BRUSH PRAIRIE, Wash. -- For kids in trouble and kids who are mentally challenged, the non-profit Silver Buckle Ranch in Brush Prairie gets them away and helps them reconnect through horses.
Pat Borland helps run the ranch.
"Yeah, it's pretty amazing. They're very theraputic animals,” Borland says, “You've got a range from Down's Syndrome to just anything really you can imagine. We have some severely disabled kids. But when they come in, they can communicate with the horses better than the people sometimes.”
The ranch also holds fundraising events.They give rides using a heavy-duty six-wheeled ATV. The ranch crew uses the same machine to haul hay to horses across the ranch's forty acres. Thursday morning, they found the vehicle was missing from it's locked barn.
Borland says workers soon found clues to what happened.
“Looked for tracks. Found tracks,” Borland remembers. “The gate was open on the south end of the property. So, um, that's when he figured it out - that somebody had come in and taken it."
The thief or thieves had to unscrew the hinges on locked barn doors. But they somehow knew the combination to the lock on a gate where they took the machine out. That combination was last reset in October. Borland isn't sure whether insurance will cover the loss. That may total somewhere around six thousand dollars. It’s a loss the non-profit, and the kids who depend on it, can't afford.
“We just want to get it replaced, or get it back,” Borland says, “And honestly, if they just parked in front of the gate tonight, we'd all be happy.”
Borland says the ranch has never had this kind of theft before.