Senior & Special-Needs Sanctuary Dogs

Permanent Ranch Residents, Not Available for Adoption

Toby is our sweet bulldog mix who was having a rough time getting adopted from the city shelter due to his age and some ongoing health concerns.  Toby has hypothyroidism, and although it is being treated with lifelong medication, he still struggles with a number of symptoms of this condition, including skin issues (which were unfortunately aggravated by being a white bulldog who spent too many years in the desert sun), an inability to tolerate the cold (he never goes outside without his jacket in chilly weather!), and a tendency to pack on the pounds to an unhealthy degree if he is not kept on a very specialized diet.  Toby is also missing a toe on his front right foot, which had to be amputated due to a serious infection he had when he arrived at the shelter.  And to top it all off, Toby has developed several precancerous lesions on his abdomen, which must be closely monitored.

Despite all this, Toby is a fun and silly boy, with an intriguingly unique oddball personality.  And in order to ensure that he continues to receive all the special care he needs, Toby will remain on the Ranch in sanctuary care for the remainder of his years.  

Dusty is a senior lab mix who like Toby was having a hard time getting adopted from the city shelter due to age and health concerns.  When we met Dusty, he was missing about half of his fur due to demodex.  Although this is not an uncommon condition in young pups with underdeveloped immune systems, when an older dog struggles with demodex it is almost always due to an underlying immune system disease, which in Dusty's case has been determined to be Cushing's disease.  Although there is currently no cure for canine Cushing's disease, it is manageable with proper ongoing care.  In addition to the demodex, Dusty arrived at the Ranch with a luxating patella (knee cap in the wrong place), and generally misshapen limbs.  He underwent two major orthopedic surgeries in early 2020 to correct the luxating patella, and has recovered nicely.  And although his limbs have been treated successfully to the extent that medical science currently allows, Dusty will unfortunately always walk a bit oddly, and the damage to his elbows is inoperable and degenerative.  But we are here to support him no matter what the future holds!

About a year after coming to the Ranch, Dusty was diagnosed with melanoma, and a large cancerous growth was surgically removed from his abdomen.  Although this surgery was successful, we must keep a close eye on him, as he is very much at risk of recurring growths.

Despite all of these conditions, Dusty is one of the feistiest and most stubbornly determined dogs on the Ranch!  Not much can hold this sweet old fella back.  He is just full of love that just keeps on giving.  And of course, d
ue to his age and ongoing health concerns, our quirky ole' Dusty will live out his years here on the Ranch.

Chloe is the only "little" dog at the Ranch.  A dachshund and chihuahua mix, she remains true to her breeds and fully rules the roost. 

Chloe is a senior girl who came here from a local shelter.  Chloe spent most of her life with one couple, but sadly as they reached their golden years they became unable to continue caring for their dog.  Chloe unfortunately moved from home to home for a while, having a hard time finding her perfect fit, so she came here to join our retirement pack.  Chloe is a fun and feisty little character, who has absolutely no idea how small or old she is!

Frannie is an elderly pit bull and schipperke mix.  Most days, this sweet little old lady prefers to just lounge on the couch or nap in front of a warm sunny window, but on occasion her inner puppy comes out and she runs around the Ranch with her younger buddies!  Frannie will remain in the Ranch Sanctuary for the remainder of her days, getting all the love and comfort we have to give!

The sweet, precious Miss Diamond has a troubling story that brought her here to us.  This poor senior girl was found by animal control locked inside an abandoned vehicle, where she was left to die.  The cruelty of the person who would do this is unimaginable!  Thankfully the officers found her, though, and took her to the shelter in hopes of being adopted by a loving family.  But unfortunately that was just not happening for our sweet girl, and she was running out of time.  So we made arrangements with our rescue transport partner down south and brought her to join the Ranch's senior pack right away.  

Diamond had some skin concerns along with very rough and unhealthy feeling fur, with several bald patches and a completely bald tail when we met her.  But it took only moments for our vet to identify the cause as a thyroid imbalance, and testing proved that her levels were so low that they were undetectable.  So with a simple little pill AM and PM our darling Mama-D has grown her hair back, and regained her energy along with her smile.  However, Diamond also has a number of precancerous lesions on her abdomen which are being closely monitored, so she is remaining here at the Ranch where we can keep a constant eye on her condition and ensure that any further progression will be caught and treated early.  

