In Reference to Eternal Freedom Horse Rescue and Youth Ranch
I became aware, as a citizen, of Eternal Freedom on February 3, 2013. I had never heard of this place or of Stephanie Lynn the operator before that time. I went out to see for myself the set up and operation. While I am not a horse expert by any stretch of the imagination, what I have seen personally and through the stories of others and their evidence has caused me to question the ability of this rescue to operate.
Stephanie Lynn states that she is a non for profit charitable business. She has advertized and solicited donations. She has accepted donations. She has reported in
several venues, on her web page, on her face book page, in her letter head, on
her receipts, in several venues on the internet and in letters requesting
donations that she is a 501(c)3.
It was confirmed on November 17th 2012 that she is not approved through the IRS (Ms. [continued below]....
..... Mitchell id #1008019637 stated there is no record of a formal recognition of tax exemption through an approved application). She also is not registered through the Department of Agriculture as a charitable foundation. Donations to Eternal Freedom are not tax deductible it seems.
In addition, personally, I paid in cash 70 dollars for a trail ride. I did not get a receipt. This was money she stuck right in her pocket, literally. I am concerned she does not report her earnings properly. I attempted to check but she hasnt filed a report for 2012 showing what
her income was. She has failed to respond to requests for transparency.
Stephanie Lynn runs a rescue. She has a 3 year contract which basically states that she can repossess any horse under contract for any reason the board deems appropriate. She has used
this clause to reclaim many of the horses she rehomes. For example, Jack and Jill are on their third adoptive home. She has taken thousands of dollars in adoption fees for the same horses. Another horse, Indie, currently on her property and up for adoption was repossessed after Stephanie Lynn was found on the owners property at midnight looking through the tack room. This technically was allowed in the contract in that it says she can perform checks on the horses at any time;however, I feel that it is extremely unprofessional to do a random check at
midnight, unannounced on private property even with a contract. Also, I consider this abusive.
Stephanie Lynn rents the property she has her rescue on. It is a little more than 14
acres. She told me on February 9th, 2013, that she has 46 horses on the property.
Later she said it was 52. She is not sure how many horses she is caring for.
In any event, 46 to 52 horses are entirely too many horses for 14 acres to support.
I observed most of the horses to have ribs showing, swollen bellies and eating straight off the sand.
Several horses have been shot at Eternal Freedom or died. Mr. Simmons, shot and died of
starvation. Zombie shot after being adopted to an 8 year old boy. Mr. Wonderful, BLM mustang died of Colic after more than 24 hours of suffering and a vet called at the last hour. Buster
Brown, shot after suffering for a week. These are deaths all within the last year.
Stephanie is a TIP certified Mustang Trainer. She took 8 mustangs onto her property on
1/25/13. Two she put with a friend, leaving 6 for her to train and find homes.
One died, Mr. Wonderful. The other five are kept 24 hours a day in small stalls. She reported to me on 2/16/13 that she had not started training them yet because it was too cold. Two of the horses were kept under cover and clearly the stalls had not been cleaned as the horses were standing in at least 6 inches of filth. Two mares are kept in open round pens with no cover and one mare is reportedly too mean for Ms. Lynn to work with. She reported to me on the 24th of February that she had tried to get the BLM to take that mare back and they refused.
I have grave concerns about her ability to safely manage, train, and home these animals.
I have grave concerns about a Federal Agency that would force a trainer to deal with an animal the trainer has reported is unmanageable and un-trainable. Incidentally, the
Bureau of Land Management has been out to see the facilities kept by Stephanie
Lynn and they have reported the conditions I have described as excellent. It should be noted that Ms. Lynn receives advanced notice of their site visits. Further, it has been reported that the horses are leadable by the BLM.
The horses I saw on 2/24 were so wild that Stephanie Lynn could not even approach the stalls without crouching down and she cautioned me against getting too close. None of them
had halters on during the 2/24 visit and Stephanie Lynn stated that they still
were in the desensitize stage of their training. It is unfathomable that from 2/24 to March 1st,
Ms. Lynn would have had time to gentle all five of those horses enough to put a
halter on them and lead them around for the BLM inspection. It should be noted that she does have several older, titled BLM on the property who are leadable and accept saddles.