CAVE CREEK, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Alexis Roeckner says at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary, they're on a shoestring budget.
That's why when 15-year-old Cole McAffee asked if he could spruce up the place for free. She says she felt one thing:
It's all apart of McAffee's process to become an eagle scout. He had to pick a cause and put in time - that's where Tierra Madre comes in. McAffee and some of his pals have their work cut out for them.
"They have these horses - 32 of them. They need new dirt, they have some old fences that need to be fixed, and they have some new foundations that need concrete," said McAffee.
Roeckner says last year, the Sanctuary spent $20,000 on medical costs, which is a priority that eats up most of their budget. So to have helpers like McAffee, this means everything.
"We can have beautiful stalls or we can have horses that get fed three times a day, so it was kind of a pick or choose, so we prioritize. That falls to the wayside, but it still needs to get done so to have someone come in and do this for us, it was just amazing," said Roeckner.
The Sanctuary is a special place.
"We are a forever home to horses that would otherwise be in the slaughterhouse pipeline, so the abused, neglected, injured, or the genuinely surrendered," said Roeckner.
McAffee says they are happy to help.
"I think it's a good thing that when people come together, they can help horses that need love," said McAffee.
It's a cycle of love and gratitude that Roeckner says is rare.
"A lot of kids today don't really have that work ethic, and so to see these young men come in and be so polite and respectful and hardworking is really, really great," said Roeckner.