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

UF football player JC Jackson was arrested yesterday for his involvement in an armed Robbery on Saturday.  He is currently in the ASO jail on a $150,000 bond.

UF Football Player Arrested Yesterday For Armed Robbery

UF football player JC Jackson was arrested this weekend for armed robbery. The suspects stole cash, gaming systems and cannabis.


Scott Camil, 68, points to a cartoon depicting himself and other members of the Gainesville Eight at their trial. The original cartoon was given to him by the artist, Bill Day. The Gainesville Eight was the name given to a group of anti-Vietnam war protestors charged with conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami.

Vietnam War Veteran Rejects Violence, Embraces Peace

Vietnam War veteran Scott Camil once believed the war to be right and honorable. Now, Camil is the founder of Gainesville Veterans for Peace, an organization that partners with other organizations around the area to promote peace.


David Cleveland sits outside his tent in Dignity Village near Grace Marketplace Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Cleveland's campsite is located on a 10 acre span of land that the city of Gainesville will lease from the state.

City Aquires Land Surrounding GRACE Marketplace

The city is finalizing an agreement to use 10 acres of land currently occupied by Dignity Village homeless encampment which could create a more regulated environment.


Jannette Perez poses for a portrait outside of Pugh Hall on the University of Florida campus.

TV Show Gives College Student Second Chance

Former UF drop-out gets an opportunity to start over and help others after a visit from the reality TV show “Undercover Boss” while working her job at Gigi’s Cupcake shop.


HOrses Helping PEople volunteer Alex Hendrix (right) and barn manager Kaylie Madore (left) walk with Lauren Ault while she rides Lila during a hippotherapy session at the HOPE farm in Archer on April 8. Ault was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor at the age of 20, which left her wheelchair-bound.

Wheelchair-Bound Woman Rides Again With A Little Help From HOPE

Lauren Ault was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor seven years ago. Now, despite being wheelchair-bound, she has found independence with HOrses Helping PEople.


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
Underwriting Payments