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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary for Healing and Learning

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: We rescue, rehabilitate and provide a forever home for those equines that would otherwise not have a chance to live out their lives with love, respect and kindness. The equines are not adoptable because of age, injury or mental inability to be considered safe because of previous abuse and neglect. Our equines in return give back to the community by providing unconditional love and therapeutic healing to those in need whether they are cancer survivors (our HoPE program), persons with autism or any other disability needing a safe haven and non-judgmental therapists to improve their being. Our equines are good listeners and provide children with a chance to improve their reading skills. Heaven Can Wait saves equines and our equines save people.

Geographic areas served: California

Programs: Rescue equines from abuse, neglect and abandonment caused by cruelty, ignorance or financial need.

Community Stories

61 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Kasey M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been visiting Heaven Can Wait since July of 2012. I found the sanctuary on line when I was looking for a horse rescue to volunteer at for my 8-year-old daughter and I. Even though the location is almost an hour away from our home, I just knew that I had to go there. We were hooked from the very first step onto the property, seeing the horses roaming freely and how they loved to be pet and given attention and how content they seemed. Since meeting Susan I have grown in my horsemanship and knowlegdge. I've learned to wrap wounded legs, administer certain types of medicine, and handle horses in the appropriate manner. On a lighter note, I gain a great amount of peace when I get to visit and help out whether it's walking around the animals and grooming them or helping clean up or helping with other folks who come visit if I'm there. I love Susan, I love what she provides for these amazing creatures, and my daughter and I (she's now 9) will continue to go up there as much as we can no matter what.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Heaven Can Wait Equine Resuce and Sanctuary by chance when I was surfing on line for local horse rescues that my daughter and I could possibly become volunteers. We began riding horses over a year ago and found that we wanted more time than our hour-long joint lessons offered. When I came across their web site, I had an immediate feeling of awe. I went to the "meet the equines" page and read each and every story. Two things immediately grabbed my attention: number one, the equines were not being adopted out...they had already found their forever home, that being HCW itself. Number two, the written descriptions of each animal were described with such care, each one different and unique, and I couldn't help but want to go visit for myself. My daughter and I have been up now several times over the past few months, and I try to volunteer at least once or twice a month to help feed on the weekends. It is worth the drive, worth the gas money, and Susan has done amazing work creating a safe and healthy environment for the equines and for the visitors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Susan Schwartz not only founded Heaven Can Wait, she continues to give her heart and soul 365-days every year to ensure each of her rescued sanctuary equines receive excellent medical care and attention. I know i am always welcome and needed. A great beginning to any day.

The equines provide and receive free mutual benefits to all our community friends - those with special needs, military veterans and others diagnosed with PTSD, communication difficulties - the balance provided between equines and visitors is a gift from God. Another gift from God is that this year Susan came out on top with her fight against breast cancer.

Susan132

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have know Susan Schwartz and her husband for years. This Equine sanctuary is very important to them. This has been a tough year for Susan with the discovery of her breast cancer. Through it all, the chemo, surgery, radiation, medications, etc., she has managed to care for what she loves most - this sanctuary. Her strength has diminished, but her spirit has not. They continue to give love and support to those who need it most.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

It is hard to express how great an organization like this is. Susan Swartz is the last hope these horses had and now are loved and cared for. It is a huge endeavor for her. They also rescue donkeys and they are so sweet and have suffered at the hands of their owners. People with special needs benefit from being with these wonderful creatures - they love each other in turn. Check out their web site and donate what you can.

moersdorf

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heaven Can Wait is a very special place! The love and care shown to everyone who visits or volunteers is amazing. The equines in need are well taken care of and offer a unique experience for children and adults. I brought my 4 children to see the horses and they loved walking them around and learning about proper horse care. The programs offered through Heaven Can Wait provide opportunities that you can't find anywhere else. We are fans for life!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heaven Can Wait is a wonderful place for equines and humans to interact and learn from each other. No place like it!

