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Eagle Hill Equine Rescue


Inhumane treatment of animals

Complaint Rating:  38 % with 60 votes
38% 60
Contact information:
Eagle Hill Farm
31584 Eleys Ford Road
Fredericksburg, Virginia
United States
Phone: 540-399-1982
This "rescue" is run by Ann Delp. Her efforts began legitimitely, rescuing pregnant mares used to make hormones for pharmaceutical companies. (See newspaper article here: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2004/052004/05172004/1321870 ) However, the conditions of the farm, and the animals on it, have deteriorated over the years.

Now, Delp obsessively focuses on rescuing foals, which are a byproduct of the racing industry. (See newspaper article here: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/042009/04232009/461027 ) I believe the reporter who wrote this article does not know much about horses, or she would have walked out in the field to do some fact checking for herself. The conditions at Eagle Hill Farm are atrocious. The 40 acre property holds somewhere around 150 horses, possibly more (estimates once reached 180 animals). Almost all of the fields are dirt, with no grass for grazing.

Although Delp generally has a bad reputation in the Fredericksburg, VA horse community, local authorities have had trouble pinning anything on her. Animal control requires food, water, shelter, and necessary veterinary and other care (farrier work, for example) to be provided for animals. There are no regulations for pasture management to maintain proper forage for the animals. Also, Delp has successfully evaded prosecution by pretending that animals in poor condition are recent rescues. Horses that have been at the farm for years, languishing in unacceptable conditions, are given new names and exploited for publicity. Delp shows off these "recent additions" to her herd and explains to the public that their previous owners did not take care of them and that is the reason they are in such poor shape. What everyone doesn't know is that these animals have been on Delp's farm for years, unable to thrive.

Another tactic Delp uses to evade trouble is to move the most underweight and despondent horses to fields off of her property. She has a free lease on two fields across the street from her farm that Animal Control, conveniently, doesn't know about. Lucky for Delp, Culpeper Animal Control calls her a day ahead of time and lets her know they will be coming to do a farm check. This allows for enough time for the saddest cases to be hidden away.

Horses are allowed to breed freely at this farm, and babies are born "unexpectedly" every once in a while. I suspect it is Delp's irrational love of baby horses that drives her to delay geldings for years.

The following unacceptable things have been witnessed:

Horses going lame from lack of hoof care
More foals dying than being adopted
Horses dying from living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions
More focus on bringing in new horses than adopting existing ones out
Inadequate forage (grass or hay)
Inadequite parasite managent (bot flies and worms)
Blatant disregard for animal comfort and wellbeing
Uncontrolled breeding of horses and other animals
Pollution of local water body from waste runoff
Hoarding of animals being disguised as rescue

The list could go on and on. It disgusts me that this organization is allowed to continue. Ann Delp believes she can do whatever she wants to these animals because she has been, thus far, unopposed. She has lied to hundreds of people, including law enforcement officers and members of the public who genuinely care about animals. She is gratifying some personal need with her pseudo-rescue, instead of providing horses with a better home.

I beg you to do something about this. Go see for yourselves and call Culpeper Animal Control at [protected] and let them know what you think. Call the Free Lance Star at [protected] and tell them this should not be allowed to continue.

Please stand up to Ann Delp. She must not be allowed to hoard any more animals.
Complaint comments Comments (207)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Non-profit Organizations


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D  22nd of May, 2009 by    -3 Votes
We currently have no proof of the name of the writer, but we feel quiet certain that is was written by a disgruntled former employee. Our attorney will find out for certain, and advise him that his statement is both liable and slanderous. Please read all the articles written about Eagle Hill Equine Rescue and see what others think about our non-profit horse rescue. Goggle is filled with outstanding comments about our rescue.
D  22nd of May, 2009 by    -2 Votes
How someone can write such garbage trying to destroy the reputation of one of the largest equine rescue’s in Virginia??? With newspapers visiting the farm taking pictures and video, the vet paying weekly visits, and 2500 visitors a year don’t you think if there was a problem at Eagle Hill Equine Rescue there would be more than ONE person complaining about it?

It is my hope Mrs. Delp does pursue legal avenues to stop these bogus claims so that she can once again focus her efforts on what she does best, saving and caring for the innocent lives of the horses that would be lost without her dedication and devotion to them.
D  22nd of May, 2009 by    0 Votes
I have visited Eagle Hill Equine Rescue several times over the past three or four months trying to decide which one of their beautiful horses I am going to adopt including a few weeks ago. While there I walked each and every field including the fields across the street.

