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Fire Destroys Rescue Horse Ranch, But Miraculously All 24 Horses Survived

Amy Pilkington 19 Sep 2020

Fire season has only just arrived, but already we are seeing incredible scenes of destruction and lost homes as millions of acres burn across the West Coast.

It's important to see and understand the devastation in order to be motivated towards preventing it in the future, but it's also important to highlight the stories of perseverance and joy.

They help us through the tough times by proving that we can and will get through this.

Patty Hyslop is the owner and operator of Hyslop Horse Haven, a sanctuary for abused and neglected horses.

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She believes that the horses have been the key to her ability to not just manage but improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which once paralyzed her.

It's been more than 20 years since she opened the ranch, but on September 5, 2020, the Valley Fire was bearing down onto Jamul, California and she was forced to flee.

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There wasn't enough time to get the horses out, and Hyslop was convinced that she would return to find them all ashes.

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She was the last to leave, with the authorities insisting that she would die if she stayed. All 24 horses were left behind in the paddock.

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When the fire had passed and it was deemed safe to return, Hyslop discovered her ranch burned to the ground, but all 24 horses were fine.

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The blackened earth stops right at the edge of the paddock, where the packed dirt left little to burn.

Miraculously, Hyslop's house was also mostly spared, but the rest of the stables and ranch buildings will need to be rebuilt.

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For now, the horses are being boarded at other ranches, but the costs of rebuilding are already adding up.

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Insurance will cover only a small portion of what the sanctuary needs. As a haven for rescued horses, they relied mostly on money made providing riding and lessons to local children.

The buildings can be rebuilt, but without food, tack, and other equipment, those lessons can't happen.

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Additionally, there are vet bills and boarding costs for the horses while they recover from the fire and smoke.

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To help defray the costs, a GoFundMe has been launched in hopes of raising $15,000.

If you'd like to help, you can donate money through the campaign or contact the organizer if you have spare supplies you could provide.

h/t: ABC 10 News

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