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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

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We visited twice. Super clean. Healthy animals: horses, donkeys, goats, dogs. All need special care. Owners make good use of volunteers and provide needed services to community. Very dedicated and selfless.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started coming to Heaven Can Wait in the fall of 2008 when I brought my 4-H horse group there to volunteer their time - cleaning stalls and grooming horses. We were so taken with the rescued horses that we returned time and time again. These wonderful animals whom Susan has rescued are paying it forward many times over. They have taught not only my 4-Hers but many children what it means to responsible and caring. They have given comfort and respect to many disadvantaged people from developmentally delayed young people, those who have survived cancer and sufferers of P.T.S.D. It's not just about the horses or the people but what the two bring to each other. It is a wonderful organization that deserves all the help it can get. Submitted by Angela Vinther

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started coming to Heaven Can Wait as a client. They had a program for cancer survivors called HOPe. I had not a lot of experience with horses but still wanted to check this out. Immediately I noticed the harmony with ALL the animals, horses, donkeys, chickens, cats, dogs. They all got along and you could tell they were in a peaceful state. The program started with me leading a horse with the halter, having them stop, go, turn, etc., and getting them to walk/run in the round pen. I had never done anything like this before and it indeed gave me a lot of confidence and helped in continued emotional healing. I have since come out to help volunteer when the special needs kids come out and it has been very inspiring to watch these kids gain confidence as they work with these horses. I also learned how valuable these horses are as they work for people in a very different way then riding, competing, etc. These horses that would not be deemed valued by some are indeed extremely valuable by their very presence, love, and gratefulness.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Heaven Can Wait when a I presented a donation to Susan, the founder of HCW. I was so impressed with the quality of care, cleanliness of the facility, and the friendliness of the equines, that I just had to spend more time there. Besides communing with my new 4-hoofed friends, I have participated in workshops and children's event days, watched challenged adults and teens work with the horses and learned more about myself. Susan has built a wonderful, forever equine home with hard work, lots of time and a commitment that is truly amazing - and as a non-profit! If you are anywhere in the vicinity of San Miguel, CA, and you like horses, this is a must see.

Jean17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heaven Can Wait is a wonderful non-profit organization that takes in and cares for physically or mentally disabled horses that would otherwise be put down. They are allowed to live out their lives in a beautiful location and in a loving environment. These animals are well cared for by the owner, Susan, and the many volunteers who assist her. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone, as many of the volunteers have learning or other disabilities and caring for the horses is a healing situation for them, as well as the horses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been out to this sanctuary and it is moving to say the least. The work done to save these animals is impressive. The animals would have no future no care and no love. At Heaven Can Wait there is hope and love and a future to live out their lives without torment or pain. Susan selflessly gives to all in need. Does she need help YES lets help her help those that cant help themselves. Allyson Wheeler Morro Bay CA Any contribution is only used to support the facility that helps these animals. Please help the horses and all the animals in her care. Thank you

Leora W.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have worked with horse rescues for over 10 years. I decided one day to drop in on Heaven Can Wait and was blown away. The horses are well integrated with each other and they actually accepted me into their herd. It is the first time I ever walked among horses without needing eyes in the back of my head. A short while later I began volunteering for HCW in promotions even though I live 90 miles away. Through the newsletter you can find some amazing wins that people have had there.

Jeri K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteers at Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary when she has school breaks. She spends the entire day there is given the freedom to interact with the animals and just loves coming to this fantastic place. Susan Schwartz is so devoted to the equines and has given them a wonderful home where they get love and attention and the chance to be horses again. They are truly given the freedom that every horse deserves, living in a true herd atmosphere, and my daughter gets to learn about real equine behavior. This is a wonderful organization, and I can't praise Susan and the other HCW workers and volunteers enough for their efforts.

Rosa L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I were able to enjoy the peaceful enjoyment of being able to walk freely with the horses at Heaven Can Wait. We help brush, wash and I even massaged one. I have two special needs boys and they were so gently and playful with them. Those horses are like humans and they want to socialize just like we do. The connection between those in need and these majestic animals cannot be described in words only in the peace and love one feels from being around them. If I didn't live 2 hours away, this would be my weekend haven.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love Heaven Can Wait! Susan maintains the property and all of the wonderful rescued equines that reside there with a lot of love and care. We bring our children with us so that they can learn about the horses and how to care for them as well. Susan is so gracious and accommodating to us and our family. I only wish that more people knew about this very special place that does SO much good not only for the equines but for the special needs children and veterans suffering from PTSD that come to work with the horses as part of their therapy.

Jan_15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered to photograph events for Heaven Can wait. The personel there are very helpful and welcoming. The way they work with the kids or adults or anyone in need of healing is superb! The love they show for the animals and the people they are trying to help heal is so awesome. I have recommended Heaven Can Wait to anyone I know for volunteer work to help out in any way they can. To take the time and hard work for helping anyone now days in this economy and stick with it is truly amazing. From the newspapers, etc., Heaven Can Wait has helped so many animals and people its amazing. I wish I had grown up to be a vet like I had always wanted as I feel I could donate a lot more to them that way!

Beliinda B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heaven Can Wait is an amazing sanctuary for learning and healing for both humans and the animals. I have volunteered at the sanctuary and learned to groom horses and to just "be"with them. have taken a class in equine bodywork and was able to practice on the horses at Heaven Can Wait. The horses loved the bodywork! In the past I had little to no experience working with horses as I work as a small animal massage practitioner. Susan the owner and manager helped me tremendously to understand how horses think and act. Her heart is very big and she loves her horses and donkeys so much. If anyone can help with donations or their time she and the animals would sure appreciate it. It is a struggle to keep the sanctuary running smoothly in this economy. If you visit the sanctuary you will see animals who are treated beautifully and a sanctuary that is clean and happy and bright. The vibes are positive.