Beginning last autumn, on each Wednesday afternoon, volunteers from Last Chance Ranch, make the trip, bringing animals to visit several groups of the elderly residents at Phoebe Richland Home. The original goal was, and continues to be, to bring love and comfort to Phoebe Richland residents.
Each week, Emily Monsen, Kennel Manager, carefully selects happy, friendly and calm animals for the visit. Furry participants range from small, lap-sittable dogs to a volunteer's 100-pound malamute sled dog, from playful Siamese seal-point kittens to floppy-eared rabbits. At 2:15, four or five animals are haltered up, and driven to the expectant residents at Phoebe. During the afternoon, three or four Phoebe units will be visited. As the animals and volunteers arrive, they are met by AnnMarie, Phoebe Volunteer Coordinator, and Phoebe staff who guides them through the facility.
Extensive research has shown that animal contact and visitations with the elderly bring profound effects. As researchers at the National Institute Of Health state:
"The presence of animals in institutional settings is associated with the tendency of older persons to smile and talk more, reach out toward people and objects, exhibit more alertness and attention, and experience more symptoms of well-being and less depression."
The validity of the research is immediately verified as the volunteers, dogs and kittens enter the first large room. The wide circle of residents in their wheelchairs comes alive with excitement. As AnnMarie says - "The animal contact helps the residents' cognition and mechanical skills". As the dogs and kittens are taken around the room, residents reach down to pet them, cuddle them in their laps, and hold their leashes. All the volunteers sit and listen to the residents' stories of pets from their childhood. Dimly-lit windows on thoughts of the past are opened, as the residents bring back memories of Chip and Rusty and Bobo, pets of their happy past. Tender hands hold the Ranch's Peter the rabbit, as they held Hoppy years ago. The room is filled with warmth and love, and is brightened with the animal-human touch. As one teary-eyed resident said - "I had dogs all my life...", as she leaned her chin forward for some puppy licks.
The staff at Phoebe looks forward to the animal visits each week. At times, they are witnesses to an awakening... As AnnMarie puts it - "A resident who has been immobile during the morning suddenly is reaching out for a tail-wagging dog for their lap." Christina, a staff member, also notes that the Wednesdays do not stand as an isolated weekly event. The residents know when the day is coming, and chatter about the "adorable animals" is lively both before the visit and well after the happy time. It is a favorite day of their week.
The Ranch volunteers observe that the animals themselves are happy to be in a different environment, sharing the love with their human counterparts, while they wait for their "fur-ever" adoptive homes.
After three-quarters of an hour, filling many hearts and souls with warmth and love, the animals move on to the next group of residents. At this stop, the wheelchairs already there are quickly joined by others, wheeling down hallways from every direction. Others walk in with determination, expectant smiles carrying them along. Word spreads quickly - time again for fluffy four-legged friends!
This time, the staff awaits, water bowl ready, dog treats in hand! The dogs, rabbits, kittens and other animals are passed from lap to lap, with each resident given a chance to talk, hold and share the bonds of love.
After three or four stops, the afternoon draws to a close. Everyone, human and four-legged, is glowing from the time they have spent together. Amidst the goodbyes and thanks, the last resident exclaims, "Come next week! Can you bring a horse?" Things to be considered...
Asked why she does it week after week, dedicated Ranch volunteer Rose, getting misty-eyed as she looks out over the circle of happy faces, exclaims - "I love this group... I love this staff... I love these animals..." What more is there to say?
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains
unawakened...." ~ Anatole France
The group from Last Chance Ranch visits Phoebe Richland every Wednesday afternoon. Anyone wishing to join this dedicated group can contact Walt Tremer, Phoebe Program Coordinator at 610-965-2996; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Last Chance Ranch's newest arrival, Buffalo Bill! Buffalo Bill is a male Babydoll Southdown sheep. Bill was found with no shelter in a North Philadelphia backyard, which is no place for a sheep! Lucy Noland from Fox 29 News received information from one of their viewers and quickly worked to get him rescued. Animal control removed him from the property and contacted us. Buffalo Bill is now at our farm, enjoying the warm barn, abundant hay and other farm animals! He needs to be castrated and then will be available for adoption! He is friendly and have become a staff and volunteer favorite!
All of us at Last Chance Ranch would like to thank you for your good wishes, support of our mission and generosity during 2016. So many injured, sick and homeless animals were able to be saved with the help of your donations. As of September we have placed 711 animals including 492 dogs, 63 cats, 38 horses, and 118 various small companion, reptile and farm animals. I would like to take this opportunity to share just a few major activities and accomplishments of 2016. To stay up-to-date with the happenings of Last Chance Ranch, please sign up on our website for our E-News.
Nearly four weeks into the new year, we received a plea to assist with a large scale humane seizure in Carbon County, PA. Sixteen horses, twenty-one sheep and goats, several dogs, a pig and cow were rescued. We brought nine of the sixteen horses, all the sheep and goats and three dogs to our facility for intensive rehabilitation. Of the animals rescued, Clarissa captured the hearts of many.
Clarissa was extremely emaciated and unable to stand during the trailer ride to our facility. Our staff and volunteers were able to carry her off the trailer, but it took the help of the Richlandtown Fire Company and neighboring rescue departments to lift her back to her feet. The first 48 hours were difficult, but Clarissa proved to be a fighter. We were able to support Clarissa for over a month with an Anderson Sling until she could stand on her own.
