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Animal sanctuary Horses of Tir Na Nog needs volunteers and donations

Horses of Tir Na Nog is a nonprofit animal sanctuary and last chance for unwanted animals.

SAN DIEGO — If you love the outdoors, animals and helping the community, the county's longest operating non-profit equine sanctuary is in need of volunteers and donations.  

In Wednesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff visited the Horses of Tir Na Nog in Guatay to roll up his sleeves.  

"Every animal on this property has been through some sort of trauma," said volunteer Linda Bradley. "The ones we get here are the ones deemed un-adoptable at the county."  

Horses of Tir Na Nog is a nonprofit animal sanctuary and last chance for unwanted animals.

"When I am out here, it's not about me anymore. Once I walk out my door it's about them," said Bradley.  

She came from a broken home, but found one here. 

"They mean the world to me they are my family, they are truly my family and I would do anything for them."  

But at some point, there's only so much a person can give.  

"What kind of hours are you putting in out here," asked Jeff. 

Linda responded with a laugh, "I don't keep track. I can't keep track." 

Which is why we came to this 32-acre ranch to see how hard these volunteers work from sun up to sun down. 

"Most of these horses come from really sad stories," said Amy-Pat Rigney the sanctuary's founder.  

She works with The County's Animal Services to provide life-long homes to animals that have been abused, abandoned, and neglected. The rescue is a forever home, so you can imagine the daily expenses of feeding, vet care and keeping the rescue operational.  

"We have 31 sheep, 18 goats, 11 ducks, seven roosters, 22 cats, four dogs, nine pigs, and 91 equine," said Rigney.  "Oh, two llamas and an alpaca, as I look and see Duke over there too."

Mostly because of medical issues, the animals will never leave this ranch. 

"So you have a herd of 30 mustangs and not one of them can be adopted?" asked Jeff.  

"Correct," said Rigney. "Our vet calls them 'the island of misfit toys.'"  

Jeff looked around at the huge ranch and said, "I cannot believe I have never heard of your organization."  

Rigney chuckled and said, "We are the best kept secret in San Diego County and it's not a good thing to be a nonprofit that is a well kept secret."

Sometimes people who help animals, need help themselves. 

"We hear your tractor died. We hear there is a fence that needs to be painted and what else?" said Jeff.  

Rigney took a deep breath and said, "The biggest thing is these guys need to be fed and taken care of." Bradley then said, "We need help." 

We want to warn you, if you do choose to volunteer, it's the type of place wild horses couldn't drag you away from.  

"They do more for me than I could ever do for them. Ever. I help them no matter what, I don't care if it's there last breath I am going to be there with them. It makes my heart smile, that they are here truly without this place these guys wouldn't be here. So it makes me proud, it makes me proud to be here," said Bradley with tears in her eyes. 

If you'd like to volunteer at Horses of Tir Na Nog, make a donation or attend their upcoming fundraiser, visit: Mexican Fiesta for Mustangs

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