Cyberbullies stalk Wisconsin horse rescue operator

In Viroqua, Wis., a woman who rescues abused horses is the latest victim of the unstoppable need of social media to shame someone, facts be damned.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office had to issue a press release this week that the online attacks against Amanda Everhart need to stop.

They started, of course, with a video someone shot by the side of the road, claiming a horse was thin. He posted it online and the internet took it from there, the paper says.

Everhart allowed a veterinarian to examine the animals on her property Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office. “The veterinarian reports the animals are being fed and taken care of at an appropriate level. Some of the animals are thin and look to be in poor health; however, this is not because of neglect or some other treatable disease,” Sheriff John Spears said in his statement.

Spears says that harassment of Everhart or trespassing on her property will not be tolerated.

Everhart said it’s a case of cyberbullying.

One video zooms in on a pair of horses. The person filming it is standing next to a vehicle yelling at people on the farm saying the horse is thin.

The horse they are referring to is Phoenix, who was surrendered Nov. 27. “She came in starved and was skin and bones … and she was covered in barbed-wire cuts; the halter was embedded in her face,” Everhart said. “She has a bald spot on her face that I flushed with penicillin, I cleaned her feet, Coggins tested her.” The test checks for a virus.

Everhart said that when Phoenix was surrendered, she was told the horse was 21 years old; however, Everhart’s veterinarian estimates that the horse is 30 years old. According to Everhart, Phoenix weighed between 600 and 800 pounds when she arrived, and now weighs between 900 and 1,000 pounds.

Everhart has hung no-trespassing signs on the property, the paper says. They’ll do nothing to stop Facebook’s pitchfork brigade, however.