During each of my visits to the farm there were huge bales of hay in every field and all horses were at or above ideal weight. The person making these accusations is obviously delusional! My advice to all readers is when in doubt check it out, visit the farm for yourself and make your own conclusions
N  23rd of May, 2009 by    +2 Votes
I have never been employed by Eagle Hill Equine Rescue or Ann Delp. I am merely a concerned citizen and animal lover. Statements of truth and opinion are not defamatory. I have not posted anything false, just things which are not widely known. This is America, where free speech is a right. If my complaint is offensive to Eagle Hill Equine Rescue or Ann Delp, my hope is that measures will be taken to better the lives of the animals living on the farm. Those animals are what really matter here, and my intention is to encourage Eagle Hill to improve the conditions of the horses. Putting things out in the open and raising awareness will, at least, increase scrutiny and encourage people to form their own opinions about the farm and take whatever action they see fit.
D  23rd of May, 2009 by    -1 Votes
What a bunch of crap... this place is such a wonderful place to be for horses and humans. its very rewarding to go there and help to love these horses as much as annie does. all her horses from the babies to the adults are happy here and you know it when you see it. there is tons of hay, tons of grass, and no mass or intentional reproduction. AND SINCE THIS IS AMERICA as you stated, where free speech is a right againstfalserescue your a flippin idiot, and you need to stop trying to hurt the rescuing of these horses, including the ones that had to be rescued from you.
A  24th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
This pattern is not new, but has been a problem since at least 2005. Foals were sent to new families with respiratory infections, some with pneumonia, and carrying heavy parasite loads. Underweight horses were said to be new arrivals when, in some cases, previous owners later offered different information concerning arrival dates. When adopters/buyers were told to call the vet clinic to have horses' records transferred, some found the clinic had no record of having seen that horse. Following an Animal Control/State Vet inspection at that time, conditions did improve somewhat. It would be a shame if things have deteriorated again.

JA, are you sure vets are visiting weekly? Based on something other than what is stated on the web site?
A  24th of May, 2009 by    +2 Votes
This is unmistakeably a beautiful farm. However: great farm does not translate into great care, adequate volunteers or sufficient knowledge. It is true that this organization does not have a good reputation among experienced horse people in the area. People with less knowledge consider it to be a pleasant picnic spot. But he general consensus is that Ms. Delp has not recognized that she has too many horses for her resources, so her management of them is less than desired. The situation could be corrected if she were to stop taking in more horses for awhile and invest more in the care and training of the ones she has so that they are able to find homes. Once the numbers are down, better field management and handling protocals can be developed and implemented.
D  24th of May, 2009 by    +2 Votes
If you are all truly concerned about the horses and their care wouldn’t your time be better spent volunteering at EHER doing something that would benefit the horses?
N  25th of May, 2009 by    0 Votes
First, curious, you assume the concerned people here are NOT helping horses in other ways.

Second, how would volunteering change the management's operating procedures?
N  25th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
The Equine Rescue League was started about 20 years ago in VA. USERL, the largest rescue here, was formed some time back in the 1990s in NC, but now operates in VA. There is a lot of experience in this state. Eagle Hill would benefit by talking to some of these more experienced organizations. Oddly enough, none of them seem to need attorneys. These folks should not be concerned about the comments that are out there on the Internet, rather they should pay close attention to the ones in their own neighborhood. Maybe that way, they would not get visits from Animal Control, with or without notification. I sincerely doubt this poster was a disgruntled employee. His or her opinion is not that uncommon in this area.
A  25th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Speaking of attorneys...if I wanted to volunteer at a rescue, I'd look for one that has safer horse handling practices.
A  26th of May, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Did the reporter that wrote that last article even visit the farm? She's not an employee of the local paper. She's a freelance writer and she has a Utah area code.
N  26th of May, 2009 by    -5 Votes

please log in and check your complaintsboard inbox (link in the right sidebar on this page)
D  27th of May, 2009 by    -3 Votes
your just a trouble maker get a flippin life. all you negative comments need to stop trying to hurt this organization that is doing its best for the horses, and darn better than anyone of you negative people are doing. maybe if you went to get those babies yourself you might have something to say, but you dont so get a life. your only trying to hurt the individual through the cause, like one parent trying to hurt the other parent by emotionally hurting the child. your pissed cause you NO LONGER HAVE CONTROL, and that pisses you off, by doing this makes you feel like you still have some thread of control.
N  27th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
I think everyone here just wants to see each horse get what it needs (appropriate food, regular farrier care, vet care) rather than being fed over the fence, en masse, including the foals with their community milk tubs, hoping each one gets its fair share and not being able to notice when one needs a different horsekeeping scheme.
N  27th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Calm down. The unhappy truth is that all hoarding situations start out with good intentions. Many of them start out providing excellent care. But they all follow the same trajectory. They keep adding more horses as the care of the individual horses declines. The operator fails to see the downward spiral, rationalizing that it is more important to "save" just one more than it is to maintain the quality of care for the animals already there. The already-saved begin to suffer from neglect. For some really good examples, read Fuglyhorseoftheday.blogspot.com. I suspect that we are all concerned that the needs of the horses already at this rescue are not being adequately addressed, while more animals are being brought in. The pattern is uncomfortably familiar and I have no desire to see these horses end up on the 11:00 news. To not speak up is to be complicit. "Againstfalsrescue, " thank you for doing so.
N  28th of May, 2009 by    -2 Votes
A state humane investigator is interesting in looking into this but needs a recent EYEWITNESS to contact her before she can open an investigation. Contact her through the Middleburg Humane Foundation: http://mysite.verizon.net/bizqmjr1/id12.html
N  28th of May, 2009 by    0 Votes
Interesting piece on stocking rates talks about using weight as a guide rather than number of horses. recommends 600-700 pounds of horse per acre rather than, say one horse per two acres.

Stocking Rates for Horse Pastures
N  29th of May, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Rutgers Equine Science Center - Nutrition FAQ's:
N  29th of May, 2009 by    -1 Votes
Streptococcus zooepidemicus

"Strep zoo can cause a variety of infections, including most commonly pneumonia, lung abscesses and guttural pouch infections. More severe conditions, like bloodstream infections, joint infections and meningitis, can also occur, but are uncommon and most often affect neonatal foals."

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