Animal Rescue of the Week: Episode 35 – Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Kindness Ranch is a 1000 acre ranch nestled among the rolling hills of Hartville, Wyoming and is the only sanctuary in the US that takes in all kinds of research animals. Their mission is to provide a sanctuary and place of rehabilitation for animals who have previously been used in laboratory research, working to rehabilitate dogs and cats in a home-like environment.


Welcome to the ARPA Animal Rescue of the week podcast, featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals & the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues & shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue.

Kindness Ranch is a 1000 acre ranch in Hartsville, Wyoming who opened its doors with a goal to provide a sanctuary and place of rehabilitation for animals who have been previously used in laboratory research. They pride themselves for being the only sanctuary in the US that takes in all kinds of animals including dogs, cats, horses, pigs and sheep. Since its opening, they have provided sanctuary to over one thousand animals.

Hey, Beverly, welcome to the show, didn’t you? So you are the executive director at Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary and Wyoming. Why don’t you go started with telling us a little bit about your organization and when and how you got started? We were founded in dozens of doctors t of the groom in Busan, Colorado. He felt he wanted to get back. So he saved his own personal money and got knocked together and purchased the property that we’re at right now. We’ve seen our first black free animals in the fall of 2007 and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since. So what kind of animals do you take it? We are not a call. The shelter were proper sanctuary. So we only take in former research laboratory animals. We take in everything from a coyote to ghost horses sheep, pigs, cats, dogs, eagles, horribles problem species that we take in. They are our most popular animal used in research. With the exception of rodents, there are 100 cc 1000 of them in research facility across the United States. Right now, you mentioned that you taken animals that were it previously used for research in a lab. So are those animals harder to adopt out, or are they have a good chance for adoption? At thing with you guys, the have a great chance for one of these is our founder and our directors is really in fact is we’re not in school shelter. Don’t how the animals in crazy don’t have animals and counts our staff lid in years, and the animals lived with the staff, so there’s approximately $8 per staff. So they are brought immediately into a home. My environment, which is really critical because these animals can be, you know, 6 10 12 years old. And this is not entirely a lap. So in order to give them the best chance of that auction, what we really need to do is sort of alchemy them to hold the environment. So many that we have to do things like trying to accurately around for half an hour because they’re afraid of everything that had never been outside. Don’t know grasses. We have a lot of work to do on housebreaking, so we get into the best possible chance and waiting list for animals. And how do animals get onto that we list? How do you hear about them? I have relationships with different labs throughout the country that we work exclusively with. We’re always looking for new relationships. We do not advocate for or against research. That’s not what our mission is. Our mission is simply to get animals out of labs and to get them lifelong homes. You touched on this a little bit. But what if an animal comes to your sanctuary Just not available to be adopted? They’re not acclimating. They just aren’t going to be a good candidate for adoption. Do you get them for the remainder of their lives? Yes. Yes. You actually have one right now. Casey, who could you doubtful this? You need to go home. This very well versed cheesiness. People read. She has some aggression issues, resource guarding, and we work on that. But we would never replace her just for the sake of replacing her. If she has to stay here for our, then she stays here forever. Do you offer any special programs at your organization, or is it kind of just rehabbing animals back to help it come from those laboratory situations? Well, they’re unfortunate because we do have 1200 acres. We do guess the lodging as well. So we do have a lot of different volunteer programs that came out were working right now, and it’ll be an education program. We feel quite strongly that way for the future. Animals and animal rights really is to the generation that’s happening, honey. So we are working on involving that. One of the programs we do offer Is there something in Wyoming? Cold caramel challenge is for teens who are at risk. They do come here every Friday and its various jobs on the ranch. So do you have two different programs? Are issues that were fairly remote. You know, we’re about our and 45 minutes from Cheyenne. And hours four minutes for Casper. So most of our old used you. How did say presidency in stating Nikhil weekend a few days and that’s our program. Okay, great. So when they stay, do they stay in those York that you were talking about? Yes. We have different gestures. We have been best