Big Dog Ranch Rescue changes fate of dogs facing euthanization

With programs such as Seniors for Seniors and Veteran Dog Training, abandoned dogs get a new purpose

Disney for Dogs Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Disney for Dogs Big Dog Ranch Rescue

WEST PALM, F.L. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– Nearly seven million companion animals enter animal shelters in the United States every year. Of those shelter animals, 1.5 million are euthanized.

“I don’t feel a dog should die because of a broken leg because it’s hit by a car. A person wouldn’t die because they had a broken leg,” Lauree Simmons, founder and CEO of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, told Ivanhoe.

But this 33-acre, cage-free, and no-kill shelter called Big Dog Ranch Rescue is changing the fate of dogs who would otherwise be euthanized.

“Seventy-five percent of our dogs come from kill shelters,” Lauree Simmons uttered.

With programs such as Seniors for Seniors and Veteran Dog Training, abandoned dogs get a new purpose.

“We train dogs that are rescue dogs and turn them into service dogs for veterans with PTSD,” Evan Fried, service dog trainer at Big Dog Ranch Rescue, stated.

The ranch also rescues dogs on an international scale. From meat markets in China to dogs displaced due to natural disasters.

“This is Elly. She just arrived from Puerto Rico,” Lindsey Naimoli, DVM, a veterinarian at Big Dog Ranch Rescue, shared.

So far, 47,000 dogs have been saved since the ranch opened in 2009. Simmons’ goal is to get to five thousand dogs saved a year and for all the other dogs that are unable to be saved, Simmons says three things are key.

“We’re only going to end this through education, legislation, and sterilization,” Lauree Simmons declared.

In 2019, Big Dog Ranch took part in helping pass the nation’s first Animal Anti-Cruelty Bill, which makes intentional acts of cruelty to animals a federal crime. The first step in giving Fido a fighting chance.

Big dogs tend to stay in shelters longer than smaller dogs, however, the shelter rescues small dogs too. Simmons says it costs about $6.5 million a year to run the ranch.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk


About the Authors:

David Sears, a native San Antonian, has been at KSAT for more than 20 years.

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer for GMSA at KSAT12. Roslyn joined the KSAT12 team in January 2020 after being the First Edition producer for KIII-TV in Corpus Christi.