Sonia Horon, Global Animal

A fire in Pendleton, New York claimed the lives of more than half of the rescued animals at Lakeview Animal Sanctuary and Horse Farm on Tuesday night. The owner of the shelter, Sandy Pfohl, braved the fire and attempted to save the animals from the flames, almost losing her own life in the process. Unfortunately, about 60 animals were killed in the blaze.

Children meeting one of the rescue horses at Lakeview Animal Sanctuary. Photo credit: Charles Lewis
Children meeting one of the rescue horses at Lakeview Animal Sanctuary. Photo credit: Charles Lewis

“She was willing to risk her life for these animals…We were just hugging each other in tears,” the vice-president of the sanctuary’s board Donna Boskat said.

The sanctuary is an all-volunteer organization that raises money for education and rescue services by providing ponies and horses for parties and petting zoos. It is home to more than 100 animals. Boskat told The Buffalo News, “We take in a lot of unwanted animals and we also rescue wildlife. It’s everything from A to Z. That’s why the loss of these animals is so devastating.”

The cause of the fast-moving fire is still unknown although it appears to have started accidentally. The animal victims include a llama, alpaca, goats, baby lambs, wild baby turkeys, pot belly pigs, and some rabbits. The sanctuary now stands in ruins and the damages seem to be far beyond the organization’s insurance coverage. 

If you would like to donate to help continue their mission, please visit Lakeview Animal Sanctuary.

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