A 100-acre plot in Alabama once used as a racing greyhound training center is currently being converted into an enormous cage-free, no-kill dog shelter. Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the brainchild of founder and CEO Lauree Simmons whose mission began with the Florida campus of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
The southern United States has tens of thousands of stray and abandoned animals, far more than local shelters and rescues have been able to handle. The reason for this is multifaceted:
- a warmer climate allows for strays to survive winter
- fewer resources in impoverished areas result in fewer dogs being spayed and neutered
- local municipalities do not have the budget for effective animal control.
Desperate to save the animals in their care but unable to house the number of dogs in need, many southern shelters and rescues must rely on northeastern animal shelters to take in overflow animals or else euthanize in mass numbers.
“Record numbers of dogs are being brought to shelters resulting in overcrowding and a record euthanasia rate for these former family pets. Higher costs for everything from fuel to food are prompting owners to surrender their dogs,”-Founder & CEO Lauree Simmons
Once open, the Alabama campus of Big Dog Ranch Rescue may be able to rescue up to 5,000 more dogs from Alabama annually and offer transitional support for shelters and rescues in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Big Dog Ranch Rescue will temporarily house, evaluate, and prepare dogs from these southern states to be transferred to Northeastern partner shelters and rescues where there are more available resources.
Set to open in September of 2022, Big Dog Ranch Rescue Alabama will offer housing, veterinary care, rehabilitation, and adoption services. Resident dogs will stay in comfortable, cage-free bunk houses where dogs sleep in rooms with doors, not bars. During the day, dogs will be allowed to play with their friends on the carefully manicured lawns, take dips in the pool, and begin to heal both physically and mentally.
With the help of an experienced team of behavioral experts, trainers, veterinarians, and dog lovers, dogs sent to Big Dog Ranch will be given room to open up, develop trusting relationships, and live a happy, healthy life. A no-kill shelter, long-time residents of Big Dog Ranch Rescue are treated with the same love, care, and patience as new arrivals.
Follow Big Dog Ranch Rescue on Instagram @BigDogRanchRescue to keep up with the Alabama campus!