Auction held in hopes of saving Indiana animal rescue - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Auction held in hopes of saving Indiana animal rescue

Posted: Updated: Feb 24, 2013 09:40 PM EST

ELIZABETH, Ind. (WDRB) -- An auction can be a quick option to make cash. But it seemed like the only option for Robin Mills.

With her Indiana animal rescue facing foreclosure, Mills and other volunteers at the Buck Creek Valley Rescue held an auction Sunday hoping to drum up at least $60,000. With that money, they hope to refinance the property where they have cared for abused and neglected horses for years.

But Sunday's auction only raised $25,000, according to organizers. All hope is not lost though. They're still looking for a third party buyer to financially support or buy them out.

Mills says she and her husband fell victim to the recession, hoping to use grant money for the rescue to get by and help pay the mortgage. But it hasn't worked. Mills says they need $270,000 to get over the hump. She admits it's a steep financial mountain to climb on a flat Indiana farm that's flat broke.

"We have to sell all this stuff just to keep this," said Mills. "We don't want to lose it. We want to save the rescue. And all these wonderful people are out here trying to help us."

The auction included tables full of books, saddles, saws and other farm equipment. It's one thing to sell off equipment. But it's harder to put a price tag on your passion and the animal rescue Mills helped create.

"I just want everything to work out. That's all there is to it. I look at all my volunteers and they get me crying. This day is rough - selling all this stuff," said Mills.

Mills said she was encouraged by the number of volunteers and the dozens of people who came to both a yard sale and the auction to purchase items. She said every little bit helps.

"It's overwhelming. It's very overwhelming," said Pam Buffington.

Buffington is one of the volunteers at the Buck Creek Valley Rescue. Just like the geese that nest near the barn, she considers this place home.

"They're family. The horses are like therapy to me. It's amazing to see what they've overcome," she said. 

Many of the horses have been abused or neglected. Pam says she relates - she too went through her own abuse as a child.

"And to watch what they've gone through has given me strength and inspired me to do what I am doing, which is volunteering," she said.

Providing more strength to Mills and others was the ability to watch dozens of people mill about and the dollars roll in.

"You know it upsets me a little bit," Mills said. "We are selling all our stuff but it's for the horses. I wanted to keep the place. I want to keep them."

Organizers still hope selling off an additional $20,000 worth of large farm equipment will help put a dent in the debt.

The Buck Creek Valley Rescue says it will continue to keep people abreast via its Facebook page.

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