Cathy Mesaric was desperate.

As owner of the Last Chance Ranch in Troy, she’d dedicated years of her life to caring for abused, neglected and unwanted horses. She nursed them back to health and taught them it was OK to trust humans again.

But donations and fundraising fell in the poor economy and, at the same time, Mesaric developed a health problem that made the work of caring for the horses nearly impossible. Early in August she came to a heartbreaking decision: She had to shut down the rescue. She had to find a new home for her horses.

Fifty miles away in Industry, the Double B Equine Rescue had a similar mission to help abused, neglected and unwanted animals. It had more than a dozen horses of its own to care for, but when they heard about Last Chance Rescue’s plight, owners Linwood and Brenda Green didn’t hesitate to help.

“(Linwood) just said, ‘How many?'” Brenda Green recalled.

The couple took in every Last Chance horse that needed a home.

They rescued the rescue.

“Initially I sat down and cried because they’re all going to some place I wouldn’t have to worry about them,” Mesaric said.  

At Double B, the Greens were emotional, too. Although they had known little about each other before the crisis, Last Chance and Double B had been very similar rescues. Double B relies on donations to pay the bills. It doesn’t charge for adoptions because the Greens don’t want a good home to be daunted by a fee. The Greens struggle every day with the cost of caring for 20 or more large animals, some of them with significant medical needs. 

“If you have to take it out of pocket, you take it out of pocket,” Green said.

The Greens could easily imagine being forced to make the same decision Mesaric made.

“It was very sad when we went down and got the horses because (Last Chance) had been open for a while and it was hard. It’s like giving away your kids,” Green said. “I hope we never have to do it. You never know.”

When Last Chance closed, Mesaric had 13 horses. She kept three of the older horses and a fourth for her niece to ride. She found homes for two others. Seven went to Double B. 

The goodbye was the hardest part — for everyone.

“Some of the horses had been there for five years and they hadn’t been trailered. They think you’re abusing them because you’re moving them. It was a very hard situation for them,” Green said.

Weeks later, the seven former Last Chance residents are settling into their own section at Double B. Still emotional, Mesaric has not yet been over to see them in their new home. 

“I can’t go. I just don’t have it in my heart,” she said.

But she does check Green’s website frequently for photos of the horses. And she calls to see how they’re doing. She’s thankful Double B was willing to take them in. 

Green said they couldn’t have done anything else.

“I know darn well if we hadn’t had the stalls, we would have been building,” she said.

Have an idea for a pet feature? Contact Lindsay Tice at 689-2854 or e-mail her at [email protected]

For more information on the Double B Equine Rescue, call 778-6479 or visit www.mainehorserescue.com


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