Second horse rescue in county gets national nod

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- A local horse rescue facility has been recognized for the level of care it gives it's animals.

Strawberry Mountain Mustangs works to rescue and rehabilitate horses in need.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries has awarded a 'Verified' status to the non-profit.

The rescue was given the classification not only because of the care it provides its animals, but also because of work on laws and statutes that focus on penalties for people who neglect, abuse and abandon horses.

Officials with Strawberry Mountain Mustangs say the new status validates the work they're doing. "To have a global organization to come in and say, 'You are ranked right up there with some of these other national and global groups,' that's a wonderful feeling," said Darla Clark, founder of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs.

Clark says the sanctuary is the fourth institution in the Northwest to received the seal of approval from the GFAS, and joins the Dutchess Sanctuary in Oakland as of two in Douglas County.

She believes the new status shows people that a donation to the organization will go directly to the care of animals. "The way our economy is right now, donors have to be careful," she said. "They have to be cautious about where their money goes."

Because Strawberry Mountain Mustangs is now 'Verified,' Clark says she's able to apply for accreditation, which she says she plans on doing soon.