Dispersal sale of over 30 horses in Alberta – Urgent

We received a note from the granddaughter of a rancher in Alberta who has ended up in a difficult situation.  This is her letter:  (Please contact Jessica directly, thank you)

“My grandparents have been forced into bankruptcy, which is leading our horses to a Horse Auction in Innisfail , AB on Aug 30. There are over 30 horses going there from 3 month old colts, to older horses!

 I am writing to you just in case there is anything you can do, or let fellow horse lovers know! From what we have heard the man sending them to the sale is planning on selling these young foals separate (despite only being 3 months) and then sending the mares to slaughter!

 It breaks my heart. He is also selling semi broke horses as “well broke”, and the horses 1/2 years old are probably going to sell to meat guys too. Not much I can do to save any as I am a full time student! Thank you for your time.

 I am more than willing to be a contact. Preferably just through email, I check it often!  My email is:  pay.it.forward19@hotmail.com.

Jessica Leismeister”

Please note that Bear Valley Rescue will be attending this auction to rescue as many of these horses as donations will allow.  Please consider donating to them:



These are photos of some of the horses in danger:





To see more photos please go here: https://plus.google.com/photos/101227929362461272308/albums/5781208153623718961#photos/101227929362461272308/albums/5781208153623718961


  1. As an update, we were able to purchase 16 of these horses at the auction, including 2 mares w/ foals, another mare (without foal, but it turns out she is pregnant and due early 2013), the stallion, and 12 youngsters ranging in age from 1 year to 4 years old. We have already (Dec/12) re-homed the stallion, one foal, one mare, and 2 of the youngsters. Three of the other youngsters are currently at Olds College participating in an equine class. Most of the others are being worked with here at the rescue and are progressing well.

  2. I have just finished sending my donation to Bear Valley Rescue. I did earlier write and ask the good people at the rescue if this was indeed true and they assured me it was. They did have some good news tho, the horse community is rallying together and will show up in full force tomorrow at the auction to make sure these horses all go to good homes. Bear Valley Rescue could still use donations, so that they can try and rescue some of the other horses.

    1. Thank you so much. Warms my heart 🙂

  3. Who are we to judge. Times are tough everywhere. I’m sure this rancher had a very lucritive business at one time. He like may of us was hoping for a silver lining. These horses look to be in very good condition. If I didn’t live so far (California) I’d come and fill a trailer with these beauties.

  4. Heather · ·

    Is there any way to notify the local humane society? If I am not mistaken separating foals from their dams before they are old enough to be weaned is abuse and the humane society should be able to take action. This doesn’t mean that they won’t go to slaughter unfortunately, but at least the babies won’t be separated.

  5. Bless your heart, Jessica, at least you care, you are trying to do right by the horses. People are so quick to judge, I will pray for these horses and make a donation to Bear Valley Rescue.

    1. shoshone · ·

      One does not go bankrupt over night. If these people had been responsible breeders they would have had a plan in place for these horses just in case. As it is, they just look like one of many back yard breeders who help supply Canada’s slaughter market. Rescues are full and cannot save every horse.

      1. I came on this website for support for our animals. I have received overwhelming amounts of encouraging words and help to keep our animals safe. So far I am fairly confident I have saved all of them from meat buyers, PLUS other horses whom are going through the same sale. Not every situation is the same when it comes to bankruptcy or horse ownership. I would hope you judge me based on my efforts to help save animals, rather than the unfortunate circumstances to get my family into this spot.

    2. Thank you for your kind words. My grandparents are two of the nicest people with the best intentions. Those horses were never more loved than they are by my family. Which is why I am fighting tooth and nail for them! Thank you.

  6. Michelle Storace · ·

    where are the rescue groups in Canada ??? And it is the responsibility of the owners to find a place for all of these horses. You have had the time you are aware when you believe you will have to file or be forced into bankruptcy. This makes me sick.

    1. Well hun.. It is against the law to sell off assists when you know that bankruptcy is the plan of action. We had hoped not to have to go this route. If we had the opportunity an the time we would have happily given them away to keep them loved and safe. It is quite different when dealing with personal and business bankruptcy. Trust me, all we think about is the welfare of our animals. What I AM doing right now is trying to find a place for all the horses, by contacting organizations and rescues all day and night. All the positive support we have received has been amazing.

  7. Rebecca · ·

    This situation is terrible. I hope the rescue can get to all of them. I do have one concern. Were your Grandparents horse breeders? We need more responsible action with horse breeding. We must plan ahead for financial loss. There aren’t homes for the horses already here. We don’t need to breed anymore and add to the slaughter issue!

  8. linda badham · ·


  9. Its always sad to know, and also shocking one more time…. So yeah…I could see where an inspection process for breeding animals might be a positive move forward for the Horse, where some uneducated, heartless breeders just “enjoy”, doing what they do! As long as there are NO regulations, Licences, ect, this will go on to feed the PIPELINE! How nice, eh! … Wishing luck to these Horses and owners or, x-owners? tks

  10. Reblogged this on delia1979.

  11. There was a situation in the US recently with a notorious breeder who scheduled a large dispersal sale and threatened to send any unsold horses to slaughter. That was a suspected scam in order to force sales of his horses, the owner is thought to be a con man and not of sound mind. Racing breeders have recently threatened to kill their foals. Apparently, that was also a scam. I am always aware that urgent requests are not always genuine, so pardon the skepticism.

    As time allows, I will post this on Twitter for the horses sake.

    This full time student can post her request for help repeatedly on social media sites herself in order to help these horses. There is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many sites are available free. If I can take time out of my 24-7 schedule to help these horses, so can anyone else.

  12. horses dont look to be suffering

    1. They weren’t being described as “suffering”. They are in danger of going for slaughter, where they WILL suffer, before they are killed.

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