For those following the shutdown of controversial horse rescue operation HiCaliber in San Diego County California, – of late, there have been people defending it and its founder, Michelle Knuttila.
The defenders present a different picture than what has been painted by the critics of HiCaliber.
The defenders say that “cyber bullies” including an anonymous blogger named Shedrow and others drove donations down and caused the shutdown of an ethical and wonderful horse rescue operation.
Knuttila was driven out of saving horses, her defenders say, by her critics.
Of course, Shedrow and other critics see it differently and one gets a good idea of their position by reading Shedrow Confessions, “where there are “no boundaries, no filter, no worries.”
Shedrow’s writings consist of numerous stories of abused horses, many of them being killed when they allegedly might have been saved.
But a new website has been started and is in a rudimentary state: www.michelleknuttila.com purports to be preparing to give Knuttila’s side of the story.
On the website readers learn that the HiCaliber Facebook page is back up “to close out any remaining merchandise orders and… remind everyone that adoption contracts are still in force and will be transferred to another entity.”
Chances are both sides would agree with that.
The new website is published by “a group of Michelle’s friends who support and love her.” They call themselves “Michelle’s Team.”
Why do they love her?
“We love her ability to get a horse to trust her immediately. We love her wacky tattoos and her humor. We love her not-very-well-known cooking skills. Has she made mistakes? Yes. We love her anyway. That’s how love works. We love that in the midst of those mistakes, she never failed the horses.”
Michelle’s Team also answers other questions:
Why are we anonymous?
Very few people are aware of how extreme the levels of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, stalking, and yes, death attempts became. Some of the highlights were publicly shared, but most of the information wasn’t. (And yes, law enforcement was involved). Bottom line: no thanks. We assume that some internet sleuths with nothing better to do will try to figure it out and eventually will, but until then why help them out?
Where is Michelle and why isn’t she saying anything?
She will, promise. Michelle’s silence has been nothing more than a bi-product of the all the chaos of the last few weeks. She is concentrating on what is most important right now, but we’ve told her about all the messages of love and support that came in ever since this site was discovered, and she is grateful. She will tell her story, in due time. Pinky promise.
Yeah, but why is the Facebook page down?
Well, the rescue has closed (although its contracts are still enforceable, please be aware!). It doesn’t need a Facebook page. But even if it were still open, Facebook is kinda over, going the way of MySpace and Friendster. (Remember them?). It’s just a clunky, ineffective way to connect with people, filled with bots and trolls who take up space and make a buzzing noise that is impossible to cut through.”
And they asks for messages.
“We appreciate the messages of love and support. – Michelle’s Village.”
In our next post on the subject, Frank Report will look further into the controversy, what critics are saying about Frank Report’s entry into the topic and the newly revealed secret and concerted effort to uncover the true identity of Shedrow.
As for who Shedrow is, I really don’t care. She has the right if she likes to remain anonymous. Which is what I told two private investigators who asked me.
For my own part, I think there are several things of interest:
- What did Michelle Knuttila really do – was she cruel and evil or kind and loving to horses?
- Or somewhere in between.
- Did she do more harm than good?
- Should she have remained in operation and, but for her critics, she would have?
- Or was it a blessing that she was driven to close her operation?
- Independent of whether she was an ethical, or ruthless [possibly fraudulent] horse rescuer and fundraiser, what did she do to the property of the landlord?
- Can she blame the destruction of the property on those who scared away donations [rightly or wrongly]?
- Or is she responsible for what happened to the property?
- And if she is responsible and is without assets, how will she pay for damages to the property, if it is proven in court that she caused it by her neglect and recklessness?
- Many of the “compassionate” horse saviors seem to be unnaturally hostile to humans. I get their desire to save horses and even their anger with those who they think are abusive to horses. But do they sometimes go over the top in their anger and even hatred- as if their desire to hate is really the driving force?
- Do they hate the sinner and the sin? In their blind rage are they being objective? Or how did horse lovers become people haters?
- Did Knuttila’s bizarre and eccentric behavior really cause her undoing?
- If she had been polite and more agreeable, more open to change and less confrontational and brazen, might she have weathered the storm, adjusted, made corrections, made friends out of enemies and kept the operation going for the sake of the horses?
- Was it really her fault that she self destructed?
- Or was there no placating her enemies?
- Did they hate her and want to destroy her at all costs?
- She evidently had the personality to attract people and had some affinity for horses. Could she have done better? What would she have needed to do to save the operations? Why didn’t she do it?
- Was she deliberately abusive to the people who tried to help and correct the operation, joining the category of haters, and forgetting that this was fundamentally about saving horses, not fighting with people?
- Was Michelle fundamentally corrupt or off her rocker, so dreadfully flawed, that it was a mercy that she was closed down?
- Or could she have righted herself? Is she really a good person who has an unfortunate lack of diplomacy skills?
- Which brings us back to the fundamental question – was HiCaliber an abusive place for horses, run by an abusive woman – or was it all really a terrible misunderstanding – and the world is poorer for it being closed down.
- If as much compassion had been shown to Michelle as to the horses by her critics could this have been saved?
- Or is Michelle incorrigible and thank goodness this “nutcake” has been stopped?
- In other words, is there a net gain or net loss in horse rescues with the shutdown of HiCaliber.
After speaking with numerous people on both sides of the HiCaliber story, I can say I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions. I think it would be interesting to find out. Not that I expect it will bring a great deal of justice for or against Michelle – or bring back one horse who is dead from being killed by Michelle or – by Michelle’s absence – killed elsewhere. I do expect that people hating horse lovers will blow a gasket over this attempt to find the truth.
I’m used to that in my business. Because it might shed light on the entire horse rescue concept and on human nature itself, this is a worthwhile story.
I think I’ll linger a little and find out more.