Horses and a whole lot more


have medical or psychological issues and can’t be re-homed.They all come fromhor- rible places.” Gergily said some of the animals they have were severely neglected or abused. A horse named Sugar they found last Februa- ry, frozen to the ground. “We’ve had every kind of situation,” she said. “With Sugar, we had 12 people holding her up for six days. She couldn’t stand up. She was starved and frozen right to the ground. For two weeks after we had people staying with her. She would get weak and fall down. People would help her back up.The vet thought she would die, but she didn’t. After a while she decided she wanted to live. We fed her well, gave her a lot of supplements and love. She livened up and started doing really well. She’s put on 250 pounds and is doing great.” Gergily said the refuge rescues the ani- mals that no one else wants to deal with, ei- ther because they don’t have time or money to go rescue them. She deals a lot with other animal rescue organizations, and they will call if they are unable to do a rescue. “We take them all whether we have the money or not we go get them. Everyone deserves to be saved.” “These are not our pets,” explained Gergi- ly. “These are animals fromour community. We are asking people to help care for those in our community, including the animals. It’s our responsibility. I only ask that all animals be treated equally. It’s important.” Gergily has two children that have been raised around animals and have been taught to care for them. “They are good people,” smiled Gergily. “They don’t know anything else.” Gergily and her children are vegan, but don’t expect anyone else to do the same in order to help the animals. “Anyone can come and help,” explained Gergily. “We have one guy that said this place is his church. He is

There is a little place in Alexandria that takes care of horses and all kinds of ani- mals. Mostly rescued, abused and forgotten animals have found a havenwhere they can live out their days in peace and loving care. Refuge RR is run by Rose Gergily and about a dozen volunteers. They currently have about 80 horses, and a plethora of other creatures including a ferret, a cow or two, sheep, goats, geese, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs. “We started in Quebec,” said Gergily. “We’ve been here since 2004.” The refuge is currently on a farm with about 70 acres in Alexandria, and Ruby the cow often comes to greet those that enter. “I’ve always loved animals,” said Gergily. “When I was 11 years old, I heard about the seal hunt. It changed my world. I couldn’t believe how cruel some people could be.” Gergily received her first horse at the age of 13 and soon realized some of the other kids her age would get a new horse after a few years when they got tired of the old one. She was surprised to learn that some people felt the other horses were no longer useful. A lot of the horses would end up as food, or in abusive situations. “I worked at a vet’s clinic and helped a number of dogs that were going be eutha- nized,” Gergily explained. “Someone called and had a horse that needed help. It just snowballed after that.” Gergily soon realized there was a need for a safe refuge for horses and other animals. “We were federally registered in 1990, and then it just went crazy,” she laughed. “We get calls from other animal organizations. We try not to bring any of them here. We try to re-home them right away. A lot of the animals here are extreme cases.They either

Ruby the cow loves a good head scratch, chasing cats, and greeting visitors seen here with volunteer Sylvie Leboeuf, who has been a volunteer since 2008.

in his twenties and lives in the city. He says he finds peace here.” RR Refuge holds a few volunteer days per year to help keep fences up, build new shel- ters and help out with whatever else needs to be done. Aside from the regular volunteers, people are asked to come and join in on the fun, and help out around the farm. Ger- gily hopes to hold another volunteer day in about a month when they have funding to build another shelter for a blind horse. “The sides need to be rubber so she doesn’t hurt herself,” said Gergily. “But it is expensive, and we need funds to do it.” Gergily said her biggest challenge is fun- draising. Although the refuge has been in the news several times, she said a lot of people still don’t know they exist and she needs the public’s help to keep things going, not only for donations but also to volunteer. “Kids

can come and get community service hours here,” said Gergily. “Also people who have to do community service for the law. Certain people can do their service here.” Gergily is now opening her doors to trou- bled kids. “Somehow they seem to help each other,” Gergily smiled. “They see animals that have been hurt and abused, and they think if they can do it, so can I. One young girl who had spina bifida came and we had a horse that had a back issue.The girl said the horse was just like her. It gave her so much inspiration. She did a school project on the refuge. It was great.” “Our goal is to stop the suffering,” said Gergily. “It would be really nice to have the communities get together and help. It can be hard to help with stuff across the world, but people can help right here.”

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