Rocky’s Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation had 30 days to raise $14,000 to replace an essential pick-up truck — and the community did it in less than a week.
Sharon Burrier, co-founder of the nonprofit based in Thurmont, feared they’d have to close their doors when the truck they relied on for years to rescue horses and transport vital supplies finally broke down. Volunteers put out a call to action on social media, some spread the word verbally, and Burrier contacted the News-Post.
She hoped the community would hear their pleas, and it did. By Thursday, the rescue had the money it needed to bring the truck home, and then some. As of Sunday night, Burrier said they’d collected more than $26,800 in donations toward the truck, noting she still needed to check the mailbox that day. She called the effort “nothing short of a miracle.”
The truck cost $20,000 in total. Extra money donated will be used to help replace the truck bed and make other repairs. Any remaining funds will also benefit the horses, Burrier said.
“I stood there and cried,” Burrier said when she saw the money flowing in last week. “I never in my wildest dreams thought people knew what we were doing out here with the horses.”
The rescue saves horses from potential slaughter and volunteers along with horse care specialists help nurse them back to health. Some horses are adopted while others live out their days in the rescue’s sanctuary.
Checks came in the mail, GoFundMe collected just over $3,000 and donations whizzed through virtual space on Venmo and PayPal. One person even hand-delivered a donation, much to Burrier’s surprise.
The 2006 Ford F-350 will be used to haul a horse trailer, hay, water and other supplies. It will be the vessel that transports horses from the kill pen to the green pastures of Thurmont, and be on standby for emergency trips to the vet.
The truck had already been put to work Sunday, hauling materials to fix fencing at the rescue, Burrier said.
She and her husband Danny wished to convey their thanks to the public and shout-out businesses that helped them.
“Every dollar counts in our line of work,” Burrier said. “Danny and I are very grateful for this support from the community ... we never would have been able to do this without them.”
Bogley’s Auto Sales of Thurmont sold the truck to the rescue at a discount price, and The Hitch Man in Taneytown only charged the nonprofit for labor in providing a hitch. Burrier also thanked Spectra Auto Sales, Don Hoffacker’s A/C and Heating, Resthaven Funeral Services, Golden Gears Car Club, The Bin Yard, Olde Towne Jewelers and The Frederick News-Post.
Burrier was “shocked” people stepped up to keep the rescue’s doors open.
“They will now stay open for a very long time,” she said.