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Make a Donation that will last a Lifetime!

Pony Tales invites you to be a part of a very special limited commemorative opportunity by purchasing a personalized engraved brick. The bricks will be installed at the entryway to the new barn that is set to begin construction soon. The entryway will consist of a custom brick patio and pillars and offer the inviting, user/volunteer-friendly atmosphere that we are striving for. When complete, the entryway will be the path that every beautiful soul who enters our gates will walk across. This is your chance to support Pony Tales with a donation that will last a lifetime. Brick purchases will benefit thousands of equines in need for years to come and will symbolize your commitment and love for animals. Bricks can be inscribed in honor or memory of an animal, an animal lover, a donor’s name, in memory of a loved one, a family name, or a business name. Two brick sizes are available: 4×8″ brick ($50) or an 8×8″ brick ($100). Clip art and custom images can be added as well.  Images below are examples.

 

Email us today at buyabrick@ponytaleswi.org to pre-order your brick(s) and have a chance to select the placement of it in the entryway.  Payment can be made directly into the building fund by clicking here. Thank you all!!

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The Lucky 7 1/2 are here!

It was a long weekend beginning Friday evening with losing power (which continued for close to 24 hours), the auction on Saturday, transporting the ones we could save to their temporary quarantine facility, then vetting and transport to Pony Tales on Monday. We are tired, both physically and emotionally. There were so many others we wanted to help. So many more that deserved a second chance at life. The ones brought to the auction matted with burrs whose owner then tried to clean them up and led them through the auction ring and ultimately out the door to the slaughter trucks waiting for them. It takes a “special” kind of person to be able to do that. It was saddening and infuriating at the same time as the owner can “no sale” their horse for any reason. This owner did not though and they knew exactly who had bought their horses. If only we had more funds…. 🙁

But, I digress. Thankfully, because of all of you, the Lucky 7 1/2 escaped that fate even though their owners were not even there to find out who bought them. Most of them were quite nervous and unsure of what was happening yesterday as one by one, they were evaluated by the vet and once again loaded onto a trailer. The big guy, who readily loaded from the auction, was hesitant about getting back on when it was time to leave. He kept looking back at his new found friends and where he had spent the last 36 hours and you could tell he was very worried about what was going to happen if he got on. I had to wonder, did he have this same hesitation and longing backward glances when he was loaded up at his home originally to then be dropped off at the auction? Or did he readily load that time having no idea what fate awaited him? This gentle giant is so forgiving and so loving. How he ended up at the auction, we will never know, but he didn’t deserve to be there. None of them do.

He and the others are now safe here at Pony Tales and he seems pleased with his decision to get on the trailer that one last time. He has settled in nicely and is always ready for some hugs, kisses, and loving on. He has a chance now that he wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for all of you. For those who wonder where your donations go, now you know. They go to save these beautiful souls from the brink of the slaughter to giving them a chance that no one else wanted to give them. Thank you all of you and please don’t ever feel that your “small” donation is in vain. It only takes a little from a lot of you to do what we were able to do this weekend. We thank you and the Lucky 7 1/2 thank you. Remember: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Thank you all!

PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/

Credit Card: https://ponytalesrefuge.org/donate/

By phone: 715-568-4174

By USPS
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab
4398 130th Avenue
Colfax, WI 54730

💖Thank You For Your Support!💖

Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab is a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, tax ID #47-1658095.

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The last 36 hours have been a real struggle…

The last 36 hours here have been a real struggle. Everything was fine, things were rolling along great. The donations to help save the horses from the auction yesterday were adding up by the minute, we had big plans to keep you all in the loop as things progressed and then BOOM! We got hit by a nasty storm Friday evening and lost power. When you live out in the country like we do, without power, you have no internet, no cell service, no nothing. The hours ticked by, the auction was looming closer and closer, and we had no way to connect with you all to try to save as many as possible. When we lost power, we had enough to save 5 horses from slaughter, but our goal was 7. It felt as though something was doing it’s level best to keep us from our goal. By morning, when we still had no power, I was sure of it. I was starting to panic. We were so close. So close. Then someone said to me, “Don’t panic. It’ll be ok. The devil is trying to stop you. Don’t let him”.

