East TN Miniature Horse, Donkey rescue in need of shelters

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LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE)- At any given time, 35 rescues live at the East Tennessee Miniature Horse and Donkey Rescue in the city of Loudon.

Angela Devine started the non-profit rescue in August 2016.

Since then, the rescue has helped save and rehabilitate 257 miniature horses.

For three years though, the animals have lived under temporary shelters made from tarps, because the rescue relies solely on donations and volunteers.

A miniature horse rescue taking advantage of the shade under a tarp tent.

“All the monies that we get, go to feeding and vetting and caring for them. And we just haven’t had that extra to be able to put up permanent shelters,” Devine said.

There is a barn at the farm, but it’s used for rescues who are recovering from health issues.

Devine said the horses are sturdy, they can handle the cold, but she wants to keep them to where they’re not getting wet in the cold weather, they have shade in hot weather and they are protected from other elements.

“If we were to have a lot of hail or anything, you know that’s always a concern. These (tarps) aren’t going to withstand that,” she said.

Devine said car ports were the best economic solution for better, more permanent shelter.

She said they can last 10-20 years and they are big enough to use for two paddocks, or the gated pastures.

“The plan is to use one car port to service two fields. We’ve got 9 paddocks. If we take the car port and straddle it over a fence line to where it’s half on and half off…then we can make one car port into two shelters,” Devine explained.

She said that because the majority of their donations pays for food and vet bills, she created a separate donating page solely for the car ports.

Devine said they need at least five car ports.

The estimated cost for the project is $6,300, which includes rock and stall mats.

East Tennessee Miniature Horse and Donkey Rescue recently hosted a an event and raised $2,100, but they are short by $4,200.

There are several ways people can donate:

Devine said if people use PayPal, they need to note what they want the money to be used for.

She said any extra donations would go toward vet care and winter hay, which she’s already had to use because of the dry weather.

She said the rescue is always look for more volunteers as well.

East Tennessee Miniature Horse and Donkey Rescue will be hosting another fundraiser called ‘Fall Festival’ on Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Devine said the rescue is also offering a donation perk. If someone donates $500 or $1,000, they can name one of the paddocks.

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