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Summer is here! We have been hitting 100 degrees or a bit hotter ever day. The horses and burros have multiple shelters which they sometimes use to escape the sun. Buddy the dog spends a lot of time in his air conditioned shed. Our domestic rabbits get their well-shaded pens hosed down and are not showing signs of stress. The wild animals have 8 pans of water which they are really going through, requiring re-filing several times a day. One bold baby cottontail prefers the bird bath and climbs in to drink and perhaps cool off.

Buddy still insists on his early morning trot with the electric scooter and I usually hose him off before we go, which keeps him cool.

We have a bumper crop of wildlife babies this year. Dozens of quail show up daily. There are juvenile cottontails & jackrabbits everywhere. Cuckoo Bird (roadrunner) has shown up with his mate to drink, but we don’t know if they raised young or not. We are raising 2 tiny baby quail who got stranded and separated from their family. They have been here 2 weeks and are wild as can be. They are living in a fabric & mesh puppy play pen we had stored away. The photo is from 9 days ago.

We are adjacent to Federal and State lands and people sometimes are in the area target shooting. Poor Windy, rescued from going to slaughter in 2010, gets stressed even with the gunshots 1/2 mile or more from us. She goes into the shelter and paws at the inside wall. Her history (along with Rene’, who she came with) is that of being used in horse tripping, a very cruel, and in most places, illegal “sport”. Maybe she was also exposed to gunshots or maybe it goes back to her first year on the Nellis Air Force Base. If only they could tell us.

Windy & Rene’, mustangs

Poco says “hello!”

I do the hoof trimming and hooves in the desert are hard as steel, even with overflowing the water tubs so they get some moisture. I just found a new type of hoof rasp that is many times more efficient. I am very pleased! It is a Dymondback Rasp from Cody James Tools. It is made to allow for refills, instead of discarding the entire rasp & they offer fine, medium and aggressive blades.

What I thought was a knee injury is actually a Valley Fever infection in my knee. Unfortunately, I was misdiagnosed with “asthma” more than 20 years ago, only to discover It was VF, which I did not need on top of Lyme I contracted in 1972. I increased my anti-fungal and have less pain now. There is no cure for either late stage, disseminated Lyme or VF, all one can do is try to control them & detox the toxins they produce. My Dad is getting hospice care in his home in Colorado & I have not been able to travel for many years, so thank goodness for the telephone. I am very thankful that my neighbors are doing most of the feeding, 3 times a day, in trade for some land I own which will double the size of their place. I am spending 2 hours a day just watering, the horses are going through 30 gallons a day each! Many of my childhood friends are no longer alive, so I count my blessings as long as I am breathing and on my feet.

We spent $700 at the feed store this week and have a $3500 hay pellet delivery coming tomorrow. That is 12- 1500# bags of hay pellets, which will last about 3 months for 12 horses, 4 burros & the 1 sheep. As always most of our funds are spent on feed, supplements & a few supplies.

1500# sacks of hay pellets

We have a very generous supporter who will double your donations through mid August. Please consider helping.


Cathy & the Gang

Categories : News
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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
Comments (7)
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