Frisky and Flash, Tuffy and Roseberry, Katie and Ella, those are the names of some horses, ponies and donkeys living out their lives at All Breed Equine Rez-Q. The Marysville-area nonprofit shelters animals that have been abused, neglected, or simply can no longer be cared for by owners.
Now, this retirement haven for horses may need a new place to call its home. The horse center leases its 18-acre site, at 2415 116th St. NE, from the Marysville School District.
At its Nov. 6 meeting, the Marysville School Board adopted a resolution identifying several of its properties — including the one used by All Breed Equine Rez-Q — as surplus. The resolution authorized the district’s superintendent, Becky Berg, to sell or lease the properties.
Dale Squeglia, executive director of All Breed Equine Rez-Q, said Wednesday that the group’s lease won’t be renewed “and the property will be put up for sale.” She expects to have to move the center, which now shelters 23 animals, by this spring.
Emily Wicks, spokeswoman for the Marysville district, said Thursday that while the property has been declared surplus, it’s early in the process and it is not yet up for sale. “They could purchase it from us,” Wicks said of the horse organization.
One reason the property isn’t ideal for school construction, Wicks said, is that “it’s pretty marshy.” If sold, money from the surplus land can be used for maintenance and operations. “It can’t be used for new construction, but it definitely goes into the schools,” Wicks said.
With development booming in the area, the 65-year-old Squeglia has suspected that the property might be sold. “The market is crazy, and it’s a prime location,” she said. “It’s close to I-5, there’s a new clinic, restaurants and a new hotel is almost finished. It’s going to sell.”
She worries about needing to move in a hurry. “This is a big deal, with 23 horses and everything that goes with that,” she said. “Finding a new home is not like looking in the classified ads for apartments.”
The organization is considering two options.
The first is really a hope, “that someone steps forward and donates property already set up for horses, such as a riding stable or horse farm,” Squeglia said. “If it was in the general vicinity, we could continue to serve the community that we have been part of for nearly 20 years.”
With that wish for at least 20 acres nearby in mind, Squeglia is making firmer plans for a second option.
A “generous supporter,” she said, donated 62 acres of undeveloped land to All Breed Equine Rez-Q. Unfortunately for horse lovers here, it’s in the Onalaska area of Lewis County.
Squeglia said she has paid to install power and a well at the Lewis County site. If the center were to move there, fences, a four- to six-stall barn, a hay-storage structure and a place for volunteers would need to be built. She estimates the cost of those additions at $150,000; she said she has already raised about $50,000.
Three animals, a large pony and two mini-horses, were recently brought in by Snohomish County Animal Control. “The owners had passed away,” she said. The animals weren’t abused or neglected, “but needed a place to go.” A man suffering from cancer brought in a horse last year. Squeglia said she told him to “come visit anytime you want.”
As it helps animals, All Breed Equine Rez-Q is also a place where volunteers with a love of horses can be around them. Helpers with United Way of Snohomish County’s Day of Caring come to pitch in on painting and cleaning projects.
“Through the summer, kids who are out of school come. They have their favorite horses,” said Squeglia, who lives in Snohomish. “We love our horses, and we love the kids who come.”
Whatever the future for All Breed Equine Rez-Q, “we are not closing,” Squeglia said. “If I have to take horses to my house and put them in my front yard, I will.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@herald net.com.
All Breed Equine Rez-Q, a nonprofit horse rescue organization, is scheduled to host its annual Holiday Open House 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 16. There will be free pony rides for children, farm tours, apples and carrots to feed ponies, horses and donkeys, and other holiday cheer. All Breed Equine Rez-Q is at 2415 116th St. NE, Marysville.
Donations may be mailed to: All Breed Equine Rez-Q, P.O. Box 442, Snohomish, WA 98291.