Tractor Supply in Granbury has now become an integral part in saving the lives of countless animals, following its recent partnership with T.E.X.A.S. Rescue.
Texas Equine Xperience and Sanctuary (T.E.X.A.S.) Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabs, and rehomes donkeys, horses, and mules.
"We got our 501(c)(3) a little over a year and a half ago, and that put us on the wall where it's officially a nonprofit business,” said Tracy Miller, co-founder of T.E.X.A.S. Rescue with his wife, Vicki. “We're trying to rescue whatever horses we can — but it's not just horses; we rescue horses, donkeys and mules. There's a lot of them that need rescue, and it's an ongoing battle of trying to rescue these animals.”
Currently, T.E.X.A.S. Rescue has more than 40 rescues on its property at 950 Williamson Road, with everything from miniature donkeys and horses to draft horses.
As a nonprofit organization, T.E.X.A.S. Rescue is largely dependent on donations to help supplement the supplies and costs associated with vet bills — and sometimes it can be hard.
“Our number one need is feed,” Tracy said. “There’s a lot of medical care that also goes into it, so we are constantly racking up vet bills.”
But three months ago, one store owner realized how much more of a difference he could make if his customers started making frequent donations to the rescue.
“Tracy and them — ever since they moved to the area — have been a customer of mine, and I've just been getting to know them while they were in here shopping and what they do,” said Bill Sims, store manager for Tractor Supply Company in Granbury. “You know, I asked (Tracy), ‘How are you guys paying for all of the care and stuff that you're having to get for all these rescues?’ They're like, ‘Well the majority of it, (we) do.’ I'm like ‘Oh, we got to help them,’ so we decided to partner with them.”
Thanks to Sim’s forward thinking, a cardboard box is now set up at Tractor Supply Granbury at 2101 W. U.S. Highway 377. The box features a brochure with information about T.E.X.A.S. Rescue, along with a “Needs” list containing supplies and materials that the rescue currently needs.
"Grass hay is one of them,” Tracy said. “We can use warmers, we can use DuMOR senior feed, DuMOR alfalfa pellets, DuMOR alfalfa cubes — that's one of their store brands that we really like. The other thing that goes along with that is because we have quite a few animals out here that need gentling —they just haven't been touched much, so we have to make that friendship — but they have what's called DuMOR Baker’s Bites. It's like baked cookies, and they're about the size of a 50-cent piece, and the horses and the donkeys love them.”
Other items needed include wire, white salt rocks, halters, lead ropes, and vet wrap.
“The biggest thing I would say is pick up the list,” Tracy said. “Everything is on there that we need. There's probably a few specific or specialized things that we didn't put on there, but the things that are on there, we can use daily; those are things that we can use all the time.”
“There are some things that are like $10, like the cookies, I think they're $8.99,” Vicki said. “There’s something that anybody could probably afford.”
Since stepping in to help T.E.X.A.S. Rescue, Sims said the donation box at Tractor Supply has received an overwhelming response.
“Usually on stuff like this, it takes a little bit for it to kind of pick up because customers gotta get used to seeing the box there and taking the information,” he said. “But Tracy did a good job of putting a Needs list up there and the brochure with general information about what they do. I told him, ‘Don't be surprised if it takes a few weeks for it to really kick off,’ but the response has been better than expected.”
“Bill has been our number one cheerleader there,” Tracy added. “He has been very excited about putting this in the store and people seeing it and helping us. And it's not only the customers that are coming in and dropping things in the box, but the employees are too. They’re buying things and they're dropping in feed or vet wrap or the horse cookies, or whatever the case may be. All of those things help because we work off donations, but it doesn't always meet the budget, so guess who's paying for it? Anything that people feel that they can afford and put into that box, we appreciate it. It’s not for us — it’s for the animals, but it takes a village.”
Tracy added that he is extremely appreciative of Sims and the employees of Tractor Supply for stepping up when they didn’t have to.
"They contacted us; we did not contact them, and it's nice to know that what we're doing was recognized by somebody outside of maybe just another horse owner,” he said. “This was an important step for us to see a company like Tractor Supply step up, and we can’t say enough about them. Everybody at that store has been so polite and so caring.”
“I just think it opens other people's eyes too, like ‘Hey, we're a legitimate rescue,’ Vicki said. “We're not just trying to get money from people, but I think we're pretty known in this area, so we have some credibility.”
The donation box at Tractor Supply also has a QR code for individuals who want to donate funds to the website directly.
“We appreciate it immensely,” Tracy added. “Rescue is a costly venture. It's not for the faint of heart. It's not for those that think they're really tough either. Rescue is tough, and I don't care if that's a dog, cat or whatever we're talking about for a rescue — there's a lot of work involved in it.”
For more information or to donate to T.E.X.A.S. Rescue, visit texasrescue.org online or call Tracy at 661-972-5492.
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