By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Otra Mas and its founder, Kathy Holman, were recently honored with an Animal Welfare Hero award by the American Red Cross of Orange County.

Otra Mas is an equine therapy nonprofit that helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse and other conditions. Red Cross officials and a representative from the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association Board of Trustees met Holman on the Otra Mas grounds at the Ortega Equestrian Center to present her with a recognition plaque.

Otra Mas and its founder, Kathy Holman, were recently honored with an Animal Welfare Hero award by the American Red Cross of Orange County. Photo: Collin Breaux

Usually a larger celebration in a ballroom with numerous awardees is held to celebrate Orange County heroes, but understandably, it didn’t happen this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m so humbled and so honored,” Holman said.

Red Cross officials and a representative from the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association Board of Trustees met founder Kathy Holman on the Otra Mas grounds at the Ortega Equestrian Center to present her with a recognition plaque. Pictured are American Red Cross of Orange County Becky Firey (left), Holman (center) and Southern California Veterinary Medical Association Board of Trustees member Melissa Tompkins. Photo: Collin Breaux

Holman founded Otra Mas years ago with her late husband, John Michael. In Holman’s nomination, the American Red Cross of Orange County noted that Holman and the Otra Mas team provide an alternative to euthanasia or solitary confinement for horses that are ready to retire but have the will to live.

“They are retrained and given a new purpose as partners in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. The equine-assisted therapy helps with many emotional problems, including PTSD and support for veterans,” the Red Cross said.

The American Red Cross of Orange County noted that founder Kathy Holman and the Otra Mas team provide an alternative to euthanasia or solitary confinement for horses that are ready to retire but have the will to live. Photo: Collin Breaux

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