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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Zumas Rescue Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Children & Youth, Foster Care, Human Services

Mission: Zuma’s Rescue Ranch serves as advocate and mentor for abused and neglected horses in need. These horses are providing alternative learning opportunities for children, teaching them about trust and love helping both to take their next step successfully into our world.

Results: In ten short years with the support of our community ,Zuma's has rescued hundreds of animals and provided alternative learning and therapy to literally thousands of children and families.

Target demographics: Humans and Animals are both rescued with our programs. Those rescued souls collaborate in several life saving programs on the 126 acre sanctuary.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Currently we serve 25-50 children, veterans and or families per week.

Geographic areas served: Metro Denver Colorado

Programs: Horse Rescue Farm Animal Rescue Children's Therapy and Learning Center

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A Loving, patient and healthy approach is how I would characterize Zuma's goal in rescuing these amazing horses. Through years of experience they have sought out the best methods in holistic health care ensuring the horse has the best opportunity to regain confidence in themselves ensuring they participate in the recovery process in a drug free environment. From horsemanship class to orientation to instructional riding and mucking paddocks I have observed without exception a sincere and professional level of instruction that provides a great foundation to the many volunteers (zumateer's) while ensuring a consistent and caring relationship exists with every horse.

Comments ( 2 )

Zuma Girl We truly do our level best to make the lives of those in our care horse and human alike better.

Zuma Girl Thank you for your kind words, the team sure does do their level best to provide the best holistic care to all that enter our gates. Thank you for your service.

2 Jennifer F.11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma’s Rescue Ranch rests by itself on a range that softly abuts the Colorado Mountains. It sits under the sun - warm, quiet, peaceful. All around staff and volunteers tend to horses, kids, chores, structured instruction. But quietly, peacefully. Occasionally the wind will carry the nicker of one horse to another, the sound of laughter or voices talking. Otherwise it is just unadulterated serenity.
Zuma’s is a magical place. Magical? Why yes, most definitely. How else do you explain ordinary people doing most extraordinary things? How else do you explain bonds between beaten and broken horses melding with people to create lives of strength, endurance and love that alone neither one could have imagined? How horses bound for slaughter, or those barely surviving in conditions of horrific abuse or neglect, or simply abandoned and forgotten, can heal. Zuma’s helps these horses heal and they in turn help to heal human lives that have endured and experienced similar lives of abandonment, pain and suffering. But there is more than that. Zuma’s offers riding lessons for youngsters and adults, horsemanship classes, equine assisted therapy, special classes with renowned horseman and the list continues…there are musical gatherings and holiday festivities and Zuma’s horse shows, and still there is always something more…
More is the kindness, care, fortitude, compassion and commitment to excellence that staff demonstrate every day.
It is the smiles on the faces of volunteers that are giving of themselves, and getting their “horse fix.” It is a place of a new awakening. Come check it out.

2 Amy Rossi G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Top notch! Well run, excellent treatment of animals, and enthusiastic staff.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Zuma's for 2 years now and I can't say enough about this amazing rescue! I am in awe of all the hard work, dedication, love and care that Jodi, Paul and all the staff put in to make sure their animals are happy, healthy and thriving! If I could give them a 100 star rating, I would!!!

1 Shannon F.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Zuma's originally for horseback riding lessons but quickly discovered that this place is an absolute gem! I love horses and being around them, so volunteering at Zuma's was an easy choice! From day one, everyone created a warm, welcoming atmosphere and it became a place where I could come to decompress from the pressures of the world and just focus on helping and loving the horses at this rescue!

This is truly a unique and beautiful rescue that has mission that everyone can be behind! It's a great place to volunteer your time, especially if you love horses!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering weekly at Zuma’s for 10 years. If you have it in your heart to give your time freely, this is an organization worthy and most appreciative of your efforts. The horses and other animals are well cared for and loved by hardworking and dedicated staff. I am thankful for Zuma’s mission to rescue horses and provide equine therapy for people.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

The owners, staff and volunteers are and have an unwavering dedication to saving and growing, once again, abused animals. We own a mini- mule who was tied up behind a pawn shop. Many people have helped Rudy grow and trust.
The picture shows Rudy (small black mule) Atticus, Mariah (small white horse) all proud, trusting equines now.

