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Summer begins tomorrow, but it has been hot here for weeks, with a few days over 100.

One evening, I found our big resident gopher snake soaking in one of 8 pans of water we put out for the wildlife.

Buddy has a really big “dog” house now. He cannot live inside with me due to my severe allergies and, despite enjoying our outings & playing tag, prefers not to be touched. He does allow (but not enjoy) daily tooth brushing, head rubbing & an occasional brushing. He likes his space, dislikes strangers (everyone except me), failed 2 shelter adoptions and has very specific needs regarding diet & supplements to treat his mitochondrial dysfunction.

I emptied out my 8 X 10 foot shed that is next to the house, insulated it, added self-stick tiles, 2 dog doors, a window, and attached a snake-proof pen to it. Our BOD member Joyce bought him a portable air conditioner.

He loves it. I confine him to his house and snake proof yard (1/4 inch mesh added to kennel panels) at night to avoid the possibility of a rattler bite when I am not monitoring him, as I do all day long. At night, I give him his dinner in his house and he comes into his little yard and barks at me to “go home!”. He waits for me to enter my house before he goes into his house to eat. Such a character & I love him.

Buddy seems to have fully recovered after “crashing” in January from a mandatory rabies booster. He is on about 8 mitochondrial supplements which pulled him through. He loves his daily outing.

We have a quail family with about 30 chicks and wonder how a little quail hen could have incubated so many eggs. They say quail will not adopt chicks from another family.

We also have about 3 juvenile jackrabbits this year. We usually only see adults.

Most of the horses are now “self-trimming”, meaning they wear their own hooves. Lots of movement over abrasive soil does the trick. Here are 25 year old Red’s front hooves. He is a once-wild mustang.

However, a few horses, like Arabian X Penny, need to be trimmed. Penny is now 29 and has gone through quite a bit. She also developed hoof issues in the past few months that I am working to correct. Here she is after I trimmed her this week. All our animals have bio pages on the website.

I seem to be catching more video of Poco scratching itches than singing lately.

He does, however, want to share this handsome pic we just took.

We love seeing the horses play. Here, in the video, are 20 year old Lucky (bay mustang) who was emotionally shut down for months after arriving in 2013 and 24 year old Diego, who had spent his first 20 years literally in solitary confinement, with not even visual contact with other horses. Diego is actually licking Lucky’s chin towards the end. Lucky was found abandoned on the side of a California highway. Unbelievable! For months, he would stand alone, staring at the mountains, as if he needed time to heal himself. Over time, his personality emerged. He is a very compassionate horse who has gone out of his way to welcome newcomers over the past 5 years. He was amazingly sweet towards both Red and Diego, both of whom arrived with emotional and behavioral issues. Despite a bad hip and ringbone, he still plays every day.

Red, the mustang in the photo below and the second video, lived for 4 years without a horse companion before joining us in 2014.

We feel fortunate to be able to give these animals a chance to try and make up for lost time & the abuse & neglect they lived through. As they say, “it is never too late to have a happy childhood.”

Lucky & Diego
Red (25) and Diego (24)

We still have a MATCHING FUNDS DRIVE through mid August. A very generous supporter will match your donations. Thank you!

Love, Cathy & the Gang

Categories : News
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We had a lot happening this past month.

The semi-feral rabbit who moved in and had 6 babies was a great mother. It was fun watching them grow, but always a bit painful knowing they would have to go to new homes. We did keep one, shy black female.

One day, I went out to feed lunch and found “Cuckoo Bird”, the roadrunner, in one of the water tubs. He was afloat, head out of the water, but soaked and hypothermic. I put him in a box on a heat mat and he had fully recovered in a few hours. I was trying to move the box he was in out of the shed to release him when he escaped. He spent about 10 minutes zooming around in the shed, knocking things off shelves, before he finally saw the open door and left. Naughty Cuckoo Bird!

Poco’s little friend, Chico, had a mild colic one morning, he was lying down and not interested in eating. We gave him some milk of magnesia in a bit of rabbit food (tempting enough to get him to eat it) and he had recovered within an hour. Our vet says to try milk of magnesia first, unless the animal is really in distress. Even then, he says to try it while waiting for the vet to arrive. Chico is more than 30 years old, which is very old for a mini donkey.

