ANDOVER – They’re cute, with names that include Peaches, Mr. Buttons, and Stewie Vuitton.

They’re mini, standing between two to three feet tall. And they’re serving an important purpose.

“These are actually miniature horses that suffer from dwarfism that’s why they’re so tiny,” said Toni Hadad, Founder and President of Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses.

The non-profit based out of Andover rescues the horses from all over the country.

Talking about one horse in particular, Hadad said, “I pretty much dropped everything on a Friday, drove out to Ohio and got him and brought him back.”

The animals go through rehab, and when they’re ready, spend six months to a year in training for therapy work.

“She can actually match her breathing rate and heart rate to a human’s within 30 seconds. So when we bring her into the hospital she can lower their blood pressure and breathing rate,” Hadad said.

Using a trailer for transportation, Lifting Spirits is able to visit over 100 organizations throughout New England, including hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

“You name it, we go. We work with veterans. We have numerous programs, we have a reading program. We have an anti-bullying program where we team up with a local police departments,” Hadad said.

On Thursday, they visited a camp.

“Animal studies is just one of our programs and this is just a really neat way to expose to kids to something I certainly am not familiar with and I know the kids will remember forever,” said Tim Stonecipher, Co-Director of Kaleidoscope camp.

“A big 360 circle. We’re rescuing and rehabbing them and then in turn they’re rescuing and rehabbing people,” Hadad said.

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