The funny thing about that is I had a motto during treatment and since the beginning of Pony Tales. I actually have it tattooed on my shoulders. It says “The devil whispers, you can’t handle the storm. The warrior replies, I AM the storm”. And just like that, my determination was back. You can slow me down, but you will not stop me. There are too many lives depending on us and we will scramble, we will stress, we will bust our butts, but make no mistake, it will get done. And did it ever!!

By the time the auction kicked into high gear, we had reached our goal! There were so many horses there. Over 50 when it was all said and done. Thankfully, a lot of them found good homes or were taken in by trainers who just wanted to outbid the killbuyers and save a horse from slaughter themselves. Sadly though, as it is at these auctions, the slaughter trucks left quite full. We tried and we wished that we could save more, but we were outnumbered, out financed, and out of time. At the end, realizing we were close to being able to get one more, we asked one of the killbuyers if we could buy a young filly from him that he got for dirt cheap. They agreed, at triple the price they had paid just minutes earlier. With tears welling up, we had to let her go. We just didn’t have enough funds.

BUT! Thanks to all of you, all of your donations, you shares, your words of encouragement, your caring souls, we saved 7 1/2 from slaughter! The big boy that I mentioned in my posts at the auction is now safe and relaxing at our temporary quarantine location. His head came up, his eyes lit up, his look of utter despair at the auction turned to hope and joy upon looking at his new surroundings. He needs a lot of groceries and will need his jaw looked at and his lip, while not cosmetically appealing, shows his character, his strength, and his ability to overcome. He grabbed my heart as soon as I saw him and I knew I had to get him safe. I cannot wait to introduce you all to him tomorrow. You will love him as much as we do, I am sure. Until then, these 7 1/2 beautiful souls still need your support. They all have vetting and evaluations and transitioning to go through and are depending on you to make sure that we can provide that all to them. Please donate what you can and until tomorrow, thank you all and have a wonderful day!!

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URGENT!! WE ARE AT THE AUCTION NOW!!

We are at the auction now! There are more than 30 horses here already and more on their way. Possibly a herd dispersal of 50 is coming in we are told. I cannot take pictures, but many of the horses are in the condition as these pictured or worse. There is a foal with his momma who is in dire need of TLC. There is a big black horse here in similar condition to the big boy pictured below. His jaw is injured, his lip is split, his head hangs so low, he is giving up. Please help us get him out of here!

We only have enough to save 6 so far. Please help us reach our goal of at least 7. We are SO close. 90% of the horses here will sell in the killbuyers’ price range. Help us get as many away from them as possible! Bidding starts soon. We are running out of time!

Please Give Now!

 

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One auction horse changed many lives.

In 2013, a little, scared Arabian was dumped at a slaughter auction. He was not even 2 years old yet. He was alone. He was frightened. And he was headed out the door for slaughter. You see, back then, these “killpen rescues” did not exist. Back then, once purchased for slaughter, that was where they were going. No ifs, ands, or buts. Of course, he may have found himself going through another auction and another and another, until the killbuyers felt they could make some money off him at the slaughter plant. But, regardless, his fate was sealed. Until…

A rescue organization pulled him off the slaughter truck. They saw something in him that no one else at the auction did. And they saved him. During his time with the organization, he suffered a trailer accident in which the cornea of his left eye was punctured. It was deemed best to have the eye removed. It didn’t bother him having only one eye. In fact, he didn’t even seem to notice. He had a fun, playful, zest for life that brightened the spirits of everyone who met him. But then, winter was approaching, and the rescue was closing down. He needed a home and he needed one soon. Who was going to take in a 2yo one-eyed Arabian with winter approaching? Well, the answer was…me.

Little did I know when we drove to pick up this sweet boy how much my life was about to change. He brought something out in me that had laid dormant for years. Always nagging at the back of my mind, but always in the back. Rescuing horses, while a wonderful dream, seemed a foolish one at that. I thought that saving this one would be enough. And had it been any other horse but this one, it may have been enough. But, this boy taught me, in his goofy, quirky, playful, lovable, Kirby way, that rescue was where I needed to be. His zest for life, his happiness, his joy in seeing me when he could, got me through the worst time of my life.

He was saved from a slaughter auction…and he then saved me.

