DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — One of the region’s largest and most well-respected horse sanctuaries moved to a new home Monday.
Happy Dog Ranch was squeezed out of its home of 17 years by housing and commercial developments. The ranch became flanked on the south end by a four-lane road and a housing development that came right up to the property.
“What we had was lovely for the time that we were there,” said co-owner Bernadette Spillane. “But it was time to move on. And then, when you see this place, it’s so quiet, it’s peaceful, huge pastures that are well-fenced. And there’s trees.”
The new location on Highway 67, southwest of Sedalia, is just 10 minutes south of Happy Dog’s old location.
“We’re going to be moving pretty much the whole herd today,” said Mark Rashid, who drove one of three trailers. “You kind of like to keep them together in the trailers just to keep the quiet of the herd.”
Denver7 | Gives
Forced to find new home: Happy Dog Ranch moves after 17 years due to development
Happy Dog was struggling to afford the necessary move. But Denver7 Gives viewers stepped in to help, donating more than $12,000.
“That was awesome,” Bernadette said. “Channel 7 has been a big part of this — just getting the word out and letting people know. Murdoch’s (Ranch and Home Store) showed up with some people to help us. It’s been amazing.”
“And we couldn’t ask for better weather,” said John Spillane. “Wonderful people showed up to help us.”
Crews moved a herd of about 30 horses Monday. Bernadette said the rest of the smaller animals will be moved this week.
“They’re all going together and to this beautiful place where they can run around,” she said. “I can’t stop crying. I see these horses jump off the trailer and I’m like, it’s amazing for them. It’s just hard with the things we were starting to experience over there with the light and noise pollution. It was hard for them to keep their energy up.”
Denver7 | Gives
Denver7 Gives viewers donate $12,000 to help relocate Happy Dog Ranch
“This is a really remarkable opportunity to expand the heart of this place and be able to serve so many,” said a volunteer.
“It’s a little bit more like they would have if they were wild horses, really,” Rashid said.
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