Abbotsford horse counselling group seeking to rebuild after fire

Shamrock Counselling reports all horses and humans safe after fire destroyed their barn housing horses

A unique counselling services organization is hoping to recover after a fire destroyed a barn that housed horses used for the counselling practice.

Shamrock Counselling Services runs mental health counselling services with the help of Cristina Rennie’s four-legged “fur babies.” But the Rennie posted on Facebook that Thursday was a “very difficult day for my family and myself.”

“The barn on my parents property burnt to the ground,” Rennie said in the post, which was shared by Shamrock Counselling’s own Facebook page.

“Luckily a few neighbors woke my parents just in time to save the horses. … I would not have been consolable if anyone was hurt. Everyone stayed throughout the night while the fire department worked to put out the fire and held my fur babies so that they would be ok.”

Rennie wrote that all the animals and humans were OK following the fire, though her mother was “burned a bit in the process but doesn’t need medical care.”

“I had a breakdown thinking about the possibility of (losing) my family or my horses. I believe we are still in shock and it is hard to express emotionally what we are all going through.”

The 50-year-old barn had “survived many years until yesterday,” Rennie wrote. She added that the barn housed not only her Shamrock Counselling practice, but her non-profit Sundance Solace Society, which offers free access to mental health services with horses for those with limited financial resources.

“The horses help people as young as 3 years old and all the way up with emotional and mental health. Our non profit works to give free mental health to our community and our last project was with Peardonville Treatment Center here in Abbotsford,” Rennie said.

“We pulled funding to do a 12 week group for the women at the center. We have also worked with Hospice, local ministries, youth probation, schools, Crime Victim Services, just to name a few.”

She said it will “take a while to rebuild,” with all equipment for counselling and horse care in the barn, but added that she was confident the family would build the barn and its services up again.

The family is seeking donations to help rebuild, and information on how to support the group can be found in Rennie’s Facebook post.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

White Rock’s Johnston Road to re-open on schedule: city

One lane in each direction expected to open by Friday at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read