Weʼve raised £100 to support desperately underfunded Free Spirit Horse Refuge
- Atzeneta del Maestrat, Spain
- Funded on Wednesday, 10th October 2018
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Free Spirit Horse Refuge is a private animal sanctuary in the Spanish hills above Valencia. It was set up and is run by one incredible lady - Karina. This lady has a heart the size of the sun.
Karina is currently looking after 8 horses, 4 ponies, 2 pigs, 3 sheep, 1 (very naughty) goat, 8 dogs, 9 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 ducks, 2 chickens and a rooster.
Karina will take in literally any animal in need. She runs the whole sanctuary by herself and with the help only of volunteers. This is because the sanctuary can't afford to pay anyone else. The whole sanctuary is entirely self funded by Karina, who gives every penny she has to offer these animals a peaceful existence.
The house she lives in has no running water and no electricity supply. There is a generator she turns on every three or four days and a well on the land which supplies all the water they need. To get water to the house Karina and the volunteers go to the well and carry it up to the house. To water the animals they carry the water from the well. To wash they go to the well. Its a really hard life.
I went to stay there recently and I was bowled over by the kindness of this lady and the incredible job she is doing. I was also shocked at the financial pressure she is working under.
The first day I was there one of the dogs, who has a rare muscle disorder, needed veterinary treatment. This unexpected financial outlay meant there was no money to buy hay for the horses. So volunteers went to the fields to cut grass with a sythe to feed the horses. It's tough.
Somehow she manages and has managed for over nine years. It is not that she doesn't have the sense and skills to manage her financial position, rather she is stuck in a poverty trap. Working 12, 14, 16 hour days only to keep on surviving. Not able to progress far, as she dearly would love to do, due to a lack of funds.
What she has done for these horses, dogs, cats etc is absolutely beautiful. These are animals who have come from the most appalling backgrounds, mistreated, overworked, left to starve. Yet they are some of the happiest and most loving animals I have ever seen. And that is all down to Karina and her incredible love for them.
What she desperately needs now is money. She needs to buy food for the animals, to pay for farriers and vets bills, to start to modernise the property so that the sanctuary can operate more efficiently and effectively. So that she can take in more animals in need.
Even just a few pounds will make a massive difference. It will literally be food going into the mouth of a rescue animal.
As Karina always says: 'los animales dicen gracias'. The animals say thank you.
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Beverley Saedi Knowles started crowdfunding
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