Saving animals set for slaughter
High Springs Heralds - High Springs,FL,USA
By Carlee Murphy. Farm animals and beauty seemingly don't mix, but they do in the case of the Shady Rest Ranch. ... The animals already take up most of their time. ...
For The Herald
Photo By Brad McClenney
Rescuing animals destined for slaughter is the aim of James Wiencek (in front, left), Jacklyn (on horse), Ivy Sanford-Wiencek, James II (in front), and Abigail (in back). They use mostly their own money to rescue the animals but are hoping that hosting a beauty pageant in the fall will help raise money.
NEWBERRY -- Four goats, five dogs, five horses, ten cats -- and a beauty pageant.
Farm animals and beauty seemingly don't mix, but they do in the case of the Shady Rest Ranch.
The Shady Rest Ranch, a non-profit rescue ranch run by a family in Newberry, is planning its first annual beauty pageant.
The pageant will raise money to support the family's current animals, as well as allow the family to move to a larger property to rescue more animal -- specifically horses, Ivy Sanford-Wiencek said.
The family includes Sanford-Wiencek -- founder, director, agent, treasurer, and mother -- father Jim Wiencek, and their children Abby Wiencek, 16, Jacklyn Wiencek, 14, and Jamie Wiencek, 12.
Sanford-Wiencek currently works for the state as a rehabilitation technician and Wiencek is a mechanic.
As the ranch gets larger, they would like to work from home to devote more time to the animals. The animals already take up most of their time.
Their days are spent feeding and training the animals beginning at 5 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m., said Sanford-Wiencek.
Some of the rescued animals include Harley and Davidson, two goats that were saved just after their ears were tagged and they were about to be sent to auction for slaughter.
Fang is a Dalmatian and Rottweiller mix who was rescued before he was sent to the pound.
Photos By Brad McClenny
Ivy Sanford-Wiencek holds the offspring of a goat that almost was slaughtered.
"He's the biggest baby you've ever seen," said Sanford-Wiencek.
Stormy, a dark grey horse, came to the ranch thin and barely able to walk. He was nurtured back to health and can run and gallop on good days, Sanford-Wiencek said.
Georgie is their PMU rescue horse. PMU stands for pregnant mare urine, the ingredient in Premarin, a drug used to reduce symptoms of menopause, said Sanford-Wiencek.
"The way they do it is so cruel," said Sanford-Wiencek.
Mares are impregnated and forced to stand in a stall where they cannot lay down or turn. They are impregnated every year until they become barren or lame, usually around 5 years.
Once that happens, the horses are usually slaughtered, said Sanford-Wiencek. An average horse lives 25-30 years, much longer than a PMU horse.
The foals aren't needed so they are usually sent to slaughter unless someone adopts them, she said. A foal costs $400 to $600 and another $400 for transport from the farms in Canada.
"You're going to spend that money to adopt a baby anyway so why not spend it to save a life?" Sanford-Wiencek said.
Adoptions of PMU foals require a lot of time and love, Sanford-Wiencek said, as the foals have never been handled by people.
Sanford-Wiencek hopes to be able to adopt many more in the future and train them so they can be adopted, but only by suitable owners that she approves of.
Photos By Brad McClenny
The family plays with "Kong," a newly rescued puppy.
"A lot of people have good intentions but there's a lot of work and a lot of money involved," she said.
Sanford-Wiencek said she has always cared about animals and her husband grew up with horses. Her children have been riding horses since they were 2 years old.
The need for more land and funds led to the idea for a beauty pageant. Sanford-Wiencek's daughter Jacklyn is involved in pageants and is currently the Queen of the South pageant winner.
Currently, 95 percent of the funds needed to care for the animals come from the family's pockets. The idea for a pageant was suggested by Ernestine Rayborne, who organizes Moonbeam Pageants in Florida.
The pageant is set to take place at the Newberry municipal building on October 21.
For more information, visit the farm's Website at