Thank you Zuma Rescue Ranch.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma’s is a great place to get your horse hugs, fresh air, exercise, meet new people and help the limited staff tremendously. It is such a peaceful and beautiful place to volunteer and know you are really helping as there are over 40 animals and only 3 staff personnel. I have been there almost 6 years and love that some days are just so special spending time with the horses and they too like the attention. I went out of my comfort zone and did orientation by myself for my 50th bday present( free LOL) and am forever grateful for my Zuma’s experiences. I sponsor Eve who arrived around the same time I started volunteering. She was unhandled and needed surgery. Over a few years the staff and volunteers worked with her and she now approaches people and likes attention. Just one success story among many.

3 Diane M.13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We can all say 2020 has been quite the year. Lots of isolation and uncertainty. This was my story until I discovered Zuma’s and all the amazing things they can offer. They rescue horses but I can honestly say they rescued me. Their huge property makes it so easy to get outside, work with the horses, make a difference and stay safe. They offer horse riding lessons, they offer horse training lessons, equine therapy for individuals going through a hard time and so much more. They accept people and animals as they are and they work with all the strengths and weaknesses that you bring along with you. Zuma’s rescue ranch is truly heaven on earth for humans and animals alike.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In a world of worthy endeavors animal welfare could easily fall behind. Animals need a voice. They need people to understand the experiences of being discarded. With no food, water, affection or hope. You shake from fear. You dart to the safest perceived place willing to disappear. Certain sounds and smells are alarms that remind of painful treatment or untreated wounds. You can't remember a time when it didn't hurt. These are some stories of the rescued herd of horses if given a voice. Now, fast forward to the fortuitous placement at Zuma's Rescue Ranch.

For the first time touches are soft and welcoming. Voices offer comfort, the food and water are in abundance, and the people who provide them seemingly want to know your story and then in boundless love, they work daily to help the past abuses become distant memories.

Zuma's Rescue Ranch is all that is described. Add that every animal, yes there are farm animals in addition to the horses. now holds a promise of lifetime care. No more abandonment or surrender. No more abuse. Life for every Zuma's creature is saved and protected. Professionals and lay folks, trainers, healers with kind hearts, all work in tandem to uphold the promise. The animals here are well.

Add volunteers; City people, folks with horse histories, animal lovers, or those that want exercise without a gym, some disillusioned, some seeking benevolent refuge, others seeking to give back. Zuma's team trains everyone who has an interest. Each becomes a contributor. Whether it is cleaning paddocks, feeding, sponsorship or philanthropy, the people become part of a solution.

The din of constant media fades, societal distractions halt, any negativity teeming at the surface subsides, and through the muck , sweat and tired achy muscles Zuma's rescues participants with sanctuary, education and purpose.

I began my Zuma's Rescue Ranch as Barn Staff. Enamored, I wanted to bring in financial support, media attention or pretty much anything that would shout loudly, "I found an unfettered place of goodness" to anyone who would listen. I recently shifted to volunteering and with the same gusto am eager to help.

Zuma's Rescue Ranch is deserving of accolades and positive attention. I am blessed to be part of something so much greater than myself.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zumas Rescue Ranch is nothing but amazing! I’m a very shy , closeted , socially awkward person , i’ve always struggled with mental health issues and have had trouble opening up to therapists or doctors about it because i’ve felt so lost and like i was battling with myself. When i first started volunteering at Zumas i fell in love with every animal there , All of the staff and other volunteers are so welcoming and friendly. Zumas has helped me open up and has been really beneficial to helping my mental health. Just being around all the animals here and getting to know them is so heartwarming. All my friends know about zumas and i’ve gotten some to volunteer.

1 Randi L. L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I have only been to the Zuma Ranch a few times to date, what I found there was well kept and happy horses, as well as in the other animals in need of a place to live!
The persons who work there care about their charges and maintain them beautifully.

No Horse or animal in the Zuma Rescue Ranch, in Littleton CO, ever goes hungry, ungroomed or thirsty and that is what I find fabulous about this facility. Each has room to live and breathe without fear, given the time to adjust with gentle hands and are treated as they were meant to be gently and with much care!

1 Kim F.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a busy working professional but I also wanted to give back in an environment that touches lives, both human and animal. Zuma's is the prefect match! I am so honored to be volunteering with a non profit that truly believes in and is passionate about horse rescue while also providing therapy to at risk folks on a therapeutic level. Thank you, Zuma's for all you do!

2 Jenna Marie G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Zumas. They truly care about the horses in their care as well as educating and assisting many people. From their therapy program to their horsemanship classes zumas does an incredible job education people on the value and importance of horses. As a volunteer I have helped them take care of countless horses and taken classes. I love all the events they do and how much effort they put into everything they do.

