Loudon County, Tenn. — A miniature horse and donkey rescue in Loudon is proving to be a successful place for second chances.
East Tennessee Miniature Horses and Donkey Rescue, owned by Angela Devin, has helped 149 miniature horses and donkeys on their path to health and adoption.
"We didn't know how big the need was. We have gotten groups of 10 in at one time," Devin said.
What she thought would be a small project with a few horses a year turned into a massive undertaking on her six-acre farm.
She's now taking care of about 50 animals, and she said the numbers are lower than normal.
Devin said people buy these animals because they are cute, but many people don't know how to care for them properly.
"They need as much care as a normal horse. They need their feet in good shape, they need food, water and exercise," she said.
All of the funding for the rescue comes from donations and adoption fees. They also have small events where they invite the public to meet the horses and accept donations there as well.
"None of this is possible without public support and our volunteers. We have about eight volunteers," Devin said.
Once she gets the horses where they need to be, she adopts them to people who qualify. To adopt a mini horse or donkey you have to be in a five-hour radius of the rescue, must have vet and farrier references, a shelter and companion mini for consideration.