What if there was no NetPosse?


Posted at Monday, September 24, 2012 in General


What if there was no NetPosse?
Below is an archived newsletter that shows some of what we do at Stolen Horse International and NetPosse.com. What would we do without NetPosse?

Stolen Horse International Inc.

 

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September 26, 2012, is fast approaching ... Let's step back in time for just a moment...

On September 26, 1997, 15 years ago, Harold and Debi Metcalfe's world was turned upside down when Harold discovered his beloved spotted racking horse mare, Idaho, was missing from the pasture.

 

What the Metcalfes didn't realize at first was that Idaho didn't escape on her own or just wander off ...

 

What the Metcalfes didn't realize at first was that Idaho wasn't going to be found in a matter of a few minutes ... or hours ... or days ... or weeks ...

 

What they did discover was that Idaho, like thousands of other horses each year, had been stolen ...

 

What they did learn was that there were few resources in 1997 to help them ... Not through local law enforcement and not to be found on the Internet.

 

Hours turned into days; days turned into weeks ... and the one-year deadline they had given for the search was quickly approaching.

So what did they do? What happened?

Click to Read Idaho's Full Story!

The Metcalfes did for Idaho what has been developed into a science through Stolen Horse International's Web site, www.NetPosse.com ... Idaho's was the first flyer, the first Internet search, the first volunteer networking for a stolen horse ... many firsts and the first of manys for what this organization does before the Metcalfe's knew there would be a NetPosse ... here is what happened: 

 

The Metcalfes actively, and even desperately, searched for their stolen horse in every way possible ... Driving aimlessly along pasture-lined roads, consorting with thugs and criminals at auctions, besieging the Internet with emails, plastering posters everywhere possible, following tips no matter how small ... praying for the one that would bring their horse home so life could return to normal.

 

One impromptu trip ... one wrong turn ... one last flyer ... one state away from home ... almost one year after Idaho's theft ...

 

One wrong turn ... one right person ... one more possible lead ... one more disappointment ... or would it be the right one?

 

If it was your missing horse, could you deal with one more wrong lead; one more disappointment when you are told a marking is on the wrong side? Is it worth a trip to another state just to be sure?

 

Harold and Debi Metcalfe will tell you YES! It is worth it!

This is the stuff that movies are made of ...

                                     

A grown man falling to his knees in tears as he collapses after seeing his horse in a video after 51 weeks ...

 

A mother grieving and distraught when she realizes her daughter is about to lose the horse she loves as Lucy ...

 

Another mother and wife feeling the anguish of both, but knowing that her husband's horse is coming home ...

 

An abandoned parking lot where law enforcement officers lead an unrecognizable horse toward the Metcalfes ...

 

Then one whistle from Harold ... the head is raised, the tail is lifted, and the mare's hooves dance toward the man she once trusted and loved ...

 

Above the mare's back is the most amazing sign ever that this is right ... this was all worth it ... the church steeple.

 

So Idaho is home ... and all is right with the world, right? ... WRONG!

 

Idaho, like many stolen horses that are neglected and abused, has physical ailments. The mare also has psychological ones that cannot be seen.

 

Had the little girl's family not purchased Idaho after she'd been run through more than one auction house, including the one that told Debi on the phone that they hated a horse thief while the mare was in their pasture ... Idaho's fate might not be what it was.

 

And it wasn't just about Idaho or the Metcalfes ...

 

Debi had delved into the new world of the Internet and her journey had created a network of other horse owners and victims ... a network dubbed by the media as "NetPosse." Now those same victims were begging for help in finding their stolen horses.

So what's a girl to do?

Idaho & her family 1998
After Idaho was recovered on September 17, 1998, Debi did the only thing she could ... she quit her job with her family's blessing and formed Stolen Horse International, affectionately called "NetPosse."

 

Today, 15 years after Idaho's theft and 14 years after her recovery, it is the only nonprofit dedicated to preventing the theft of horses while aiding in the recovery of stolen and missing horses. No other organization exists that does what this one does.

 

Would you do this? What would you do?

 

Other similar organizations have come and gone, but only this one remains ... why?

 

Because of one woman's dedication to fulfill what has become her life's mission. While Debi will be the first to tell you she doesn't do it alone, it is only because of the time and energy she gives to NetPosse that it continues to exist.

 

Many people do not realize what goes on behind the scenes, so let me give you a quick rundown ...

 

Debi operates NetPosse from her family's house ...

 

All of NetPosse's computers are running 24/7, and they need to be replaced, but Debi is struggling to find the funds.