2 Jessica M.24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Zuma's is best thing that has happened to my family. My daughter and I enjoy being around the horses and farm animals. It gives us peace of mind, and helps with my daughters depression and anxiety. It warms my heart to be part of such an amazing case!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma truly cares and is obsessed with the very best care for their herd of beautiful rescues. They are very supportive, appreciative and welcoming when it comes to their volunteers. It’s been a great way for me to fill my empty nest void and give back to the animals I’ve enjoyed all my life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma’s is an amazing place! The animals truly come first, they receive personalized and educated attention to every aspect of their health (mental and physical), their previous injuries, their diet, literally everything! Compassionate, kind, friendly and well run, fun place to be, I can’t get enough! My help is welcomed and appreciated, I plan on being a life long volunteer at Zuma’s!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can speak personally and also anecdotally - Zumas is an amazing place. Their mission to help humans and animals is evident. The good energy is palpable!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only recently began volunteering here, but they've been working hard the past year to really put themselves out there and showcase what they do for horses and how they use their rescue horses for therapy to help people in return. So it's people helping horses helping people -- a beautiful cycle. Plus, Zuma's partners with students of equine medicine to give more hands-on opportunities to study horses and learn how they behave.

This isn't a dog and pony show, puns absolutely intended. This is an organization that holds themselves to the highest of standards with cleanliness and safety at the forefront. Horses have easy to understand labels, so volunteers know which horses are safe to love on and which ones to give some space to. This keeps us safe and keeps the horses feeling like their space is respected and valued. Every volunteer at every shift takes their turn mucking, so you never feel like you have to watch your step.

Zuma's is focused on partnership across the board, and it shows from the way they train their volunteers to the gear they use on the horses themselves.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Zuma's is one of the best rescues around! They are always there to lend a helping hand whether it is the people, children, other rescues, equines or other animals. Just a great all around place!! They deserve way more than 5 stars!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an employee and volunteer I feel very blessed to have Zumas in my life. It truly is a sanctuary for the rescues and me. It is amazing how Jodi and staff take care of each rescue and their individual needs. Hard work, but worth it. Thank you Jodi for giving me the Zumas experience.

2 Jen_53

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Zuma’s is a wonderful organization, not only do they rescue horses in need, but they offer community programs that let those same horses help rescue people in need as well.

A few years ago, within the span of a few short months, I experienced the trauma of being charged by an ill-trained horse, being thrown, my father dying, and then getting married shortly after. My heart was broken, I was scared of horses – whom I have loved since I was a child, I was devastated by the loss of my father, and all of that was mixed together. I was grieving, scared, and heartbroken because my love of horses had been a constant source of strength for years.

I spent the next few years doing equine assisted therapy because being terrified of approaching a horse was not acceptable to me. I worked on my grief and fear with a herd of horses along with a wonderful therapist. The honest reactions and connections they offered me were incredible. They gently and honestly guided me to face my fear, find strength, and be authentic with my own feelings. They gave me the chance to heal in my own time.

I started sponsoring a horse at Zuma’s because when I saw him, for some indefinable reason he took my breath away. It was like he looked right into my soul and said “Just give me a chance, I just need a little help”. I knew that feeling. And it is my honor to help give him that chance.

1 Caty C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma's is the standard for which other animal/horse rescues should be. They are groundbreaking in their knowledge and treatment of the animals. I am so fortunate to volunteer and also sponsor one of their rescue horses. Their whole philosophy allows horses and people to be surrounded in a safe and peaceful environment. The horses and other animals are their first priority. Zuma's Rescue Ranch says they rescue horses, I believe they are in the people saving business too! Children and adults all are healed with the therapy provided there. Please be a part of this amazing rescue.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to Zuma's in the fall of 2012 looking for an equine partner! I saw Spice Girl an fell in love! The adoption process was thorough to make sure we were a match and I couldn't be more pleased with the friendly and helpful staff!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Zuma's Rescue Ranch is the ideal example of a non-profit dedicated to its cause. Its focus on horses and kids is true and honest and they really do put the cause above all else. The horses are taken care of in the best conditions I've ever seen and the programs are for the benefit of all. If you are looking for a place to donate your time or money, definitely check out Zuma's!

