Placerville Couple Helps Save Horses, Donkeys from Being Sold for Slaughter

PLACERVILLE -- Kendra Nelson and her fiance Joseph Woodruff help save lives.

Through Leave the Gate Open they rescue horses and donkeys from being sold for their meat and hides.

The most recent transport arrived over the weekend.

"Horses, donkeys are being shipped into Mexico," Nelson said. "We offer a service of trying to home them and pull them out of slaughter yards."

"A lot of these horses that are at these kill pens are completely healthy. They're babies," Woodruff said. "They're 2, 3, 4, 5-year-olds. It's not the horse's fault, it's the owner's."

Nelson is always hoping to find new owners, such as Laura Alkema, who just adopted a mule from the group on Sunday.

"I saw his picture and, to me, he was just beautiful," Alkema said. "And I couldn't believe that this healthy, strong-looking animal was going to be eaten."

Nelson's very first rescue was a black and white horse named Little. Little became a permanent member of her family two years ago.

Leave the Gate Open is always looking for donations. So even if you can't buy a horse for yourself, you can always make a donation to save one.

Nelson said another 25 horses and mules will arrive from Texas on Tuesday night. Prospective new owners will have to pay for the value of the meat, usually a dollar a pound, along with the transport fee of $400.

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