Special needs kids sponsor deaf HPD horse

Published On: Aug 09 2013 06:20:46 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 09 2013 06:58:18 PM CDT

August 9, 2013: Some local young people with autism and Down Syndrome show just how special a bond with an animal can be. Rachel McNeill reports.


Some local young people with autism and Down Syndrome are showing just how special a bond with an animal can be. They have a special connection with a member of the Houston Police Department's Mounted Patrol Division.

His name is Smash and as these girls are happy to tell you, just because he's different doesn't mean he's not like everybody else.

Katherine Richards and Christi Roberts spend a lot of time at HPD's stables, washing and caring for the horses. But, there's one horse in particular that gets the most love, Smash.

The girls found out about Smash and knew they wanted to help him.

Roberts told Local 2, "He is a deaf horse. He has one blue eye and one brown eye and he is very high energized."

Smash can't hear at all, but officers said the girls can communicate with him better than anyone.

Lt. Wallace with HPD Mounted Patrol said, "They're an awesome group of girls. A more friendly group you will never meet."

But, this is more than just a friendship. The girls are Smash's sponsors.

Katherine Richards said, "I sponsored Smash because he was a special needs horse just like us. We have a fun time with him, we have a fun time washing him, and a fun time talking to him."

Soon, they will have a plaque with their group's name,The Kim & Don Richards Foundation, in Smash's stall.  But first, they need to raise $5,000 for the sponsorship cost.They know they'll reach their goal soon.

In the meantime, they said we can all learn a lesson from Smash.

"It's okay to be different because we're all people with, like, different personalities," Roberts said.

You can help the kids with the Kim & Don Richards Foundation raise money to adopt Smash by going to their Facebook page.


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