2 Lauren24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Zuma's Rescue Ranch is nothing short of magical! It is a horse rescue, haven for children, healing place for adolescents, training ground for young riders, and a supurb facility for outside professional's to teach natural horsemanship. I was in the the last category as I was a student of a visiting instructor, Anna Twinney of Reach Out To Horses. My training lasted 7 months last year and an additional 7 months this year. We were so very fortunate to have access to this wonderful facility with both indoor and outdoor areans and so many wonderful horses to work with. I am always super impressed by the condition of the horses at Zuma'a and by their training program and riding programs. Jodi is a super star with an awesome talent for running a hugely successful operation. Her vision is HUGE and she is well on her way to creating everything she has dreamed. It is a well organized and well funded program where volunteers, students, donors and employees are treated like family. There is a lot of Zuma Love being spread around this spectacular ranch and there are always many people buzzing about either taking care of the horses or taking lessons or going through a volunteer training. It is a "feel good" place for both horses and humans. I especially like the fact that the "rescue" horses at Zumas are all given a job once they are evaluated and brought up to speed with their needs. They not only get all of the nutrition and medical attention they need but they are placed in one of the programs at the ranch and are made to feel like an appriciated and respected individual who contributes to the good of the whole by being an intrical part of society and in particular Zuma's Rescue Ranch. Well done, Jodi and Paul and all of the staff, volunteers, animals and friends...keep up the good work!!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student at a Horsemanship clinic taught by world renowned horse whisperer and trainer, Anna Twinney of Reach Out to Horses. We used the horses at Zuma's Rescue Ranch for many of the weekends of our training. Not only are the horses of superior quality, the care of them is exceptional, the people, Jodi and Paul and all of the volunteers and staff are awesome and the setting is breathtaking. Paul and Jodi do an amazing job not only rehabilitating and rehoming unwanted horses but also rehabilitating children and adults from the community by bringing them together with these equine beauty. When a horse shares it's heart with a human, the human is transformed...thank you Zuma's!

1 pdyon54ofColorado

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jodi at Zuma's is caring, sincere and professional. The mission she has taken upon herself to tackle is one of compassion for animals and foster children. I've seen the positive results of her work with horses and children first hand. Jodi has brought together the important professionals to work with the horses and children enabling both to trust again. She has accepted responsibility for the care, training and overall well being of many types of animals: horses, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs and cats. And each animal is given the opportunity to connect with a child to help both learn to trust again.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to know Zuma's Rescue Ranch when I embarked on a quest for horse manure for my garden. Zuma's was the only place which responded to my request with a simple, "We have lots." and their address. Since that time in 2009, I have come to understand the dedication, determination and professionalism of both Paul and Jodi Messinech. They give their whole selves to the cause of saving, reaching and teaching children and horses - one at a time - that there is someone who cares about them. I have seen Paul and Jodi work countless hours to keep a horse with colic comfortable. I have witnessed each of them putting their lives, honor, fortune and family on the line for the cause that they believe in - turning "throw away" kids and horses into partners and productive citizens.

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1 Sherrylst

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of the Zuma family for 3 years and I was the volunteer coordinator for a year. I have seen the kiddos that come to the ranch transform from a shy, sheltered sometimes reserved person to a outgoing kiddo. All because they were paired up with a four legged friend and taught how to take care of these rescued animals. They form relationships that take them into adulthood. The pair begin their healing process together. This is an amazing organization and deserves all rave reviews!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma's Rescue Ranch is a sanctuary of hope and healing for horses and humans alike. Upon entering the 146 acre Ranch though the distinctive iron gates, guests are immediately impacted by the visual beauty of the place: gently rolling hills, white fencing, beautiful vistas and perhaps more important, a happy and healthy animal herd consisting of more than 40 horses, three goats, a gaggle of chickens and ducks and Daisy, the pot-belly pig. The secret behind the success of Zuma's is the dedicated staff and cadre of volunteers who care so much about creating an organization of excellence from the care of the animals to the compassion shown to the children and adults who come here seeking a deeper connection to themselves through equine assisted experiential learning. To keep the Ranch going, much is required: volunteers to provide invaluable support to the small but hard-working staff, donors to fund the hay that feeds the animals and medicine to keep them healthy, event participants to visit the Ranch and spread the word about its mission. At a very young age, I lost my father to an untimely death. My horse gave me comfort and an outlet to escape the emotional pain. I found Zuma's 40 years later because I want to support and honor a place that can do the same for others who have experienced personal heartbreak be it physical, emotional or spiritual.

