By Margaret Hedderman
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that American animal shelters see 6-8 million dogs and cats each year. 3-4 million of those are euthanized.
So when a no-kill animal shelter comes along, it’s kind of a big deal. The Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch in Medina, TX has actually been around since 1998 rescuing “death row” animals from shelters across the country.
“When someone adopts one of our dog’s it’s great because they have rescued a dog… and it allows us to get another dog. So, it’s really a win-win for two dogs,” said co-founder Nancy Parker-Simons in a video about The Rescue Ranch.
“When we have an adoption, we try to go to one of the local pounds around here and get a dog that’s on death row.”
The Rescue Ranch is the cumulative effort of Parker-Simons, her husband Tony, and the legendary satirical country-western musician, Texas Monthly columnist, and mystery novelist Kinky Friedman.
Since its inception, The Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch has been fortunate enough to have multiple headliners promote its cause: Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, and Richard Pryor, among others. In 2010, Friedman endorsed Woodrow the Dog for Governor of Texas.
Friedman estimates 50-100 animals per year are adopted from the Rescue Ranch. Though they primarily host dogs – cats, donkeys, horses and pigs also find a home at the Ranch.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail,” Friedman said recently in an interview with The Pitch.
When so animals are already in need of a home – why buy? Especially when you may risk contributing to the pet overpopulation problem? Even if you can’t adopt a pet at the moment, you can still support animals and no-kill shelters like the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch by donating either funds or supplies, or your time by volunteering to help walk dogs, clean, or just visit the animals.