Report: Head of 'icareihelp' horse rescue to pay penalties

January 13, 2020 12:44pm
Dina Alborano, head of the "icareihelp" racehorse rescue program spearheaded by online and social media drives, has agreed to pay civil penalties after depositing the donations into personal accounts.

According to a NJ Advance Media report published Monday, Alborano collected more than $344,000 over two years in an effort to keep former racehorses out of slaughterhouses. But because she never properly registered as a nonprofit the Attorney General's office took action, with the report indicating Alborano -- who was not criminally charged -- was fined $5,000.

According to the settlement, per NJ Advance Media, Alborano is barred from taking a leadership position with or fundraising for charities in the future.

Howard Pine, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, said that "donor funds were funneled into bank accounts controlled by Alborano and an acquaintance and it’s unclear from the records kept just how much of that money was actually used for rescuing horses.”

According to a message on Alborano's website, icareihelp "is no longer actively rescuing, as we are no longer accepting donations. This website is dedicated to the eight months in which we (actively) saved over 100 horses in kill lots from slaughter and rehomed each and every one of them with no adoption fee. Thank you to everyone who has been part of our journey and our organization."

Alborano's efforts came under fire from, among others, the National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization. Detractors discovered Alborano, partnering with Hal Parker, a former employee of a kill buyer organization, was paying a premium for former racehorses in Louisiana with the kill pens' owners discovering fervor behind the fundraising drives. Organizations such as the NTWO argued the rescue methods were short-sighted and questioned the care horses were receiving once purchased by icareihelp.

An article published in August by the NTWO's Victoria Keith titled "The Battle for Louisiana: Dina Alborano and Horses at Risk" detailed -- both in writing and photos -- accounts by those who adopted horses from icareihelp, finding them in seemingly worse shape than before rescued from kill pens in Louisiana.

According to an NTWO statement in the article, NTWO, New Vocations and other registered nonprofits "will come in to care for the horses, get them any vet and farrier treatments need, and place them with other non-profits and in new homes."

"The example of icareihelp illustrates why potential donors should tamp down the passionate emotions which come from the sight of a horse supposedly in danger in a kill pen and instead choose the more quiet but solid love for the horses found in hundreds of legitimate rescues across the nation," Keith wrote.

On her since-deleted Twitter account, Alborano at the time said she had 
"nothing to hide." She also posted photos videos of rescued horses in their current state while thanking Parker for his role.


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