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Central Texas farm, animal sanctuary looks for support amid struggles with drought

The Bridge Sanctuary
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 23:43:26-04

ROBINSON, Texas — The Bridge Sanctuary in Robinson is in need of support as the drought and summer heat is forcing the non-profit to spend more on feed and supplies.

Margaret Ransom, founder and executive director of The Bridge, put out a plea on social media this week for donations. With the sanctuary's pasture almost completely dried up, its funds are running out.

Using fans, sprinklers, and misters, the sanctuary has been able to keep animals cool. The problem, however, lies in the need for feed and the rising cost to obtain it.

"When we first set up The Bridge, hay was $23 a bale [for] three-string alfalfa. Now it's $30," Ransom said.

With many injured and rescued animals at the sanctuary, Ransom said it can't cut back on feed to save money.

"That is something we don't budge on. Feed is something that they don't deserve to be cut back on because we can't afford it," she said.

The rising cost of feed and lack of growth on pastures is something the Texas Farm Bureau said is becoming a common problem.

"Normally, if we have a short drought, it's easier to endure. But we're looking at five years' worth of reduced hay supply," said Tracy Tomascik, associate director of commodity and regulatory activities at the Texas Farm Bureau.

As supplies disappear and prices go up, many farms and ranches are having to make hard decisions about how to cut costs. Many are taking steps to reduce herd inventory by culling some mature livestock or selling them.

At the sanctuary, which is designed to rescue, rehabilitate and protect its animals, those are not options.

"When they came here, I promised I would take care of them. And I'm gonna keep my promise, whatever it takes," Ransom said. "So that's why we have all of these things to keep them cool. That's why we do what we can."

Those able and willing to support The Bridge Sanctuary can do so by using PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App as listed in the Facebook post above.

The sanctuary also accepts gift cards from those not comfortable with donating cash.