PAXINOS - Kyla Martin, of Paxinos, one of the founders of the Angels at Work local charity, has helped rescue a 7-year-old Haflinger pony called Merriweather from abuse and neglect.

The horse has had several owners over the years, but was left out in pasture with little food, no shelter and pregnant. Martin rescued the pony with help from her family and friends and is diligently working to overcome some issues, but needs monetary support since horse care is very expensive. Costs include boarding fees, feet care, teeth care, shots and veterinarian bills.

Angels at Work, a charity Martin helped establish in 2005, has decided to help her by starting the "Help Merriweather" project, which involves seeking donations from the community to purchase food, halters, lead lines, old saddles, blankets, fly spray, cleaning supplies, bridles and other items.

Angels at Work has helped many people over the years by raising more than $1,500.

The 19-year-old Martin, who owns another horse, is studying equestrian facilitated therapeutics and equine journalism at Wilson College in Chambersburg. Her goal is to help children and adults ride and groom horses. Equestrian therapeutics has proven to show a significant improvement in autistic children by allowing the horse and child to become partners while benefiting from each other. The therapy also has helped veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and paralyzed adults to become stronger and improve mentally.

Merriweather has the personality and potential to be used as a therapeutic pony.

Martin and other volunteers have been working with Merriweather and she has come a long way with trust issues. The horse now stands for anyone to pet and groom her and even allows people to bathe her. The project's goal is to enter Merriweather into a horse show in the fall.

Martin, a daughter of Kathy and Dave Witcoskie, Paxinos, stated, "Your donations will be for a great cause. They not only will help support this pony and the young adults helping her, but will enable Merriweather to become a therapeutic pony and give an autistic or mentally challenged child a chance to ride her and become her friend."

Donations may be made to: Angels at Work Charity, 225 S. Lily Road, Paxinos 17860. Please write "Merri" on the memo line on your check.