Sadly, we lost Kirby 2 years ago to unknown causes. But, his goofy, fun-loving spirit is imprinted in the walls and the pastures here forever. I swear you can see him walking beside every horse that we take in. He then leads them around and teaches them the ropes. They all seem to settle in so quickly. Even those terrified of people. As if there is someone out there with them telling them it’ll be ok. They are safe now. This one auction horse is now responsible for more than 200 horses being saved and one very lucky lady who misses her Kirby boy so much. 🙁

There will be many horses who need to be saved just like Kirby at the auction on Saturday. It’s the same auction that he came from. He will be there and he will show me which ones need us the most. But, we can only save as many as we have the funds for. We can currently save three, but we are hoping for 7. Kirby would be 7 years old this year. Can you help us reach that lucky number in his honor? For them? For us? For Kirby? Please. Give now. They are running out of time.

 

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Can you see the difference?

We had a great time at Breyerfest this past weekend as we journeyed down to the Kentucky Horse Park to watch the trailer for the reality TV series Horse Rescue Heroes as it was played by the Equus Film Festival. We met some great people and saw some amazing horses, trainers, and riders. But, it was business as usual back home. Three horses were surrendered by their owner who was failing in health and could no longer care for them. Thankfully, others from the Pony Tales Crew were able to be here and help this owner and her horses. This owner truly cared about the well-being of her horses. She could have easily sent them to an auction and made a few bucks off of them. Instead, she chose, with little to no hesitation, to pay a surrender fee and send them here. Yes. That is what I said. She PAID to have them come here. Why? Because she cared about them.

People don’t seem to realize the high UNlikelihood that the horse they take to an auction is going to find a good home. Sure, they drop them off and walk away happily thinking about what a wonderful home they will find and dream about what they’ll spend the money they get from them on (maybe even another horse!), but the truth is, they have likely just sent their horse across the border to be slaughtered. But, they don’t want to think about that. Not my horse. That won’t happen. Or so they tell themselves. Plus, they very rarely stick around to watch the results. They don’t even want to be there when the horse goes through the auction ring. Why? Because deep down they know….

It is tantamount to people dropping their old dog off at the vet and running for the hills knowing the dog is going to be put down. You see report after report from veterinarians talking about what an awful last few moments on earth the dog has as they are left alone in a strange room, with a strange person, and their human is no where to be found. My eyes fill up with tears every time I think about that poor animal so scared and lost and lonely at the end of his life with no one there he knows to comfort him as he passes over.

It’s hard to be there. I know it is. Believe me. Less than one month ago we had to let our old man Ozzie go. He had been with me for every bit of his 17 years. But, one night, he appeared to have a stroke and we knew it was time. He couldn’t hardly walk that morning, but he tried. I carried him down to the shop so he could “make his daily rounds” one last time as we waited for the clinic to open. He did his best, but I carried him for the most part. We sat in a chair and I kissed him and pet him and told him it was going to be ok. Barely able to control his body, he managed to lift his head up and lick my chin one last time as if to say “I know. It’s ok. I’m ready.” We took him in and we stayed with him the whole time. He let out a couple small whimpers as he knew he was not at home, but we hugged him and kissed him and pet him and he then relaxed and drifted off to sleep.

He had battled congestive heart failure for three years, was mostly deaf, and could no longer see well. But, every evening, he ate his dinner and readily and happily strode along on our 1 1/2 mile walk around the property. He was incontinent at times and he had his accidents. We always had to be on the look out for him because he would run up to cars as they pulled in and for some reason, just had to stop right in front of them where the driver couldn’t see. We had our hands full with that old boy, but I could not, for even one second, imagine sending him away because he was too much work. Or because I knew his time was coming. Only those that don’t care could do such a thing.

It is no different with horses. Just looking at the horses at the auctions, you can see the sadness, the loneliness, the helplessness. They don’t know why they are where they are. They don’t know what’s going to happen. They just know that they are not at home and their people are not there with them. Even just the auction environment itself is scary as they almost sense what possibly lies ahead of them. They didn’t ask to be there and most of them are there due to no fault of their own. They are there because they have been failed by humans, just like the dogs who get dumped at the shelters. Their owners could not or would not do the right thing by them, no matter what that may have been. They selfishly put them in harms way in hopes of making a quick buck with zero thought to the welfare of that animal.

