Amazing Animal Rescuer Named as a GoFundMe Hero
Caitlin Cimini has loved animals all her life. Even as a five-year-old who suffered from severe animal allergies and asthma, her life felt incomplete without animals. She’d just suck it up to enjoy the love and affection of animals she came across. Caitlin volunteered in animal shelters, and when she was in high school, unbeknownst to her mother, she converted her bedroom closet into an animal hospital for injured hamsters and birds!
Though she’d always lived on the New Jersey shore, she knew rescue was in her blood. She’d been around horses all her life, so several years ago, Caitlin impulsively bought a wild mustang from the Federal Government’s Bureau of Land Management. Caitlin named the horse Halona, which means ‘Beautiful Choice,’ and began actively searching for a farm for her beautiful girl.
Relying on her Child Protection Service worker paycheck, Caitlin found another horse needing a home. He was a rescued slaughter horse, and the farm owner was so touched by Caitlin’s dedication, she sold her the land for both the horses, and Rancho Relaxo was officially home to rescues.
Caitlin fostered puppies and kittens from kill shelters, as well as potbellied piglets destined to be food. She worked with local rescue groups when she couldn’t take in animals, and now, finds herself one of the first people to be contacted when an animal needs help.
In the four years she’s owned Rancho Relaxo, she and her husband have always run the Ranch on their own money. She and husband Len, a PhD in astrophysics both work full-time jobs, in addition to running the ranch, which is a full-time job itself! They don’t take a penny from the non-profit, knowing there is so much more they want to do for animals, which is why Caitlin braved the fundraising world to start a GoFundMe for the Ranch.
In 2016, Caitlin started the first expansion GoFundMe. In 28 days, touched by her compassion and amazing work, people donated almost $40,ooo! They bought the property for expansion but ran into trials that many new property owners do–and found them needing over $100,000 to refit the property to be safe for the animals.
Caitlin’s love for animals doesn’t just stay confined within the fences of the ranch. Every month, she runs a fundraiser called $2 Tuesday so she can give money to local shelters who need a bit more help, especially in getting word about their shelters out. While she works tirelessly for Rancho Relaxo, she still throws herself into local animals in need of help as well.
Saying she wants people to just understand that animals are thinking, feeling beings, it’s easy to see why GoFundMe named her a Hero!
More by Lori Ennis