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Horse rescue seeks donations for Hurricane Florence relief

SALISBURY — Deborah Baker was watching the news as crews rescued animals in eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Florence hit, and she knew she wanted to help.

The president and founder of Midnight’s Promise Equine Rescue in Salisbury, Baker said she decided to collect hay, feed and veterinary medical supplies.

“How can I not do something?” Baker said. “Everyone was going along with their lives as normal.”

She said she saw the devastation of the storm and considered going to Lumberton to help with rescuing 400 cats and dogs, but was unable due to medical reasons. She still wanted to help, especially horses who are challenging to evacuate; horses can be infected with river rot if in water for long periods of time.

On Monday, she began contacting area farms to donate hay bales and feed. One was Mark Dipple Full Circle Farm, which houses 23 horses and grows hay.

Dipple initially decided to donate 10 hay bales, but said after some thought to donate all the hay from Full Circle Farm.

“I can do better than that,” Dipple said. “I know there’s at least 50 bales.”

Baker said they also have had a good hay crop this year due to large rainfall.

He said he credits Baker for organizing so the farm’s work is minimal.

“I’m just donating,” Dipple said. “A lot of people say they want to help, but not a lot of people do.”

The hay, feed and medical supplies will be transported to Magnolia. Baker said delivering the hay bales that weigh about 800 pounds each has been challenging, but two people have volunteered their tractor trailers to move the bales.

Gary Sessoms has 10 large horses in Magnolia. He said people within the horse community are struggling because the hay crop was destroyed and is grateful for the help.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” Sessoms said. “We’ve never been on this side of a disaster. What they’re willing to do is amazing. It’s humbling to see what people are willing to do for you.”

Baker said she plans on traveling to Magnolia to help.

“We’re a horse rescue, but we try to help horses in other ways,” she said.

Hodge Farm in Mount Ulla donated 20 bags of stock feed. Goodman Farm Supply also donated 20 bags of sweet feed.

Baker said they are still looking for more donations of feed, hay bales and medical supplies and help transporting the items to eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit www.midnightspromise.org or contact Deborah Baker at 704-798-6641.

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