circle a home for horses in the news

September 8, 2018 - PRESS RELEASE


Where are the Horses?

U.S. Horse Rescues demand Icareihelp Surrender Remaining Racehorses Amid Reported Abuse and Neglect

Questions Remain Unanswered as Disturbing and insurmountable Evidence Surfaces Daily

Farmerville, LA—An estimated 74 horses are unaccounted for, 4 dead, and 36 remain captive in converted chicken barns, at the hands of ex-kill pen employee, Hal Parker.  On August 17th National Thoroughbred Welfare Organizations (NTWO) released  claiming up to the minute facts, calling for icareihelp to relinquish remaining horses in the care of Hal Parker, held under the direction of Dina Alborano, of the New Jersey-based icareihelp. Heightened concern for the horses’ survival has brought together several equine welfare organizations, along with Donna Brothers of NBC Sports, and independent racehorse owners to gain access to the horses and provide much-needed veterinary care and nutritional support, all have been denied.

A video-report posted on Twitter reveals incriminating evidence detailing the scam perpetrated on kind and giving folks, carried out by Dina Alborano, Hal Parker and Jacob Thompson.

Louisiana state officials have been notified of the situation, including the Department of Agriculture and State Veterinarian. Callers are referred to the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office for information or to file a complaint. Union Parish relies on sheriff’s deputies to perform duties of Animal Control, with minimal responsibility to only confirm water and grass are available to the horses in Parker’s care, contrary to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) guidelines  Questions remain unanswered ten days after the article was released.

Mass bailing of Thoroughbreds from Thompson Lot in Pitkin between January and August of this year by Dina Alborano of icareihelp, and Hal Parker of Farmerville, Louisiana, placed an estimated 181 horses in danger of illness, and even death. Reports by visitors of Parker’s facility describe conditions similar to a slaughterhouse-bound kill pens, rather than those outlined for Rescue & Retirement Facilities by the American Association of Equine Practitioners

According to one eyewitness, Attorney Vickie Coombs, who visited Parker’s facility:

“On or about Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 at 12:26pm (CST), I visited the real property located at 3118 Hwy 549, Marion, Union Parish, Louisiana 71241, leased by Mr. Hal Parker. I was in the area and was aware he had horses for sale that were allegedly rescued from slaughter. Upon arrival at the property I observed two abandoned and dilapidated chicken houses. Upon further inspection, I determined numerous equines were being housed in these structures. With respect to the conditions, I noted the following: There was no evidence of adequate hay or forage in the two structures containing the horses. While I noted a water hose that was yellow in color it appeared as though the horses did not have access to clean potable water. This was particularly concerning as the ambient temperature was approximately 100 degrees F. Multiple horses were emaciated, appeared to be dehydrated and were exhibiting signs of significant respiratory distress evidence by hacking coughs, dyspnea and the presence of thick mucopurulent discharge. The structures in their current condition were wholly inadequate to house horses. An emaciated Thoroughbred (grey in color) exhibited evidence of dehydration as well as what appeared to be acute or chronic Streptococcus equi (strangles) infection, as evidenced by the presence of a profuse, thick, mucopurulent discharge emanating from both nostrils. The horse appeared to be in significant respiratory distress and demonstrated a harsh cough. As a former court-appointed humane investigator for Fairfax and Prince William counties, and a third-year veterinary medical student with almost 30 years of experience in the field of equine welfare, the conditions under which Mr. Parker’s property are being kept are disturbing.”

A joint effort has been established by several horse rescues, registered 501(c)3 non-profits to assist Parker and Alborano in providing grain, hay, farrier services and veterinarian care to remaining horses in their care. Attempts to reach Parker and Alborano for information on the whereabouts of remaining horses went unanswered.

Several feed stores in and around Farmerville were contacted, to determine brands and quantities purchased by Parker, with an offer to pay the feed store directly. One feed store contacted stated Parker has not been a customer for several months, additionally still has an outstanding balance due. Another feed store stated Parker spends on average $120.00 per week, hardly enough to feed what is believed to be over thirty horses in his care. An average horse requires 6-10 lbs. of grain per day to maintain weight  Thirty-five horses require 280 pounds per day if feeding 8 lbs. per day, or 1960 pounds per week. The cost per bag averages between $16.00 and $23.00 for a high-quality brand horse feed or $640-920 per week. 

Please contact Alicia Mahar, Executive Director at 757.286.5282 or  for information on how to assist in the critical effort to help these horses. 


January 16, 2018 - The Virginian Pilot

Animal Matters column by Rob Blizard

The Safe Act Would Protect Horses from Slaughter

In this thoughtful column, the Executive Director of the Norfolk SPCA urges legislative support for the SAFE Act, and features Circle A home for Horses and our work to promote this legislation.

January 10, 2018 - The Virginian Pilot

By Jane Bloodworth Rowe

Horses Provide therapy for Humans, While Farm Rescues the Animals from Slaughter

A local news correspondent interviews Circle A founder Alicia Mahar and highlights our dual missions of equine therapy and equine rescue.

July 19, 2017 - WAVY TV News 10

By Marielena Balouris 

Taking Back the Community - The Healing of an Unlikely Pair

News story and video covering the partnership of Circle A Home for Horses and Seton Youth Shelters.

July 14, 2017 - Press Release

By Jennifer Sieracki

Sheltered Kids and Rescued Horses Work Together in Virginia Beach Recreational Therapy Program

Press notice by the executive director of Seton Youth Shelters detailing our unique relationship with their organization.

January 12, 2017 - WVEC-TV

By LaSalle Blanks

Making Your Mark: Saving Horses

Reporter devotes his regular column to this touching feature of Circle A Home for Horses.


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