The Boomerang Effect: Take care when donating a horse


This is the story of Boomarang [sp?], and reached us through email.

We receive so many of these, and as much as we would like to follow up and verify each and every one, we do not always have time available.

Here is the email we received:

This discussion was on about Boomarang a horse Saddlebred Rescue rescued at an auction in PA. They have identified him and his last owner donated him to a riding school which it turns out sold him within a year and never contacted the person that donated him. He ended up on the road for 12 years with the Amish and the picture is of him at the auction. He had been a top show horse on the East coast. So Sad!

I had always heard that there was a clause when you donated a horse to riding school, etc that before the horse was sold they were supposed to contact donor – I guess not. I’m glad I read this I will never donate a horse to a riding school or some other type of camp, etc.

PS William Woods is the riding school.

and the discussion thread the writer referred to:

I loved that horse so much. The thought of him on the road makes me ill. I had been watching the website to keep up with him. Unfortunately, I assumed he was safe at William Woods or Over the Rainbow Bridge. I certainly never dreamed he was not safe.

WWU isn’t the only school that sells horses. If they don’t work they don’t have the resources to keep them. Based on what I have pieced together he went to WWU December of 1996 and they sold him July of 1997 to a man who sold to the Amish in Pennsylvania which is where we got him. My guess is he was too game for the students, so they sold him.

It’s too bad that if a horse doesn’t work out, they don’t contact the donor first before selling the horse.

Here is how Boomarang looked when he was rescued. Yes, it’s too bad, isn’t it?


We say: This is a people issue, not a horse issue. People commit crimes against horses; horses do not commit crimes against humans. And yes, we consider what happened to this horse a crime. As soon we read that Boomerang ended up with the Amish, we knew he had a life of drudgery and most likely, cruelty and abuse. To think he was with this anything but gentle cult for 10 years is heartrending. In our opinion, the Amish should be routinely prosecuted for animal cruelty, fined, do jail time, and banned from owning animals. Why aren’t they? Why do they continue to get away with it? Even Peta looks the other way when it comes to these particular animal abusers.


Donate Safely and Responsibly

— Enter into a “Boomerang” agreement that the horse comes back to you if he or she does not work out. Here’s a free to use Horse Donation form from Equine Legal Solutions.

— Follow up when donating your horse. Put it on your calendar, and call every 6 months or one year anniversary date you gave them away.

— Visit them whenever possible, at least once a year.

— If you cannot visit the horse you donated, ask for a photograph of your horse that is time and date stamped.

It may not always save a life, but it will certainly prevent the horse you donated from suffering at the hands of people like the Amish for 12 years.

How do you feel about horses being treated this way?

Here in Shippensburg Pa there is a large community of Amish. Shippensburg is a college town and these horses are made to pull these people through the streets daily, inhaling fumes from traffic and being forced to walk/run on blacktop daily. I was at a stop light one morning with an Amish family in fron[t] of me, their horses front right foot was turned at a ninety degree angle permanently and yet they still use this poor animal for their mode of transportation. They tie them to light posts while in the stores with no water or shade for these horses. Many of them look underfed and overworked. Yet no one seems to notice or care because they are Amish… I don’t get it.

Comment from


Telephone Vivian at 202 657 5275 if you would like to volunteer on this issue.

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