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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Laughing Pony Rescue Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are to rescue and rehabilitate all breeds of neglected or abused horses; to restore and train these horses so they can be matched to a loving and forever home; to teach and disseminate educational materials to the public including, but not limited to, materials relating to the care and plight of horses; and the use of horses for therapeutic purposes, therapeutic being defined as helping people with limited physical or mental disabilities that will help them to improve their current state or provide an enjoyable respite from their current condition. It is also our mission to provide a forever home for certain rescued horses that may have difficulty being placed elsewhere.

Programs: Since 2010, Laughing Pony Rescue (LPR) has saved over 1,200 horses, donkeys and farm animals from abuse, neglect and slaughter. Rescued horses in our therapy program have helped numerous individuals struggling from a variety of illnesses. Our educational programs continue to bring awareness of animal abuse and protective programs to communities throughout San Diego County, California.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lea Williams

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered LPR during one of the hardest times in my life. My time with the animals, the incredible amount of knowledge I have gained, and the people that I've met through this organization have all been both healing and amazing. So many animals that were in danger are safe now because of LPR, and they are now leading new lives in their forever homes.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with LPR after a particularly rough time in my life, and learning from Celia, getting involved in rescuing, and spending time with the horses has been such an amazing experience for me. My time with the organization has been healing and so fulfilling, and has made me a better, stronger person. I believe this so much that I became a board member! There's something incredibly magical about these animals and so much to be learned from the wonderful woman who runs the rescue!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A mighty horse is as helpless in the face of cruelty, callousness, and neglect as a tiny puppy. Size isn’t protection against pain or fear. But saving a horse is different from taking in a dog or a cat; caring for equines is no mean feat at the best of times. In space, in food, in every cost: you wouldn’t think that something so big could be so helpless. Or require so much patience, trust, and faith.

Every animal deserves life and love. Those that have been abandon need it most of all. The people behind Laughing Pony Rescue have set themselves a massive task in trying to help as many wayward equines as they can, and they do so happily. It is the worthiest of callings, and I am proud to support them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Laughing Pony Rescue is an amazing organization. The volunteers are great and you can tell how much they care about each and every animal that they rescue! It is so wonderful to hear about and see the positive transformations that the rescues go through with the care and love from LPR.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have made significant donations to Laughing Pony Rescue during the past two years. It is wonderful to see that virtually all our donations go directly to the benefit of the animals at the ranch and the animals that are rescued every month!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I so look forward to Sunday mornings as a volunteer at LPR. Nothing better than being outdoors and helping rescue animals. The horses and donkeys are so sweet, it’s impossible to pick a favorite. The Ranch is full of volunteers who show their heart filled love and connection with these animals. Horses have a natural positive energy, which is shared with us. They are “feel good” animals. The connection is powerful! ❤️ Thank you LPR!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I submited my application and availability to LPR for consideration as a valued volunteer at this property.
I knew particular and specific qualifications were required to maintain their standards of safety and animal “first” priorities.
WOW!!!!!! When I was accepted as a valued volunteer I was honored!!! Celia runs a program by which all rescue operations should be compared.
Sherry Moseley

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is so much knowledge here to tap into all while helping take care and interact with horses and animals while getting you hang dirty with some good old fashion work.

1 Nerice K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPR is a very special place! Entirely run by volunteers, under the direction of their passionate and knowledgeable founder, they provide loving care for rescue horses on site as well as in a broad network. I am a volunteer ‘worker bee””and learn so much every shift from Celia and the horses that I, too, have become passionate. Their dedication to providing equine therapy programs and education to children on horsemanship is invaluable to the community and reminds us all to respect all living creatures, four hoofs or two feet.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Started as a volunteer and became a donor as well! Celia takes exceptional care of the horses who live at the ranch! They are treated like stars! She is passionate about rescuing and placing rescues and works her network 24/7. As a retired development professional I respect that the ranch is run by volunteers. The huge plus is learning so much about the care and feeding of horses. Celia is a patient, humorous and extremely knowledgeable and passes this on to those who come to the ranch to learn or to work. An exceptionally responsible and responsive non profit with a beautiful mission.

