BBB and Habitat for Horses

No BBB listing? Let me tell you why.

On rare occasions someone might drop us an email asking why we aren’t listed with the local Better Business Bureau. After sending them a few links to other references, they are satisfied with our standards of operation and are quite willing to donate.

There are two reasons we are not listed with the BBB. First, we are fully accredited by the highest accreditation association in our specific industry, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Each aspect of our financial and governance standards have been researched, along with staffing, safety and operational methods. Accreditation means we have met or exceeded the industry standards in animal sanctuary operations. Our financials are available on, along with our latest IRS form 990, all available on the internet. We receive a complete and independent financial audit every year.

Second, I hate strong armed tactics – “If you don’t do this our way, we will do this to you…” I’m not sure who decided that the BBB sets the standards for every business in the US. I certainly didn’t vote for their oversight nor do I wish to be forced by threats to let them judge all we do. This isn’t an acceptable way of doing business and we absolutely refuse to be forced by threats to submit to their governance.

Habitat for Horses has never submitted any information of our operation to the BBB of Houston.This morning, I received another letter from the BBB telling us that we still aren’t listed with them and what will happen if we do not immediately send them every bit of our information they demand. To quote the letter from Ashly Ordaz of the Better business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston to Habitat for Horses: (Bold print and quotes are duplicated of the actual letter)

“I am contacting you because your organization has opted not to provide information for our Better Business Bureau’s Philanthropy Review Program or has submitted information for review, however, your organization may not be meeting one or more Standards. Please note we are planning our charity press conference for November where we will present our current charity list to the public.

“Because your charity has opted not to disclose information or is not currently meeting certain BBB Standards, the list will indicate that your organization is ‘Nondisclosure’ OR ‘Does not meet one or more of the 20 Standards.’”

The letter further tells us that we have until October 17th to send them everything they request.

In other words, the rare person that seeks information from the Houston Chapter of the BBB might be told that we don’t meet their standards, even though we never submitted anything to them. While they set themselves up to be the final jury and judge, we chose not to participate in their courtroom tactics.