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“I just want to thank everybody”: Mauston ranch receives outpouring of support after horse deaths

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MAUSTON (WKOW) -- Less than a week after 27 News shared the story of a Mauston ranch that lost 14 horses, more than $20,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe, and dozens of people have stopped by to donate hay.

"A lot of them just start crying," said Cindy Peterson Kanarowski. "I thought it was just me, because I just want to cry all the time."

Peterson Kanarowski owns Red Ridge Ranch and blames a batch of hay tainted with blister beetles for killing her horses.

She says word of her situation spread quickly across social media.

"At first when it was aired on Channel 27, I had quite a few calls the next morning," she said. "Quite a bit of the hay that's been coming in has been soft grass hay, and that's exactly what these horses need right now."

Two of her horses are still sick, but with their new diet, she's more hopeful each day they'll pull through.

"Their energy level has gone a lot higher in just the last two days," Peterson Kanarowski said. "And they appear to be comfortable now."

When it all started, times were tough.

"There were plenty of mornings where I just dreaded walking to the barn because I knew what I was probably going to find out there," she said.

Now -- a little bit better.

"I just want to thank everybody," she said. "I don't have enough thank-yous to get around."

There's still a ways to go before Red Ridge Ranch has made up for all the losses, but Peterson Kanarowski says her story has already helped others in a similar situation.

She says she's heard from someone who had five sick horses, but the warning signs were caught in time -- and those horses pulled through.

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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