After a few short months, Clarissa gained over 300 pounds and blossomed into a wonderful young mare. Our volunteer trainers started working with her under saddle to prepare her for a new life. In July, a young woman named Taylor came out to meet Clarissa. Taylor and Clarissa instantly formed a lifelong partnership. Clarissa left for her new home at the end of July.
Every day at Last Chance Ranch is an adventure as our staff and volunteers are well aware of! One night at 10:30, we were alerted that several of our sheep escaped our pasture. Upon inspection, we found that all of our sheep were accounted for and that some stray sheep found their way to the ranch. Affectionately named, Sealy and Serta were in desperate need of shearing. After a fresh shave, they felt right at home with their new friends.
One of our most recent rescues is sweet Annabelle, a senior Pitbull who was found as a stray in Philadelphia. Underweight, suffering from hair loss, worn teeth and unable to bear weight on her hind end, Annabelle was destined to be euthanized. We quickly stepped in to be Annabelle's Last Chance. After a veterinary exam, we found that Annabelle suffered from an unattended broken leg that painfully healed on its own. Since the leg did not heal straight, this led to further damage to her ACL due to her body compensating. Annabelle is being kept comfortable with pain meds and cage rest while her x-rays are being evaluated to determine the best plan for her recovery. Please check our E-news for updates on Annabelle!
Continuing our mission, "Rescue, Adopt, Educate," we are excited to announce the grand opening of the first floor of our Agriculture and Education Center. This space includes a conference room which can seat up to 8 people for small meetings and a large classroom that accommodates up to 100 people for seminars and presentations. These spaces allow us to continue education programs for children, new pet owners, the community and our volunteers. Additionally, these spaces will be available for rental to businesses and community groups for offsite meetings. Please contact our office for more information.
At Last Chance Ranch, we pride ourselves on not having to turn away an injured or unwanted animal in desperate need of food, shelter and a safe home, it all comes at a great cost. We have spent over $162,000.00 on feed/medical/veterinary fees in the last year, along with the everyday costs needed to keep us up and running. Your support is necessary to continue serving the animals that need our help. We are grateful to have compassionate and generous supporters like you. We now need to appeal to your generosity for a year-end tax deductible donation to help us save so many more lives in 2017.
With heartfelt appreciation for your support throughout the year, Last Chance Ranch would like to extend our wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Holiday Season.
Lori McCutcheon, President/Founder;
And the Staff, Volunteers and Our Furry, Finned and Feathered Friends of LCR
We wish to thank everyone who has donated, adopted and volunteered to help Last Chance Ranch grow to what it is today. With the growing need for our life-saving services, education seminars and clinics, LCR has used up every inch of space to help rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused and neglected animals(including horses, dogs, cats, farm animals and small companion animals). Early 2015, we received the final go-ahead to begin our 5-Phase Agriculture and Education Center Expansion Project! This is a million dollar project that will allow everyone of all ages and abilities to interact and become an integral part of LCR's animal rescue family.
The expansion includes, but is not limited to, Meet and Greet rooms for potential adopters to get to know their new 'family member' in a comfortable atmosphere, our own Surgical Suite for in-house veterinary care, small animal areas strategically built into the walls, a large covered building for evaluating. training and teaching volunteers about the animals we care for, along with 3 large seminar rooms for all-weather training of dogs, horses, seminars and clinics.
Click here for Full Business Plan
April of 2015 Last Chance Ranch received approval for a matching grant of $10,000 from the ASPCA to aid with our current expansion process! The grant for "Equine Facility Expansion" aligned perfectly with our 5-Phase Expansion that began in early 2015. These funds went directly to the construction of our Agricultural building, which will be able to house 12 additional horses and allow for all weather training and exercise. Thank you so much to the ASPCA!
Click here for the official ASPCA Publication!
Please Help LCR Give "Angel" Back Her Wings!
Thank you so much for voting for Last Chance Ranch in the 2015 Everything Bucks contest. Because of your support we're proud to announce that we were named Best Charity for 2015! Your efforts and donations will go a long way to ensure that we will continue to rescue a record number of unwanted animals in 2015!
In late December of 2014, LCR was called in by ACCT in Philadelphia to help with a severely injured pot-bellied pig. It's likely that someone unsuccessfully tried to use her for Christmas dinner by attempting to decapitate her. We brought her into LCR and began treating her substantial injuries. Despite the tremendous pain she was in, Cheesedoodle, was a sweet and trusting (still!), house-trained sweetheart who quickly became a kennel favorite with our volunteers and media: Abused pet pig, left for dead, gets new lease on life in Quakertown (WFMZ 69)
Then on January 24th, 2015, Cheesedoodle gave staff and volunteers a huge thank you (and surprise!) by delivering 4adorable piglets! We promptly named Cheesedoodle's new "snack pack" Triscuit, Chip, Pringle and Chex! Mother and babies have since been adopted!
Last Chance Ranch began as a non-profit horse rescue in 1999. Since that time we have grown and changed in many ways to help animals in need. We have found the best way to help more animals is to partner with other organizations to achieve a common goal. Last Chance Ranch wishes to develop a new program in an effort to save more horses from uncertain fates, as well as provide a service to the community.
Last Chance Ranch is proud to partner with Local Mounted Patrol Units including Baltimore and Philadelphia to help save more horses and provide a service to the public. We currently have two horses serving Baltimore and four horses serving Philly. We hope to continue providing horses to mounted patrol units across the United States. For more information regarding this program, please contact Lori.
Last Chance Ranch
9 Beck Road • Quakertown, PA 18951 • 215-538-2510
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