An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence every year. Victims are left battered, broken, and emotionally distressed as they try to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves many women without hope leading them to return to their abuser.
Mark Schuring has seen first-hand the lasting effects domestic violence has on its victims when he lost his aunt to domestic violence performed by her own husband. Mark quickly decided that he needed to help women put their lives back together and continue to build upon what he and his aunt had started.
Mark has always been surrounded by horses and other animal life. He is a long supporter of animal rescue initiatives and recognizes the healing powers animals possess. Knowing that horses and other animals can help people relax and ease emotional tension, Mark formed Healing Heart with Hooves and Hounds. This nonprofit organization brings together victims of domestic violence with gentle, loving animals. Pet therapy helps improve social and emotional functioning because the unconditional love these animals radiate cannot be imitated.
Healing Hearts with Hooves and Hounds provides unique therapy services while advocating for domestic violence awareness. Too few people are aware and understand the presence domestic violence has in our society. Healing Hearts with Hooves and Hounds aims to educate people on the concerning reality of domestic abuse, bullying, and animal abuse.
Mark and his team of volunteers reach out to churches, women’s shelters, and animal rescuers to connect victims to animals. The organization travels all over to provide their powerful services to anyone in need of a friendly four-legged friend. With two groups of fifty volunteers, Healing Hearts with hooves is able to travel and provide private retreats, open houses, and speeches at schools with the animals present to spread Domestic Violence awareness. Mark also personally rides along on animal rescues, while additionally working with the police and domestic violence advocacy groups.
While initially started to help friends with stress relief, Healing Hearts with Hooves and Hounds has taken off to provide so much more for others. Mark knows how painful it is to be abused by the people you love the most, and so he is doing everything in his power to inspire and educate others on the causes and effects of domestic violence abuse.