Kerin B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at this wonderful sanctuary, and I have seen first hand the loving dedication that Susan Schwartz has given these rescued equines, and to the community. So many autistic and disabled children and adults alike have benefited from the mutual loving care given to them and to the equines for healing and learning. The interaction between the equines and humans is amazing. This nonprofit, Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary for Healing and Learning, located in San Miguel, CA, far exceeds so many other nonprofits for their outreach to the community, and rescuing so many neglected equines. A BIG 5 stars, and kudos goes to Susan and the sanctuary.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a horse enthusiast, I began volunteering at Heaven Can Wait in October 2008! From the first moment I entered the property, I was not only impressed with the cleanliness of the property and all the animals there, but the friendliness of owner Susan Schwartz, her husband Mark, and other volunteers there. Over the next year, I enjoyed caring for the horses in any way I could. Susan not only rescues as many horses as her property will allow, but has rescued dogs, cats, goats, sheep, donkeys, etc. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Susan has also reached out to the community to people with disabilities for healing with horses. Horses (equines in general) are very therapeutic to humans, and Susan's outreach program has done wonders reaching so many children and adults on so many different levels. Some groups travel many, even hundreds of miles each time they come to Heaven Can Wait. The horses love it as much as the people do. Heaven Can Wait is, and always will be, a 5 star non-profit organization. I commend Susan Schwartz and Heaven Can Wait for the care given to equines and people of all ages. Donations are always needed and gratefully accepted to keep up with the extreme costs involved in running this wonderful non-profit organization. This deserving non-profit should be at the top of the great non-profits list!!!! With love and support from Kerin Burns.

Cindy43

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Veteran who suffers from grief issues. By being able to work with the horses and spend time with one, one-on-one, I was able to talk to the horse about feelings that I never share with my human friends. I didn't have to hear words of sympathy or feel embarrassed by my tears. The horse just let me talk and cry. And the horse nudged me with his nose...a sign of affection and acceptance in the horse world. Made me feel much better. This is one of the best therapy groups around and deserve everyone's support.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a disabled veteran. I heard about this program through another veteran. I was able to go out and spend one-on-one time with the horses. I was also given help in dealing with some issues I have in my life. The people were great but the horses...well, they're the absolute best. I was able to relate to the horse I worked with. When I left I felt calmer and more at peace. I would recommend Heaven Can Wait for anyone to spend time at and give donations to.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great place that is run by volunteers who pair horses in need with children and adults who would like to bond to horses. This experience is unique to our area. Please consider donating in any way you can, monetarily or with your time.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Susan is dedicated beyond measure to her equine rescues, and gives them a purpose in life with her community programs.

Belinda4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Susan has a love for horses especially unwanted and abused horses. It has been her lifelong dream to provide a safe and loving home for these poor souls. But, they are not poor souls....Susan brings out the best in all of the animals in her care. She knows each and every one of their personalities and quirks and has a special touch with each one. Susan and the volunteers help to make Heaven Can Wait into a wonderful place for these animals to spend the rest of their days. The educational aspect of Heaven Can Wait is one of the most important contributions that is made to the community. The children and disabled adults love to groom and just be with the animals. This is indeed a special place.

Donor

Rating: 5

The dedication the owner has is amazing and she has succeeded in developing an Equine Sactuary that is dedicated to helping equines, and helping humans (adults and children) who heal, learn and rehabilitate as they work and experience a relationship with the equines! An impressive program, a beautiful location, and caring and giving hearts!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

My sister Susan has dedicated her life to helping equines and at the same time has given tremendous help and service to many humans making their lives better through volunteering, healing and learning working with the horses. I am so very proud of Susan and the work she has accomplished. Her tenacity and fortitude to make Heaven Can Wait a success is admirable.

