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Senior & Special-Needs Sanctuary Dogs

Permanent Ranch Residents, Not Available for Adoption


Diamond is an older pittie mix gal who came to us from one of the high-euthanasia rural New Mexico shelters we work with.  She had been discovered by animal control locked inside of an abandoned car in a remote field outside of town.  Her life had absolutely been saved by those officers who freed her from the vehicle and took her to the shelter, but her fear of the shelter environment, combined with her age and some then-undiagnosed skin conditions, made it difficult for her to get adopted.  So we took her in to get her some help!

It turned out that Diamond had hypothyroidism, and simply needed one little pill twice a day to correct the condition, resulting in a complete healing of most of her skin.  Her thyroid is retested every six months to make sure her medication dosage remains correct, and as long as she stays on her meds her thyroid symptoms remain at bay.  Her stomach, however, also had several pre-cancerous lesions, which we have to keep a close eye on, and which the vet checks out at each of her 6-month thyroid visits. 

Because of Diamond's ongoing health concerns, it was decided that she would be best served by remaining in medical sanctuary here at the Ranch.  She lives in the ranch's tiny house, sleeps on the dining table bench, and is constantly working hard at building up her collection of beloved rocks that she digs up and stores in her very own attached doggie room. :)

Rocket is a Great Pyrenees / Husky mix who came to us from a high-kill county shelter, where he was completely shut down out of fear, unable to eat, drink, walk, or even lift his head.  And in the shelters this type of shutdown can be a recipe for the fast track to the euthanasia list, as they are often not deemed adoptable.  More often than not, dogs in this condition just need a little time and a lot of love to overcome their fears, process their traumas, and show us their best selves.  Unfortunately, though, Rocket is one of the few who did not heal as easily. 

Although once out of the shelter Rocket perked up and started showing us his personality, and within just a few short days grew comfortable enough to allow us to pet him, it quickly became apparent that this 120-pound puppy had likely had zero socialization prior to being surrendered to the shelter, and had definitely suffered some sort of trauma.  He simply had no idea how to function around people or other dogs, and had some very serious behavioral issues to overcome.  Due to Rocket's reactivity, his behavioral rehabilitation has been a very gradual process, carefully paced to offer him the best possible opportunity for success.  As such, we have over time been able to help Rocket learn to live successfully with certain other dogs and to function well with the Ranch family, within the Ranch environment.  Unfortunately, though, even with the support of numerous trainers and behaviorists, Rocket has remained extremely fearful of new environments and most new people, and has just not shown the progress necessary to move towards adoption.  Therefore, he will be remaining with the Ranch, continuing his behavioral rehabilitation in sanctuary care for the foreseeable future.

Rocket Man.jpg

Toby is our sweet old goofy American Bulldog mix boy.  He was previously living at a city shelter, where he ended up after being found wandering the city streets all alone.  Like Diamond, Toby sat in his kennel at the shelter for a long time, struggling to get adopted because of health concerns.  You see, when he was found, he had some pretty rough skin issues going on, along with a horribly infected toe.  The vet discovered that he, too, had hypothyroidism, and was put on a twice-daily pill with regular rechecks every six months.  And voila - thyroid issues gone.  But also like Diamond (we know - they are freakishly alike), he also has precancerous lesions on his stomach that must be monitored.  This is sadly very common in strays and outdoor dogs in the high desert climate, as the proximity to the sun is very damaging to dogs' skin, particularly in areas with little fur like the abdomen and nose.  And the toe - well, somehow during his days on the street Toby injured his toe, it became infected, and the infection moved into his bones, leading to the need to amputate.  So that is how Toby got his name - Toeless Toby. :)

Due to his ongoing medical concerns, this sweet old boy remains in Ranch care at our Florida-based senior and special needs sanctuary. 

Ella is a senior Akbash girl, who came to us from one of the high-kill rural county shelters we work with.  She arrived quite dirty, with some sort of dark tarry substance worked into her otherwise beautiful white coat.  She was underweight and had intestinal parasites, and was dealing with some pretty significant hip issues.  So we quickly got her cleaned up, to the vet, and on her way back to health.  But due to her age and degenerating joints, we decided that Ella would be best served by remaining at the Ranch in senior sanctuary care for the remainder of her years.  And we're pretty sure she agrees that this was the right decision!  Despite her age and awkward frog-like gait, this girl has no idea that she's a senior!  She runs all over the barnyard with the Ranch's LGD pack, wearing the most beautiful smile at every moment.  This girl LOVES the ranch life, has become an amazing mentor for the younger rescued livestock guardians who pass through, and we feel truly blessed to have her here with us for her golden years.


