Candace Ray of Candace Ray Counseling has found a special niche in putting together her passion with another love and creating something completely unique. Candace Ray grew up in West Texas with no horses of her own but had the opportunity to help take care of and ride some that belonged to a friend.
She has been a counselor for 13 years and has a goal to be able to work with humans and horses through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Ray also runs Evanescent Mustang Rescue and Sanctuary right behind her counseling office in Sherman.
Evanescent Mustang Rescue was initially created as an LLC in May of 2015 to rescue mustang burrows who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned as well as educate the public about the destruction of American Legends that once roamed free. Their mission quickly grew as they realized how many mustangs and burros needed help, so they made the decision to become a non-profit organization in May 2017.
Evanescent Mustang Rescue and Sanctuary coordinates everything from the rescue, transportation to safe place for quarantine and rehabilitation and evaluation to determine if the equine can be adopted, become part of their therapy program, or if they require permanent sanctuary.
“I’m contacted on a weekly if not daily basis about mustangs and burros that are in bad situations that need help,” Ray said. “If I am able to find a foster with room and am not overloaded with other rescue efforts I will set up the fundraisers (which have to be monitored and updated throughout the day) to cover the cost of the rescue, transport, and quarantine when needed as well as any vet, farrier, and dental care.”
As a licensed professional counselor Ray saw the potential to move towards the next phase of their mission- creating an Evanescent Mustang Assisted Psychotherapy program. The program is being designed to help people in our community to heal from post-traumatic stress just as the mustangs and burros of our program have healed or are currently healing from their own traumas. The coordination with other therapeutic programs like Hendricks Home for Children in Abilene who have been able to help with the healing and placement of several senior Evanescent mustangs shows that there is welcome healing for humans and equine alike.
“Currently the sanctuary mustangs and burros are able to visit with clients that come to the sanctuary for therapy indirectly but when we are able to get our Evanescent Mustang Assisted Psychotherapy program up and running we will be able to arrange for clients to benefit from them more directly through counseling sessions,” said Ray. “The mustang community has been extremely supportive of our cause and our group of supporters continues to grow making it possible to move towards the creation of our new program.”
Evanescent Mustang Rescue and Sanctuary will continue to rescue mustangs and burros but are looking forward to the opportunity to help more mustangs and burros while they assist in helping the local community. Their current fundraiser is to help them get started on their biggest project- the covered arena where the magic can happen rain or shine. They are especially excited about developing a special program for local military, law enforcement and EMS families.
Evanescent Mustang Rescue and Sanctuary has their primary facility in Sherman but have fosters across the country including what they refer to as satellite sanctuaries in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Tennessee. As they continue to grow they hope to involve more volunteers into their program to help with the care of the mustangs and burros as well as raising more awareness of who they are and what they are doing in the community.
Fundraising to be able to cover the day-to-day care of the mustangs and burros is their biggest ongoing obstacle. Donors are much more likely to help cover the initial cost of saving the mustangs and burros but that is only a fraction of the cost of the rescues.
Their biggest plans for the future include creating the covered arena for use in the Evanescent Mustang Assisted Psychotherapy program as well as being able to find additional land to purchase or lease where we can keep some of the senior and pregnant mustangs and burros that they rescue.
They do currently have many adoptable mustangs ( and a few fainting goats) with different levels of training looking for homes so that they can make room to save more.
“We are now in their 5th year and have saved over 200 mustangs and burros!” said Ray enthusiastically
If you would like to make a donation they can be sent through Paypal, Venmo, Facebook, or by cash or check. Some employers (ex. T.I.) offer match donations when a supporter makes a donation to EMRS. They also have a donate button on their website to be able to set up a one time or recurring donation. To contact them directly for available volunteer opportunities they can be reached through their Facebook page or by email at http://www.Facebook.com/EvanescentMustangSanctuary orhttp://www.EvanescentMustangRescue.org