North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Local horse rescue looks for new home

 

December 13, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Gene Gilbert, manager of the All Breed Equine Rez-Q horse rescue, brushes the mane of one the rescue's horses, Tanner, on Dec. 7.

The local All Breed Equine Rez-Q horse rescue in Tulalip will likely have to find a new property next year as the land they lease may go on the market soon.

The rescue takes in abandoned, neglected or aging horses and has been at their current location for more than a decade.

"It's been a long, shocking couple of weeks," said Dale Squeglia, executive director for the horse rescue.

Volunteers and officials with the organization are looking at options going forward, including developing 62 acres of land they own in Lewis County, although all options are likely to be costly.

"People have been generous with us in the past every time we were in trouble," said Squeglia. "This a lot more than we usually ask for though."

A fundraiser will be held on Dec. 16 at the rescue at 2415 116th Street NE, Tulalip.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The organization has at least until the spring of next year, which is when the property is likely to be put on the market.

The Marysville School District is the current owners of the property.

The district's board of directors declared the property as surplus during the Nov. 6 school board meeting, which allows the district to sell the property.

"In an effort to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollar, we have been evaluating our unused property and its potential for funding facility and capital improvements at schools where our students will benefit," said Emily Wicks, coordinator of communications and community relations for the district.

At this point the land is unlikely to ever be used by the district as a school location, said Wicks, and "funds [from a sale] will provide maintenance and facility improvements where the kids are currently going to school."

Wicks said the process is still in the beginning stages and the district plans to work with the tenants.

"We care about our tenants and will work closely with them, communicate regularly, and provide ample notice when we intend to begin the sales process," she said.

Before a sale happens, All Breed Equine Rez-Q officials hope to either have some local land ready for horses be donated, or develop property they currently own in Lewis County.

Squeglia said their Lewis County property has infrastructure in place, such as septic access and a road, but has no buildings yet.

The organization had been improving that property slowly, but now must commit to a faster build if they are forced to move there.

Many of the organization's officials would prefer something in Snohomish County though.

"We're trying to get something close to here," said Squeglia. "We're not going to have a choice if it comes to that though," she said.

Squeglia said that the horses will have a home with each other though.

"No matter where we end up, we will be keeping these horses together," she said. "We're not going to disperse them across the state."

Other locals like Paul Lewis, who runs the Forgotten Kingdom Animal Shelter in Tulalip, are pitching into help with the Dec. 16 fundraiser.

"I will have some of my own animals there and will be giving her the proceeds of anything I make there," he said.

He hopes the horse rescue will be able to continue, as many organizations in the state have had to shut down in recent years.

"There aren't that many of them left," he said.

Lewis monitors local rescue requests on Facebook and said there are not a lot of places for horses.

"There was a lady whose her horse was stuck in flooded waters and there just wasn't anybody who could help her," he said. "There was no place for that horse to go."

Volunteer and donor Jeanie Esajian said that taking care of horses in need is the right thing to do.

"The horse, historically, has been our biggest helper," she said. "They don't ask for much but they've helped us a lot."

The rescue has helped a lot of horses, including the great-great-great-grandson of Seabiscuit, Windy Land, who was popular at local events, said Esajian.

In the last year they've raised funds to send the horse to one of the most renowned horse retirement communities, she said.

"We felt that was where he belonged," said Esajian.

Squeglia is hopeful the community will be able to help the rescue transition to a new home.

"We hope and pray for the support to help us find a new home, even though we're asking for the moon this time," she said.

More information about the All Breed Equine Rez-Q is available at allbreedhorserescue.com.

 

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