Suzi is a super sweet and happy girl, with the cutest little tap-dancy run you've ever seen!  Sadly, she was surrendered to a rural shelter after her person passed away, and none of his family was willing take her in.  When we met her, she was sitting in her kennel, alone and sad, with a horribly infected eye.  One of the kennel technicians was doing the best she could to help Suzi by cleaning the eye, but she was very much in need of medical attention that the shelter could not provide.  So we took her in and got her the help she needed!

Initially, the vet prescribed eye medication to clear the infection, which we applied to her eye twice a day.  This did help, but unfortunately the eye had died and was shrinking, leaving open space around it that was very prone to infection.  Even the tiniest bit of desert dust blowing into the eye would reinfect it.  We were losing our battle.  So the vet recommended that the eye be removed altogether.  Although the surgery went well, Suzi did not recover easily, and we came frightfully close to losing her.  But thankfully this little survivor pulled through, winning many hearts along the way. 

Suzi has lived happily as our little one-eyed paw pirate for some time now, but recently started developing concerning lumps on her abdomen.  So far they have all been benign, but the sheer number of them has caused our vet some concern so we keep a very close eye and have any recurring lumps removed promptly. 

Suzi lives at our Florida sanctuary with her best friends, of both the human and canine variety, where she offers abounding love to all she meets.  

Oso is a big sweet Great Pyrenees boy who came to us from a shelter in Texas, where he was having trouble staying adopted.  He had developed a multiple bite history, and was sent to us for behavioral sanctuary care. 

When Oso first arrived at the Ranch, he just ran around the corral we were in, sniffing and smiling like any happy dog.  But we quickly learned that he has a number of triggers that place him in a fearful state.  These are likely trauma-induced, but with no solid history on the big guy we really have no way of knowing.  We just knew Oso was a sweet boy who unfortunately had some fears to work through. 


Since coming to the Ranch, Oso has been able to live comfortably, just being his doggy self and learning how to find his peace again.  He has bonded closely with the Ranch founder who works with him every day, knows his routine and really enjoys his day-to-day activities.  There have been no further bites, and Oso has progressed to show us that he really is a smart boy with a genuine desire to function well in his environment. 


One sad thing we discovered about him is that he cries in his sleep, and immediately upon waking.  It is a heartbreaking thing to hear.  However, a proper dose of CBD oil in his dinner every night has kept these 95% at bay.  We don't know what this boy went through in his past life to feel so much pain inside, but we are doing all we can to help him continue on his healing journey


Malcolm is a quirky little pittie guy who was having trouble getting adopted from the rural high-kill shelter he found himself in.  The shelter environment can be very scary for dogs, and sometimes that fear is mislabeled as aggression, as was the case with Malcolm.  He was indeed a terrified little boy upon his arrival.  He kind of tolerated us taking care of him, and really wanted nothing to do with other dogs or with meeting new people.  But as we do with all of our rescues, we gave him the time he needed to adjust, and tell us when he was ready to start giving new things a try.  And one day that happened - when he wagged his tail at Otis, another rather scared and recently rescued dog, and an instant friendship began.  They started healing each other, enjoyed playtime with us, and were really enjoying life.  But then Otis was adopted, and Malcolm reverted.  He would not accept any other dogs, but did still enjoy playtime alone with us.  Until one day he made a change for himself.  He went through his doggy door, into his yard, dug his way out and joined the livestock guardian pack.  And oddly, they accepted him as one of their own.  He found his place, and his joy, with nearly twenty doggy friends three times his size.  He sleeps curled up between Pyrenees buddies - they do make pretty snuggly blankies and pillows. :)  And he even tries to "guard" with them.  He became a self-proclaimed pittinees!

Although Malcolm eventually found his happy place and became the friendly, smiling pittie baby we always knew he could be, that side of him remained limited to his safe place - the Ranch.  Despite our trainers' and behaviorists' best efforts to help Malcolm, he just didn't do well at adoption events, and had no interest in meeting new people who came to the Ranch.  So we decided to just let him be who he is - a livestock guardian pitbull and welcome member of the the Ranch pack for the remainder of his days.  hougS

Rain and Dax are two of the best buddies you'll ever meet!  Both having had trouble getting (or staying) adopted, they have formed a beautiful bond that has allowed them both to finally live their best lives!

