In two decades, a Cave Creek sanctuary has saved nearly 70 horses

As costs have gone up across the board, nonprofits relying on donations have struggled to get by.

Mister is a horse saved from death. He's one of 27 horses at Tierra Madre Horse and Human Sanctuary. 

"He broke his right knee on the track, slab fracture," said CEO Alexis Roeckner Ferri. "They called…and said if they can't get rid of this horse today, he's going on the slaughter truck the next day."

Alexis is the CEO, but started as a volunteer at 17. 

"I walked in and saw all these horses that have also been through abuse and neglect," Ferri said.

It helped her deal with some of the struggles she had been dealing with to help horses that had also faced abuse.

"If you feel like you're in a situation like you don't belong and you need a place where you can just be, come here," she said.

Jim Gath is the founder, and he says they've saved nearly 70 horses over the past two decades.

‘We took in horses that were challenged in call kinds of ways and we made them happy and healthy, and now those horses and helping people that are facing challenges and making them somewhat happy and healthy,so we’re completing that circle," Gath explained.

It's not cheap. It costs about a quarter million of a year to run the nonprofit, and they rely on donations.

"Every time you take in another horse, you take in tens of thousands of dollars in costs a year, so we have to be very careful right now, especially with the prices of everything going up," Gath said.

But they believe in what they're doing. Not just for the horses, but for the people too.

"We make every single horse feel special and let them know every day that they're loved and home forever," Alexis Ferri said.

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