It is truly a tragic situation when a 501c3 organization claims to be a “rescue” or an animal welfare organization but in reality is only concerned with their own financial gain at the expense of the welfare of Louisiana’s Wild Horses.
The horse industry is riddled with such entities who take donations from the public and claim to protect horses, but in all actuality send horses to auction and ultimately slaughter.
While Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA), has received several reports in the past of Meridians ill intentions, it’s always difficult to prove such matters. However, as a result of a public records request PEGA is now able to substantiate reports with hard evidence that the 501c3 on the top of the Army’s list, Meridian Falls Ranch (MFR), is in fact misleading the Public, the Army, as well as the IRS.
In light of recent information obtained from LDAF as well as the past charges against the founder of this organization, we hope that the IRS and the Army will take into serious consideration before continuing their relationship. As it will be made plainly clear that not one organization involved in an official capacity has the welfare of these genetically unique horses in mind despite the inference of the Army’s chosen course of action (COA7)
Below are several examples of the false / libel / shady statements and/or behaviors MFR has made and/or portrayed in the past to date.
False Statement #1 On Meridians website they make several false statements saying that Pegasus’s 501c3 status is revoked. This is a lie.
Truth: PEGA is an approved and active 501c3 and has never been revoked. We would like to caution MFR leadership from making such libel statements without proof. It would be prudent of them to contact the IRS directly by phone before making such false and libel claims on public websites.
See confirmation of status letter from IRS dated August 26th 2019 here
False Statement #2 On Meridians website they claim that they do not intend on sending horses to auction/slaughter.
Truth: As a result of public records request to Louisiana Dept of Agriculture State Vet (LDAF) we discovered they repeatedly and specifically state that auction is their intention knowing full well what that means for Wild un-handled horses. Their intentions are documented in writing.
Concern #3 44 horses have disappeared into the hands of MFR to this date that we are aware of. (12 Horses from May 2018 and 32 horses from June 2018).
PEGA has discovered a concerning and repetitive behavior of MFR Leadership. Each time they communicate with LA State Vet in an effort to secure a transport waiver (meaning permission to transport horses across state lines without the required coggins and health certification) MFR is asked by the State Vet repeatedly to provide location and attending vet of where they are transporting the horses… and each time they dance around the question and basically refuse to answer. Communication ends and horses disappear. These communications are also in documented and it is state law that a coggins, & health certificate must be completed for horses to travel. The obvious conclusion is that they are not willing to comply with the state laws.
Concern #4 The State Vet has repeatedly requested contact info or telephone contact info concerning the horses travel plans as required by the state rules. However Meridian never disclosed this information. This is confirmed in email correspondence between LA State Vet and TX State Vet that they are only able to communicate with this group is via a generic email, ie no phone number is provided.
False Statement #5 On Meridians website they claim that no DNA has been done on these horses. This is not true.
Truth: A cooperative effort between PEGA and other rescue organizations with the wild horses in their care and two world class equine labs specializing in genetics & genomic sequencing has been well underway. This effort was made public on several occasions via various platforms. As seen in this article, Preliminary Genetic Analysis Reveals…
Concern #6 What lies beneath the visible organization is the “shadow” organization.
It is now blatantly clear that what they portray outwardly to the public is in stark contrast to their real intentions and actions. Not to mention reports that false identities have been used in communications with several agencies. We know that legit rescues, whose focus is welfare of the animal, work willingly with other rescues who share the same goal of welfare and kindness. Instead of doing this they all but hold the horses for ransom and only when the heat is on do they agree to transfer horses, with a fee of course, even thought they have never put any money into the horses they are charging for.
Profit over welfare is their true mission. Their two-faced approach to equine welfare constitutes them as a “shadow” organization.
Where does this leave the 21 horses from the latest round up #13, whose lives are currently at stake?
Legitimate equine rescues who have a goal of protection have offered to take these horses so they don’t end up in the auction houses but Meridian has said they will not transfer the horses, and they will not allow them to be saved. They have publicly said they will not work with those who have helped them in the past, or who have the knowledge and expertise to help them protect these horses now!
(All info has been captured and documented as we fully expect their website to change upon the release of this new info.)
See documents from LDAF Public Records Request Response 091619
***Update 09-17-19*** Almost immediately after publishing this Meridian disabled their Facebook page and with in 24hrs their website was also “down”.
See export of Meridian Falls Ranch website prior to it being taken down upon release of this info. All files exported prior to 09/18/19. Meridian Falls Ranch Website as of 09/17/19
For more information, please contact:
Amy Hanchey, President
Pegasus Equine Guardian Association