It all started with a pig named Wilbur.
After Hurricane Harvey barreled into the Texas coast in August 2017, Kris Krolczyk knew she wanted to help the impacted communities. How exactly to give back was not initially clear, but while delivering supplies donated by her clients—Krolcyzky runs the pet care business My Love Fur Paws—to Sweeney, Texas, Krolczky met Wilbur. He’d been lost in the storm and was living with the family who found him.
“Then we came back and I started thinking, ‘You know, I should start a little animal sanctuary,’” Krolcyzky said. “We have this extra space; we could build a little barn, so I posted on Facebook and said, ‘Friends, if you know anybody who has animals in need of a place to live out their lives, let me know!’”
Wilbur and another pig from Sweeney, Porkchop, were the first two animals to arrive at the sanctuary, but soon many more animals joined them. Happy Hooves is now home to horses, goats, rabbits, chickens and a goose named Eggbert.
More than a year after Hurricane Harvey, Krolczyk said the motivation behind the organization has not changed.
“The main thing is still to give back,” she said.
Horses and pigs are not the only animals Happy Hooves Healing Hearts helps. The nonprofit has rescued or fostered over 40 dogs since April, and Krolczyk said she hopes to rescue a total of 100 before the end of 2018.
Happy Hooves is sponsoring the care of a dog, Chance, that Krolczyk encountered while volunteering in Puerto Rico, and has also partnered with an orphanage in Abancay, Peru, to provide the facility a chicken coop and hens.
Beverly Bagelman, a retired psychotherapist and regular volunteer at the sanctuary, credits Krolczyk’s passion for the sanctuary’s early success.
“It’s a kind of immediate gratification in that you feel appreciated by the animals,” Bagelman said.
Krolczyk is planning Happy Hooves’ first fundraiser, the Hooves and Hounds Hoedown, scheduled for Oct. 20. The event will feature live music from the Second Hand Rose Band, a dance floor, vegan food and activities for kids as well as several animals available for adoption. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children.