can skip to the end.

Horse Demonstrations

Trainer Ray Ainsworth was amazing. He was there to work with "problem horses," and boy, did he! If I had not seen him work with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. The mare in this picture was HORRIBLE for trailering, rearing, backing up, trying to run through or around-- just awful. Ainsworth worked with her for an hour in the roundpen and *BAM* she trailered up for him like magic. She was shaking and sweating, but got in and out without incident multiple times throughout the day, for him and for the owner. Incredible. Ainsworth's strategy is basically to earn trust, demand respect, and use his strong presence to ask for (and get) what he wants. He uses an "arm extension" (stick) but not harshly.

This 3 year old filly had never had a saddle on, and hated fly spray. He had her saddled in fifteen minutes, and was on her back in another ten. It took him all of about THREE minutes to deal with the flyspray problem. His strategy? After establishing leadership on the ground so that the horse wouldn't run through him, and trust so that she wouldn't rear or bolt away, he just sprayed her. Over and over. Of course she backed up, backed up, backed up. He very calmly kept going, spraying at the same pace. In the a deep sand roundpen, the horse pretty quickly realized that it was just easier to stand still and get sprayed. After all this, the filly practically cuddled up to him and wanted to sit in his lap. She didn't hate him-- on the contrary, she loved having a strong leader, having a job, learning. Five stars for this trainer. I bought his dvd. His website is here, check it out.

The "Milk Buds" are a group of eight ponies on a wagon team that is so skilled, they can double-back on themselves multiple times. It was very cool to see this old teamster teaching his grandsons and helpers about the old art of harnessing and driving.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

One of the Milk Buds was a mare with this FREAKING ADORABLE mule baby. This guy was the star of the show, and he knew it. The little shit enjoyed himself immensely.
The Kettle Moraine Rough Riders performed in all their glory.
LOVE these guys. They were slightly hampered by the small arena though.

This is one of the drill team's horses, a Rocky Mountain with a gorgeous coat.
Zacharia's Horsemanship put on a good show, with Zeke riding his mustang (trained by himself) up, down, and around, doing a variety of tricks.

Fun Pics

Cute idea-- thrift store purses repurposed as plant hangers.

Cow. Because, Wisconsin.
Giant robotic scratching machine.
Because happy cows are better producers!
There was a tractor driving obstacle course.
I have no idea why this was in it, but it was!

To give you an idea of just how much work went into Farm Tech Days, this rest area and music center was created by planting twelve full-sized pine trees inside a ring of telephone pole arches.
The drone demonstration was pretty neat.
 For $3-5K, you too can have a fancy toy helicopter with a camera!

"Factory Farm" Dairy
The barns were so large, they were able to drive us through the aisles inside on a schoolbus. The 3,000 cows are kept in buildings where they can roam freely. There are fans and water sprinklers for cooling, rubber mats to stand on, water tanks that are heated all year round to the temperature the cows prefer, and bedding for naps. The cows are fed three times per day. The sides of the buildings can be opened or closed depending on the weather. There were no bugs-- mosquitoes and flies are controlled in three different ways.

The manure pond, emptied for the public during this tour, covers an area the size of three football fields. The walls are eighteen feet high and eighteen inches thick. The pond holds 80,000 gallons.

What goes into the manure pond is actually only about a third of what comes out of all the cows' butts. The farm extracts the sulfur from the manure (which greatly reduces the smell) and makes it into fertilizer. The methane is extracted and is used to power heaters and other equipment. The solids are removed, processed, dried, and re-used as bedding.

The methane power plant.

This is one of twelve feed bays, each large enough to take two semi loads of forage for the cows.

Entrance to the two story milking parlor. 100 cows can be milked at one time, in only 15 minutes. They are milked three times per day, producing 80 pounds of milk per cow.

The cows walk in, and turn into their stanchions by themselves. Fifty cows on each side.
When the cows are in, the stanchions are shut, and the washing begins. Dairy workers standing behind and below the cows wash and disinfect every udder. The put on the automatic milking machines, press a button, and the milk gets pumped to a giant bulk tank. Within just a few minutes, the cows are milked. The workers dip teats in a protective antibacterial goo.

The cows stroll out of the parlor, making way for the next group to come in.

All in all, I was impressed with the efficiency and humane care in this "factory farm." Of course I don't like that the cows don't get to go outside and roll around in actual grass. I don't like the practice of cutting tail tips without anesthesia. Too often, workers can get too rough when a cow gets rebellious. However, if we as a society are going to demand meat and dairy products at low prices and on a large scale, this is just about the best we can hope for. The cows only live 5-8 years, but they aren't such bad lives. Every effort is made to make sure their environment is as comfortable as a large factory-like facility allows. It's quiet, it's fairly clean, and the cows did not seem stressed. Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if every dairy cow could live on a small, organic, free-range farm with sunny pastures, but that simply isn't feasible unless we're prepared to pay a whole lot more for our food. If you're willing to do that, great!! Buy your meat, milk, and produce from local farmers at farmers markets and co-ops. For the very best humane dairy products, I highly recommend Sassy Cow Creamery. Milk is usually around $6 per gallon, which gives the farmers and the cows an actual living.

That's it, folks. The End. Unless you're into looking at pictures of tractors, that is.

Tractor Porn

I'm not sure this is the world's largest combine, but I am sure I'd be scared to hear there was one bigger.