Time running out for horse rescuers

Equine Rescue Society needs rescuing itself - Submitted photo
Equine Rescue Society needs rescuing itself
— image credit: Submitted photo

Sandra Billy is sending out an SOS, but she’s not putting a message in a bottle. She doesn’t have time for that.

The head of the Rest and Recuperate Equine Care Society says the cupboard at the Qualicum Bay home for unwanted animals is bare. 

“Our donations have been pretty grim lately,” she said. “Every time we buy hay it’s between $500 and $600 and that lasts us maybe two months, depending on the weather. That’s a lot of money. We were trying to put together a silent auction, but that hasn’t worked out and our account is running really low.”

Billy said the society, which currently provides homes for four horses, three sheep, seven cats, one dog, about 15 ducks and 10 chickens, is facing the additional pressure of having to find a new home after the owner of their rental property on Highway 19A beside Island Scallops in Qualicum Bay decided to sell.

“We were supposed to leave by the end of February, but the owner extended it to June 15,” Billy said. “She said she doesn’t care if we have  a place by then or not. We’re out.”

The uncertainty about her future has Billy rattled, as memories of her time living in a hay shed at a farm on Winchester Road resurface. They are not fond memories.

“I’m starting to panic,” she said. “We’ve been looking for a new place for over a year and we’ve had three different people offer their fields, but I have to live there, too, because I need to monitor them.”

Billy said she is looking for a property with at least seven pastured acres, with a barn and outbuildings and a three-bedroom house, although she conceded she could get by with a two-bedroom unit.

Anyone who wants to donate to the Rest and Recuperate Equine Care Society can call Billy at 250-757-9921.


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