A mission of mercy and love

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On approximately 140 acres of beautiful ranch land on the outskirts of Teague, live 19 horses, two mules, 11 donkeys, two llamas and a host of dogs, cows, goats and pigs.

The Hoof Prints and Paw Prints Rescue and Sanctuary is home to animals that have been abused or abandoned for the last year and a half.

Mary Crisp and her daughters Elizabeth Bourassa and Bella Lopez make sure the animals are taken care of and happy.

“I take in the animals that no one else wants,” Crisp said. “I have horses that are blind, broken down and just nearly starved to death when they come to me. We feed them, take them to the vet and basically treat them like family.”

Mary has made this animal sanctuary on a ranch that has been in her family for over 100 years.

“When my grandmother died in 2002, I split my time between here and Corpus Christi,” she said. “Now, my parents are just across the pasture here and Elizabeth is attending Texas A&M and it is closer for her to come home here than in Corpus.”

She no longer splits her time and is here full time now with all her animals.

At the time of this interview, one of the horses, Phoebe, was in bad shape and scheduled to be put down the next day.

“She is 23 years old and was a prison horse for years,” Mary said. “She was sold once she got older and was just abused by the people who bought her. She is in so much pain; I just can’t bear to see her suffer anymore. But every time I lose one, it takes a little out of me.”

Each and every animal on this ranch is loved beyond measure. That is easy to see when driving out into the pasture they all come running.

Stopping to pet horses and donkeys, a blur of white


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