PALM CITY, Fla. - After months of searching for a permanent home, the Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (ERAF) on April 3 purchased the former Triple E Ranch.
This week, the nonprofit moved 12 horses from its leased facility to the 9.5-acre property in Palm City. One of the horses is almost 31 years old; special ramps were fashioned to help facilitate the move.
“We are all so excited about the possibilities this place offers. We’re also appreciative of all the help we’ve received over the years to allow this to happen,” said board president Randy Kinder. “ERAF’s efforts started out 14 years ago in the backyards of Jupiter Farms homeowners, so we’ve come a long way.”
ERAF’s mission is to provide care, rehabilitation and adoption services to neglected or abused horses. It is the only sanctuary in the South Florida area that offers care and shelter specifically for horses. To date, the organization has rescued 110 horses, 98 of which were adopted.
Expenses — from the farrier and equine dentist to medications and feed — are paid mainly through private donations.
ERAF mortgaged the property. Although officials have not disclosed the final mortgage amount, the organization bought the ranch for $480,000, according to the Martin County Property Appraiser’s website.
One anonymous donor has agreed to pay 10 years’ interest on the mortgage. ERAF, which relies on volunteers and four part-time employees, will be running a capital campaign to help make mortgage payments.
Financial donations and volunteers to help mend fences also are needed. The new property will require a lawn mower and a tractor with a brush hog, grader and bucket.
The ranch holds nine paddocks, 13 stalls, a storage barn and a lighted arena. Future projects include construction of additional stalls and three-sided shade covers.
The property’s size and layout will allow the nonprofit’s members to provide educational opportunities. Right now, the organization offers programs for Explorer and Girl Scouts, South Fork High School’s baccalaureate studies and community service hours for students preparing for pre-veterinarian programs.
An open house is planned for later in the year. The farm is open most Saturdays for public viewing.
What: Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation
Where: 6400 S.W. Martin Highway, Palm City
Information: 561-358-0625, www.eraf.org
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