When most people decide to rescue an animal, they head to the local shelter and find a cat or dog to adopt and welcome into their homes.
Not Wendy Cozzone. Sure, Cozzone has rescued dogs and cats. In fact, she rescued her first dog, a border collie named Cheryl, back in 1998. She also rescued three sheep, who were headed for slaughter, because Cheryl like to herd them.
Before she knew it, Cozzone was rescuing abused and mistreated horses, goats, pigs and pretty much any large animal on four legs.
Fourteen years later, Cozzone is now the director of Cheryl’s Rescue Ranch, a 501(c)3 organization housed on her 22-acre farm in Gambrills that is home to 75 rescued animals, most of them livestock.
It’s not hard to imagine the expense of feeding and caring for so many animals—an expense Cozzone can’t even give a number.
“I don’t even want know,” she responded, when asked about the cost of caring for her pack.
One way Cozzone offsets the expense is through donations from local businesses, like the Food Lion on Piney Orchard. As one of the rescue ranch’s biggest supporters, they allow Cozone to come out four times a week and pick up produce that they can’t sell in the store.
“That Food Lion has literally saved lives,” said Cozzone.
Now, the rescue ranch is pretty much at capacity, but Cozzone wants to do more. She’s hosting a bingo fundraiser on Saturday at the Bowie Elks Lodge in Gambrills to raise money to build a new barn, so she can take on even more abandoned, sick and mistreated livestock to give them a happy and loving home.
The theme for the event on Saturday is “31 Reasons to Support Local Businesses.” Kristi Carri, Cozzone’s daughter and a senior Thirty-One Bags consultant, donated 31 tote bags to the fundraiser, and 31 local businesses donated prizes to fill the bags. Every time someone gets “bingo,” they get to take home a Thirty-One tote bag filled with prizes from local businesses.
The bingo fundraiser will be held on Saturday at the Bowie Elks Lodge, 1506 Defense Highway, Gambrills. Doors open at 4 p.m. The cost is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
Cozzone, who’s hoping to see about 200 people come out for the event, says Saturday night is just as much about supporting local businesses as it is about supporting animal rescue. She plans to pass out a flier with the names and addresses of all the local business donors at the event.
“It’s a way for the animals to give back to the local businesses,” said Cozzone, who said her animal rescue efforts would not be possible without the generosity of local businesses and neighbors.
For more information, call Wendy Cozzone at Cheryl's Rescue Ranch at 240-882-7963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.