ACAMPO, CA - Catriona Watson is breathing a major sigh of relief after News10 viewers helped her find homes for two dozen horses.
Watson was scrambling on Monday after losing the lease on a ranch where she's run Epona Farms Riding Academy.
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"Ever since the sign went up we've been looking for a place," Watson said.
She moved her operation to Acampo almost three years ago from the San Francisco Bay area. She explained she acquired the horses over the years by rescuing them from people who couldn't care for them anymore and used them to teach students, mostly children, how to ride and care for them.
She also had chickens, rabbits, a goose and pot-bellied pig that were part of a petting zoo.
After her story aired Monday evening on News10, Watson said calls started coming in.
"I didn't sleep a wink. We had lots of wonderful people calling, emailing and coming over and picking up horses and other critters," Watson laughed.
Among those riding to Watson's rescue, Suzanne Schenk, a psychologist who lives nearby.
"I'm here because I saw the story last night on News10," Schenk said. "Throughout my life, I've rescued dogs, geese and a llama that (needed homes because) someone's place had been foreclosed on. When there's a need to help animals, I try to be there to help."
Schenk took Watson's three remaining geriatric mares, 16 chickens and a bantam rooster.
Watson said her next task is trying to find a new spot to reopen her academy.
She said, "I'm trying to qualify for a loan, so we can actually buy a ranch and we don't get in this situation again."
With her business closed, she said she doesn't have the money to buy food for people who are temporarily boarding her animals.
"If anyone wants to help with that, they can call me," Watson said.
But tonight she says she'll sleep peacefully knowing her animals are housed in good homes.
"I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel very happy and blessed," Watson said.
By Karen Massie, email@example.com