I am about to do something that we don’t normally do …….. rant! Why? Because once again, we’ve invested our precious time and money in trying to help out a family who called us in desperation, only to be told they’ve changed their mind after all – here’s the story:
Living in France hadn’t turned out to be the dream life the family expected and they needed to return to the UK but couldn’t take their two horses with them. They had tried to sell them but had had no success so asked ERF to rehome them instead. With the horses best interest at heart we:
- went to visit to assess the horses (3 hours + 126km round trip),
- organised all the paperwork, update web site etc. (2 hours)
- contacted everyone who had expressed an interest in this type of horse (2 hours)
- homechecked a possible Guardian (2 hours, 50kms)
- arranged for the family to sign the handover form (1 hour)
- and finally, we arranged the visit of the potential Guardian.
The potential Guardian drove 2 1/2 hours in each direction to visit on Sunday.
Then at 11pm on the same day, the e-mail arrived:
Thank you for your efforts in rehoming my two horses but fortunatly my husband has been able to secure a loan and will be returning to France to arrange for the transportation of our horses to our home in the UK, once again thanks for all your help
These horses were signed over to us and we had a potential new home! We had invested 10+ hours and costs, and now were left to tell the person who they had allowed to visit the same day that the visit had been in vain. Did the family not think it would be courteous to have postponed the visit or to be honest that despite having signed over the horses, they were still pursuing other options? Our follow up e-mails have been ignored and no donation has been offered or received to cover our expenses.
Here are the types of things that we can do with 10 hours:
- continue the training & rehab of the animals in our care already
- follow up welfare cases
- visit new welfare cases
- FUNDRAISE to fill our dwindling coffers
- continue our campaign to improve welfare at horse fairs in France
and the list goes on……and I haven’t even mentioned spending time with our own families and animals.
The petrol money could have gone towards farriers, medication, vets bills….
So, what will we do differently next time? This isn’t the first time this has happened and unfortunately we now feel the need to protect ERF from individuals squandering our resources in this way in the future. We have to toughen our rules and from this point forward, if anyone wishes us to to rehome their animal then we will either need to have the owners card in our possession (i.e. have full legal ownership of the animal) or take a non-refundable deposit that will cover the above.
We are saddened that the actions of a few have forced us into this situation. It’s seems these days that a person’s word or signature on a handover form is not enough…..