This article originally appeared in the Press Enterprise, March 2022
Kathy Haley has always had a heart for animals and started helping them when she was in nursing school. While volunteering at an animal shelter in Wildomar, she forged relationships with like-minded friends and decided that she wanted to do more. In 2003, she moved to Anza and started a large animal rescue. Hope Ranch Animal Sanctuary (HRAS) was launched to give homes to abused and neglected alpacas, llama, donkeys, pigs and more.
Realizing that she could also have a larger impact in dog rescue, Haley expanded the Sanctuary’s work to give dogs a better life than living in kennels. Today, Hope Ranch Sanctuary, has permanent residents and also adoptable dogs that are waiting for permanent homes. Dogs at the Sanctuary live inside Haley’s home on five acres of property or with foster families in Temecula, Murrieta, and neighboring cities.
“The need is so huge that dogs are an enormous part of the rescue now,” Haley said. “We have about 10 foster families and new applicants are always welcome.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, shelters struggled to collect strays, according to Haley. Spay and neuter programs were not considered essential and there has been an explosion of strays dogs, she said. Currently, the organization is trying to catch up from the two-year hiatus on spay and neutering.
HRAS is working to spay and neuter every stray dog in Anza. The organization has started providing low-cost clinics through mobile vet service and is struggling to meet the demand. However, mobile services can only accommodate dogs under 50 pounds. So, the organization has also been helping to cover the fees for individuals who need to transport their dogs to veterinarians outside of Anza.
Currently, the organization is inundated with puppies. Puppies and dogs in the care of the Sanctuary are given veterinary care, vaccines, dewormers, microchipped, and spayed or neutered. They are socialized at the Sanctuary or in foster homes and then made available for adoption. The organization has a variety of dogs available to foster or adopt which can be viewed on their website or through adoption sites like Petfinder.
Foster families need to live in the Temecula area. Fosters work through common issues to prepare dogs for adoption such as house training, crate training, leash walking, and socializing. HRAS provides food, supplies, medical expenses and provides support as well as 24/7 assistance through a text line. Individuals interested in taking on this commitment and fostering can download an application through the organization’s website. The more foster families HRAS has, the more dogs the organization can save.
Recently, HRAS received a grant through the Illes Family Donor Advised Fund at IECF. The organization depends on grants, fundraisers, adoption fees and donations to increase the number of animals it can assist.
“With any rescue you want to do good, but everything takes money, and the vet bills are going up just like everything else,” Haley said. “We can only do what we have the money for.”
Individuals interested in adopting a pet can also visit the organization’s website and apply. HRAS works to ensure that each dog and home are a good match. Adoption fees cover the dog’s medical expenses. However, the organization does have a “Seniors for Seniors” program, matching a senior with an older companion and fees for these adoptions are waived.
HRAS and other rescues need more support while they face the rising number of strays in the region according to Haley.
“Support your local rescue. We’re the ones who are feet on the ground,” Haley said.
More information: http://www.hoperanchanimalsanctuary.org/ or (951) 515-4077
Second photo attached [left to right]:
Photo courtesy of Hope Ranch: Staff and Veterinarians at February 2022 Spay & Neuter Clinic: Paula Sargeant, Jen Sargeant, Kathy Haley (founder), Sandra Murray, Ashley Villalovos.
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