10 Years and Thriving for Ranch Hand Rescue

10 Years and Thriving for Ranch Hand Rescue

10 Years and Thriving for Ranch Hand Rescue

by Barbara-Scott Kolb

 

photo courtesy of Dustin Merrell

Ranch Hand Rescue was the first non-profit organization to connect neglected, maltreated animals with clients suffering from severe trauma or abuse and has become a renowned counseling institution and animal sanctuary. The organization launched in 2008 with a primary goal in mind — to rescue animals from blatant disregard and provide a haven for recovery to trauma victims. This year marks Ranch Hand Rescue’s 10th Anniversary; they have counseled over 1,800 individuals and saved roughly 600 animals.

Founder and CEO, Bob Williams, with his team of counselors and volunteers, grew the organization exponentially this past year – fueling their mission and achieving goals they have dreamt about since the Ranch Hand Rescue’s inception. In 2018, Ranch Hand Rescue counseled 279 clients, provided roughly $200,000 in financial assistance to families who were unable to afford it, rescued 12 critical care animals, and granted sanctuary for 39 special needs animals. “I never thought RHR would become as big as it is today. When I started, I thought if I could save one animal and help one person it would all be worth it,” Williams said.

Due to the rising number of clients and animals Ranch Hand Rescue continued to acquire, Williams expanded into a second facility to provide additional service. As word spread of the success of the provided services such as Animal Assisted Counseling, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Trauma, and Addiction and PTSD Counseling, referrals flooded in. The goal is to eventually plant Ranch Hand Rescue facilities throughout Texas to help as many animals, individuals, families, and veterans as possible. Because of donations, fundraisers, volunteers, and hard work, Williams has also collected the necessary funds to begin another project near to his heart. Throughout 2019, Ranch Hand Rescue will work on opening “Bob’s House of Hope,” a safe house for young men who have fallen victim to the horror of sex trafficking. There is still a great need for more safe houses for women, but the boys become the forgotten ones due to a stereotypical society and the victim’s fear of speaking up. “There is no real safe house for young men to go to in the county. I want to fill that void,” Williams stated. “Our safe house will be a long-term treatment program; we want to put God in their lives, keep them in a safe environment, and get them a trade or a college education.”

A driving factor for Williams is the reality that perpetrators prey on the vulnerable, forcing them into a life of slavery. Too often, there are not enough available resources to provide shelter for the victims. As a survivor of sexual abuse, Williams understands the emotional aftermath of such an act – including being left immersed in hopelessness and anguish. He also knows the life-altering benefits of counseling, which is why he has dedicated his life to providing counsel to those in need.  “I believe with all my heart that what happened to me was God’s way of preparing me for the work I do now. And I believe God puts you where He needs you,” Williams said.  As physically and mentally taxing as it is treating dire cases on a daily basis, Williams and his team at Ranch Hand rescue live for the opportunity to better those suffering from trauma. Safeguarding and cultivating survivors of trauma is the utmost priority. “As hard as the work is, the reward is in seeing people, especially kids, get better. This organization is the greatest thing I’ve ever done,” Williams said.

Ranch Hand Rescue frequently posts on its Facebook page, updating followers on the progress of the animals they have taken in and recent news disclosing facts of current sex trafficking and abuse. The page educates and brings forth awareness to the public while also being a way to connect with supporters, promoters, and devotees of the mission. Ranch Hand Rescue stemmed from the vision of one man and flourished into a preeminent organization linking the sheltering of animals with client-specific counseling. The positive results within the lives of children, adults, and veterans through the program remain incomparable. The generosity of donations and volunteers continue to feed the organization’s ability to enforce change. Please visit ranchhandrescue.org to donate or schedule time to volunteer.


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