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Ariz. program pairs sick horses with troubled youth

SCOTTSDALE — There was no note. There was no call from the owner explaining why they had tied their sick horse to a fence at the Arizona Humane Society and just took off.

Through a series of events, the horse ended up with Amanda Moore, the owner of Reigning Grace Ranch Rescue. The non-profit organization pairs rescued horses with at-risk, troubled children.

“What’s most sad for me is that she never asked for that,” said Moore. “The horse is blind in one eye and slowly losing sight in the other. Her teeth and hooves are in very poor shape, and she could have cancer.”

But it seems the sick horse who’s been renamed Esperanza, the Spanish word for “hope”, will get the much-needed medical attention she deserves. In turn, Esperanza will one day be helping the children who attend the program.

Moore urges horse owners that if they can no longer care for their animal, do not leave a horse in the desert, at the Humane Society or list the animal on CraigsList. Instead, find a horse rescue. There are several in the state that can accommodate more horses.