1 Marie A.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have know Celia Sciacca for over 30 years. Even before she founded this wonderful organization she was an advocate for horses and any animals in need.
Laughing Pony Rescue, besides saving horses educates people and young children
on the proper care and treatment of these wonderful creatures.
Thank you to all of those involved in being the voice of these helpless animals.
Marie Allen

1 Karen Walsh L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great place run by a wonderful person who cares so much about the horses in her care. No only does she take care of the horses in her care, who have been saved from horrible conditions, she helps to save other horses at feed lots from the horrible fate of slaughter. I volunteered for a short period of time and Celia is an absolutely amazing person with an amazing heart ❤️ we are lucky to have her in our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Laughing Pony Rescue is doing so much good for the animals that they've rescued and for the community. They rehab and find loving forever homes for their rescues. They've developed an educational program to learn about the care and feeding of equines. It's a great learning experience for children as well as adults. Come to the ranch and find out for youself! :)

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor with a love for all animals, it is hard to find a non-profit organization that uses 98% of the money they collect for the welfare of the animals they rescue. Laughing Pony Rescue achieves this objective. It makes me feel good to see the majority of my money I donate go directly to helping rescued animals. I encourage everyone to look at their site and see the fantastic work they are doing.

1 Shelby A.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a Great place doing great things! I am very happy to have them in the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy volunteering at LPR it is a great environment with nice people and fantastic horses. I also make donations to this organization because I can see it is for a very good cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been Volunteer at the ranch for a couple years now. I love working at the ranch with all these amazing kind hearted people. The ranch provides a very positive interaction with horses. My grandchildren came to one of the fundraiser events and had their first pony ride! These horses are such great teachers with their kind and gentle souls. It was wonderful to see the kids fall in lOVE with the horses!

1 Jen S.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I first came to know of Laughing Pony Rescue before the organization had it's 501(c)3 status and it was doing wonderful things then. Those things have only increased as it has been able to build programming and garner the support of donors as a 501(c)3 non-profit.

As a donor, volunteer, and board member, I have watched Celia guide LPR and it's volunteers in it's mission of rescuing equines and educating the community about equine rescue. Celia's first and foremost concern is for the horse and it's well being. She will move heaven and earth if she needs to in an effort to make the best decision for that given horse and provide the necessary care. Learning to care for these magnificent creatures is not the only benefit a volunteer derives from being a part of LPR but one also comes to understand how trust and respect can be developed between a human and a horse.

It is truly a magical place and I have been blessed to have spent many years being part of Laughing Pony Rescue.

1 Joseph F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at this amazing rescue every week for 3 years now. I had no horse experience prior, but Celia has taught me so much. It is a wonderful place to learn about horses and meet new people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered every Monday afternoon with my sister for years, it’s a highlight of our week to be outdoors with the horses. But it’s not just an equine rescue organization - one memorable day a family of tiny ducklings trekked down the driveway quacking away! Celia rounded them up, created a protected shelter complete with water trough swimming pool, and then fostered them until they were adopted!

1 Rebekah K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a volunteer and a donor to this organization. I've even gotten some of my family to volunteer and donate. I did my research on local rescues to volunteer it about a year ago and found this amazing ranch and I've been going 3-4 times a week ever since! This organization stands for so much that I believe in. The work all these people do for animals is truly amazing and I'm so proud to be a part of it. It's a lot of hard work but worth every second of it to know how many lives are being saved.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer and a donor for about 6 years now, maybe longer! I had a horse when I was a kid and I really missed hanging out around them. I found Laughing Pony and haven't left! Our horses and donkeys get the very best care, no matter what. Celia will eat peanut butter and jelly for days so the horses get fed! Just about every cent that is donated goes directly to the care of these horses, and to the rescue of others. Spending time with these forgiving sweet animals is good for the soul.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at laughing Pony for more than 10 years. I have seen many animals arrive emaciated and injured with wild mistrusting natures and after months of patient, tender-loving care they improve to the point that even small children can ride them. Celia takes great care to place these rehabilitated animals with new owners who will continue to treat them with care and compassion. It is a 24/7 work of love .

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As previous volunteer for this organization, I saw first-hand how big a difference these folks make in the lives of rescued horses. Many of them saved from slaughter houses. They do this on a shoestring budget...day in and day out. If you have horses in your heart, I encourage you to donate. Even a little bit can help save or care for a horse in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only recently started volunteering with Laughing Pony and my experience thus far has been excellent. The love and care that they show their horses and the facility is absolutely impressive. I can't say enough good things and am excited to continue volunteering there.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for Laughing Pony Rescue for a little over 2 years and love everything about it! Ciela is such an exceptionally passionate and caring woman who helps give these broken rescues a chance to trust and love again, and for that I'm grateful to be part of her passion for saving, placing and rehabilitating these beautiful equines!

