Walnut Creek miniature horse rescue struggles as COVID-19 pandemic slows donations

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Many Bay Area animal rescue groups are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic, and are making a public plea for help.

One of those groups is a Walnut Creek nonprofit, Angels for Minis, that rescues and rehabilitates miniature horses and donkeys.

"Our bills keep rising and our medical bills are just out of this world," said Mary Stewart, Founder of the group. "That's where we really need help. We have not been able to have any of our fundraising events."

Since 2013, Angels for Minis has saved more than 600 animals. Their mission is to save and rehabilitate miniature horses, in hopes of finding them a forever home.

"To just think, 'how this horse is going to make it?' What we see these horses go through is heartbreaking," said Stewart. "Horses come to us completely starved, they come in and their feet are bad and curled. It's crippling them."

RELATED:East Bay SPCA offers free pet food to families in need amid the coronavirus pandemic

Angels for Minis provides essential veterinary care for all animals. The nonprofit assesses the animals for injuries, provides vaccinations, hoof care, dental exams and training.



But all of that care costs money and the group is having a hard time getting funding.

Angels for Minis relies solely on volunteers and donations from the community, but since the pandemic hit they had to cancel all of their events .

They tried to find creative ways to raise funds.

They held a garage sale in November and have been selling jewelry, but it has not been enough.

"With COVID, we can't get the donations that we need," said Laurie Bellet, one of the directors of the volunteer program. "We need a new horse trailer and I don't know where that nine-thousand dollars is going to come from right now. People are strained right now and so giving has dried up."
All volunteers must receive special training to provide the best care for the animals. They are hoping for a horse trailer to help save and transport more miniature horses from the Central and Western parts of the United States.

RELATED: East Bay man uses drones to reunite lost pets with owners following natural disasters

"What we do is we take in the worst of the worst. We want the ones that are in trouble and need care," said Stewart.

Organization members say they are full of gratitude that they are able to make a difference in the horses lives.

"They have turned out to be therapy for us as well, but they are all needing of good homes," said Stewart. "It is really rewarding and a privilege to be allowed to do this."

You can help Angels for Minis by donating, volunteering, or sponsoring a miniature horse.

To donate visit the Angels for Minis website.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.