H.O.R.S.E. - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports



Madison (WKOW) -- Jim Bondowski is someone you should know.

  He and his wife Cindy run a rescue operation in Rock County.

  Not for people -- for animals.

  Joe Labarbera visited Wednesday to the farm and the animals benefitting from tender loving care.

  Jim Bondowski is a retired General Motors guy with an education in veterinary medicine.

  Now, he rescues abused and neglected horses.

  Jim said, "we had four horses that was tied in the woods, that was tied in the middle, used for bear meat. The people had them out there for two weeks, not feeding them, not giving them any water."

  Jim saves the animals, and brings them back to his shelter, no matter how badly they've been neglected.

  It was six months of no water no food.

  People just got up and left their places.

  Bondowski nurses the animals back to health.

  He finds them a good home and makes room for more horses.

  He and his wife have been giving animals a new lease on life for eleven years -- eight of them on this farm outside orfordville in rock county.

  They outgrew their first rescue farm and are about to outgrow this one.

  They've got 38 stalls and 49 horses.

  It's also getting to be a very expensive to stay on the good side of the animal rescue business.

  Jim and Cindy go through roughly 150 bales of hay every week.

  While that may not seem like a lot, it comes to about $35,000 a year.

  Add the cost of veterinary care and grain on top of that, you're talking about an awful lot of money.

  These horses are often afraid of people -- at first, they don't know how to react around Jim or his volunteers because so many of their interactions with people were horrific.

  They learn quickly -- Jim is their friend.

  He's the one guy they can rely on to help them get well.

  Jim said, "I get to know them, they get to know me and I get the spirit right back into them."

  The spirit they were born with.

  The spirit they lost.

  The hope that Jim Bondowski has put back in play.

  Doing it all for the love of animals -- that's why Jim Bondowski is sombody you should know.

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