APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (CBS 5) - Maria Jones has a passion for horses and it shows.

Every day, the Valley horse healer is out on her ranch in Apache Junction, nursing sick, abused and abandoned horses back to health.

"I don't think people realize when they buy a horse, the responsibility, the expenses, the total care that they need," said Jones.

A few years back, Jones created the Good Shephard Healing Ministries Horse Rescue, a nonprofit devoted to helping horses no one wants.

But her goodwill effort hasn't been easy.

Right now, Jones and her stable of volunteers are rehabilitating about 40 horses on a limited budget, which means Jones will often reach into her own pocket to bring the majestic animals back to good health.

"Each time a horse puts on weight and starts trotting and starts playing, it's like the biggest blessing in the world," said Jones.

Theresa Buors recently started volunteering at the horse rescue and has seen first hand how devoted Jones is, helping not only the horses but children with disabilities, seniors and veterans.

Buors reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the Valley woman who could use a little help.

"She'll go anywhere to get a horse who's been neglected, left on its own, whatever, and she'll bring it whether she can afford it or not," said Buors.

Buors showed up at the horse rescue this week to surprise Jones and give her $500.

"I had reached out to Channel 5 and Pay It Forward program and because you are doing such good work and all these horses are being cared for by you, with no money and a lot of volunteers," Buors said. "They have actually come out to give you $500."

"What you see are miracles between horses and people, and it's worth every day and every minute," said Jones.

To learn more about helping the Good Shephard Healing Ministries Horse rescue visit their website.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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