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He was beautiful, had a kind , intelligent eye and was a stunning dappled gray. This gorgeous animal was only six years of age and was sound of body and mind. He was at the auction house to be auctioned off, and because of his size and physique- was extremely interesting to the kill buyers for purchase.
What is a kill buyer you ask ? A kill buyer purchases horses from the auction houses, based on what they think they can get for the horses hanging weight...they are then sent to slaughter. They either ship to Canada, Mexico or even China for their meat. Unfortunately, this story is very common.
This magnificent horse was rescued by another organization (now defunct) that rehabilitated him. We applied for adoption. His name was Sterling. Naturally, he needed a buddy- and so there was this other horse that caught our eye....So we adopted both.
Trooper, a beautiful Bay ex-racehorse was only 8 years old. What people don't realize is that most racehorses end up at auction and then off to slaughter. Very few end up in a second career. This horse was special. He did retire out of racing, had a second career. However, this second career was even more brutal than racing. He was a Mexican Tripping Horse- research it on the internet, its horrific.
Naturally this guy had not only physical damage, but psychological as well. Time, patience and constant re-affirmation has allowed this horse to put his shattered pieces back together. He is now a spunky, full of himself, well-adjusted "happy and healthy" horse.
We brought them to our little farm, where they enjoyed being loved and pampered. Soon, this rescue agency contacted us several weeks later about some baby goats that desperately needed homes or they would be destroyed. A goat dairy had been shut down by the government due to their overbreeding and disease that was running rampant through out.
Naturally we didn't ask any questions, we knew that these poor little babies needed a home. We went and got them, they were very sick, we quarateened them and began antibiotic injections, IV's and deworming when they were a bit more stable. That was four years ago, We are happy to say even though it was touch and go at times, we nursed them to health.
Bonnie and Clyde are now healthy, happy goats. Clyde is the first to greet you when you arrive at the farm, he is so big - he towers over our miniature horse Little Man.
However, we kept getting calls from folks that had animals they knew of that were in dire situations, had been altogether abandoned or their owners had circumstances that forced them to relinquish said animals.
We kept opening up our arms and gathering these lost souls into our little farm. Soon, there were numerous mouths to feed and critters to love on. What became a small movement, now had morphed into something greater than we had thought. People began to visit the animals, asking if they could help out at the farm, feeding, petting and caring for these creatures. We realized that this was going from a small menagerie to a full fledged sanctuary. We did our due diligence on finding out how to start a nonprofit.
About two years into this menagerie of animals, we had a rescue dog that came in to us. We immediately deemed her the "sweetest dog ever". She is a black lab-pitbull mix, that loves everyone. She named herself through her demeanor and actions- "Sweetie". She is adored and loved by everyone she meets.
Black dogs (and cats) are notoriously the hardest animals to adopt out due to their color. Sweetie also had a second strike against her, she is a pit bull mix. Breed discrimination is real, people base their perceptions upon what the news media portrays and sensationalizes.
Every dog has the potential to bite, can and will if given the proper set of circumstances. Pitbulls were known as the nanny dog up until the about 90 years ago because of their love and loyalty to families and children.
We realized that Sweetie was very special, that we believe her to be the perfect example and embodiment of a rescue animal. She was and is the perfect mascot for the farm. We decided at the time we officially made plans to become a Farm Sanctuary, we decided to pay homage to her and her spirit through the naming of Black Dawg.
We quickly outgrew our other facility and realized that we needed to relocate and find somewhere that the Sanctuary could grow. This sanctuary was no longer about us (Tom and Kelly) , it was about the animals and their needs for a larger, better functioning farm. In 2018 we relocated to an amazing location- located in Rainier Washington.
We have much more area for the animals, naturally more came to live here. We have an indoor riding arena for equestrian opportunities and other functions. We are growing, there are so many ways we are of service to our community.
We hope you'll come visit the animals, see what we are doing to help them and our community. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you to volunteer, learn and pass it on to others.
Sadly, Sterling passed away August of 2018 due to complications of an injury while playing in the field.