2014 BUCKET FUND recipient Updates! January – December!

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Yesterday, I posted the Bucket Fund Stories of 2014 and many of you asked to know updates.  Duh!  I should have posted those, of course!

So, I’m doing that today!


 THANK YOU ALL FOR ANOTHER INCREDIBLE YEAR OF GIVING TO HORSES IN NEED!  We raised $30,919 to directly help horses in dire conditions for 2014!


Dust Devil Ranch with Elsa, the filly frozen to the ground while still alive.  Your letter writing campaign also shined a huge headlight onto this issue… the world heard about Elsa.



UPDATE:  Sadly, as you probably remember, Elsa did not survive.  But, her mother, Anna, is doing very well!  And, the national acclaim reached through this story has helped Dust Devil Rescue grow, thrive and keep fighting for justice for Elsa – as you can see by the story below.

Here is a story just posted today on the Dust Devil Ranch FB page:

Today’s SU Independent Newspaper, Front page article.


Utah is one of just a few states that does not consider animal abuse to be a felony…
–Dust Devil Ranch has also created ELSA’S LAW linked here!  You are welcomed to support it!
Here is a lovely photo comp of Anna, Elsa’s devoted dam.
Anna, Elsa's dam.

Anna, Elsa’s dam.


Bella, the mini donk who needed a splint for her back leg that was amputated because it was frostbitten.

Bella.  She's doing GREAT!

Bella. She’s doing GREAT!

UPDATE:  The last I’ve heard, Bella is doing great with her prosthetic device.  Since she was so young, she adapted easily and well.

You can see her device in this photo.  She uses it well and often.

You can see her device in this photo. She uses it well and often.

Here is a photo from her FB page:

Click to see the many stories on her FB page.

Click to see the many stories on her FB page.


Rhodes Bachelor Band of 9 Wild Horses from Nevada.  (This was originally stated at a band of 8, but we added one along the way…)

Rhodes Road Bachelors...

Rhodes Road Bachelors…

UPDATE:  All of these horses were set free on open, private land.  I wrote about their release here.

They were set free on this very large, private ranch.

They were set free on this very large, private ranch.  Aren’t they beautiful?!


Summer Raffo’s horses… Summer perished in the horrendous mudslide in Washington State.

Summer and one of her favorite Arab mares.

Summer and one of her favorite Arab mares.

UPDATE:  This is the email I received from Summer’s mother… Wow.

Hello Dawn,
The ache in our hearts lingers. As each new day dawns I can’t help but think of what she and I would have been doing that day. Each change of seasons bring thoughts of her. In the summer, she’d be walking through the fields surrounded by the herd because she’d have treats in her pocket for all of them. Or picking blackberries and sharing them with the horses, both she and all of them with lips stained purple from the juicy ripe berries they all loved. In the fall I know she’d pick a shirt full of apples from the gnarled old Apple tree at the farm and eat hers as she walked out to feed the rest to the horses. I sense they feel her absence too. As do others as you can see from this post my son Dayn put on his FaceBook page:

“The 22nd of November has arrived. This day 8 months ago changed me, my family and this community… forever. The 43 lost loved ones and awesome efforts to find each one of them will forever be permanently etched in my soul.
I spent some of the day with family but I used most of today installing and wiring in a yard light to brighten the feeding area of Summer’s and my mom’s horses.
During all of the inclement weather today, I found myself pausing to talk to the horses, all …of which feel human and look at me with anticipation. They expect someone better than me. I wait for them to talk and ask me where the heck Summer is. They miss her. I can see it in their eyes, their face and their demeanor.
You see, Summer had a way with them. It was a connection. It was special. It was nothing short of amazing. They knew it. I knew it. Everyone knew it. My mom is the only one that fully understands it. And it certainly had nothing to do with ‘horse whispering’. (Summer didn’t whisper. To anyone.) Most of all, you can tell they are not happy she isn’t there. I tell them I’m sorry. They don’t understand… but I do. I miss her too.”

I see the horses raise their heads from feeding when they hear a car pull up to the farm. And when it’s not Summer’s blue Subaru they quietly go back to grazing. Who really knows how much they know, recognize, remember? But I do know I’ve noticed a quiet sadness in them since Summer’s been gone. Maybe it’s something they sense in me. Maybe it’s my imagination. I don’t know.

Other people have posted the sweetest things about Summer as well. A talented local artist wrote this:

“Dayn, I was filing a bunch of old photo’s I use to paint by. You will never guess what I found. Three of the cutest photo’s of Summer, with her miniature horse, & it’s baby. I remember she took me out into her pasture to take photo’s so I could use them to paint by someday. This was years, and years ago, she looked so young. And, her tenderness for her horses, really shows. That mare leans over and kisses Summer on the cheek as Summer touches her little baby. Can’t wait for you all to see them. Sharon London Marcantel”

So you see she is truly missed by both the two and four legged creatures she left behind. But thanks to all of you the barn is full of hay and Summer’s presence is all the horses lack. Thanking you again. Rae L Smith
Seven Cedars Arabians
AKC Yorkshire Terriers
Rae L. Smith
PO Box 826
Darrington, WA 98241


Aria was the paint filly with the horribly crooked leg who needed a splint.  We also donated to LRTC to purchase a new water harness for their large animal rescue program.

Kate's leg is almost straight now!

