A local animal rescue is dedicated to finding refuge for the rising number of stray and homeless dogs.
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 she wanted to do more. In 2003, she moved to Anza and started a large animal rescue. Hope Ranch Animal Sanctuary 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 has permanent residents and also adoptable dogs that are waiting for permanent homes. Dogs at the sanctuary live inside Haley’s home on a 5-acre 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 stray dogs, she said. Currently, the organization is trying to catch up from the two-year hiatus on spaying and neutering.
Hope Ranch is working to spay and neuter every stray dog in Anza, which is east of Temecula. 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 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. They can be viewed on Hope Ranch’s website or through adoption sites such as Petfinder.
Foster families need to live in the Temecula area. To prepare dogs for adoption, fosters work through common issues such as house training, crate training, leash walking and socializing. Hope Ranch provides food, supplies, medical expenses and offers support as well as 24/7 assistance through a text line. Those interested in taking on the commitment to foster can download an application through the organization’s website. The more foster families Hope Ranch has, the more dogs it can save.
Recently, the organization received a grant from the Illes Family Donor Advised Fund through the Inland Empire Community Foundation. 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.”
Anyone interested in adopting a pet can also visit the organization’s website and apply. Hope Ranch works to ensure that each dog and home are a good match. Adoption fees cover the dog’s medical expenses. However, the organization has a Seniors for Seniors program, which matches an older resident with an older companion and fees for these adoptions are waived.
The sanctuary and other rescues need support while they face the rising number of strays in the region, according to Haley.
“Support your local rescue,” Haley said. “We’re the ones who are feet on the ground,”
Information: 951-515-4077 or http://www.hoperanchanimalsanctuary.org/
Inland Empire Community Foundation works to strengthen Inland Southern California through philanthropy.