 

Every day (weekends and holidays included), Debi is answering calls from victims, working cases online and via telephone, managing finances and paying bills, searching for fundraising opportunities, networking with the equine professionals, handling merchandise orders, scheduling or attending equine events, corresponding through email and social media, developing promos, issuing alerts to thousands of people and dozens of online sites ... and the list goes on.

 

Every day, Debi is running a company while also doing the work of several office personnel. NetPosse is an ALL-Volunteer organization, so there is no paid staff, not even Debi. Her husband and sometimes her son, help with shipping and events.

 

Here is what you really don't know:

Debi & Josh Lyons at
Equine Event.

 

NetPosse operates on a shoestring budget - many educational events have had to be cut over the last few years.

 

Debi does not receive payment for her speaking engagements, large or small. She negotiates booth rental, food and lodging, anything she can to maintain a budget, but also make these important appearances.

 

Debi has not received a salary in 14 years, and her family has survived off her husband's income. She literally works 24/7 in the office, on vacation, from events ... she never truly gets "out of the office."

 

Debi continues to help others and put them above herself because NetPosse is her passion and she and her family have sacrificed more than anyone can imagine ... and for complete strangers.

We know what Debi did ... what would you do?

Debi with victim & recovered horse, Taz.

So ask yourself this ...

and be honest ...

 

What would you have done if this had been you?

 

Would you have left no stone unturned and scoured the bottom of the earth for your horse?

 

Guess, what ... many horse owners don't. They think once a report is filed with NetPosse, there is an army of people who take over and even physically go out and search for a horse ... yet that's not how this organization operates. It takes everyone working together ... the horse owner, and the volunteer network ... to recover horses. Some people distribute information over the computer while others physically look for horses wherever they might be located.

 

NetPosse is here as a resource ... it provides the links and networks to tens of thousands of horse owners, equine professionals, online sites, tips on prevention and recovery, a Web site that received tens of thousands of visitors each month ... one of whom might be the key in recovery your horse, tack or trailer.

 

Would you have quit your job to help other horse theft victims and done so as a volunteer?

 

What if your horse was recovered, and what if a NetPosse volunteer, flyer, or tip was the direct reason?

 

Would you forget about the one organization that immediately stepped up when no one else did? When law enforcement, friends, or family told you it's just a horse, forget about it ... you'll never find it?

 

Would you forget about the one organization that took you from a few local people aware of your missing horse to thousands of people across the U.S. and even in other countries who shared your horse's info, offered words of encouragement, sent leads or just words of hope?

 

Would you forget about the one organization that created flyers with 14-year's worth of credibility and issued alerts that are immediately recognized and forwarded to other horse owners?

 

Would you forget about the one organization that perhaps issued press releases and gained media coverage?

 

Would you forget about the one organization that answered your call at 10 o'clock at night and every other odd hour, including weekends and holidays, to offer you assistance?

 

 

Guess What? Many victims do! 

 

Once a horse has been returned home, NetPosse is just a forgotten memory ... there are few "thank yous" and NetPosse can forget about any portion of a reward offered, no matter how much work was done to help bring that horse home. 

 

To those of you who have never been victims but offer support day in and day out, WE APPRECIATE YOU!

 

To those of you who have been victims and who have continued to support NetPosse and tell others about this organization ... THANK YOU!

 

To those of you who have stolen and missing horses listed on NetPosse.com, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! We never will ...

 

Remember, "Never Underestimate the Power of One!"

 

One email, one flyer, one "share," one "like," one tip, one word of encouragement ... any one can make a difference.

 


 Behind-the-scenes ...

What you might not know.

 

Horse on computer animated

 

Those in the volunteer network are invaluable and are often the direct link in locating horses. They step up to the plate and let the victim know they are not alone. These people make the NetPosse Network work.

 

Then there are those who take it a step further by developing the newsletter, requesting items for fundraisers, contacting victims to list on NetPosse, researching resources for the site, and other tasks, all of whom help take a huge burden off of Debi. Yet these volunteer hours vary and can be many each week or sometimes only a few.

 

There are only three people - Debi Metcalfe, Angela Kirby and Michelle Gordon - who are qualified to handle the emails and reports NetPosse is inundated with regarding stolen and missing horses. All of these volunteers are victims and have worked with these cases for years. Not only do the responses and interactions become time consuming, they are also very involved when providing advice and resources to help these horse owners ... many of whom never even file. Because of this, their time to do other tasks for NetPosse can be very limited.

 

Again, herein lies the importance of every single volunteer, no matter what the task or how much time is committed. This organization only works because of its volunteers.

