Somerset Woman Works to Reconnect Peaceable Farm Horses With Owners
Ellie Riley is posting pictures on Facebook of all the horses taken from Peaceable Farm in hopes of reconnecting previous owners with the horses they sent to the nonprofit rescue operation.
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Central Virginia horse rescuers are working to reconnect previous owners with their horses removed from Peaceable Farm in a massive animal cruelty investigation in Orange County. Social media is helping to match the horses with their humans.
Ellie Riley spends her days surrounded by horses in the stables and pastures of central Virginia. She lives in Somerset, just a few miles from Peaceable Farm where investigators removed more than 80 horses from Anne Goland's care in October.
“I didn't even know the farm existed. Had I known, I would have done something. I think so many of us in the horse community feel like that,” Riley said.
Riley is working to reconnect previous owners with the horses they sent to the nonprofit rescue operation. She is collecting photos of the horses removed from the farm and posting them on social media. Riley is working through a closed group on Facebook, search "Orange County, VA Animal Rescue Efforts Oct 2015" for more information.
“I realized that these horses that were rescued had owners before. They had people that loved them like I love my horse, and they would want to know where they were. They would want to know if they were OK. So, I thought the best way to do that was to collect as much information as I could,” Riley said.
That's how Hilarie Thomas found two horses that she had placed in Goland’s care. It was supposed to be a retirement home of sorts but only one horse survived. The other had to be put down.
“I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for ever having trusted this woman,” Thomas said from Team American Saddlebred’s New York office.
Sabrina Miller sent her mare, Feather, from California to enjoy Peaceable Farm's pastures. The horse she saw posted on social media following the raid shocked her.
“I couldn't believe that was her. The whole thing has been a nightmare. I just don't understand how someone could do that,” Miller said.
Riley hopes to help more previous owners find their horses as they begin to recover. So far Riley says she's helped reconnect at least four or five people with their horses.
Peaceable Farm owner Anne Goland faces 27 animal cruelty charges. She's due back in court on Nov. 18.