The Valley of the Kings animal sanctuary has launched a fundraising effort to help it build new homes for its animals and make repairs after a barn roof collapsed earlier this week.
Fire departments from the town of Beloit, Darien and Sharon responded to the sanctuary around 7:30 a.m. Monday and found the barn roof had buckled under the weight of accumulated snow.
Firefighters began rescuing animals that were stuck in the barn, Valley of the Kings Director Susan Reinholz said.
“They were trying to coax them out,” Reinholz said. “It was so hectic, and the animals were really freaked out.”
Reinholz said three goats, three pigs and two emus were rescued unharmed. A blind horse near the barn sustained minor scrapes. Several llamas, ponies and cows near the rear of the structure were relocated.
“If there had been anyone in the barn, they would have been crushed,” she said.
The sanctuary is home to many exotic animals, including tigers and bears, but it also houses animals that were relinquished by previous owners.
“We’re working on getting the animals rehomed around the barn and getting temporary shelters up for them,” Reinholz said. “Thankfully the weather broke.”
The barn that collapsed was not insured, Reinholz said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started with a goal of raising $75,000. More than $25,000 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon. A Facebook donation campaign had raised almost $11,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.