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Contributed photo Rockport Horse Rescue, which aided this 2-month-old miniature horse Friday, is closing.

By Krista M. Torralva

Amore. Brooke. Mustang Sally. Blue. Yanaha.

Michelle Hird remembers the names of each horse she and her husband, John, have helped the past three years.

Since opening Rockport Horse Rescue, the Hirds have helped 53 horses and other farm animals — and counting. On Friday, two days after announcing the rescue will close, Michelle Hird was trying to rescue a 2-month-old miniature horse from San Diego.

But after the closing of mines where John Hird worked as an engineer, the couple decided to move to North Carolina. Continuing to operate the rescue, which the couple has almost entirely funded, wouldn't be feasible, Michelle Hird said.

"It is with great sadness that we inform everyone that Rockport Horse Rescue (RHR) will be closing its gates," Hird wrote on the rescue's Facebook page. "We have had some great years and helped many horses find new and loving forever homes."

The rescue will remain open about two months and it is continuing to do what its always done — rush to attend to help horses in need.

Since its opening in 2013, the rescue has helped about 53 horses and other farm animals with the help of volunteers.

"There's been a lot of sadness but a lot of happiness. When the horses finally load up in a trailer to go to a home — that's just the best feeling. We know we've done something right," Hird said.

Hird is looking for adopters to take the remaining 11 horses and a donkey. Animals will not be sold to kill buyers and horse traders, Hird said.

For more information, call 361-205-0943 or check out the rescue's Facebook page, "Rockport Horse Rescue."

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