Not everyone knows that Last Chance Ranch is a no-kill dog and cat shelter in addition to being a shelter for horses and other barnyard animals. Last Chance Ranch was originally an equine rescue, taking in unwanted, abandoned, and abused horses. Taking good care of horses requires lots of space, caring and talented people, and veterinary expertise. That’s what Last Chance Ranch is all about. Located in upper Bucks County, in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, Last Chance Ranch is now a shelter for horses, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats-sometimes even parrots and cockatoos. Most of us don’t have the space to bring home a horse or a rooster, but many of us have room in our hearts and our homes for dogs and cats. Maybe we should each make room for one more.
According to the American Human Association, “Every year, an estimated 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters for lack of shelter space or funds.” Those dogs and cats are euthanized by organizations that are paid to do so–sometimes by government funding and sometimes by money that has been donated. The money may be donated in the form of an adoption fee. In other words, maybe I adopt a dog from an SPCA for an adoption fee of $250. I feel good about adopting a dog and making space for one more dog in that shelter, but I also good about donating money to the other dogs that are in there. But that money may be used to euthanize a dog who is in a cage there–no one has adopted him and he’s been there too long. How long is too long? Each kill shelter has its own rules. Last Chance Ranch is a no-kill shelter.
Last Chance Ranch saves animals from that very fate. Take Woody for example. Woody is a collie mix, not sure with what-could be Husky; could be greyhound. Maybe Shepherd. Maybe there’s some Border Collie in there. It’s hard to tell. Woody was found roaming around the streets somewhere in Philadelphia, was taken in by a Philadelphia animal shelter where he stayed for several weeks without being adopted, and then was taken in by Last Chance Ranch. About that time, my husband and I knew we were ready to adopt a dog and we made an appointment to see what dogs were currently being cared for at Last Chance Ranch. We’d heard good things about the place from a few different friends. Note that Last Chance Ranch asks that you call and make an appointment, rather than simply showing up, so they can be sure they have enough volunteers on hand to help you with your questions and concerns. It was quite busy when we went there-many people coming to scout out a dog or a cat. We spent a lot of time with Sonya, the on-staff certified dog trainer. She had worked with Woody for a few weeks and she listened to what our dog-skill level was and what we were hoping for in a dog. We thought, and she thought, that Woody was a perfect match for us. And he is! He is absolutely wonderful and all that we expected, as are the dogs and cats that were adopted by friends of ours. The staff at Last Chance Ranch is truly committed to caring for animals and finding them the right new home.
I have to say that I rate my experience with the Last Chance Ranch an A++, and my experience last year with a local SPCA a D. Maybe an F. I’ll give them a D because I understand where they were coming from-they encouraged us to take a dog whose time was up, but he wasn’t a good match for us. It wasn’t until after we adopted him that we found out he had been a pack dog, as in, didn’t live in a house the first five years of his life, and that he had been adopted a few times was returned.
I recently read an article in the Morning Call about the Lahaska SPCA working toward purchasing 28 acres only a few miles from Last Chance Ranch and trying to raise money for the property and buildings they hope to build. You can donate your money today to the SPCA but it might sit in a building-fund account (or worse yet), while the Last Chance Ranch can put the money to good use right away.
When I think about where I’d like to donate my money, or where I would go to adopt another dog or cat, you better believe it’s the Last Chance Ranch I think about. I hope you do the same.
Check out the Last Chance Ranch website. Find out how Last Chance Ranch is expanding and how you can help. See their current list of available animals which are also available on PetFinder.com, their newsletters, and their up-coming events. http://www.lastchanceranch.org/index.html.
Current list of Last Chance Ranch animals on PetFinder.com (their zip code is 18951): http://www.petfinder.com/.
Last Chance Ranch videos on YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/LCRAnimalRescue
American Humane Association: http://www.americanhumane.org/
Article in The Morning Call about the Lahaska SPCA hoping to build in Richland: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/all-a4_2spca.6781052feb17,0,3157111.story