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May 18, 2014 8:27 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Community helps expansion effort for Marana horse rescue ranch

MARANA - A Southern Arizona horse rescue ranch is getting some much-needed help from the community.

The "Wild Hearts Rescue Ranch" is overflowing with horses that were criminally abused and in bad shape.

The need is so great that operators, at one point, were forced to euthanize some to make room for others.

The rescue ranch started a fundraiser to expand their work to give each animal a fighting chance.

Jessica Gray, who runs the rescue ranch, said that donations from the community have allowed them to make their first steps at expanding their operations - allowing them to take in more horses in need.

"It gave us the materials to feel confident that we can do the best we can for these horses and get them a lot of space and a lot of recovery, food and medical care," Gray told News 4 Tucson. It also allowed them to purchase roughly $2,000 worth of panels and gates to expand - but there's more work to be done.

Karin Floyd is a barefoot farrier who works with the animals often.

"It's fantastic. Nothing but good things happen here," Floyd said. "We all work hard and we just love these horses and they deserve better situations than we find them in and it's really great because they're the ones who benefit."

The rescue ranch used to only have the capacity to comfortably house seven horses - but the hope is to eventually double that number.

"The expansion has brought us to about 10 at this point -- and I'm hoping with a little bit more work we can get that fundraiser brought up enough that I can get enough materials to expand into a second area here," Gray said.

You can learn more about the "Wild Hearts Rescue Ranch" and its fundraiser at the following links:

www.gofundme.com/7bbkns
www.facebook.com/WildHeartsRescueRanch

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