The owners of an animal rescue ranch located northwest of Phoenix are thanking ABC15 viewers for helping save their animals.
The ranch was in fear of shutting down all operations after a well dried up, leaving no source of water for the animals.
The group rescues abused and neglected horses, burros, goat, sheep and llamas. In the fourteen years since Bobbie Joe Eldorado and his father started up the Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch, they’ve taken in more than a thousand animals.
The rescue reached out to ABC15 for help in January 2016 once their water issues started.
Eldorado, who has played Santa at Wikieup schools for the last eight years said, for the first time he even wrote a letter to Santa Claus, desperately pleading for help. Eldorado said ABC15 viewers ended up playing Santa for him.
“They did save the animals, they saved the rescue. I didn't know what I was going to do, I was praying like crazy,” Eldorado said.
After the story aired, Eldorado said they set up a fundraising account and were able to raise $25,000 in almost two days.
“Oh my God, it just kinda blew me away. It really was inspiring to know that so many people cared,” he said.
The ranch now has a well that is almost 750 feet deep and has plenty of water for the animals.
Eldorado said they had stopped taking in as many animals due to the water emergency, but now they can continue saving lives.
A barbeque to thank the community for their donations will take place on April 2 at the Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch. It is located off Highway 93 and Old Wikieup Hillside Road, near mile marker 131.
Eldorado said those interested in coming should just drive up the dirt road until they see the animals.