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Roanoke car dealership saves the day for local horse rescue

ROANOKE, Va. – What happens when a nonprofit loses its most critical tool and feels like everything is about to lock up? 

That was the reality for the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue and its heavy-duty truck -- until some special folks stepped in.

The sound of a diesel engine that starts right up has never sounded quite this good.

"We didn't know a month ago if we were going to have a truck again or what we were going to do," said Brienna Shapiro, the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue barn manager. 

The rescue's truck, Bessie, is humming along now, but she came close to the crusher in the sky.

"We are not able to do what it is that we're supposed to do for equines if we don't have a truck, it is necessary," said Shapiro. 

At just over a hundred thousand miles, Bessie locked up. They wrote Ford thinking surely this wasn't supposed to happen.

"We got no response," said Shapiro. "However, we did get a response from Magic City Ford."

"I've got my own little farm, we've got our own little problems, and I know what it's like when a piece of equipment goes down," said Richard Thompson, the diesel technician at Magic City Ford. 

Thompson got his boss' blessing and went to work.

"I was always raised that you do for others and hope they do the same in return, that's how I sleep at night," said Thompson. 

Once under the cab, he and fellow tech Evan Martin knew why it had to be towed in.

"If they got it to run again, it would have came in pieces, it was a few moments away from catastrophic failure, not just lockup," said Thompson. 


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