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Jun 14, 2010 12:11 AM by Monica Quintero

Making a difference in the lives of animals and people

They're volunteers who generously dedicate their time and energy to rescuing abused and neglected animals. Heaven Can Wait Equine Rescue and Sanctuary held on Saturday it's 4th Annual Open House in San Miguel. Currently, the non-profit organization has 27 equines which include 21 horses and 6 donkeys. It's at capacity. While volunteers are trying to raise awareness, we found out there are also ways they're using these animals to give back and help others.

The stories are heartbreaking. Ramey Zamora, Executive Director, said, "Once a race horse can no longer make money for someone it's discarded. It's just a piece literally of worthless garbage." Heaven Can Wait rehabilitates the animals and uses fun events such as the open house to raise much needed funds. But more importantly, they want Central Coast residents to know, they also have programs to make a difference in the lives of people as well. Zamora said, "Equines in particular, have a way of helping people heal emotionally which helps them heal physically. They use the animals for a program called "Horse Passion for Everyone" geared for cancer patients and survivors. "So many benefits just being around these wonderful animals," said Zamora.

There's also another program which uses the animals to improve the reading skills of youngsters. Zamora said, "Worked very, very well to get children to read aloud without being self conscious." But the non-profit is made up of strictly volunteers, so they need your help to continue to make it a success. Hillary Hodel, participant, said, "There's a lot of good people out there helping but there's more animals then there are people, so we could always use more help." Right now, Heaven Can Wait has between 20 and 30 volunteers. The organization also has a program for those with autism.

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