guess yours to the both. Have a lot of additional Ford as above. And then we have 21 bedroom guest years and then we have a property that we refer to this manner. Is that the high celebration on Ranch road? It’s about 5100 feet. Elation. It is, If I bet seven by old it is just breaking and we often as well, so well, people examine unions, and that’s weird thing. That’s really cool. So anybody can do it if they want. Anyone can rent the year it out. Yeah, absolutely. And for doctors, there is no charge. We feel that it’s important that they spend a night with an animal first. A lot of times, people already have a daughter. Can the home We invite them to bring in a way so that they didn’t have experience with our animal and there is to see that it’s a good fit for their family. I think that’s such a cool idea. I haven’t really heard about anything like that before, where someone could bring their animal and actually like, spend tonight and see how the animals interact. And if the situation is gonna work out, that’s actually a really cool idea. Yeah, once we started doing that, the re return was very, very low. We don’t really get many of our dolls back. We do take. Our cast is well, no questions asked. But since we started this program, it really does help you decide. It does give the family sort of a chance to see he’s along. People don’t really understand that laboratory animals are very different from rescuing shelter animal. The majority shelter animals have had some exposure humans that have just been painful to them. For instance, these sales have not, so you can take that long to trust, and people need to understand when they take them. You know, it’s not just gonna be happy looking Poppy, your dog, who’s excited to see them. A lot of times, the animals will take up to two weeks to really fully adjusted to their new home. So I know you mentioned earlier you would run a vacuum for a little while or what are some other things televisions or something that’s usually quite frightening to them? They’ve never seen anything like that. We actually had people trying TV because she was so terrified of it. Of course, thing, yeah dot doors are for us because they need to learn how to die properly. And one of the problems is that they’ve been creative or cattle for their entire life, so they go when they want to go. They don’t know how to hold it. So we were a lot with teaching them to go in and out of the dog door because we find it easier to house break than using that than it is to try and train them to wait because most of them are older. Very rare that we get an animal lesson two years old, they’ve never been on a leash. They’ve never been outside. So a lot of times they’re very frightened the very first time they go inside. They have no concept of what that ISS. And since it’s sort of sensory overload, we do have to do it gradually, their exposure to the outdoors. So I know you mentioned your honor ranch, and you kind of touched on it briefly. But what is the community like in your area? Are there any particular challenges for the animals that you taken besides them being previous lab animals? Not really. Our community. The closest town we have that’s more than 60 people is about 25 minutes away. So we are fairly isolated. The neighbors that we do have the ranchers around us. There are excellent and good neighbors. We need help where they need, how we’re here to help each other. Hey is very supportive of us. We do have a rifle, a national guard base in currency, and we do get quite a bit of volunteers that will come out here are here. That’s one of the problems that we do have here is because we are so remote that cell reception is next to nil. Because the animals are housed. We do have to use walkie talkies to communicate with each other. Oh, wow. So that must be a pretty big challenge. Then it really can be because you know each dog, your if you will. That’s an independent building that the next dog years independent cat here is independent the livestock farm animals rather our pastor and down in the barns, which is, you know, about a mile and 1/2 away from where the other buildings are. So in order to really protect people, we have to use walkie talkies because there’s no cell reception here. And, of course, to spread Internet over 1200 acres would just be astronomically expensive. Oh, yes, well, I think walkie talkies. That’s a good idea. That’s a challenge that I think a lot of people don’t really think about. You know, when you have that much space and you’re on a ranch, is the communication barrier. Yeah, yeah. Even we try and explain when we talk to potential guests and potential of doctors and, no, Can you please give me a call? It’s much easier pressed email. We do have satellite Internet, so that does work. But sorry. Critical document. The military is actually very, very good to us. They have offered their help. We had been snow again. Last year is we had some 25 foot of snow banks and so heavy work that he has been cleaned out. Yeah, they are really good of you to come help us rebuild our roads. The rain across the street from us When the wildfires were coming towards us, they had water bombers on standby to help us. So when you have challenges like he said, wildfire is in the snow. What do you do with your animals during those kinds of situations?

