Paradise Ranch fights to remain open

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A non-profit organization that brings essential mental health services to southern Nevada is in danger of shutting down. Paradise Ranch near Vegas Drive and Rancho Drive connects people and animals for unique therapies with proven benefits. That could end in a matter of weeks if they don’t secure emergency funding.

Paradise Ranch provides much-needed mental health therapies for southern Nevadans in a unique way, but the non-profit is in danger of ending its mission, unless it can come up with thousands of dollars by the end of February.

“There (aren’t) very many places out there that do what we do,” said Paradise Ranch founder Paul Rogers, III.

Rogers left his government job in 2011 to pursue his passions of working with animals and helping people. That’s how Paradise Ranch came to be.

“There’s really nothing material in this world that can compare to the feeling that you get when you change somebody’s life,” he said.

Every month, nearly 500 families receive care with the assistance of therapy animals at the ranch, including horses, rabbits and a pig named Mama.

Approximately 35 animals call the ranch home. All of the animals were either abandoned or injured. At Paradise Ranch, they’ve found a special place to do a special kind of job.

Many of the clients are children with special needs like autism or Down syndrome. Some have behavioral challenges. Working with these animals has a proven therapeutic benefit.

The ranch’s mission also extends to our men and women in uniform.

Ed Wright served two tours of duty in Iraq.

“Stuff, unfortunately, won’t ever go away,” he said.

He survived two IED explosions and a traumatic brain injury that will affect him the rest of his life. He finds comfort at Paradise Ranch.

“It’s rewarding,” he said. “I like working with Leo the horse. (He) himself has been disabled, having been blind. So, I like to think that we kind of help out each other,” he said.

Wright says he’ll continue to come for therapy sessions as long as they’ll let him. Paradise Ranch takes clients on an income-based sliding scale and will help anyone who needs it.

Now, they’re asking the community for any help they can give, so the ranch can continue its essential work.

“We’re pushing to try to get that done before the end of the month, and I think we can,” Rogers said.

Paradise Ranch needs approximately $25,000 to get caught up on its lease. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $4,000.

The ranch is also accepting donations on its website.

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