JAMUL, Calif. (KGTV) - A life’s work of rescuing horses burned to the ground in a matter of moments due to the Valley Fire burning east of San Diego.
Patty Hyslop has overseen her horse rescue, Hyslop Horse Haven, for more than 20 years. She’s had Multiple Sclerosis for just about the same amount of time. The horses she saves have kept her moving through the pain.
“If it weren’t for all the rest of the horses I don’t think she would still be here today,” said Shylynn Wellman, who has grown up at the ranch and now lives on the property.
When Patty saw flames quickly approaching the ranch Saturday, she tried to get as many of her 24 horses out, but wasn’t able to save all of them.
“The officers were like ‘you’re going to die if you don’t leave’ and I said I don’t care, I’m going to stay with my horses,” she said.
Ultimately, she was the last one to leave the property and tried to save all of the horses, but had to leave a few behind.
“I was so scared I was going to come home to burned and dead horses,” she said.
Miraculously, when she returned, the horses she’d left had survived. Most of her ranch had not.
In total, eight tack sheds filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in horse supplies burned. The golf cart she uses to get around the large property, a huge help because of her MS, was a pile of melted metal. A majority of her property was blacked with ash as well. Despite the destruction, she still feels blessed.
“I think it was a lot of luck. I think the horses, between that and God blessing us with horse angels, yeah,” she said.
Right now, her horses are being housed at The Lucky Seven Ranch, and she’s hoping for some donations of horse supplies or sheds to get back on her feet. This GoFundMe has been set up to help the rescue ranch. Patty said her goal is to rebuild and continue inspiring people to save horses.
“These kids come to me and say I want to grow up to be like you, I want to know as much as you do, I want to help horses, too. Oh it just fills my heart with joy,” she said.