J.E.E.P. is very proud of our Team. Volunteers just keep stepping up for the project. We appreciate each and every volunteer and would like to give a special thanks to some extra special people:

  • Ron & Simone Nicholls have been caring for four of our rescues (Rusty, Joey, Jenny and Benji) at their home because they needed special attention. Ron took the animals to the vet for care, paying for their medical needs and has found all of them beautiful homes. They are very happy pups. Ron was at the Hilltop Refugio almost every day during the season, caring for the animals up there, as well as in his home.
  • Rob & Heather Erickson care for the cats and have found some of our rescues happy homes. They’ve also purchased meds for the dogs and cats, and Rob brings treats up to the horses almost every day.
  • Deb & Rob Tomlinson have been involved throughout the season as well. They clean kennels, feed and walk the dogs.
  • Kathy Thoens cleans horse stalls, rides the horses and keep things neat and tidy.

We certainly miss you all when you’re not here!

jeep signs
The new signs are hanging on the stalls thanking our contributors!

All is quiet at the stables… the “season” is over for another year, 
and what a marvelous year it was.

Hilltop Refugio Updates

Refugio Horse Rescue and Education

The Junior Trainers continue their education while working at the stable, assisting George and exercising the horses on a regular basis. As they age and learn more, they will definitely be a wonderful resource for advocating for the healthy care, feeding and treatment of horses in our community.Watch movie online Logan (2017)

Lindsey Kato JEEP Part 2

The famed horse “Sedona” was adopted by Lindsey Kato (top photo and above). She wrote several articles for J.E.E.P. and fell in love with Sedona last year. She came to visit this May just to see Sedona. It was clearly love at first sight for both of them. When Lindsey is in town she works at the stable each and every day and is a big help. We love her! Lindsey is an Alaska resident, but has been working on her Master’s degree in Colorado. As soon as she finished her last semester, she headed down to see Sedona, her baby.

Read Lindsey’s articles here:
In Search of Something: My Month in La Peñita, Mexico (Part 1)
In Search of Something: My Month in La Peñita, Mexico (Part 2)


More roofing and extension of the area for the therapeutic horseback riding is complete. The back fence and gates are in and allow access to the horses from the back, rather than from the arena side so the arena stays clean and can be used for exercising the horses during the summer months. Shade is critical during the these months!

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Our therapeutic horseback riding sessions have been suspended for the season. It was a marvelous season for one and all. The children are now looking forward to each new season and gaining confidence in their skills. Smiles abound!

Dog and Cat Rescue/Fostering & Adoption

The dog and cat rescue continues to expand as the word gets out in the community. Local people are bringing rescue animals up to the Hilltop Refugio, and Ron and George are caring for them, getting the needed shots, and in some case veterinary care for the animals that are not healthy. Street dogs tend to have all sorts of health issues. We adopted out one of the puppies in May. The plan is to build a cat kennel in the near future.

jeep rusty is adopted

Rusty (ADOPTED): Ron and Simone Nicholls took several dogs to Canada for adoption, but sweet Rusty (center) stole their hearts and is now part of their family forever! Shown here with Beans and Hardy.

jeep joey adopted

Joey (ADOPTED): Andrea Nicholls and Mike adopted Joey (at right). He’s one lucky pup.

jeep kittens for adoption

We rescued a mama and three kittens (Chula is shown above), and they are faring well. Mama is a fierce advocate for her babies, not realizing she is not a big fierce lion! For anyone interested, we almost always have kittens up for adoption.

jeep lindsey and pups
Lindsey and the puppies (up for adoption)… and boy are they growing!

jeep rooster
Our rescue rooster! Isn’t he beautiful?

Events at Hilltop Refugio

The Hilltop Refugio hosted two animal-related events during April and May. George and Loretta hosted a dinner for the volunteer vets who helped at the JBAR Spay and Neuter clinic. It was a nice send off for them.

We also hosted a lunch for owners Pam Sullivan and Marilyn Khan, from the PuRR Project in Puerto Vallarta. They are a “no-kill” facility and have over 150 cats. It was an educational time for us on cat rescue and fundraising. As you can see from the photos below, it was a “fun for all.”

jeep luncheon jeep luncheon 2


Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: $3,200 USD
  • Personnel: $450 USD
  • Boarding Income: 1 horse = $100 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Little Rig RV Park (Brian & Carol Francoeur): $1,000 pesos
  • Emer & Marlyn Gudmundson: $100 CDN
  • Carla Rathburn: $1,000 pesos
  • Ross & Tara Rainsford (B.C., Canada): $400 pesos
  • Barbara & John Webber: $4,000 pesos
  • Pam Sullivan & Marilyn Khan (PuRR Project, PV): $100 USD
  • Dave & Suzanne MacNeil: $13,000 pesos
  • Sarah Walker and Friends: $500 pesos
  • David & Ally: $500 pesos
  • Barb Ratheaber & Mina West: $200 pesos
  • Jim & Lin Chimes: $1,000 pesos
  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Heather & Randy Gunn: 2 bags of dog food
  • Chris Balardo: 3 bags dog food
  • Andrea Nicholls & Mike: Collars, leashes and automatic waters for the kennels
  • Dr. Jeff Bowra: Doxycycline from Aldergro Animal Hospital
  • Nancy Wilson: Meds, collars, leashes, tack, etc.
  • Dr. Malcolm Macartney: Meds for dogs (very special medication)
  • Gina Smith & Joy Patterson: Leashes, collars, toys and $200 pesos

New Kennels: Special thanks to Linda & Orval Haugan, who donated the proceeds from the Meat Auction Fundraiser, along with donations from Ron & Simone Nicholls, which made it possible to build the new kennels.

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. We’ve added dogs and cats to our cause as well. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.