LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They've spent their existence helping abused animals. They also work with law enforcement, healing horses hurt in criminal abuse cases. But now, after years of serving the community, a prominent animal rescue is in critical need of its own rescue.
Harrison County's Buck Creek Valley Rescue is in foreclosure. Next month, the gates could close as the property is thousands of dollars in the red. Now, volunteers and community members are hustling to figure out how to save this much needed non-profit.
"Her halter was embedded in her face," said Buck Creek's Robin Mills of a formerly abused horse named Oakley. Once poorly treated horses like Oakley are living proof that the pain of neglect and abuse can eventually be cured with love. Mills said of Oakley, "My husband went out and got her and rescued her."
The goal at Buck Creek Valley Rescue isn't just humans helping ailing animals. The 34 horses here provide healing themselves to local kids and to teens who come on the weekend to help care for them.
Harrison County prosecutors say Buck Creek is also the only place in the area where animals can go that are confiscated from defendants in criminal cases. Others are on the farm because their owners couldn't afford to feed them in the down economy.
"This is the horse safe haven," said volunteer Pam Buffington.
But now, the farm is in jeopardy of foreclosure unless Mills and her husband Richard can raise $300,000 to buy the property.
Buffington is reaching out on Facebook and everywhere she can think of to try and get donations and to let people know about a benefit auction being held on the property February 23 and 24. The Mills are selling their own farm equipment and belongings at the auction to try and save the horses.
"My husband and I have put everything into this place," said Mills.
Volunteers say the couple even went as far to cut back on their own groceries so the horses don't go hungry.
"For them to struggle to eat," Buffington said, "I've seen them sell off all their tack and all their farm equipment to save this place for the horses."
"It kills me because they're family and even the volunteers that come here, we're all family and to see this place shut down is like losing your home," said Jamie Ridge, the Mills' niece.
Mills said if they don't raise enough money, "We would have to move and that's devastating to me."
The non-profit has until next month to purchase the property. If you'd like to help, the benefit auction is being held at the rescue property February 23 and 24 at 4700 Shewmaker Lane in Elizabeth, Indiana. You can call them at 812-972-3300 and you can also make donations at www.buckcreekvalleyrescue.org.
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