Kate’s leg is almost straight now!

This was taken in August.

This was taken in August.

This was yesterday...

This was yesterday…  Her leg looks great!


The harness we enabled LRTC to purchase (that was used 2 weeks ago to save the wild 2 year old mare that was hit on road!)

UPDATE:  We just heard how this harness saved a wild 2 year-old mare that was hit by a car.  The story is linked here.

This is just one example of a happy ending due to the harness.

This is just one example of a happy ending due to the harness.


Kate, the horse who was injected with gasoline.  We also paid the hospital bills, necropsy fees and rendering fees for her neighbor whose horse passed away due to the gasoline injection.

Kate survived!

Kate survived!

UPDATE:  Kate has recovered and is now trail riding and doing obstacles!

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Migiddo, the starved gelding.  We also helped a private woman, Pam, pay for the burial of her gelding, Sundance.




Look how lucky he was to land at Horse Feathers Rescue!!  Click to go to the FB page and see more!

Look how lucky he was to land at Horse Feathers Rescue!! Click to go to the FB page and see more!  (Migs loves his donkey, Elf.)


Cheyenne and Chinook, the two BLM mares who were locked in a dark barn – left to starve to death.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.24.33 PM

Their rescue…

UPDATE:  I received this email today from their caregiver, Raymond T. Connors
Chief, Animal Control Division, CT Department of Agriculture

We have been crazy here but I didn’t forget you.  The good news is that a Superior Court Judge has awarded us permanent custody of the horses.  I actually was in Court today for her criminal charges.  Her next Court date is April 6th in Danbury Superior Court.  These photos were taken on Oct 15th.  Photo one is Cheyenne photo 2 is Chinook.

Click here to watch our movie!

I can’t thank you enough for your generosity.  It is because of people like your readers and yourself that we are able to operate the facility that we do.


Photo one is Cheyenne photo 2 is Chinook.  Photos were taken on Oct 15th.

Photo one is Cheyenne photo 2 is Chinook. Photos were taken on Oct 15th.


Brother, the starved gelding who was cared for by SERRA.

2997547-624x468UPDATE:   I know Brother is doing well but I couldn’t find any large, recent photos of him.  Here is what I found (stills from video) on SERRA’s FB page.

The left was taken in October.  The right was end of December.

The left was taken in October. The right was end of December.


Yanaha, the mare whose genitals were cut out.  Also, our letter writing campaign directly impacted the charges brought against her perps.

Poor girl.

Poor girl.

UPDATE:  As you know, Yanaha didn’t make it… but a site was created to follow the justice trail.  You can click this link to read the Justice for Yanaha page.

Click to go to the page.

Click to go to the page.

–Here are the newest entries on her Page:

Court date set for January 16, 2015!

Two men accused of animal cruelty, 55-year old Erasmo Nunez and 63-year old…

Channel 3 just left the ranch. The story will air tonight. There was a pre-trial hearing to set the court date for the suspects in Yanaha’s case. It will be January 16, 2015 in Sinton. Anyone going to support ?#?JusticeForYanaha? and sit in the court room must have respect for the system and follow the rules of the court room. We are so glad to see the case progressing through the system.


You helped guarantee food and shelter for the 9 BLM Burros saved from being shipped off to Guatemala.  These lucky 9 burros ended up at TMR RESCUE.

Safe from being shipped to Guatemala!

Safe from being shipped to Guatemala!

UPDATE:   The burros have integrated into the larger, former BLM Burro herd in residence.  They are all very happy and roaming free.  This bit of news below was taken from their FB page today:

These former BLM burros are now free and roaming with a prior BLM herd at TMR ranch.

These former BLM burros are now free and roaming with a prior BLM herd at TMR ranch.

–The effort continues for getting the burros in holding into safe, loving homes. As each of the burros in holding accumulates strikes against them moving them into the “sale authority” category, more homes are needed so that the BLM can never have 100 burros to send to Guatemala. What a success this first effort has been.

When the U.S. Bureau of Land Management considered sending 100 of America’s…
beaconreader.com|By Elizabeth Devitt
This just in from Cinny’s caretaker:

 The Golden Carrot is SO GRATEFUL for your donations to Cinnamon, our elderly pony. With his old bad teeth, his pelleted feed is SO important to him. We’ve been able to fix his hocks, got him on medication for those aching joints, and he’s so full of spunk these days, we’re grateful we were able to bring him in! His former owners were considering euthanizing him, but it would have been the wrong decision, for sure. He’s well trained and behaves perfectly on the ground (at his age, I’ll probably never have anyone ride him), but he loves to act up when he’s free (each night is a little roundup when everyone else is in their stalls, and he tears around, tail up, bucking and enjoying being out when no one else is!) At TGC, we try to give horses a chance to be horses … and your help for Cinny is making that possible! Thank you all for your help. Casey

Senior Cinny!

Senior Cinny!

And of course, Lila is now home with her mother and sister…

Lila is finally with her family!

Lila is finally with her family!





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2 comments have been posted...

  1. Mary Lu Kennedy

    I read all of the updates from last year with tears streaming down my face. What you do is so important.
    Raising $30k is just incredible. Your blog has made a tremedous difference. Please don’t ever stop helping the horses. You are a very important lady who deserves more recognition. Thank you for doing what you do so well.

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