Chico & Poco

Dakota, a 28 year old mustang, is blooming & gaining weight on some PQQ, a supplement which treats mitochondrial dysfunction, which most chronically ill people and animals suffer from. We also believe she has Valley Fever & is on an herbal product that helps with that. She came to us 3 years ago after being injured by another horse at her old home. She is now active, moving well and cheerful. It had been very hard to keep weight on her and she had signs of joint and muscle discomfort and was cranky.


We seem to have a bumper crop of rattlers this year, having to deal with 3 of them in the past 2 weeks. We have 4 solar powered repellers around the house and have been using Snake Mace again this year. The few who have crossed over the herbal Snake Mace have been dazed and pretty much incapacitated, as it affects their sense of smell and orientation. This is a good time to share a discovery we made more than 10 years ago . I asked Dr. Sara Jernigan if someone might be able to research this, as herbal remedies are used worldwide to treat venomous snake bites. She has sent my observations to someone who might be able to prove their validity.

At any rate, we are glad we built the 4 snake-proof rabbit pens and thankful that Buddy seems to be snake-wise. I, myself, take so much Jernigan Antitox for my Lyme disease that I am probably immune to snake venom… or at least I tell myself.

On a sad note, we lost Stripey, the rather aggressive, old Barbados ram. Stripey was an older Barbados ram whose owner could no longer afford him. He joined us June 23, 2015. Stripey was very aggressive and dangerous around humans and Rambeau became afraid of him, so they had adjoining pens. Stripey’s problem was that his owner of 7 years had never neutered him. He was too old to do so when he came here & the vet said it would not stop his aggression at that age. It was not his fault. He had arrived here emaciated, so probably had not gotten very good care. In the past 2 months, Stripey was going downhill, arthritic & losing weight. We kept him going on concentrates & joint supplements, but he went down one evening and I found him, barely conscious. It was time to let him go. Poor old, ornery guy.

The horses & burros are doing well on pure hay pellets. A few who had trouble keeping weight on are in good flesh. Everyone is shiny, active & playful.

Diego is now 24 and look at him. He had a rough life for his first 20 years and is proof that space, companionship & good nutrition can do wonders, despite his chronic hoof conditions and lack of care in his past.

It isn’t a newsletter without a Poco song.

We have a wonderful supporter who has offered to match all donations made in the next 3 months so we will be ready for our next purchase of pellets and other things like supplements and future veterinary bills.

Your donations allow us to provide a safe & happy home to 12 horses, 4 burros, 5 bunnies, a sheep & Buddy, the dog. Thank you!


Cathy & The Gang

Categories : News
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April 23 rd


January 21, 2011 News

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All the JERAS gang are doing well. The horses are enjoying the winter weather. Patty and Shyla, the dogs who arrived in December, have settled in well. Patty is much calmer and happy now that her thyroid disease is being treated. Her low thyroid was missed by vets over a 4 year period and several different homes. This caused her to be anxious and aggressive, resulting in her running away from home and being abandoned at shelters. Shyla has recovered from the kennel cough she arrived with. Despite it being very contagious, only Bear developed a slight cough that lasted a mere 2 days. I do a lot to strengthen the animal’s immune systems. In fact, we have website pages devoted to horse and dog health. Please visit and share them.
Much of my time, after caring for the ranch animals, is devoted to educating others via networking about animal care and health issues. I can at least tell others what works for us. Dealing with years of my own chronic illness has taught me a lot.
I also spent several hours a day networking animals about to be killed at shelters. Sometimes it means copying/pasting the animal’s picture and info onto an email and then Googling for local rescues or specific breed rescues in that animal’s area. These emails save lives. It is very gratifying to get a message back telling me that the shared information has just saved an innocent life. I also post animals to Facebook pages devoted to a particular breed. A lot of breed rescues also help with even part-bred animals, so it is always worth the effort for me to at least try.
Once again, thank you for your support. These animals depend on you and I am grateful that you care.
Cathy & The Gang
Categories : News
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