WUFT News

Phoenix Animal Rescue’s New Levy County Ranch to Rehabilitate Dogs

By on November 19th, 2013
Phoenix Animal Ranch

Amber Dawson / WUFT News

Gainesville’s Phoenix Animal Rescue has developed the largest foster home network for dogs in Florida.

The volunteer-based operation is building a new rescue ranch for dogs after raising $20,000 for a down payment on the Levy County Property.

Phoenix Animal Rescue volunteer and board member Cathy Coe said dogs can now have a cabin-style living arrangement, as opposed to kennels.

“The ranch is going to be kind of a halfway house for the dogs,” she said. “We’re going to get them to the ranch, we’re going to rehabilitate them if they need it, get them their vet care, and get them their training and anything they need.”

Ten years ago, fellow board member and now the director, Michelle Dunlap, was a dog trainer hired to rehabilitate a dog named Phoenix, who had been stolen and later found by its owner. This rehabilitative process led Dunlap to develop Phoenix Animal Rescue.

Coe said the network is made up of 92 dogs and about 70 foster homes.

The organization will remain foster home-based until the ranch is completed. Upon its completion, the ranch will serve as an alternative home for dogs who are not currently being fostered, Coe said.

Every weekend, the rescue brings dogs to the PetSmart on Archer Road, where the dogs are available for adoption and fostering.

Jonathan Weinberger, 20, said he couldn’t resist adopting his new dog, Lula, while at the event Saturday. He said he has never purchased a dog from a breeder.

Ten years after having rescued his first dog, Truffles, at a pound, Weinberger said he walked into the PetSmart event and saw all the dogs in a similar setting to when he first adopted.

While other dogs were yapping and interacting with potential buyers, one dog looked lonely and miserable, Weinberger said. That was the dog for him.

Weinberger said adopting animals is more fulfilling for the owners and the dog than buying from a breeder because it serves a greater good.

“If you buy from a breeder, those dogs are being supplied for,” he said. “They’re with that breeder. Regardless, those puppies will be okay. These are dogs that have nowhere to go and half of them will be put down if no one takes them. ”

Coe said the new ranch will provide Phoenix Animal Rescue with a central place where people can see dogs, in addition to PetSmart adoption events.

“At the ranch we’ll be able to get to know the dogs a little bit better and help place them in foster homes a bit more appropriate, as opposed to just kind of matching,” Coe said. “We’ll have a better system in place.”

Since January, Phoenix Animal Rescue has helped save 317 dogs, with the majority of the dogs coming from Levy County animal shelters.

The rescue operation has also saved horses, chickens, goats, cows and cats, Coe said.

The Phoenix Animal Rescue hopes to have the ranch up and running by the end of next year and available to the public at the same time, she said. Construction will most likely last through spring.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Pearl, Squidward, Sandy, Spongebob and Gary (clockwise from top right) are lucky to have a foster home for Thanksgiving. Many foster pets, however, will return to Alachua County Animal Services because their foster is traveling for the holiday, even though the shelter is well over capacity.

Alachua County Animal Services Over Capacity For Thanksgiving

Alachua County Animal Services is urging people to foster animals over the Thanksgiving holiday. Already more than two dozen animals over capacity, ACAS will need to begin euthanasia if foster owners are not found.


A Gainesville Compost employee demonstrates how kitchen scraps are sifted into finished compost after sitting to break down for about two months at Porter’s Community Farm in the heart of downtown Gainesville. “We love how we can participate in this very urban space, and we can do something agricultural,” said CEO Chris.

Gainesville Composts To Divert Waste

More than 20 organizations have joined Gainesville’s Compost on a mission to divert waste from landfills and from it create valuable soil feed.


Over 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting to receive life saving organs. J.T. helped several people get off that list.

Boy Gives Organ Transplant Recipient New Lease On Life

After a young boy and his mother were killed in a car crash, several people were saved by their choice to be organ donors.


Protestors gather outside the Alachua County Courthouse to show their disapproval of the current law enforcement system.

Protestors Gather at Alachua County Courthouse in Support of Michael Brown

Peaceful protests took place in Gainesville after the news that Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the shooting of Michael Brown.


Tobe Terrell poses with the clay sculpture Nadya Levi modeled after him in the Zen Hostel’s courtyard. Levi has been sculpting since 1949. (Photo by Lauren Adhav)

Zen Hostel Offers Tranquility To Travelers And Residents

Gainesville’s Zen Hostel offers spiritual and physical refuge for travelers and residents during its busiest months.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments