GLOUCESTER horse lover Kylie Cole has established a local equine sanctuary to care for abused, ill and unwanted horses.
Established last month, Heaven’s Paradise Horse Rehabilitation Sanctuary has already accepted its first client, a 12-year-old mare named Jodie’s Tango Paradise.
This week, Kylie will travel to the Maitland horse sales searching for another potential client, which would otherwise likely end up at a knackery.
“It costs around $200 to purchase an unwanted horse at the sales,” Kylie said.
“We want to save as many as we can.”
Ms Cole said rescuing a horse could cost as much as $5000 and take between six and 12 months to nurse an animal back to full health.
“We’ll take whatever comes our way,” she said.
“Already we’re receiving phone calls daily about people wanting to know can we help and we’ve just gone live with a website.”
Ms Cole has established a team of seven volunteers to assist with the care and rehabilitation of the horses.
The team has access to properties in Gloucester and Harrington as well as a 1400 acre farm at Bakers Creek.
“We’ll start slowly. We’ve decided to limit ourselves to a maximum of 10 in care at any one time,” Ms Cole said.
“It is a massive commitment but the hardest thing for me as a horse lover is to see these animals become emaciated and left to die.”
To support Kylie, AGL has donated three bales of hay to the sanctuary.
“We heard that the horse sanctuary was looking for feed donations and the AGL Gloucester office was happy to provide a few bales of hay from our Tiedmans property,” community relations manager at AGL's Gloucester office Karyn Looby said.
“The dry conditions in the local area have made things tough for people with animals so we donated some of the hay, which isn't part of our irrigation trial, for this cause. As part of the community here in Gloucester we like to help out where we can.”
Kylie said the support of AGL would be critical in helping the sanctuary get established.
“You can’t help all of them and it rips at your strings,” she said.
“Education and awareness is so important. A horse is not something you can just throw in a paddock to say ‘look, I’ve got a horse’.”