1 Chris C.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Laughing Pony Rescue since 2012. I was blown away by how much energy and care goes into taking care of rescue equines even though I had taken care of horses before. I have met the most wonderful, dedicated, hard-working people and learned an incredible amount since I started volunteering. Not only have I learned how to safely handle, feed, groom and exercise rescue equines, I've learned how to trailer, medicate, quarantine and even train them. I am extremely sensitive to the plight of helpless animals and am overjoyed to report that the equines at Laughing Pony Rescue are treated with the best possible care around the clock. LPR has also rescued hundreds of slaughter-bound equines through their network of rescuers across the country. This is an amazing organization.

1 Katie B.11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LPR has taught me so much about rehabbing and taking care of horses. I never knew of half of the different industries that horses get saved of on a daily basis. There are horses at the ranch that come from all different backgrounds - auctions, feedlots, Premarin ranches, neglect, etc. but once they set foot on the ranch they know their safe and pretty soon they know not just when dinner time is, but they know when vitamin time is or hot water “tea time” is. That’s how much care Celia puts into these horses.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife has been volunteering for the Laughing Pony since 2011. She loves helping out at the ranch every Friday morning. She thinks the world of Celia and her mission and she truly feels part of the family. I have had occasion to join her at various ranch events throughout the years, and I have found everyone involved to be a wonderful, giving group of people. This is truly one outstanding organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Laughing Pony Rescue is a amazing organization, with all donations going directly to support rescue. We have known Celia for over 5 years, since she very graciously allowed our 11 year-old son to volunteer at the horse rescue (which he continues to do to this day!). Through this experience, he learned responsibility, empathy and respect. We have also adopted two ponies from LPR, and the continued support from Celia has been very helpful. This is a first-rate organization, and we do and will continue to support them. Wonderful to be able to support an organization which is very honest and transparent with their goals and donations.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering for 4 years at Laughing Pony Rescue. It has been rewarding for me and the ranch. I have seen Celia rehabilitate so many horses and donkeys. Celia takes the animals in as if they are her children. She tends to them 24/7. I had only gone on the occasional horseback ride as a child growing up. I am now so comfortable around the horses/donkeys and love the interaction I have with them.
It has been so rewarding for me. I love my afternoons at the ranch.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Laughing Pony as a volunteer because I love horses and I gained so much more than I could have anticipated. Celia is an incredible person and has an amazing wealth of knowledge about horses. Everything that you do at the ranch serves an important purpose and she makes sure to teach you along the way WHY everything matters. The work carries so much meaning and everyone who works there, because of Celia, is so incredibly passionate about it. If you're looking to give back, learn about horses, love horses, and are willing to put 100% dedication and effort in, this is a great place to go. Please, please, maintain discipline, respect, and an open mind to the work. The work that is done at Laughing Pony goes a VERY long way and is INCREDIBLY important. Laughing Pony saves hundreds of horses and you can be a part of that!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years, I have volunteered at a number of non-profit organizations. I have found Laughing Pony Rescue to be among the top organizations when it comes to interacting with its volunteers to create a "positive" and "educational" environment for all. The work is hard but very rewarding when you see first-hand the impact it has on all the animals. Everyday there is something new to learn and enjoy.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started volunteering here and I love it. The horses are great and so are the people!

1 Susan I.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As I was healing from cancer I discovered Laughing Pony Rescue (LPR) and joined as a volunteer. Little did I know how the horses and LPR would help heal me. The level of care, attention, and love that is bestowed upon the rescue horses at the ranch and the countless hours dedicated to raising funds to save slaughter bound horses is awe inspiring. Celia, our fearless leader is the ultimate horse whisper, her depth of knowledge and care is mind blowing. Every volunteer gives their heart and soul to caring for our horses and donkey's and our never ending fundraising efforts. I love seeing groups come to LPR to learn about the work we do and each horses rehabilitation story, the ranch positively impacts so many people's lives from children to adults. Laughing Pony Rescue is a very special rescue.

2 Kaitlyn M.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here from 2016 until I moved out of state recently. I loved volunteering here, it was truly such a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to learn from so many knowledgeable people. I never thought I would enjoy cleaning water buckets on a rainy winter day or mucking stalls during a heatwave but every minute was 100% worth it when you see how much your work impacts these animals lives.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started doing sessions with the owner, Celia, when my husband bought me a Groupon about a year ago. I called the rescue and they didn't have any times that fit my schedule before the Groupon expired. However, they had times available later on in the month and let me redeem my expired Groupon without anyway extra fee, which was awesome. My session with Celia that day went so well that I've been coming back ever since. She is so knowledgeable and informative; I always walk away feeling like I've learned so much. She can be strict at times, but only in order to keep the riders, the volunteers, or the horses safe. She is just an incredible teacher.
Celia and all of the volunteers are always working so hard to maintain the ranch and take care of all of the horses, who all look very happy and healthy. The level of passion that the rescue has for these wonderful animals is just infectious. It is a wonderful place filled with inspiring people. I love Laughing Pony Rescue!

