A local horse rescue is full to capacity as tough economic times force more and more people to give up their
Diane McCracken, executive director of Spring Creek Horse Rescue, said she gets dozens of calls a week from
down-and-out people looking for a home for their horses.
But with 38 horses, the refuge in Gem Village is maxed out. She's had to send horses to another rescue in Alamosa, but
they also are at capacity.
We need a bigger piece of property," McCracken said.
Her comments were made during an open house Sunday afternoon at the rescue.
McCracken said it pains her to turn away people in need.
We do as much as we can," she said.
The horse rescue moved to its current location on U.S. Highway 160 east near the Billy Goat Saloon about two years ago,after its lease at a previous location in Ignacio was not renewed.
The move forced McCracken to down-size, from 125 acres to 35 acres, just as the need for shelter rose.
She said the most significant aid Spring Creek could receive right now is donated land.
We're being asked to take so many more, and we don't have the room," said McCracken, who has been rescuing horses for
about 35 years.
The operation provides refuge for horses that are abused, neglected or unwanted and seeks to find them permanent
Chip Burkett and his wife adopted a horse from the rescue several years ago and were at the open house Sunday.
The quarter horse, now 17, had an injured foot and was in bad shape. McCracken recalled, She came to the rescue to get
But Burkett said they nursed her back to health over several months and gained her confidence. Now they enjoy taking
her on pack trips on area trails.
She's a very good horse," Burkett said.
In addition to hay, horses need veterinary attention, preventive dental work and regular hoof care.
The costs add up, said Juliet Getty, who attended the open house and wrote Feed Your Horse Like a Horse.
Horses are expensive to maintain," she said.
When it becomes too much for an owner, McCracken often is the last hope.
What she does is God's work. It really is," Getty said.