Every day, horses and donkeys are sold to slaughter yards, where they’re eventually killed for their meat and hides. Many of these animals are young and healthy.
Kendra Nelson and Joseph Woodruff do everything they can to rescue these animals from imminent death. Through their organization, Leave the Gate Open, Kendra and Joseph save horses and donkeys from kill pens.
The first animal Kendra saved, a horse named Little, made such an impact on her that she decided to keep him in the family.
Kendra explained: “A lot of these horses that are at these kill pens are completely healthy. They’re babies. They’re 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-year-olds. It’s not the horse’s fault; it’s the owner’s.”
Once the animals are in their care, Kendra and Joseph get them ready for adoption — and they’re always looking for new owners. According to Kendra, owners just have to pay for the value of the meat (which is typically around a dollar a pound) and a transportation fee.
A recent owner, Laura Alkema, adopted a mule from Leave the Gate Open. “I saw his picture and, to me, he was just beautiful,” Laura said. “And I couldn’t believe that this healthy, strong-looking animal was going to be eaten.”
Although they can’t keep the animals forever, Kendra and Joseph have built a wonderful temporary home for the donkeys and horses they rescue.
Footage provided by KTXL Sacramento
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