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Well, again, we’re looking that the staff live where the animals are in. Actually, our branch manager just drove the backhoe around for anybody that needed to get anywhere. And we have people in the pocket of the macro be driven around ranch. Oh, you haven’t adapted over home? Yes, definitely. So I know you said that you have dogs and cats, and then you also have farm animals like horses, pigs and sheep. Is the care any different for the farm animals? Do you look to get those adopted out as bell or do these kind of remain on the ranch for their time being? Yeah, we do adopt some of the worst is out. The majority of her horses, unfortunately, have cancer. They were injected with David. Virus is one of the things that I think that people forget about his preppy disease that an animal has. It’s treatable the vaccine or that medication has been tested on animals in order to make sure that it does work. So along our farm animals, we don’t adopt out because of health issues. The other should we have, is really are. Pigs are not all meetings. We have both sides. Yorkshire’s who would want to adopt to seven or £600 paid right? So we don’t have a lot to farm animals that people could use for food. We are vegan sanctuary. All of our friends are vegan. We don’t judge on what other people do. Remember, if you were to adopt a farm animal, we would have to know that you living the lifestyle, that that animal would not be at risk. Do you have any memorable stories you would like to share? Well, we have pretty amazing sheet here. Her name is crazy. She came to us from university in Montana. She was going to be used as a study subject. However, she developed an infection in one of her legs and the university was going to euthanize her. But this student asked if she could try to save her. So they contacted us and we brought her out here and are that said that unfortunately where the infection waas, it wouldn’t be treatable through it by honest because when it’s in a bone joint, there’s not enough blood flow to treat that area. So long story short, we introductions. We have to look at either euthanizing her or amputating the leg and that I said, You know, you don’t really understand. She’s like we don’t have a lot of experience with this and it’s a back leg, so good, creating problems. But I talked to my board of directors who are extremely supportive of, and it by me I that our largest expense is our that Bill’s our border. Two directors doesn’t spare any expense when it comes to treating the house of the animals, and they said, Well, do you think we can give it a shot. Nice, but I think it’s worth a shot. So we amputated tour of your leg are fresh. Staff made a sling in her stall so that she could learn how to walk again on three legs, and she is ranking playing. And you would never know that she is a three legged cheap. And it’s just fantastic to me because one of the things you know dogs and cats, especially dogs, are very easily deductible. Farm animals are sort of looked over there. Look past people don’t really understand what their plight iss, and we want to do everything possible. Another sort of story that we ran into is the for pigs. There is no commercial Palffy that’s made for long. Jody. All pay fee is made for fattening them, paying and getting nothing to market. So our branch manager talked to a nutritionist sliding nutritionist, and they put together a food package that means we have to make all of our own feet for a picnic. So two days a month we have three people and all they do is make mashed with picks, and they have dying this Sam and a healthy way It sounds like you’re almost pioneering in a sense for these farm animals because, like you said, you made a sling for a sheet. Like I’ve never heard of anybody doing that Reports And, uh, pretty cool when you think about it, we’re pretty blessed. Here we are remote, and that could be difficult at times. But on the other hand, we really are true sanctuaries, just absolutely beautiful. Here we’re in big Sky country. We’re in the Hells of Wyoming soon, absolutely breathtaking. And some days when it’s a long day Just look at the beauty of everything around you and you remember why you are and what you’re doing. Yeah, I feel like stories like that can also help you, you know, And you’re tough days like this is why I’m doing what I’m doing because I’m sure there are tough days, especially like you said, when you live somewhere remote and it’s a little bit difficult to sometimes get the help that you need. It’s those stories that can kind of help you continue what you’re doing. It isn’t you, noble. One of the things to we have to face quite a bit is that sometimes when animals do come from labs. They don’t necessarily have a lot of time left. So sometimes our only job is to make them as comfortable as humanly possible. Indicated that the love that they haven’t seen before they do pass. So it can be hard when you’re holding eight year old Eagle that’s never been outside, has a terminal disease or attitude over as cancer. And we have to