Program that helps veterans in danger of closing: Pegasus Rising needs to find new place to operate

Program has until Aug. 15 to find new home

SAN DIEGO - A program in Rancho Santa Fe that helps veterans is in danger of closing.

A year ago, Tommy Sparatino was rarely seen interacting. Now, he can be seen with a smile on his face.

It is because of the Pegasus Rising program, which uses equestrian therapy to help veterans dealing with disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Therapist Desiree Brittain told 10News, "You can learn to trust and learn how to be trusted … and learn how to be aware of your anxieties and your energy."

The program helps more than 1,000 veterans a year. But now, it is in danger of closing because they can no longer operate on the property they have been at for the past six years.

The owner is moving and the nonprofit has to find a new place.

Gary Adler, who is with the Pegasus Rising program, told 10News, "We need an acre to an acre and a half of land with some sort of covering or barn facility. We have the sweat equity to build our own structure, so most importantly, we need a safe home for our horses … a location."

It is disturbing news for veterans like Sparatino who say it is the work of the organization that keeps him going.

"I pray to God this never, ever shuts down because I'd be an absolute mess," he said. "I really would."

The Pegasus Rising program has until Aug. 15 to find a new home.

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