Review from Guidestar

2 Kathy174

Client Served

Rating: 5

We took our children, 6 and 5 yrs old, for their first horse back riding lesson. For my 5yr old, it was her birthday wish and a big deal since she fears animals. Celia and volunteers were welcoming and so very friendly that made both of our kids at ease and very comfortable right form the start. The volunteers went with the kids pace. We loved the horses overall, we've never seem such friendly horses that actually wanted to mingle with people. The horses look very healthy and are very well treated.

Thanks to Laughing Pony for a truly wonderful experience our kids and us will remember.

Review from Guidestar

2 Sonja Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteering at Laughing Pony Ranch for two years now and I loved every second of it. Unlike just taking riding lessons you learn so much about horses including being involved with training or re-training horses, taking care of sick horses and nursing them back to health. The most rewarding experience is when one of the fosters finds a great new home. One aspect I particularly appreciate about Celia, the owner is that she regularly checks on adopted horses to make sure they are happy, and if necessary, takes them back or keeps working with them if the new owners need her advice. She is very responsible too by not taking in more horses that the rescue is capable of taking care of. Even though this is a difficult decision sometimes. The rescue actively tries to help owners place their horses if they are no longer able to take care of them due to various reasons in these cases. On top of it I think everyone does a great job in helping with the lessons, which helps with covering the expenses. I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering here!

Review from Guidestar

2 Kirsten B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keystone Academy, a small private school in Solana Beach, took 5 students to Laughing Pony Rescue for volunteer work. Students met the horses, learned their stories, and helped brush and feed them. Our students had a wonderful experience and Celia was warm and inviting.

Review from Guidestar

1 Danica2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first riding lesson occurred at laughing pony rescue and it was an incredibly fun and informative experience! The staff was incredibly helpful and the numerous volunteers greatly inspired me. Celia was incredibly kind and she took the time to teach me not only how to ride, but she also showed me how the horses interact and how to read their body! I would definitely recommend taking lessons at this rescue if you love horses and are first learning!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to Laughing Pony Rescue and took a lesson that I had purchased on groupon. The staff were very knowledgable and I learn more than I ever imagined I would from a one hour riding lesson. I am now taking lessons regularly at Laughing Pony Rescue and I always learn something new. I have very much enjoyed my weekly lessons on Johnny. This is a great cause that always exceeds my expectations.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Laughing Pony Rescue! They worked so hard to show me a ton of safe riding tips.  I had never been around horses before and was honestly pretty nervous about being near them (I had received a set of lessons as a birthday gift) but all my concerns were swept away once I was there!  The staff was patient and understanding, and was sure to explain everything in detail.  They expanded my knowledge not just of riding, but horses in general.  I came to LPR initally unsure of if I would even go more than once, but now my classes are the highlight of my week!

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great staff & cause! I purchased a Groupon for a lesson and used it about a week ago, and can't wait to go back! The staff are all knowledgeable about riding and horses just in general, I totally recommend going there for a lesson or even just to help out!

Review from Guidestar

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Laughing Pony Rescue is an amazing ranch that rescues horses from very sad situations. Celia tireless works day in and day out to love and care for these horses that have no voice. Yet she hears them, understands them and rehabilitates them back to happiness. I am thankful to be able to help LPR in any way that I can and would encourage other to give as well. Horses deserve to live a safe and kind life, just like all other living creatures. LPR helps make this happen everyday.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had lessons and found the level of expertise excellent and learned a lot in the lesson. Everyone was very professional, prompt, and ready when I arrived. The atmosphere is welcoming and very accommodating to me and my time during the lesson. It was easy to schedule my lesson and had my initial call returned promptly and courteously. They are all very knowledgeable about horses and riding and bend over backwards to make the experience an excellent one.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 1

We tried Laughing Pony Rescue Ranch with a Groupon that they offered recently. Our daughter left in tears after 5 minutes on a horse. They hurried us away saying that we could give the second lesson to a friend as our daughter didn't want to return and was traumatized. The next day they backed out and said that we couldn't pass the unused second lesson to anyone else. A big waste of money and a generally horrible experience. The whole process was very factory-like. "Get them in and get them out" We had a very bad experience and obviously do not recommend. We've been to other horse riding ranches that were great. This one was not.