Deer-on-Boat Photos Are Only Thing Keeping Animal Shelter Afloat

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When Katie Merwick posted a link to photos of Alaskan eco-tour captain Tom Satre saving a quartet of swimming deer by pulling them onto his boat, she thought she was just sharing a quirky story. Two weeks later and now she's hoping that the pics might actually help her save her business.

Merwick is the founder of Second Chance Ranch in Elma, Wash., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which currently houses about 40 horses, and works to rehabilitate and find good homes for them. Unfortunately, Merwick says that the building she purchased for Second Chance has gone into foreclosure and is about to be repossessed by Chase bank, leaving her left looking for a new home for both her rescued horses and her organization itself.

She says that after she posted the amazing photos of Satre's high-seas deer rescue, the number of folks "following" her organization on Facebook went from about 3,000 to 30,000, almost overnight.

"I woke up and I was in shock," Merwick tells Seattle Weekly. "It was incredible, the response."

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Just one of several ridiculously awesome photos of Satre's deer rescue
And while Satre obviously showed brave compassion by rescuing the deer from certain death, the inherent charity in this modern-day Santa Claus doesn't end there.

Satre is now putting up a three-day Alaskan cruise as a charity gift for Second Chance to auction off, in an effort to save the non-profit from the axe of foreclosure. The cruise, he says, will take the winning bidders to the very spot that he plucked the deer from the icy waters, before heading up to the beautiful Tracy Arm fjord.

"It's the season of giving and Tish (wife) and I are well into that. But really, we're both cancer survivors we and try to do as much give back as we can," Satre says. "Tish just went to the doctor and got a clear check. So we've got something to celebrate anyway. This just seemed like an easy thing to do."

Merwick says that Satre is a walking embodiment of charity and is hoping that her organization's new-found, deer-inspired recognition, combined with the charity auction will pay off.

She says to check her website in the coming days for your chance to bid on the cruise.

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