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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Horse Hugs is a non-profit, all volunteer group located in North Carolina that uses miniature horses to visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, assisted care centers, special needs children, at-risk teens, prisons and juvenile detention centers.

Target demographics: We have been concentrating on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers as we have found that this is a greatly over-looked group that can be very lonely and in need of visitors.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 600 people

Geographic areas served: Raleigh/Cary area

Programs: Visiting seniors and patients in hospitals

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I must say that this is one of the most heart warming organizations that I have had the pleasure to both volunteer and watch in action. The people who volunteer have hearts of servants and work tirelessly to bring joy and happiness to others. This is an amazing organization with incredible volunteers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization! Just seeing the look on a resident's face says it all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Horse Hugs in November 2016. I had previously volunteered in Pet Assisted Therapy with my Basset Hound. So when another volunteer told me about Horse Hugs and told me that I could also volunteer, I was ecstatic and immediately called Sandy. From the first visit these little horses brought great joy to their clients. I have worked with Sid and Teddy and they both are little gentleman. They give so much that just being with them brightens anyone's day. The whole team has rekindled my love and passion for Animal Assisted Therapy.

1 Donna169

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In my case it's hard to tell who benefits more from the work Horse Hugs does in the community, myself or the sick and elderly we visit. I know I personally enjoy working with the mini's, but more important is the smiles and hugs we receive from those we visit, some of whom may rarely receive visitors. To see their faces light up and to engage them in conversation and a memorable experience is ten times more important than whaevert chores I didn't get done at home that day because I was volunteering. Horse Hugs is medicine for the heart . . . mine and those we serve.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is no better feeling than to help bring a smile to the eyes of the sick and elderly. That is what I saw one year ago on my first experience as a Horse Hugs volunteer. Many residents in senior residences or continuing care units get few visitors. For them to see the Horse Hugs miniature horses walking down their halls or coming into their rooms to visit, often dressed in costumes (hand made by founder/owner Sandy Spooner) makes that senior's day, plus gives them something unique to share with their families, friends and grandchildren. To help bring this experience to this very special group of people is very rewarding. I hope to participate in Horse Hug's mission as long as I am needed.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Horse hugs is amazing. I saw firsthand the joy her horses brought to residents of an assisted living home. Sandy and her crew run a top notch program. The horses are well behaved, clean, happy, healthy and many times in costume for different holidays or events. The kind hearts and nature of this program truly lifts the spirits of those blessed with a visit.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Girl Scout troop had the pleasure of working with Horse Hugs this spring. Sandy runs a top notch organization. She is compassionate with her animals and the patients. Her horses are well trained and treated extremely well. She's also so creative in making costumes for the horses to wear for the different seasons so that return visits are always different. Not only was it a great experience for the girls to get to participate in, by helping prep, handle, and guide the horses, but it also showed them the value of just spending time with those who might need a little cheering up or are feeling lonely. It was such a win/win visit. The patient's spirits were lifted and the girls were inspired. Sandy and her horses are great role models in this community. We are lucky to have them! Sincerely- Heather Hartzog, NC

June N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Horses have special powers over the human psyche. This organization has tapped into this for a wonderful community service to help others. Help them to keep on course for this amazing project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the tremendous pleasure is volunteering with Horse Hugs for the past three years and it has proven to be the most profound opportunity of my life. The sheer delight that illuminates the faces of everyone in the room when Sandy walks in with the horses is simpy unforgettable. There is no better feeling than to leave the facilities and your heart is so filled with joy that you can't stop smiling.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about Sandy and her volunteer organization, Horse Hugs. I was looking for volunteer work that combines a love of animals and giving back to the community and this organization is IT. Everyone wins with this organization; the horses are well cared for and genuinely seem to enjoy the socialization of the visits, the smiles on the faces of the seniors when they see the horses walking down the hallway to visit them is the greatest gift for the volunteers, and the photos that Sandy takes and shares with the seniors encourage grandchildren and others to visit. WIN WIN WIN. LOVE Horse hugs!!

1 Carol164

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the look of joy on the faces of residents when they receive a visit from the wonderful miniature horses. The photos are worth a thousand words. The Horse Hugs volunteers with their mini horses are second to none.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think Horse Hugs is a wonderful organization. Their visits to senior citizens in assisted living and nursing homes fulfill a huge need in the community. The little horses bring such joy to all those that they visit; they truly are a blessing, as are the volunteers who work so hard to bring about this helpful and joyful service.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sandy, her volunteers and her sweet and gentile horses bring joy and smiles to many. I have been privaleged to witness the excitment of having Horse Hugs visit the community where my elderly parents live! The picture below says it all! It was a special moment in time. Thank you Sandy for your generous spirit! Thank you Horse Hugs for sharing your love!