Service is an important aspect to any community, and LHS IB students embodied the meaning of community service this morning at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch for a day filled of ranch work. Students arrived at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch this morning with IB Department Assistant Coordinator Kaia Stulock to get dirty and work with some rescue animals.
“I had never done something like this before, and it was fun to just help these animals who have had a bad past,” said junior Jaiden Kleiner.
For all of us city folk, a day on the ranch might not be the picture-perfect Sunday. However, Zuma’s Rescue Ranch may prove to be the exception.
“I had a really nice time, just seeing all the animals and all the progress they’ve made…and I think it was good to do volunteer work for them…I love horses. I’ve been with them since I was younger, and I just thought this was a really good opportunity to be with the animals,” said junior Devany Shikiar.
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch is a horse sanctuary in Littleton. They go to auctions and find horses to sanctuary who are meant to be shipped out to slaughter houses. They focus on taking in the young and pregnant, so that these horses may live out their lives for as long as possible at the ranch. They also receive horses from the Humane Society who have been abused or abandoned as pets. These horses have made tremendous improvement at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, but they will always be in need of more love. Zuma also conducts Equine Therapy for adolescents who have experienced social/emotional trouble, sexual abuse, foster care, etc., which provides healing for the adolescents as well as the horses.
Zuma also is home to several other animals including a potbelly pig, goats, chickens, a mule, and some burros. Many of these animals are also rescues who have been abused as pets. The burros were brought to the ranch by the Humane Society after they were fed commercial dog food by their owner. The burros were in bad shape at about 300 lbs over weight, with their hooves splitting under the load. During their time at Zuma, the burros have become much healthier and have lost about 150 lbs.
“I thought the day was terrific… It was just a great day for some team building, some hard work, some sweating in the sun, but also getting to know each other better and really doing a great community service for neglected animals,” said IB Department Assistant Coordinator Kaia Stulock.
The IB students found a cause worth fighting for at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch today. It was an opportunity to help animals in need, as well as bond together with some team building.