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MailTribune.com
  • Safety net

    Res-Q-Ranch in Sams Valley provides a lifeline for animals in need
  • While she's always had a soft spot in her heart for horses, Res-Q-Ranch director Linda Marsh still does a double take after a year at the helm when she realizes how much of a safety net she provides for abused and neglected equines on her Sams Valley ranch.
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    • How to Help
      Res-Q-Ranch is run on donations from the public. Much-needed contributions include cash, hay and feed.
      In addition, the ranch holds a handful of "barnyard sales" each year to raise money. The ne...
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      How to Help
      Res-Q-Ranch is run on donations from the public. Much-needed contributions include cash, hay and feed.

      In addition, the ranch holds a handful of "barnyard sales" each year to raise money. The next sale is slated for October.

      For directions, to drop off salable items or for information about rescue horses, call Marsh at 541-826-7244.
  • While she's always had a soft spot in her heart for horses, Res-Q-Ranch director Linda Marsh still does a double take after a year at the helm when she realizes how much of a safety net she provides for abused and neglected equines on her Sams Valley ranch.
    Relocating from Northern California in 2002, Marsh and her husband, Lou, moved onto 42 acres to enjoy the countryside and have animals of their own. After a handful of years serving on the board of directors for the 20-year-old nonprofit, Marsh says the new role seems to fit like a well-worn pair of riding boots.
    Having already provided space for rescued horses on their property for founder and former director Michelle Thomas, who moved to Bend in 2010, Marsh agreed that seeing Res-Q-Ranch close would be harder than taking the reins and moving the operation from its original home along Highway 234.
    Named director in January 2011, Marsh moved a half-dozen horses onto her property to start. She now plays host to twice as many, along with a slew of dogs, felines and a near-white donkey named Casper.
    "Even on moving day, we had extra cats show up — a litter of kittens who barely had their eyes open," Marsh says with a laugh. "My husband couldn't believe it started happening so fast."
    On a recent afternoon at the ranch, a sturdy paint yearling named Sky greets visitors while Amigo, a 23-year-old Appaloosa, nuzzles Marsh's hand. Attacked by cougars four months ago, the pair nearly are healed.
    "You could see where the paw print was on (Sky's) neck from the cougar attack. And they both were already thin because a lot of horse owners are having a hard ... time feeding their animals," Marsh says.
    "These two came in together. We didn't realize how attached they were to each other, but we've got to get them adopted out, so it's unlikely they'll go together. They'll both make nice horses for someone, though."
    Slightly downhill from the pair's pen, a Shetland pony cross hustles in front of an old, gray gelding to be first in line for potential treats.
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