Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a been a desperate last few months for horse-owners. Those who can't afford to feed their animals have been forced to give them up. Luckily, horse rescues have been there to help, but now a horse rescue on the northwest side needs a little help of its own.
"We're sinking," said James Boudrieau. "There's no one there to rescue the rescues when we fall down."
Boudrieau is Director of Hoofprints of the Heart, a non-profit horse rescue in Marana. He opened three years ago. He tells 9OYS he never thought the economy would get so bad. He takes care of 29 horses at his rescue, but times are tough.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Boudrieau if he's scared he might have to shut down. Boudrieau replied, "We're seriously thinking about it. The funds just aren't there, and we have a $3000 feed bill every month. They got to eat and it's my responsibility that they eat."
The problem is the cost of hay is expensive. In November 2011, hay prices had doubled. Fast forward seven months and prices have tripled. The horses also need special vet care. By the end of the month Hoofprints of the Heart is spending nearly $4,000 dollars.
"Donations are way down too," Boudrieau said. "Times are just tough."
If Hoofprints of the Heart shuts down, these horses will have nowhere to go.
"They're all relying on us to take care of them," he said.
Benito asked what options the horses will have. Boudrieau replied, "None. All the other rescues are in the same boat I'm in."
Boudrieau tells 9OYS more horses would end up being dumped in the desert to die, so he's hoping horse lovers do what they can to help him, help horses.
"I devote my whole life to this," Boudrieau said. "We work with horses all day, every day, 7 days a week. There are no holidays. There are no days off."