make that really, really hard decisions. Those days were pretty tough because it feels unfair. But for every sad story we have 100 success stories. It’s just I wish they could. All the success stories. Yeah, definitely. But that’s great that, like you said, you still you make them as comfortable as possible and show them the love and care that they deserve. So that’s great. Absolute and a lot of time to take him home. I’m a bad foster. They’ll came with a border wall. Now we have three vehicles in the world. Holly. So you know, top faces come home. Yes, that’s good. That I wouldn’t call. That fails. That’s good. So what does the future look like for your organization? Do you have any plans coming up or programs for events that people should know about. Actually, one of the really interesting things that started to happen and leave it’s nine states right how to pass this legislation. That’s if there’s government funding that is received by research or flat facility. They’re going to be forced to adopting animals so that something really, really exciting for us. We are USDA regulated facility because you have a lot of research animals here. It will give us an opportunity to get many more animals of research and lab facilities. Not that they’re shutting down, but that they’re going to be forced to adopt these animals out instead of euthanizing them in at the end of their studies. Okay, and you said That’s for about nine states. Yes, yeah, Wyoming is not one of them yet believe Colorado is going to be passing. That legislation that leave in 2020 is when Colorado was looking at in New York. I know for sure it’s already done it. There are a few other states that are done. It’s a wonder you’re now reaching out working with those labs to help them get homes for all of the animals. Yeah, that’s awesome. How can people get in touch with your organization? You said So the service is not great. So is emailing the best website. Facebook email and baseball are the best. We do monitor our case, but really literally they can feel free to leave a message. They can feel free to email symbols, just info at kindness. Rich don’t work. Our website is just kind of strange. Don’t work as well so they can reach out to us. We do have a contact form on our website and we do answer all messages from Facebook as well. And what does the role of fundraising play for your organization? Is that how you make the majority of your proceeds? You have any fundraising events coming up? You are 100% probably funded. We received no money from the government, were not a shelter, has contracting and certain on the animals come to rely on our donor for 100% of our operations. We don’t do a lot of fun. Raiser, student remote location. However, one of our staff members is actually a professional photographer, and he has done 10 shots, different shots of the wrench, different shots of animals and we will be auctioning those all shortly on our Facebook. Cool. That sounds great. What kind of the biggest lesson that you’ve learned through all of this for working at the Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary? I think patients sometimes have a hard time with waiting. I want the legislation to move faster. I want Maury animals released from the last. But even if we’re getting 10 12 15 animals and time, that’s 15 lives that were saved. It’s just hard when I know there’s so many that are still sitting in laboratory smoking for home. So I guess it’s really just the patients of having to work through the process. There’s a lot of gravitating to go through when you do get animals up glass, and I probably just want to take them all. Did you ever imagine that things would be where there today when he started? No. To be honest with you, we tripled the number of animals that we take in just in the last two years alone, so that’s hugely positive. Anything said We’re all moving in the right direction, and I’m not going to speak negatively of the last this the more relationship that we can foster means the warning signals we can get out. And knowing that we’re getting more out of the day means that we’re doing the right thing and heading down the right path. So is there anything else that you would like to share before we wrap things up today? Adopt, adopt, adopt. We have a lot of cats looking for homes, very first time ever this year. Kindness. Marriage reached out to some organizations in Florida is when Hurricane Dori and was going to hit. We knew that there was going to be very limited space for those animals. So we decided to help out. And we brought up 18 hurricane animals from a shelter in Florida so that we could find them home. So that’s what a first for us. Yeah, it’s really unique. It was a really good experience and more than half of them of army, but adopted. So please try to sound. If you’re thinking about any family member we have lost to choose from. Well, Beverly, thank you so much for joining us today. I’ve learned so much talking to you and I had a great time. Thank you. Thank you very much for your time.

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