SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Julia Jones served as a Syracuse Police Officer for 21 years. “It was an amazing job,” Jones said, “I delivered a baby with my bare hands. And I’ve seen the other side. A lot of deaths happening right in front of your eyes and that’s the tough part.”
Even though she’s been retired for 12 years now, she says horses have helped her deal with the tough parts.
“A couple of years ago, I started volunteering at the horse rescues and I realized that they were really affecting my state of mind, my mental state of mind. I was feeling better, less anxiety.”Julia Jones, former police officer
She will share that feeling with Syracuse youth, who may be experiencing their own stress in the wake of the pandemic, ongoing city violence, or just life in general.
With the help of city leaders, Jones created “Cuse ‘Quines”. Starting in July, she and other volunteers will bring horses and miniature donkeys from the Haven at Skanda in Cazenovia to different parks in Syracuse.
Jones acknowledges horses won’t solve every problem. She wants to give them alternatives to violence to help them cope. And she’s starting with this horse, Bella.
Looking at Bella, Jones said, “This is a healer. She’s going to heal a lot of kids summer.”
Cuse Quines will run for six weeks beginning Sunday, July 11. There are still some spots for young people participate, and you can sign up here.
If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up here.
Jones has a Facebook page with more information about the program.
If you’re able to support the program with a monetary donation there is a GoFundMe page.