Brighter Days Horse Refuge 682 Krause Road Pipe Creek, TX 78063 830-510-6607 or 830-460-7490
Myself and several other of the volunteers have been told that since the original co-founder, Mr. Bill Weatherholtz died on October, 2011 this organization has gone way down hill.
This organization is a 501C3 nonprofit. We have been told but not confirmed the 501C3 is being investigated by the IRS and also by the Texas Labor Board for avoiding paying overtime.
Board of Directors
Mary E. Burton, Vice President
Kay Trevino, 2nd Vice President
Patsy Johnson, Secretary/ Treasurer
The truth is the animals are barely taken care of in my opinion and many other volunteers’ opinion. Brighter Days has eighty plus horses and random other animals crammed on twenty acres.
Saturday, June 9th, a horse named "Lil Mama", her picture is attached, got sick, tossed and turned, suffered and finally died a very painful death on Sunday, June 10th. This poor suffering horse (supposedly it was colic diagnosed by a staff member) did not receive any Vet care at all. We were told by a paid staff member that they could not get a vet to come out. The story changed and then we were told by this same staff member that a vet could not be called if it cost more than $250.00 per the Board Members. All someone had to do was call my husband and I or other volunteers and this horse would have definitely had Vet care and not suffered an agonizing painful death.
I was there on Friday June 15th; I took a friend with me from SNAP. There were flea invested very sick baby kittens just lying on the ground dying.
One particular kitten was in such bad shape my friend and I wanted to take it to our vet to be euthanized and we were not allowed.
There was a large mare and four or five mini horses in a very small paddock, the minis are very thin, the mare would not let the minis get to the hay. We ask the same paid employee to move the mare to the paddock right next to the one they were in; literally a gate was separating the paddocks. We were told that could not be done. We were there again on June 18th the same horse with the mini’s still not getting any hay, the paddock next to it completely empty.
There are horses that are foundering so bad they could hardly stand up or walk; they are getting NO vet care. Some of the horses and donkeys have not shed their winter coats; this is very dangerous in this heat. We have been told one horse overheated, thankfully they were able to cool the horse down. The donkeys and other animals that are allowed to roam the property are exposed to open gas containers and all sorts of other debris. Many of the animals are very thin.
These animals are not up to date on any vaccinations, they get no exercise and they rarely have vet care. The paddocks are filled with manure, over grown weeds and there are way too many animals on twenty acres of unkempt property.
A few weeks ago the horses had no hay, not even a strand for six days. One particular Board member told the volunteers this was okay because they were getting grain twice a day. The volunteers got together put their funds together and would not leave the property until the one paid employee went and bought hay. I know of other people that have bought hay also and will again if Brighter Days staff and or Board reach out to them.
On June 18th, I and other volunteers went with the Bandera Sheriff’s Department to file neglect charges; we are waiting on the report.
We have ask the Board to step down so new Board members can be placed that know how to run a 501C3, that want to put in the time and effort and know how to raise funds. The Board has refused even though is it very clear the current Board is not succeeding. The Board members just do not have the business and animal care experience to be successful. Meanwhile, all of these animals are suffering. Also, the more people hear of the circumstance they are not donating funds.
I did not initiate any of these investigations, I was ask to help by other volunteers and a paid employee. The paid employee as of yesterday has decided not to stand behind the information that was given to us; in fact this person said that he would deny everything.
We have spoken with Mary Burton and Patsy Johnson and requested to let us move the animals to other Horse Rescues, they refused. This tells us it is more about power for them than the welfare of the animals.