 

The extensive volunteer network Debi has cultivated through NetPosse over the last decade and a half is invaluable in making more connections, disseminating alerts, posting flyers, providing tips, and the like, but only a few volunteers handle NetPosse functions directly.

So what can you do?

 How can you help?

 

NetPosse eBay Giving Works Mission Fish AuctionNow NetPosse needs your help! As I already said, this nonprofit operates on a shoestring budget, and the economy is forcing many nonprofits "out of business."

 

We don't want NetPosse to be one of them .... Do you?

 

What can you do?

 

> Donate whatever you can just one time

> Donate on a monthly basis whatever you can afford

> Donate to NetPosse's annual eBay auction

> Donate products to the NetPosse store

> Purchase products from our NetPosse store - We have ID products, but Tack items, too!

> Purchase products from our affiliates like Dr. Dan

> Join our NetPosse Alert system

> Like us on Facebook ... Share us on Facebook

> Visit the Web site and monitor stolen/missing horse listings

 

If you haven't already,

VOLUNTEER TODAY!
CLICK HERE
 
We'd love to have you!

 

DONATE TODAY!

 

JOIN NETPOSSE!

 

DONATE to eBAY AUCTION

 

PURCHASE MERCHANDISE

 

Visit NETPOSSE.COM for MORE!

Donate for Debi's Birthday!  click here

Debi Metcalfe and IdahoDebi's Birthday is coming up September 28! Please donate in her honor in order to help continue this organization that Debi has built up over the last 15 years! Your support would mean more to Debi than you know! ~ Angela, Exec. Coordinator
Recoveries thanks to NetPosse.com!
All because of one horse ...
The theft and recovery of a racking horse mare, Idaho, inspired the beginning of NetPosse.com, which is responsible for recovering many more horses ...

 

RUSTY/SPIRIT- NetPosse Flyer

 

PIXIE DUST- NetPosse Flyer

 

JIRAH - NetPosse Flyer

 

SUNDAE/RUSTY - NetPosse Media

 

EMPTY GLASS - NetPosse Flyer

 

MAX - NetPosse Flyer

 

HEART - NetPosse Alert

 

GRIZZLY - NetPosse Alert

 

SANDY/TAZ - NetPosse Network

 

DAISY - NetPosse Flyer

 

MOLLY/STORMY - NetPosse Network

 

THUNDER - NetPosse Network

 

MIA - NetPosse Network 

 

FREEBURN - NetPosse Network

 

TUE/DIGGER - NetPosse Flyer

 

FALENTINE - NetPosse Flyer

 

HOLLY/MYLO - NetPosse Network

 

JEWEL/BRAVO - NetPosse Network

 

ALOBJE - NetPosse Alert

 

MIRACLE/ROSIE - NetPosse Network

 

OPIE - NetPosse Network

 

ARIEL - NetPosse Network
bar explore NetPosse.com
Wanted
 
Volunteers, the Pride of NetPosse.com 
 
If you have always dreamed of doing what you love and working among a group of motivated, caring and like-minded people, then volunteering for NetPosse.com is the destination of your dreams! You can make a difference!

You are required to have an account at NetPosse.com before you can register to become a volunteer.
 
Please either login to an existing account or register to make a new account.  Once you login go to "My Account" at the top of the page and click on the Volunteer button.
 
 
Debi and Buck Brannamon
Have you seen this woman?
 

Education is very a very important part of what we do at Stolen Horse International/NetPosse. Each time we are at a public event we have opportunities to reach more people for victims and to provide education that we don't find on facebook or behind a computer at a desk.  

 

Come see Debi in Virginai!

 
NOV. 2-4, 2012 Equine Extravaganza at the Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA This is an all-breed event. They are featuring Guy McLean, winner of the Road to the Horse, and Chase Dodd, 2 time Extreme Mustang Makeover winner. Lots of clinicians, lots to see and do, and lots of Christmas Shopping!!

 

Click HERE for Debi Metcalfe's public appearance calendar.   

 

For clinics, group seminars and demonstrations on theft prevention and permanent identification methods, email Debi Metcalfe here.


Special thanks to Ellen Wright, NetPosse Newsletter Editor, for all her contributions and hard work on the monthly newsletter. We really look forward to each edition!


This special edition newsletter was written, compiled and distributed by Angela Kirby, NetPosse Executive Coordinator, in honor of the anniversaries of Idaho's theft (9/26/97) and recovery (9/17/98). 

Bar_mising horses
 
 
Stolen Horse International Inc. | NetPosse.com | PO Box 1341 | Shelby | NC | 28150

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Posted by Angela Beck

NetPosse Executive Consultant