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The Rescue Ranch at
Animal Place

A unique program that helps place abused & neglected farm animals in loving homes

by Kim Sturla

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Animal Place, an education center and sanctuary in Vacaville for farmed animals, is starting a wonderful new program to rescue animals thanks to the generosity of an anonymous supporter. Animals who arrive at Rescue Ranch will be quarantined, given veterinary care, rehabilitated, and then placed in pre-approved homes.
Now celebrating its 20th year, Animal Place is a nonprofit sanctuary for abused and discarded farmed animals with locations in Grass Valley and Vacaville, California. Since 1989, Animal Place has been taking in farmed animals who have been abused or neglected and have no place else to go. Animals rescued from auctions and stockyards and animals used in research also make up the many animals who share 590 acres of forest, meadow and pasture, peacefully living out the remainder of their lives.
Rescue Ranch will be dedicated to finding loving homes for easily adoptable animals, such as chickens, sheep and goats, though they will also place pigs and cows under the right circumstances. With their history of successfully re-homing rescued "battery" hens, however, and with more and more people enjoying them as companion animals, they will likely focus their efforts on chickens. "Backyard chicken flocks are becoming increasingly popular," says Animal Place Executive Director Kim Sturla. "We previously have rescued and placed thousands of hens who were retired from the egg industry. Instead of these birds being sent to slaughter, as they usually are, our hope is that many will come to Animal Place's Rescue Ranch and then placed in new, loving homes."
Farmed animals can be excellent companion animals, and Rescue Ranch hopes to establish a network with farms, shelters, and other rescue groups to maximize the options for the thousands of farmed animals who are abused, neglected and abandoned nationwide.
Animal Place's new Grass Valley sanctuary features 590 acres of irrigated meadows, ponds and wooded knolls. The Rescue Ranch will be begin operation just as soon as they move their 200-plus animals up to their sanctuary sometime towards the end of 2010. This new sanctuary is cross-fenced with outbuildings, sheds, and houses for the animal caretakers. A paved road with full public access will make visiting easy. Plans for the site include species-specific housing and new barns, including an isolation barn for incoming and sick animals.
Though no tours will be offered at Rescue Ranch, the Grass Valley sanctuary will be open to the public on designated dates throughout the year. Both Animal Place locations will need volunteers, and there will be internship opportunities. "With the launching of Animal Place's Rescue Ranch, many more lives will be saved," says Sturla. "We are tremendously grateful to our anonymous donor, who believes so strongly in our mission that they are willing to fund Animal Place's Rescue Ranch. We really do count on the support of the public; it has literally meant the difference between life and death for countless animals."
Every year, ten billion land animals are slaughtered. Few ever learn what it is like to be free or treated kindly. Opening our barn doors to adoptable farmed animals means more animals rescued, and more people educated about their plight. There are few programs aimed at placing needy, adoptable farmed animals into permanent homes. Animal Place is filling that niche with Rescue Ranch. In addition to providing the day-to-day care of animals, Animal Place is also an advocacy organization offering farm tours, volunteer training, and outreach activities.

For more information visit www.animalplace.org or call (707) 449-4814.


Related Info:
Pet Adoption: The Loving Option
Taking the Leap to Cruelty Free
Help End Invasive Research on Chimps
Preserving San Francisco Bay
American Land Conservancy
Keeping Our State Parks Open

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