As you surely know, California is in its 4th year of an extreme drought, one of the most severe droughts on record. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a mandatory water conservation restriction for all of California residents to cut back their water usage by 25%. While all of California, including Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, has been buckling down to comply with that mandate, you may recall that we, too, were faced with water issues at the sanctuary earlier this year.
For us, in central California, the drought consequences have been nearly disastrous. There were two significant days of rain that affected us drastically.
JULY 19TH, 2015
Above, this was once a running creek for our horses to drink from, but is now sand filled and unacceptable for horses to drink from.
Above, 15 miles worth of rugged dirt roads leading up to our ranch’s gate, nearly impossible to drive on without causing severe wear and tear to staff vehicles.
It started on July 19th, when we welcomed rain with open arms in hopes that it would help preserve our private water supply sourced from wells and springs. We were prepared to enjoy the fruits of the rain, but did not anticipate what quickly escalated into uncontrollable weather wreckage on the ranch.
Wild Horse Canyon was drenched with a flash flood dropping 2” of rain each hour, making entrance to the canyon completely impassable and leaving our rescued horses in danger of drowning and suffering from injuries while we couldn’t do anything to help, but wait for the storm to pass and pray for the lives of the horses we have fought so hard to save. This disaster resulted in destroyed and misplaced roads, fences, equipment and general landscape – a costly clean up necessary for the well being of the ranch and our horses, but left little room to invest in stockpile and reserves for caring for our horses in the fall and winter. While our horses thankfully survived the downpour, there was much destruction on the ranch, and tragedy. In addition to a destroyed ranch, we discovered a neighbor who found her beloved horse dead in the creek bed after the water subsided.
Then, last Thursday night, 4″ of heavy rain and golf ball sized hail brought on mudslides that literally shut down both the I-5 freeway and Highway 58, leaving civilians, including hay truck drivers, trapped in vehicles waiting for authorities to rescue.
October 15-16th, 2015
Above, hay trucks stuck in impassable, mud-drenched roads leading up to our ranch.
As a response to these two horrific rain days, we have been forced to spend more than $15,000 to restore the ranch for our horses, and now we are nowhere near equipped to continue feeding and caring for our horses, if this happens again.
Climate scientists are predicting El Niño this year, which, if correct, will cause more extreme weather patterns – all over the country. The extreme weather changes that El Niño causes will be harsh on the horses and may affect their health, making them more susceptible to sickness. And, it may even make the weather even drier than it is, which means that we may need to pull from additional resources to supply the horses with water.
On top of all this, donations have been down. It is the time of year when donations are harder to come by yet now is when we desperately need it to prepare for the upcoming rains.
To all our supporters, thank you so much for your support in the past. I know you care about horses, and you are a friend of Lifesavers. If you can afford to send a small donation at this time to help us feed and care for our horses in preparation of El Niño, it would be a blessing.
A donation of any amount will go towards stockpiling hay for the winter, and any amount makes a huge difference! Donating $20 will ensure that you can supply hay for 1 horse for 1 week. Donating $150 will feed 10 horses for one week, or 1 horse for 10 weeks. You are saving lives!
Our sanctuary currently has 219 beloved rescued horses on site. We need to raise $70,000 in order to defend our horses from the rough winters ahead.
We hope you continue to help us save the lives of horses that have been seen as unfit for modern society.