The director of a California horse rescue is accused of stealing cash and equipment leading to his arrest.
Detectives arrested Always and Forever Horse Rescue manager Jess Ahumada after an investigation revealed he diverted funds meant for the pseudo-horse rescue. Additionally, $7000 worth of tack and equipment went missing, but has since been returned to the rescue.
Ahumada is facing charges including embezzlement.
Ahumada started the Exeter operation a few years ago, which was promoted as a ‘non-profit’. There is no record that the proper 501(c)3 status was ever obtained by Always and Forever.
Oklahoma resident Terry Way tells Rate My Horse PRO he “purchased” the rescue from Ahumada in February. Way says Ahumada operated under the guise of other charities’ non-profit status, including some that were defunct. We have not independently confirmed this information.
Since Way took over, a $600 cap was placed on the horses’ adoption fees. Way contends Ahumada “was not up front and honest” regarding the horses’ fees. Ahumada allegedly placed one horse for $10,000 and none of the money was paid to the rescue’s coffers.
“There is no paper trail for the last two months – June and July – because he was having [adopters] pay in cash,” Way adds.
Way has a 501(c)3 in Oklahoma called Ways Ranch Association.
Ahumada is out on bond. The criminal investigation is on-going.
If you adopted a horse from Always and Forever Horse Rescue and haven’t spoken with officials since Ahumada’s August arrest, please contact Detective R. Gunderman or Sgt. Mike Yandell with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Ag Crimes Investigations Unit at (559) 735-1898.