Jazzy is a 16-year-old greyhound mix who was surrendered to the city shelter, and came to the Ranch for hospice care.  This sweet elderly lady has some joint issues, trouble maintaining her weight, some minor vision concerns, and is deaf, but that doesn't stop her one bit!  She still does her best to play with her slightly-less-old housemates, as long as the playtime is brief and followed by a nice long nap.  Jazzy is a very beloved member of the Ranch sanctuary, and we are so blessed to have her here for her golden years.

Suzie is the Ranch's own very special little paw-pirate!  Suzie is a middle-aged gal, surrendered to the county shelter with her doggie companion after her person died and no other family members were able to care for them.  Unfortunately, her companion did not make it out of the shelter, but we were thankfully able to rescue Suzie. 


When we met Suzie, she had a very serious eye infection that had been left untreated, causing her to lose vision on that side.  Because of the condition of her eye, and the clear need for medical attention, Suzie was having a hard time getting adopted and was on the shelter's euthanasia list.  Thankfully we were instead able to take her in and get her healthy!  With the help of our truly fantastic veterinarian, Suzie's infection was quickly cleared, making her much more comfortable!  Unfortunately, though, her vision was permanently lost in that eye, and the resulting shrinkage left the eye increasingly vulnerable to contaminants and further infections, so it was determined that removing the eye altogether was in her best interest.  The surgery did take its toll on our sweet girl, and her recovery was rough, but she has since healed nicely, and the partial loss of vision honestly doesn't seem to bother her one bit.  She's one happy little wigglewam!


Due to some anxiety concerns, Suzie will be spending the remainder of her years as a cherished member of the Ranch's senior and special needs pack.  

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 do 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.

LeeLee is a sweet senior girl who came to us from one of the rural county shelters we work with.  She had arrived at the shelter heartworm positive, and was in need of a rescue organization to take her in and get her healthy again before helping her find her happy fur-ever family.  And with our love for the older furkids, we were more than happy to do that!  

Although LeeLee's heartworm treatment was successful, we unfortunately found out shortly after her heartworm recovery that she also had bone cancer, which had metastasized, and is terminal.  Our hearts were broken.  This kind, loving, gentle dog who we thought we were bringing back to health and who would have more years ahead of her to enjoy with her perfect adoptive family had not actually come to us for that future.  She came to us so we could be her home, a place to live her final days in comfort, surrounded by love.  And that is exactly what we are giving her.  LeeLee is on a multilayered pain management program that actually has her more active and wiggle-waggly than we have ever seen her, and is enjoying a special homemade diet that includes every cancer-fighting ingredient we can find.  We know we can't cure her.  We know that the end of her journey is here with us.  But we are doing everything we can to make that end a beautiful one, to give her all the comforts and joys that she so deserves.  And when the day comes for her to say goodbye, she will do so surrounded by nothing but LOVE.

The Ranch's Livestock Guardian Training Team

Permanent Ranch Residents, Not Available for Adoption

Archer, Huntress, and Diana lived with the Ranch's founders before the dog rescue portion of the program was formed, back when the Ranch was solely a horse rescue, and were actually the inspiration for the unique farm dog rescue format that exists as the Ranch's main operation today.  These days, this trio works not only as livestock guardians protecting the Ranch's horses, goats, and chickens, but they also help assess and train rescue dogs of livestock guardian breeds, so that we know how they may perform as livestock guardians in their future adoptive homes.  We at the Ranch feel very strongly about the many benefits of using dogs to help train dogs.  A skilled, confident, emotionally-balanced working livestock guardian dog can help train a new working dog in ways that humans can only imagine.  They can even help correct undesirable behaviors in livestock guardians who struggled in a former placement, offering them a second chance to be what they were born to be.  We are very blessed to have these three canine helpers as part of our rescue program, helping us provide our unique rescue and rehabilitation service to dogs of working livestock guardian breeds.

Ella is a senior Great Pyrenees 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 Pyrenees 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.

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