Canine and Equine Ranch in Placerville
08/29/2017 03:41PM ● Published by Style
Jason, Kate and Hadley Kohagen
Animals have a great capacity to help humans, and vice versa. From the eager service dog trained to aid a disabled person, and the lovable pig with high enough intelligence to be an assistance animal, to the gentle horse that provides support to an autistic child, it’s clear that animals and humans encourage each other.
At the Canine and Equine Ranch, a nonprofit educational animal sanctuary in Placerville, inspiration happens every day when animals and humans are brought together. “We benefit the community by helping animals in need to find homes, providing sanctuary, and promoting a proactive approach to advocacy,” explains Kate Kohagen, the organization’s founder and president. “For humans, we provide a safe, fun atmosphere to learn about animals and experience ranch life.”
The educational programs at their scenic foothill property include autism support, homeschool sessions, and working with the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento to provide animal interactions for children who have been rescued from abuse and neglect. In addition to these offerings, a large portion of the ranch’s work is achieved through outreach programs in the community with visits to places like the Gilmore Senior Center in El Dorado Hills.
“Our entire staff and board members are unpaid volunteers who passionately support our mission with their time, generosity and hard work,” says Kohagen. “The animals are supported by the Sanctuary Support Team, a group of generous community members.”
Kohagen has been an animal lover since a young age. When things took a turn for the worse in her early childhood, they were a source of love and consistency during the turbulent times. She’s always been grateful for the animals that came into her life and wanted to “pay it forward” by helping others. “I thought that animal rescue or a sanctuary would be an endeavor I could pursue later in life,” Kohagen recalls, “but somehow, I kept getting pulled toward animal training and the rescue network. I decided that life was too short to delay this dream, and if it was worth doing, then it was worth doing now.”
“Art Among the Animals” is a special event the ranch hosts several times each year in which participants enjoy an art project with a live animal model. Money raised from the class offsets the costs of rescuing an animal or enclosure needs. Another fun activity involves bringing the ranch’s mini horses along on a group hike, where community members can walk the mellow horses while enjoying the beauty of a local nature area.
Kohagen is happy to be able to work with rescued animals and benefit humans in need. “I have a big heart for anyone [who] has overcome some sort of challenge, be it physical or psychological,” she says. “Everyone at the ranch looks forward to the long-term success of our participants, programs and the culture that we inspire through animal interactions and guardianship.”