Shoe leather goes to save horses' hides
Girls raise $507 by pounding pavement for 8 animals rescued from abuse case
By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
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First published: Thursday, January 11, 2007
CHATHAM -- After some local kids read about abused horses that needed help, they decided to hit the streets and do something about it.
Serena Thorn, 10, of Loudonville, who loves horses and rides regularly, was upset about a story she saw in the Times Union two days after Christmas. It told of the plight of Paxton and seven other neglected horses being cared for by animal rescuer Lynn Cross at her Little Brook Farm on Route 13 in Old Chatham.
Paxton is blind and the other horses have various permanent problems from neglect but are otherwise healthy.
The horses came to Cross from the Cherokee Ridge abuse case in Coeymans two years ago. The State Police, the New York State Humane Association and the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society were involved in the rescue of the animals from one of the worst abuse cases in Capital Region history and steered some of the horses to Cross.
Denise Thorn said her daughter Serena was so moved by the article that she contacted several of her riding buddies, namely Elizabeth Cassidy, 10, and Taylor Miller, 11, both of Loudonville, and Sarah Zimmerman, 10, of Latham, and the four of them decided to go on a door-to-door campaign to raise money.
"But first, they needed the all-important visual to help make their case," Denise Thorn said. "They located a large box and turned a panel into their promotional canvas."
They clipped the article from the Times Union and used various pictures they located on Cross' Web site. With the box in hand and two days and several neighborhoods later, they raised $507, which they gave to Cross in person Monday.
"I saw the story and thought it would be a nice thing to do," Serena Thorn said. "We were very surprised at the amount we raised. It was really neat to visit the horses."
One parent said the issue resonated with people the kids visited.
"They got $70 the first day," said Sarah's mother, Jody Zimmerman. "They are now planning on doing it on a regular basis every year."
Cross was overwhelmed by the generosity.
"It was the nicest thing for them to do," Cross said. "We've actually got an overwhelming response with people inquiring on sponsoring a horse, donations and even people stopping by to volunteer to work on the farm."
In addition, Serena and her older sister Emilie baked cookies to sell and raised another $40 for the cause, Denise Thorn said.
"Not a single idea for raising the money was supplied by a parent, and all the hard work was performed by the kids themselves," Thorn said.
The horses' care has cost Cross $30,000 so far. She can't afford them much longer and needs help in the form of donations or sponsorships to keep the horses alive.
She's tried several routes but has come up empty. Before the horses bankrupt her, she thought to ask the public to financially sponsor them and then visit the farm to see them whenever they want.
Bob Gardinier can be reached at 454-5696 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org