Rain came to us from a high-kill rural New Mexico shelter.  She was adopted soon thereafter, by a couple who fell completely in love with her at one of our adoption events.  Unfortunately, though, they could not handle her special needs, as she is an extreme escape artist who needs absolute supervision whenever outdoors.  So she came back to us.  A while later she was adopted again, by a young man who thought he could handle her and provide the environment she needs, but unfortunately could not.  So she came back to us again.  

Dax came to us from a different high-kill rural New Mexico shelter, where he was a repeat resident.  The first time he was adopted from the shelter, he was found shortly thereafter roaming the streets, his adopter no longer wanting him.  The second time, he was returned after his adopters realized he had a funny leg.  This leg has a bump on it, and it bends in a way that it shouldn't, giving him an odd little walk.  Our orthopedic specialist veterinarian examined Dax thoroughly, and determined that he suffered some sort of trauma to his leg in his youth, which was left untreated and healed strangely.  However, the way it healed does not cause him any discomfort, and is not expected to cause him problems in the future.  That being said, we have had a shocking number of adopters show great interest in him, until they see his leg.  Adoption was just a real struggle for this boy.  


Due to Rain's tendency to go off for unauthorized adventures, she was spending a great deal of time indoors.  And with her high energy, this was not ideal.  And Dax, being a little bit of an alpha boy, was having trouble integrating with the other non-LGD boys at the Ranch.  So we introduced the two, and they fell in love instantly!  Dax has no interest in long journeys, and Rain won't leave his side, so his presence was exactly what we needed to keep Rain reeled in from her adventures.  And Dax tends to be a bit lazy, but needs to exercise for his health, so Rain's energy keeps him moving around.  They have become their Ranch Dad's devoted sidekicks, and really are the perfect pair!


Although both are fantastic dogs who we see as absolutely adoptable, they both have quirks that have made successful adoptions a struggle.  So we decided that being together at the Ranch, where they complement each other so well and are so immensely happy, is the best long-term arrangement for this pair.  So here they stay, bringing out the best in each other day after day!  Rain and Dax D

Rain and Dax.jpg

Sasha is another sweet senior girl, who came to us from our local city shelter.  She had been surrendered there by her former family due to problems she was having with her hips, which resulted in loss of balance and difficulty walking securely, accompanied by some digestive concerns, and both ear and respiratory infections. Since then, she has had all of her infections treated, has endured two major surgeries to correct her hips, and is doing fantastic!  She continues to receive physical therapy and hip massage daily (which she LOVES!), and although she will likely never have extremely strong hips and will probably always have a bit of an awkward gait, she moves around happily, runs and plays with the young'uns, and is always wearing one of the biggest smiles on the ranch!

But beyond her health challenges, the main reason that Sasha came specifically to us is, well, her breed. That is after all why most of the dogs in our rescue program are sent our way. Based on Sasha's appearance we believe she is probably a mix of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd, and her personality is 100% that of a livestock guardian breed. So although this sweet and friendly girl was immensely adored by the foster family that cared for her during her time in the city, it quickly became apparent that she really needed a more rural environment in which to thrive and truly live her best doggie life.  She just wasn't wanting to come indoors, was being a bit vocal, and just wasn't adapting to city life very well.  So as soon as a couple of our rescue partners caught wind of Sasha's unique needs, they reached out to see if we could help, and we happily said YES!

Although Sasha has recovered as well as can be expected from her health challenges, we decided that it was in her best interest to spend the rest of her days here at the Ranch, where we can offer her the environment she desires along with the continued therapy on her hips.  As a smiling and immensely joyous senior dog, with special physical and behavioral needs, we are honored to be able to meet those needs for the remainder of her years. 



Angel and Babe are two sweet old gals who lived with the Ranch's founding couple before the rescue was formed.  They are both Pyrenees mixes (emphasis on the MIX), and have thrived being part of the rescue, helping new dogs adjust and learn their way around.  Both are getting quite up there in years, especially Babe, but still keep those smiles shining as they proudly help us make a difference for every dog who comes through our doors!


Frannie and Chloe are the little old ladies who raised Generation II of the Ranch founding family, now the founders and operators of the Ranch's secondary Florida senior and special needs dog sanctuary.  These two girls have welcomed many rescue seniors over the years, helping them settle in, learn the ways of the Ranch, and overcome the traumas of their pre-rescue life.  These two have not only been amazing rescue helpers, but an inspiration to a whole new generation of people saving dogs!

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