We are in urgent need of financial assistance in order to provide a temporary home for four amazing horses and a terrific dog that we have rescued in southern Spain.
We have no choice but to return very soon to the United States for a few months, for a variety of serious circumstances, and we simply can not abandon our animals.
Luckily, we have found safe temporary housing and quality care for them at an excellent facilty, until we can return in late 2017/beginning of 2018.
We need your help. Fast.
This has been a trying year for us, on many different levels, and it pains and embarrases us to ask for assistance.
Not only do we need to temporarily leave Spain and go to the United States, but our current financial situation is such that we can not handle it alone - although we are confident that this will be remedied within the next few months.
These animals mean the world to us, and they deserve the best possible life. We are stressed and frightened of what might happen to these animals if we are not able to provide them a temporary home.
Please help us keep these amazing creatures happy, healthy, well-cared for, and safe.
Here is more background on our situation, and the story of the four horses and the dog that you will be helping:
When my wife, Michelle, our daughter, Brooklyn, and I moved from the United States to southern Spain in late 2015, one of the goals at the top of our list was to have a home with enough land in order to provide a home for neglected and abused horses and other animals.
The dream was that in a few years down the road, once we were settled and firmly established, we would take in as many animals-in-need as we could.
However, it became immediately apparent that the animal treatment in this rural area was much worse than we had even anticipated. It seemed that every time that we left the house, we could have easily come home with five more animals who were being abused, or were left starving to death.
It was impossible to turn a blind eye. The first case that we became involved in was a baby horse, perhaps only a month or two old, that was being trapped by a local thug in such unimaginable filth and horrible conditions that, against the advice of other locals, we were compelled to act.
Not knowing how to proceed in a new land, we were able to discreetly bring this colt's story to the attention of an organization that rescues horses. The horse was indeed whisked away from his nightmare, and has now found a loving forever home in northern Europe.
A few weeks later, we came across another bad case involving a 5 month old female horse.
This time, we were able to peacefully negotiate with the owner, a down-on-his luck farmer. We decided to bring the filly home with us, who we named Flamenca.
At this stage, we did not have any infrastucture in place - no stable, no shelter, not even fencing.
For the first few weeks, young Flamenca slept in a makeshift stable we made out of pallets. To her - it was heaven!
We quickly hired a local carpenter who brought our land up to speed: 5 acres of fencing, a large wooden shelter, and a usuable stable (which we only use for emergencies, as we feel the horses are happier with freedom).
Through the carpenter, we learned about an old mare who had been worked hard throughout her life, but was no longer of any use to the owner. Things do not end well for farm animals in these parts when they are no longer deemed useful.
We figured that Chica (who never previously had a name in her 20 or so years on the planet) deserved a nice, easy retirement, and thought that she would make a perfect candidate to be a "nanny/aunt" for the baby, Flamenca, which is very important in the healthy development of herd animals such as horses.
We welcomed Chica home.
A few months later, we heard about a gelding horse named Eddie who needed a new home. He was a few hours away, at a rescue center that were ceasing operations.
They had rehabilatated Eddie from his awful circumstances into the very strong, friendly, capable, well-mannered gentleman that he is today.
It was also a bonus that Eddie was trained and rideable, which could be of help in the development of young Flamenca, and he certainly took a lot of the pressure off of Chica to constantly act as the "strict one."
Within days, the three of them settled in nicely, and it was as if the family that was always meant to be together forever had finally been united. The way that they have bonded so closely is truly beautiful.
And then there is the story of Snoopy.
Snoopy has perhaps suffered through the most, but sparkles the brightest.
He was abandoned and starving to death - just a young bag of bones when Michelle first discovered him. Snoopy has endured ordeal after ordeal during his 4 or 5 years on Earth.
Through it all, he just wants companionship, has a gentle, happy-go-lucky personality, is very clever, and possesses an unwavering eagerness to learn.
I have previously detailed Snoopy's journey, and our efforts to rescue him, here: CLICK TO READ SNOOPY'S STORY
Ever since we were able to barter for him and negotiate his release, Snoopy has been in good hands, but has been kept separate from our herd at home, as he was a stallion, and our herd consisted of two mares. We didn't need extra babies!
If you are not aware, the life of a stallion can often be a sad and lonely existence. We felt that it was crucial for Snoopy's well-being that he become a gelding.
Snoopy required recuperation in a different location, as we did not have adequate facilities, so he went to a very low-key equestrian centre were he was slowly nourished back to health.
Once he began gaining weight and with health improved, he was then castrated, and is now a gelding.
Once he healed from the surgery, the next stage for Snoopy was to bring him to a different equestrian centre where he could be further rehabilatated, taught basic training, and receive the loads of attention that he craves and deserves.
Snoopy, we are happy to report, is now in training to be ridden, and can be handled daily, even by young children, and Snoop is a favorite of the kids around the riding school.
The plan has always been to introduce him to our herd, and we are almost there... but Snoopy still needs a bit more rehab and training for that to be a success.
During this time, we have also taken in a puppy, Baloo, who was left in a basket on an acquaintance's doorstep, but they could not take him in. He was headed for a shelter.
Baloo is now a very large and very sweet 1 and a 1/2 year old mixed breed. He is a saint with our daughter, and friendly with neighboring dogs, horses, and our 3 cats.
Baloo does, however, have a tendency to occasionally escape and wander off to the nearby sheep and goats. He does not want to hurt the livestock, but he does have a desire to guard them. Unfortunately, the sheep and the shepherds in the area are not too keen on this idea of Baloo's.
Ideally, we could find a temporary sitter for a few months where he would be able to receive a bit of advanced training to break him of this habit.
We appreciate any and all help and support. If you can not afford a donation at this time, even sharing the link to this page gives us huge boost!
Thank you so much!
Pete, Michelle, and Brooklyn
(And Flamenca, Chica, Eddie, Snoopy, & Baloo send their love, too!)
Limited Edition "Snoopy for President" T-shirts Available!
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- Joanne Brown
- Amie Bailey-Knobler
- Jo Davies