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Big Dog Ranch Rescue gives second chance to thousands of dogs

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Big Dog Ranch Rescue mural on the welcome center in Loxahatchee.

Spanning 33 acres in Loxahatchee, Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest cage-free and no-kill dog rescue in the United States.

The ranch was founded in 2008 with the mission to save 5,000 dogs each year, heal and nurture them, place them in loving homes and educate communities about how to care for our four-legged friends. The nonprofit focuses most of its efforts in the Southeast, but also rescues dogs from international disaster zones such as Caribbean islands struck by hurricanes. Over 8,000 dogs have been rescued from these post-hurricane efforts.

The campus is built to provide the most loving environment and best care possible for the thousands of dogs that come through each year while they wait to be matched with families.

When dogs arrive at Big Dog Ranch Rescue, they are taken to the state-of-the-art medical intake and quarantine buildings for full medical exams, spaying or neutering and microchipping. This prevents exposure to the rest of the campus until the dogs are cleared with a good bill of health.

Fleming Family Foundation & Friends of Frisco Veterinary Healing Center on the BDRR campus.

An area called Puppy Land was created for pregnant dogs to deliver litters in 10 stress-free cabins with attached play yards for the puppies. Most dogs live in 100 cage-free bunkrooms and have play time in one of 4 half-acre yards. The visitor center welcomes over 10,000 people, including potential adopters, each year. The senior sanctuary provides a relaxed space for older dogs to live and for people to spend time with them.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue has a variety of special programs.

Lauree Simmons, the founder of BDRR, drove to Miami to pick up a Weimaraner that needed rescuing. She vowed that no dog would die at a shelter and began building the ranch. The Florida Weimaraner Rescue program, a tribute to that moment, allows families to adopt this beautiful, loyal, smart, stubborn and attention-seeking breed.

The Seniors for Seniors program addresses the highest-risk dog population, those over 7 years of age. The Seniors for Seniors adoption program matches senior dogs with senior citizens, and its visitation program allows seniors to visit the campus to spend time with senior dogs.

The Miracle Fund provides money for areas affected by natural disasters to bring essential supplies, save abandoned dogs and reunite displaced dogs with their families.

Through the Asia Dog Meat Trade program, Big Dog Ranch Rescue works hard in Asia to save dogs that are intended for human consumption. More than 100 dogs have been rescued and brought back to the ranch in Florida or to partner locations.

The ranch’s Big Dog University offers great training opportunities, whether your dog is a puppy or an adult or just wants to come for “yappy hour” with friends.

Most recently, the campus opened the Dawn & Al Hoffman Veteran Service Dog Training Lodge, a haven to prepare rescue dogs to be companions and service dogs to veterans. The program placed several rescue dogs into homes with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and with the new lodge, the goal is to place up to 250 dogs with deserving veterans per year.

To support the ranch you can volunteer time, create a fundraiser on Facebook or donate money or supplies directly to the organization. Click here for more information.


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