3 Brenda25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first contact with Jodi M. was through facebook. We were friends because we have a common interest, rescuing horses or any animals in distress. I remember when she first posted on my page. We were attempting to save a horse from one of the auction houses, and the horse was already in the kill pens. We were attempting to raise the bail, and transportation money. Before, I even knew that Jodi M. herself, had a rescue, Jodi M. steps up with the full bail money, knowing that the horse would not be coming to her rescue, because a home had already been found... I only found out later, that she had a rescue and plenty of other mouths to feed, and she was still willing to pay for the bail money, and was willing to help with the transportation fee's if they had been needed... My impression of this lady, is of pure respect, for her selflessness that she displayed, and a willingness to help others' out.. My hat is off to Jodi M. and her rescue, for what they have choosen to take on, with no financial gains to speak of. A genuine good hearted person.

3 Amy_36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentored students for three sessions at Zuma's. Additionally I took riding lessons and have my daughter in riding lessons at Zuma's. The fundamental principles of love and respect are everywhere at this magical place. This is a place where heartbroken, traumatized souls can find love and healing by making life-changing connections in a beautiful setting. The people who run this program have committed everything they have to a cause they believe in, and our world is so much better for it. Anyone can be a part of the Zuma's community- and everyone who does will come away transformed...

1 Sally19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma's advocates for those who need a voice in this world. This wonderful organization serves humans and horses, which allows it to make a difference in multiple ways. It has been my pleasure and honor to be a volunteer with the children and to adopt one of the rescue horses. I see how countless children, adults, and horses are healed at Zuma's everyday.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a place to learn to ride horses when I stumbled upon a list of lesson places! I printed out the list and the only name that was there was Zuma's! I started riding and fell in love with the horses and so that summer I decided to become a working student! I made so many friends and developed a stronger love for horses. Every day i was so excited to work and couldnt wait until I arrived! After 2 years of being at zumas I still love it and never want to leave! It has been a life changing experience that has taught me fun can go along with responsiblity.

2 Brandi T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have visited this wonderful sanctuary for people and horses, the love that is shown to both let's us all know that there are people who want this world to be a compassionate and respectful place to live. Thank you Zuma for the work that you do, and for helping the horses who have shown repeatedly that they are worth more than meat for a foreign dinner plate.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Zuma's is not only a representation of my family and my upbringing, but also a constant reminder to myself and to others to give back to those truly in need. To take your good fortune and share it with those less fortunate, both human and animal. No matter what occurs in my life, I know I can go to the ranch and be grounded, loved and supported by everyone there. I could not be more proud of my family for their truly selfless undertaking, and my gratitude to them for what their actions and the outcome that is Zuma's has given me. While I am not a learning child or a rescued animal, I truly feel the humanity and good nature I learn each day at Zuma's makes me a better person, a stronger business person and a more aware human being. No matter what your commitment to Zuma's is, I can guarantee you my family, our horses and these children will change your life.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first visited Zuma's I instantly wanted to be involved. I visited during the summer of 2008 and instantly fell in love with a little rescue horse that had been saved by Jodi and Paul from a feed lot just a month before. Since then, I have become a regular contributor to Zuma's and their cause. The balance between both rescuing helpless animals and children that have been abused or neglected is incredibly inspiring. I work in a very busy, fast paced environment and every visit to the ranch is nothing short of inspiring.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Zuma's is a beautiful place southwest of Denver where you are greeted with open arms, open hearts and a warm smile. A place that is safe for all people and horses to recover,rest and rejuvenate their spirits. Hard work is always needed and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of these children and animals is appreciated. Volunteers don't always have the time, just the heart.

1 zuma

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Volunteers at Zuma's make such a huge difference in the possibilities around the ranch. Last weekend Paul the main man at Zuma's was away and Jodi his wife was left on her own to care for the 40 horses.... Well that was not the case as Mike Hoagland a dedicated volunteer showed up and boy was he helpful. There was no water, no of the hydrants would come on and it was not due to freezing. Mike stuck around and helped Jodi figure out the mystery, called a well and pump company, Tri-County Pump answered the phone on a Saturday morning and saved the day. 40 horses with no water is a big big problem. While it took hours to get the water situation fixed, more volunteers showed up and helped out; Lance Giddeon arrived simply to show his father the horses and jumped in and began hauling water from the property next door to all of the horses. Amanda Davis fed all of the horses, Stout Street Foundation's "Gary" and volunteer Amanda Zizza cleaned the pastures, and stalls. It was a hearty group of dedicated volunteers that kept things going this day at Zuma's.