Peaceworks Animal Sanctuary owners seek Bedford's OK
"Nobody wanted Lefty, but we did," said Ray Brouillette of Bedford. "Lefty is a great horse. He's won $130,000 on the racetrack, but no one wants a one-eyed horse."
Mr. Maxx had been tied up for seven years and has no canine teeth left after trying to chew through his chains. When Mr. Maxx arrived at the Peaceworks Animal Sanctuary, he was emaciated and heartworm-positive.
Brouillette and Sheila Jacks, owners of the nonprofit sanctuary, have been rescuing farm animals and dogs and keeping them on their leased property since Oct. 26, 2012. Brouillette and Jacks live on the 12-acre property and currently provide a haven to nine horses, five pigs and 11 dogs.
The ZBA ruled that the current use of the property is within the character of the ordinance; is similar to an agricultural use within the confines of the existing structures; would not impact values of surrounding properties; and denial of a variance would create hardship for the applicant.
"We didn't change anything. The 12 acres were already fenced in, there's an electric fence for the horses, the pen was existing, and the outside of the barn is the same, but we made improvements inside," said Brouillette. "The only thing we had to do was move a dog kennel because it was too close to an abutter's property."
Brouillette and Jacks moved from Massachusetts to Bedford and have worked with many animal rescue agencies. They pay for about 80 percent of the costs for care and maintenance of the animals. Brouillette said it costs about $1,800 for grain and hay every four weeks, and $270 every five weeks to pay for farrier services for seven horses, and $130 each for the larger horses.
Phoenix, a 19-year-old warmblood breed, is a retired police horse from Massachusetts who worked at parades and on beach patrol. He was adopted by a woman who was eventually no longer able to care for him. Jakes said he's a large horse, now in well-deserved retirement, who cannot be kept in a stall. There's also a 5-year-old horse at Peaceworks worth $25,000 that can no longer be ridden.
Brouillette and Jacks get some financial help through online fundraising and at expos. At a recent fundraiser at the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, they raised $500 through T-shirts and sweatshirt sales, but after costs they netted $100.
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