E-QUEST: Passion gives horses second chance
Elizabeth Zarkos, an Orange County teacher, founded the safe refuge. The effort was born from her passion to keep all equines safe from harm, treat them with dignity and to keep them off the food train bound for slaughter. Elizabeth leased land above Bethany’s Gait, a haven of love for abused horses and minors. Forgotten and downtrodden horses and children come together, and with no precursor of judgment they strengthen wills and give each other the power of “I can make it” attitude.
The fires that burned through Southern California in 2007 destroyed all but the earth of Bethany’s Gait and all that surrounded Hanaeleh. The land has since come to life amid the ashen landscape due to volunteers from churches, the Pony Club, Yorba Linda Country Riders Youth Team and the Boy Scouts.
Hanaeleh, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to helping rescue horses and adopting them out to a new home or placing them at Bethany’s Gait to become a healer of children with broken spirits. Hanaeleh’s standard adoption is $1,000, no matter what amount of time it takes from Elizabeth and her friends and constant volunteers, Lorie Bocchicchioand her daughter, Meagan.
Elizabeth and Lorie are care-givers in their careers; Elizabeth is a teacher and Lorie is a registered nurse. Their level of dedication can only be borne out of passion. Exclamations of “but there are so many forgotten horses, how can you possibly think you can make a difference” fall on deaf ears, as they watch a horse leave on a second-chance journey. Elizabeth will say it from her heart, “it made a difference to that one.”
In 2005, the Senate passed a funding limitation amendment to ban horse slaughter, and subsequently all three of the foreign-owned slaughter houses in the United States were stopped from slaughtering horses. Unfortunately, the foreign slaughter industry continues to haul American horses to Canada or Mexico to be cruelly slaughtered. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is needed to ensure a permanent forever ban on horse slaughter.
The rising costs associated with equine care have also increased the number of daily of calls from people wanting to give up their equine friends. Elizabeth is sure she could work 24/7 on rescuing equines. The pace of horses needing to be placed has increased, and now it appears that both Bethany’s Gait and Hanaeleh are actively searching for a larger parcel of land to lease to house the increasing needy horse population. All of their funds are from their pockets, private donations and a few fundraisers.
If you are interested in making a donation or volunteering, contact Elizabeth at www.Hanaeleh.com.
On Oct. 19 is the National Rescue Ride during which people are riding to support the rescue efforts to save our American icon, the horse. Join Hanaeleh at O’Neill Park and ride to save the American free spirit.
You can register online at www.nationalrescueride.com .
No other animal draws such an emotional reaction. Horses have carried our leaders into battles and opened the Wild West. To Elizabeth, every saved horse is one that makes a difference. You can hear the horses’ prayer lead us to a safe place, and guide us with your grace to your place, so we can feel safe.
See original article here.