Rescue, Rehabilitate, Relocate and Re-educate
Second Chance Equine Association
(SCEA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. We are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and relocation of horses and other equine. SCEA is committed to providing quality equine education for both members and non-members, and their horses. We provide multiple free seminars every year on subjects from equine first aid to barn winterization. We also provide free and low-cost horsemanship clinics, helping participants improve their relationship with their horses, and helping their horses become safe and reliable partners.
Armstrong County Rescue
For anyone who follows us, you know that there is quite a story behind the horses currently in our care. Here is an update for everyone, including some background, in case you missed any part of the story.
On August 31, 2019, Second Chance Equine Association got a call to assist with horses being seized by the Armstrong County District Attorney in Dayton, PA. Six emaciated horses were taken from a barn where they were being held. SCEA took Comanche, Lakota, and Apache into our care, while the other 3 were split between two other rescue organizations.
We brought them to our facility and the long, grueling, rehabilitation process commenced. Lakota, Apache, and Comanche began the fight for their lives. Our volunteers worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure their safety and health and we were cautiously optimistic about the process. Unfortunately, on September 8, 2019, Comanche succumbed to his years of neglect and malnourishment. However, Lakota and Apache got stronger and healthier.
On November 1, 2019 charges were filed. The defendant was charged with 6 felony counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals Torture, 6 felony counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals Causing Serious Bodily Injury or Death, and 14 misdemeanor counts of varying degree. Legal wrangling by the defendant's attorney and discussions of a plea bargain delayed a trial date but it was finally scheduled for August 10, 2020. More legal shenanigans ensued, and the trial did not take place.
All along, most of our information about the case was gathered from a constant watch of the online docket. We have never been informed of multiple continuances and delays. The only real answers we received to questions about the delays were that it was "due to the covid" situation. Recently, multiple efforts to reach out to the Armstrong County DA's office to get information on the progress of the have been unsuccessful.
It is now a year and a half later and Lakota and Apache are thriving. They are healthy, but they are stuck. Without them being surrendered by the defendant, or the court awarding them to us after adjudication of the case, they are the property of the Armstrong county court. Therefore, these horses are unable to take the next step in their rehabilitation process which is retraining and finally being adopted. Our hands are tied. We have spent nearly $14,000 to care for these horses (notably, Armstrong County has never offered financial help). Second Chance Equine Association is non-profit, completely volunteer, and we receive no subsidies from any government organization. Our funds come strictly from donations and fundraisers.
We are a rescue, not a sanctuary. For us to be able to help the most horses, we need to be able to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome in a REASONABLE time frame. The amount we have spent on this current rescue could have helped four times the number of horses had we been able to move these current rescues through the process in a reasonable amount of time. While we understand "covid" as an excuse for the delay in the Armstrong County court system, 18 months is UNACCEPTABLE. The delay has kept us from helping as many horses as we could have. Armstrong County MUST DO BETTER.
Despite all this, we are STILL the horse's voice. We are STILL fighting. We are STILL hoping for justice. For Lakota. For Apache. And especially for Comanche.
Did you know...?
A primary goal of SCEA is the prevention of abuse and neglect of our equine friends. Many times, neglect cases can, and have been, resolved by SCEA members and humane officers providing consultation, education, and help for unintentional horse neglectors. This, in many cases, helps avoid seizure and prosecution. While seizure is at times unavoidable, it is a serious drain on resources of both law enforcement and rescue organizations.
This is why SCEA places great emphasis on education both before problems occur and when a problem is identified. We have had several recent cases resolved this way. Your support is vital for us to continue to provide quality education for horse owners.
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Horse Club members receive $1,000,000.00 Personal Excess Equine Liability Insurance to protect you from financial responsibility for any property damage or injury to people their horse might cause. This protection follows you anywhere - at home, boarding stable, show or on the trail.
Reduced fees for clinics.
Free admission to educational seminars.
Access to a large network of equine professionals to help with all of your horse questions.
Invitations to all SCEA events.
!! Important - if you plan to purchase a membership with insurance, January 1 is the best time to do that. Here's why. !!
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.