Lark B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have actually visited this sanctuary and met with the owner, Susan. The horses are happy and healthy, and she puts them in front of her own needs, which are significant due to health troubles. Seldom do you find a rescue with such a pure dedication to its mission. Worth everyone's support.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If you read this review, you will need a lot of kleenex. This organization is the epitome of caring, resourceful, kind, dedicated. and ultimately in need. The director, Susan Swartz, has been diagnosed with cancer, but still manages to give 100% to these beautiful animals that are lucky to be in her care. They save horses here.....give them a life without pain, or suffering, They serve the community, especially people with disabilities, by pairing them with a gentle horse that will understand the need of the person. Compassion......a keyword here, is learned through the life touching experiences between horses and people. Susan Swartz is my hero. Heaven Can Wait is deserving and heroic in its efforts on behalf of all "species" four footed or two footed. The caring and dedication is the keystone, Please honor them any way you can.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 8 year old grand-daughter loves horses, so I signed her up for a trip to this wonderful place (Heaven Can Wait Equine Rescue and Sanctuary). I was not quite sure what to expect, but while we were walking up the driveway, I got the feeling that this was a very special place. We both were amazed, astounded, touched, and changed by our experience. The work that Susan and her volunteers do is life changing, especially for the lucky horses, ponies and donkeys that are saved from terrible conditions and certain death. It is an upbeat experience, even tho the stories are very sad. I have vowed to become a volunteer and try and support this very deserving non-profit. I would encourage everyone to look at the website and see how you can help, even in small ways. Sincerely, Suzy Elwell

Donor

Rating: 5

Every once in a while one finds a non profit that truly lives up to their stated goal. Susan and her helpers deliver exactly what they say they are going to....Extending the lives of and improving the quality of lives for the horses they take in...Every dime is purposely used toward the goals that they establish....A true love of what they do through the good times and the tough times....A remarkable organization that deserves everyone's support.
John Philip Sousa IV

Janine A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Susan has great passion and dedication to her rescued horses and is a wonderful advocate for humane treatment of horses and the importance of the healing nature of the human/animal bond.

Donor

Rating: 5

Heaven Can Wait recues horses that are being surrendered or abandoned and gives them a second chance on life by getting them back to health and then providing a loving environment to that others can learn about the horses themselves. It is a wonderful combination for needy animals and people to come together to help each other. In these hard times, keeping all of these large animals is very costly. Please consider helping Susan help other. Thank you. Lynn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have only been able to volunteer once but I was so blown away by Susan and her husband's dedication that I had to write this review. The time, love, and energy that they put into their work is truly inspirational. The care all of the equines receive is perfectly individualized and you can tell how comfortable and secure they all feel. I haven't had a chance to observe any of the therapy that they offer but I have heard wonderful reviews. This organization not only gives beautiful animals a second chance at life but also contributes so fully to our community by offering a safe therapy space. Thank you Heaven Can Wait!

Del F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started going to Heaven Can Wait for therapy and volunteer my time with the horses. I have volunteered with other Horse Rescues before, but they were not as diverse as Heaven Can Wait. Not only is Heaven Can Wait a Sanctuary for horses, but they also help special needs children, and others who need therapeutic, or educational services. I enjoy volunteering here and plan to continue.

Kristen18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mom & I love Susan and the horses at Heaven Can Wait. I like how friendly and gentle the horses are and how clean and spacious HCW is. Susan is very dedicated to all her horses and volunteers and has taught me many things about taking care of horses . I really appreciate Susan and the horses at HCW and feel lucky to be able to spend time working with animals that I really enjoy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ive been volunteering for 3 years now.it has been one or the best experiences of my life.susan works very hard to see that all the horses get the best care and they do.they have a wonderful life there.lots of room to roam and plenty of kindness.great retirement home. I would love to see this place go on for many years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

we have rescued an assortment of animals but what would you do with multiple horses. heaven can wait addresses a difficult situation with enthusiasm, excellent care, and dwindling financial resorces in these difficult times with the added benefit of providing opportunities for volunteering, education, and human rehabilitation as well. all this in a beautiful and wholesome setting that welcomes children for a real hands on experience. a unique and memorable visit to get close up and personal with animals few of us have an opportunity to encounter.