Sandra Billy sounds weary and she is. For the second time, she and her daughter are preparing to move into a farmer’s field in order to look after their old and unwanted charges.
The Rest and Recuperate Equine Care Society has to move from its current site in Qualicum Bay and while Billy and her daughter, Bobi Pebernat, have managed to find a temporary pasture for the assorted horses, sheep, ducks and chickens they look after, the site doesn’t include any living quarters.
“We’ll have no home at the end of the month, so we will be moving to a field on Swain Road in Coombs,” Billy said. “I’m really stressed. I get tired, a lot of crying, but I can’t give up. People tell me to just put down the horses, but I couldn’t live with myself if I did that.”
This won’t be the first time Billy and Pebernat have moved into a field to look after their unwanted farm animals. They were forced to move from a property on Winchester Road in Errington in 2006 and, unable to find a pastured acreage with living quarters, spent much of that winter in tents and a hay shelter in a field at Unicorn Farm in Errington. They moved to Cedar in January of 2007 and in February, 2008 they moved into their current Island Highway location.
It’s not easy living in a field but Billy said she sees some light on the horizon, although she concedes it’s quite a way off.
“A man in Victoria heard about us and he has acreage in Merville,” she said. “There are no buildings, but he’s willing to clear it at his expense. However, it won’t happen for about a year and a half before I can get out there.”
Billy said she hopes the move to Merville will be permanent, but in the meantime she and her society need help.
“We can be there for a number of years and that would be really, really good, but we have to make it through the next year and a half to two years,” Billy said. “My daughter and I are kind of in limbo again.”
The first thing she needs, she said, is someone to help move a donated motorhome that will serve as the mother and daughter team’s new home.
“This fellow has a motorhome and he only wanted the motor and transmission out of it,” she said. “If you’re desperate, that sounds pretty good, and we’re desperate. We need to find someone to tow it and put it in the field.”
Billy also noted the society is in desperate need of donations, as the bank account balance has sunk to just $400.
Anyone who would like to help can contact Billy at email@example.com or call 250-327-7759. They have a bank account at CIBC in Qualicum Beach, where donations can be dropped off into bank account 00940-5002311. As well, shoppers can donate their Q points through any cash till at the Parksville or Qualicum Quality Foods Store under Equine Care Society.