A horse sanctuary was reduced to ashes in a California fire, but all 20 horses miraculously survived
via GoFundMe

The wildfires that have ravaged the west coast over the past two months have burned millions of acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forced thousands to live in evacuation shelters.

The fires have also caused unimaginable damage to the area's wildlife.

Critical populations of endangered species and native habitats may take years to recover.

"Some of these places we set aside may be fundamentally impacted by climate change and may not be able to come back," Amy Windrope, deputy director of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife," said according to The New York Times. "That's just a reality."


Out of all the death and destruction comes a wonderful story out of Jamul, California, outside of San Diego.

Over twenty years ago, Patty Hyslop started the Hyslop Horse Haven to care for abused and neglected horses. Hyslop sufferers from multiple sclerosis and, at one point, was paralyzed, but she believes her love for horses has helped her condition improve.

The sanctuary also provides horseback riding lessons for children.

On September 5, as the Valley Fire raged through the area, forcing Hyslop to evacuate her ranch, leaving the horses behind.

"It was one of the scariest things that we've ever been through," Hyslop told FOX 5.

"When I saw those hundred-foot flames coming at us … I (thought I) was going to come back the next day to dead horses or severely burnt horses. And if they had died, I think I would've died with them. My heart would have just broken," she continued.

via GoFundMe

After the fire made its way through the area, Hyslop returned to her horse haven fearing the worst. But she was shocked to find that all 20 of her horses survived.

Hyslop belives the animals were saved by "horse angels."

Unfortunately, the stable didn't have such luck. The entire sanctuary was reduced to ash and debris. Eight sheds with thousands of dollars worth of medications, tack, and supplies were brunt to the ground. As was Hyslop's golf cart and trailers for the sanctuary's volunteers.

via Fox 5 San Diego

"My shed alone, there was probably $10,000 worth of tack and medications feed everything inside and it's just all gone," said Hope Gilces, Hyslop's niece.

The horses have been transferred to temporary facilities while Hyslop and her team work to get the sanctuary back into order. Even though her sanctuary has suffered a massive setback, she still vows to rescue even more horses, including those impacted by the blaze.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help rebuild the sanctuary.

"The ranch is going to be in need of feed, medicine, care equipment, and all items needed for riding lessons (saddles, blankets, tack, etc)," the campaign reads. "They will need to rebuild storage units and replace machinery that didn't survive the fire."

Let's hope Hyslop's horse angels come through again and help her get the funding she needs to continue her important work.

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Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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Editor's Note: We used "black" in lowercase for our headline and the body of this story in accordance with emerging guidelines from the Associated Press and other trusted news outlets who are using uppercase "Black" in reference to American descendants of the diaspora of individuals forcibly brought from Africa as slaves. As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent and communicate choices with our readership, we've included this note for clarity. The original story begins below.

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