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Where it all Began!

In May of 2003, we were presented with the opportunity to save two horses from being taken to auction which, given the physical and medical condition of these horses, they certainly would have been sold for slaughter. In 2005, over 90,000 unwanted horses were slaughtered in the USA, and in 2006 the number grew to 100,000. These horses (Dusty and Colonel) had been abandoned at a boarding facility for a period of five years. The owner of the boarding facility invested her time and effort in maintaining the essentials for the horses, but could no longer remain responsible for their care. A lengthy search had been conducted to find a suitable place for the siblings, but no one wanted these unusable horses. As fate would have it, the situation was brought to our attention through a business associate. Philip and I purchased Dusty and Colonel from the facility, and continued to board them at the same location for the regular monthly fee. We provided all medical/farrier care necessary for the well-being of these horses. 


In June of 2004, we started looking for our own property to house Dusty and Colonel. We searched for quite a while, and finally gave up. We decided to look at one more place, and wouldn't you know we found a little slice of heaven right here in Marengo, Ohio! We purchased just over 86 acres of beautiful farm land including hills, pastures, crop fields, ponds, Alum Creek and woods. We named it "The Circle P Ranch, LLC". We didn't realize at the time, but there was a great deal to do before we could bring any animals to the property. We contacted the local lumber mill, and set out to tear down the old cattle barn (which was reconstructed at another location), and built a new housing barn. The projects grew and grew! The old barbed wire fencing was removed, and we constructed over two miles of new fencing. There were so many projects to be completed; we were unable to move Dusty and Colonel or ourselves to the Ranch until July of 2005.


In September of 2005, our ranch family grew considerably. We took in and provided care and comfort for Diesel, a horse born with debilitating birth defects that were never treated, two pot-bellied pigs (Bacon and Carnitas), three llamas (Cousco, Niles and Rocky), four pygmy goats (Paco, Pricilla, Petunia and Patches) all from one family who realized they could no longer afford to care for them properly. One of the llamas, (Rocky) required several visits from the veterinarian. As a result, several trips to OSU Veterinary Hospital were necessary for medical procedures on an injury he arrived with. He wore a cast for 7 weeks to fuse his bones together, and luckily, we were able to save his foot from being amputated. Unfortunately, a year later, his foot abscessed. He returned to OSU for a week or so, and recovered for the time being. This appears to be a chronic condition. Rocky walks/runs with an extra hop in his step, but it certainly doesn't hold him back. In November of 2005, we took in four more horses, all from different families. The first was from a family moving and needed a home for their halflinger, Bud. Pilot and Regal are Thoroughbreds, who left the race track and became Hunter/Jumper event horses. Injuries prevented them from continuing to compete or even be used for recreational riding. Finally, an Appaloosa (Johnnie) was stricken with EPM, a sometimes fatal disease. His family was devastated. Johnnie had just competed at the Delaware County Fair three weeks prior to his illness, and won 5 ribbons with his faithful rider. Johnnie deteriorated very quickly. He lost his hip muscle within a few short weeks during which the diagnoses was being made. The treatment for EPM is very costly, and comes with no guarantees, but many possible side effects. This left the family with a difficult decision to make-treatment or Euthanasia. The amazing part of the story to me is we happen to meet Johnnie's family at this desperate time. It was unusual for me to read the classified ads in the Dispatch, but I did, and as luck would have it, I called about seeing a horse for sale (to actually ride). The contact for the horse (Eb) was out of town. When we finally connected, our meeting coincided with Johnnie's family hearing the sad news, and having to make this permanent decision. We gave them a third option. Johnnie came to live at the Ranch. We administered the medication. Johnnie is currently in remission at this time. His hip continued to degenerate, because there was so much nerve damage. Although unable to compete, he is very happy with his new life, running the fields with the rest of the herd. (UPDATE: In 2015, Johnnie began to feel the effects of his damaged body. He began struggling to accomplish his everyday horsey tasks so in December of 2015; the decision to humanely euthanize was made). February of 2006 brought Sally, a wild Mustang, (UPDATE: Sally unfortunately fell ill in the summer of 2015 and was unable to recover. She was humanely euthanized and is missed terribly) and Jennie (a wild burro) to us through the adoption process of the Bureau of Land Management. Everyday has been a learning process and brought new experiences as we have earned their trust. We have enjoyed watching the Yearlings grow up over the past several years. Life in the wild is uncertain, but one thing we know for sure, we have made their environment as safe and secure as possible. Next we took in a nurse mare foal in April of this year. A nurse mare foal is a by-product of a female horse that has been hired out to nurse a different foal other than her own. A draft horse mix (Sky), was taken from her mother at the age of one day old. She was to be taken to auction where her destiny would undoubtedly be slaughter for human consumption in a foreign land, or pony leather for designer purses. This is the fate of thousands of foals born to nurse mares, but not Sky. She was now safe with us at the Circle P.


It was then we realized, Philip and I had done all we could do on our own. In August of 2006, we created the nonprofit Circle P Sanctuary, Inc. and applied for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We received our Determination Letter in April of 2007 granting us our status of a tax-deductible charitable organization. We purchased additional property a few doors down to create what is now known as our Receiving Center, a 24 hour critical care/quarantine facility. Philip and I took up residency there in 2007 so we would be able to closely monitor and care for the most critical of cases. All new intakes of the Circle P begin their journey at our Receiving Center and once physically rehabilitated, relocate to our 86 acre Equine Center. 


Since 2007, the Circle P has shifted its focus to the critical care/extreme abuse and neglect cases. We work closely with several Humane Societies and Sherriff Departments in many aspects as well as strive to provide education to the community on a multitude of animal care related platforms. We have also set up a community outreach program, Gracie's Program. Gracie’s Program is a community outreach service that utilizes education and other various resources to assist families in properly caring for or rehabilitating their personal animals in need, ending the immediate suffering/neglect and beginning the healing process, for both the family and animal, without relinquishing custody. Please contact us today if you or someone you know is in need of help.


Now, we need your support. All donations made to the Circle P Sanctuary, Inc. will go to the direct care of the animals and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The Sanctuary leases all land and facilities from the Circle P Ranch for the sum of $10.00 a year. The Ranch will continue to be responsible for all capital improvements made for the benefit of the Sanctuary. Philip and I do not receive any financial gain from the Sanctuary. 


There are several ways you can help support our projects. First is a monetary donation which would be used to purchase feed, bedding, veterinary care and farrier care, etc. We are able to accept checks, money orders, as well as MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Second, we need volunteers to help fund raise and organize various charitable events as well as assist in the day to day chores. We could use equipment for the animals care. This would need to be coordinated so that we don't get more than necessary and also what works best for our set-up. The Circle P is also a verified participant in the Kroger Cares Charity Rewards program. Visit and link your Kroger card to us, then just shop as normal and Kroger will donate a portion of what you normally spend back to us directly. The set up process takes minutes and after that you do not have to do anything else! It is an easy way to support a charity by just grocery shopping as you do anyways. Lastly, periodically check back on our website and Facebook page to see any seasonal fundraisers or events we may have going on at that time. 


Thank You for taking the time to consider participating in our cause. We realize there is a great demand for your charitable dollars. Rest assured the animals at the Circle P Sanctuary, Inc. will benefit completely from your generosity.

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