So…it lands on the shoulders of the animal welfare organizations to step in and do the right thing by the animal. Whether that be simply getting the animal out of harm’s way or giving them that last act of kindness. It is a heavy burden that we carry, but the best interest of the animals out there is what keeps us going. Sometimes, we run across the caring owners like the one I mentioned above, that understand the burden that they are placing on us, and readily agree to help with at least funding. But, then there are those who just don’t wanna know. Who just don’t get it. Who just don’t care….

Take a look at these pictures below. Can you see the difference? The one on the left is the look of complete sadness and defeat as the horse stands among others at an auction. The one on the right is one of the horses that was just surrendered to us. They look similar in appearance even, but look at the difference in their faces, their eyes. Instead of sadness, the one on the right is curious of this new human (me. Lol). Instead of defeat, he expresses hope. Yes, he is in a new place, with horses he doesn’t know and people he doesn’t know, but he got on the trailer and left his home and rather than having to go through a dreary, dark, scary auction house where his life was literally on the line, he got to unload at another farm with other horses he may not know, but who are happy. He can listen to the birds chirp and feel the wind blow through his hair as he looks around at his new surroundings. He can move around. He can lay down. He can eat. He can drink. No hours on end standing on concrete in a tiny pen either tied up or too cramped to be able to move only to be run through the auction ring surrounded by strangers and loud speakers and facing two doors: one leading to the slaughter trailer and one leading to safety, and having no idea which door he will be able to go through. Instead, he is safe and he is happy. Because his owner cared.

We are going to another auction this Saturday, July 20. We are going with the hope of getting 7 beautiful souls out of harms way. We are going with the hope of giving 7 horses new hope. We are going with the hope of turning perhaps the lowest point of their lives, into the best. We are going with the hope of restoring their faith in humans after being dumped and failed by their owners. But, we need your help. Can you help us wipe the sad, lonely looks off their faces? Can you help us bring them here where they can hold their heads up high and the light will return to their eyes? They need you. Please give now…before it’s too late for them. Thank you.

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In just the first 2 months…

It was just over 2 months ago that we learned that Pony Tales had been selected to receive the $10k Full Circle of Life grant from Horse Plus Humane Society.  The funds are earmarked to build a larger barn here to allow for a more user-friendly facility for volunteers and adopters, increase our ability to bring in, vet, evaluate, and care for more horses at a time, and allow us to have space of our own (away from Nate’s shop) for our feed, our supplies, the horses, and our helpers.  Over the last two months, the $10k account is slowly, but surely getting larger and we are so thankful to all who have donated so far and plan to do so in the future.  Be sure to check out Nate’s GoFundMe here.  Stay tuned for another awesome way that you can help raise the roof here at Pony Tales.  Details coming soon!But, beyond the grant, we were selected to receive mentoring from the largest equine welfare organization in the United States based on numbers helped each year.  In just the first 2 months, we have a new fabulous, easy to navigate website designed by Horse Plus.  In just the first 2 months, our social media following has increased by nearly 1,000 followers.  In just the first 2 months, 51 horses have found their new homes.  In just the first 2 months, we have been able to help 16 more horses at risk and over half of them have already found homes.  In just the first 2 months, we kept 10 horses out of the greedy hands of the killbuyers as we outbid them over and over again at the May auction thanks to all of you and your generous donations.  But, we’re not done yet.  Not even close! And you’ll need to hold onto your hats for the next 2 months!!Next weekend we head down to Breyerfest where the Equus Film Festival will be airing the trailer for the upcoming reality TV series “Horse Rescue Heroes” featuring your’s truly.  The following weekend is auction time and we are hoping to get as many as last time, if not more, safe and out of the slaughter pipeline.  Then, by this time next month, part of the Pony Tales Crew will be in Tennessee going through “boot camp” with Horse Plus as we learn, hands-on, from the best of the best.  We will be bringing 2 of our most trusted volunteers along to learn right beside us.  More filming for Horse Rescue Heroes will also take place at that time.  Shortly after we return from Tennessee, it will be auction time again.The sky is the limit on what we can accomplish over the next 2 months with your help.  We will be working hard the entire time to ensure that we can help as many as absolutely possible.  Please consider a small donation to help us help them. And don’t forget my personal goal of helping 200 horses by May 2020.  We still have 184 to go and we cannot do it without you. Thank you all!