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

New Langley City mayor eager to get to work

Val van den Broek said she wants to work closely with her council.

Rollover crash on Langley’s 200th Street

A two-vehicle collision flipped one car.

VIDEO: Langley BMX racers propel pumpkins down their track

Once the standard race day was over, riders let a series of gourds roll down their Brookswood track.

Fort Langley wakes up to a flower bombing

A team from a village floral shop wanted to do a beautification project.

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

B.C. cold case helps ‘60 Minutes’ explain genetic genealogy

An arrest in the 1987 double-murder of two people from Victoria was one of three examples highlighted in a segment you can watch here

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

Most Read