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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Web Changes - Dont Post

I just took a look at the website and see some things which may need to be changed. Of course you have the final say:

1. Home Page – Introduction is not clear.

D.A.R. Dignity After Racing is a horse rescue and lobbying group. We quickly grew out of facebook. Our organization is to support rule changes to protect our standardbreds from ending up in dead stock. Sales being sold for meat and to get some kind of retirement in place for both horse & Grooms

I think it would be clearer if it said

Dignity After Racing (D.A.R.) is an advocacy and lobbying group whose aim is to work with horse rescue for standardbreds. Our organization goals are to promote rule changes to protect our standardbreds from ending up in grade sales where they are typically sold for slaughter. Our ultimate goal is to get some kind of retirement homes for our standardbreds and the grooms that took care of them during their racing careers.

2. The title says D.A.R Dignity After Racing. Elsewhere we refer to D.A.R. We need to be consistent. Either we use periods or not.

3. Contact Us – Often Go Daddy offers some free email accounts. Putting people’s email accounts out on the website allow them to get grabbed by search engines. I would suggest assigning e-mail accounts and behind the scenes they can be routed to the individual’s email accounts.

4. Goals – These are not the goals we have on Facebook. You did not want to mention some of the ultimate goals as you would get horsemen in arms over the fact you are looking to get some of their purse money. If that is still your concern, I would suggest using the following:

Goals of Dignity After Racing (D.A.R.)

1) To lobby for rule and bylaw changes to help protect the standardbred race and breeding horses from ending up in feed lots by putting sanctions and/or fines into place for owners & trainers who purposely put their horses into grade sales or sell their horses directly or indirectly to kill brokers.

2) Establishment of at least two surrender stalls at each fair (provided a rescue group is willing to take the horses from the fair within 24 hours) and at each extended pari-mutuel meet where owners can surrender their horses without any penalty.

3) To provide outreach to those involved in the standardbred industry as to the alternatives to slaughter.

4) Mandate registrations of horses that have been adopted to be marked not for racing or breeding purposes. Any foal of a mare adopted will not be eligible for registration for racing purposes.

5) Begin conversations with those groups that use standardbreds for farming and transportation purposes to let them know the standardbred industry wants to take care of these horses when they are no longer suitable for the work they desire.

6) To encourage the establishment of a buyback program to purchase horses that do not draw bids exceeding killer prices in two consecutive legitimate sales. These horses will be evaluated and if necessary, euthanized; otherwise sent to a legitimate rescue group.

7) To lobby for the establishment of a USTA (and SC) level of membership for dealers of Standardbreds who will not sell to kill brokers or slaughters and agree to apply to rules to ensure the safety and well being of horses they handle and agreeing to rules to be established to ensure the horse’s welfare.

8) To lobby the USTA for an establishment of a registry of stolen standardbreds.

9) To have all registered standardbreds embedded with computer ID chips under the skin to help catch the few horses that slip past us at the sales as well as to identify previously identified stolen standardbreds.

10) To set up a safety net farm system for owners & trainers who cease operations and are unable to support their horses so they have a place to turn to before things get out of control.

5. I would list the creed before the goals; a more logical placing on the web site.

6. For the creed, I would add a blank line between paragraphs. Such as:

Dignity After Racing (D.A.R.) Creed

Dignity After Racing (D.A.R.) is an advocacy group of standardbred breeders, owners, horsemen, rescue groups, and lovers of the standardbred horse seeking to reduce, if not eliminate the slaughter of standardbreds once their careers are over. It is our intention to seek the cooperation of the United States Trotting Association (USTA) in adopting rules and bylaws to safeguard registered and unregistered standardbreds as well as penalize those members who permit their horses to go to slaughter, as well as work with the various racing commissions and racetracks to encourage them to take steps to better protect our standardbred athletes. Realizing standardbreds are also used in non-racing tasks such as being used by the Amish community for farming and transportation, it is our hope to open a dialogue with the Amish community to encourage the improved welfare of the standardbred and choosing retirement of the standardbred instead of the sale and shipping to slaughter.

D.A.R. does not seek to eliminate legitimate horse rescue groups that rescue standardbreds, but to work in concert with them. We recognize their efforts in the past and look forward to their efforts in the future.

Dignity After Racing affirms there is no such thing as humane slaughter and calls for the outlawing of horse slaughter in North America. Horses in the North America are not raised as food animals and as such are not fit for human consumption. Contrary to myth, the majority of horses sent to slaughter are healthy horses, not sick and infirmed. That being said, we recognize there are times death is the responsible option for a horse; that's when euthanasia is called for. Responsible horse ownership means not only being able to provide for a horse while it is active, but being able to provide and look out for a horse’s best interest once their career is over, be it retirement, responsible adoption or euthanasia with euthanasia being the last option.

Dignity After Racing (D.A.R.) is not affiliated with the United States Trotting Association.

7. We mentioned things like a blog as well as Press Releases (perhaps DAR in the News). I would add pages for those even if not yet ready. A comment such as ‘Will Soon Be Available’ will let people know it is coming. The way it is now, people will visit once and never come back. You want them to keep coming back. Speaking of Press Releases, do I just send them to you and you’ll take care of getting them posted or will I have the ability of adding them.

8. Not mentioned before was a bio page. With a bio page, you can give a description of the board officers (their credentials) with an optional photo. Some may not be comfortable with their pictures being posted. You may wish to consider this.

9. Is there a way people can join? I know there is no dues structure (yet) but may want the names to develop a mailing list that D.A.R. can use. Just an idea?

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