Sanctuary for Abused Horses Burns in California Wildfires, But All 20 Animals Survive
Hyslop Horse Haven in Jamul, California, suffered immense damage by one of a series of wildfires currently sweeping the state
A sanctuary for neglected and abused horses is hoping to rebuild after a fast-moving wildfire swept through the property and destroyed sheds, equipment and more.
Hyslop Horse Haven in Jamul, California, suffered extensive damage when the Valley Fire — one of a series of blazes currently sweeping the state — burned through the area earlier this month. Owner Patty Hyslop told KSWB she did not want to leave the sanctuary's 20 horses behind, fearing that she would return to the property to find them badly hurt or dead.
"It was one of the scariest things that we’ve ever been through," Hyslop, who has multiple sclerosis and was the last person to evacuate the property, told the news station.
“When I saw those hundred-foot flames coming at us," she continued, "I [thought I] was going to come back the next day to dead horses or severely burnt horses. And if they had died, I think I would’ve died with them. My heart would have just broken.”
But when she returned to the site this week, Hyslop and her family were surprised to find each horse alive and well.
The sanctuary, though, will now have to be rebuilt after the blaze destroyed eight sheds that contained medication, horse feed and equipment. Cars and trailer homes for Horse Haven's volunteers were also leveled, KSWB reported.
"My shed alone, there was probably $10,000 worth of tack and medications feed everything inside and it’s just all gone," Hyslop’s niece, Hope Gilces, told the news station.
Hyslop Horse Haven — which provides horse-riding lessons to local children to help fund its operation — is now turning to GoFundMe to support the horses and return the ranch to its former condition.
"The ranch is going to be in need of feed, medicine, care equipment, and all items needed for riding lessons (saddles, blankets, tack, etc)," a description on the page reads. "They will need to rebuild storage units and replace machinery that didn’t survive the fire."
"Money received will go to the upkeep and care of the horses first and foremost," the page continues. "If you have any horse care supplies or tack that you are no longer using any donations are appreciated. There are a lot of kids who like to ride so the more we get the better."
According to KSWB, the sanctuary is in urgent need of golf carts, tack and medication for the horses. The donation page has so far raised $9,850 toward its $10,000 goal.
RELATED VIDEO: Wildfires Rage Up the West Coast
A series of wildfires have raged throughout the western part of the United States for weeks. On Thursday, a firefighter died in the line of duty while battling the El Dorado Fire, which was sparked by a "gender reveal" party.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention announced this week that there have been 25 deaths as a result of the state's more than two dozen current fires.
To help communities facing destructive wildfires in the Western U.S., consider donating to the following organizations:
• The American Red Cross allows donors to direct funds to support people impacted by the fires.
• GlobalGiving’s Wildfire Relief offers emergency funding to local efforts providing essentials to wildfire victims in need.
• GoFundMe’s California Wildfire Relief Fund aims to “support a range of needs” by issuing “grants to individuals, organizations and communities that have either been impacted themselves or are dedicated to helping.“
• The California Fire Foundation “provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect.“