What exactly do they do at the Crooked Leg Ranch? Well, the ranch has one kennel from when they used to raise shepherds and it has a few corrals for their horses but other than that, it is open land. As they began to absorb some of the rescues a few more areas were fenced off. Now the llamas have their space under the trees, the horses are in the meadow and Richard and Humphrey have their area and a small shelter.
That is it! They don’t have buildings for small animal shelters. They don’t have an isolation area for sick and injured rescues. They have essentially used the house as a pet hospital for rehabilitation and boarding. Since Crooked Leg Ranch cannot adequately handle all of the small animals that come their way, a network has been created and is ever growing.
Since January 2014, nearly 70 cats have come into care. All of these cats are assessed, given shots, dewormed, spayed or neutered and then put up for adoption or rehoming. There are 10 dedicated families who open their hearts to these cats. One volunteer, Ashley Roberts Schmidt, recently took in Crystal, a very pregnant mama. Early April, seven kittens emerged. With this batch, Ashley has now had more than 50 fosters since she started helping the ranch.
“I never say no if they ask me to care for a litter of kittens. I love having them,” she says.
When at an adoptable age, the kittens will be displayed at Bosley’s or Total Pet for local adoption. Any cats that are deemed transferrable are driven or flown to the Action for Animals in Distress Society in Burnaby where there is a much better chance for adoption.
For dogs, the kennel is fine for puppies and Karla has just reared the second batch this winter. Most of the dogs are transferred to the Victoria Humane Society because this group has a large following and are able to find homes relatively quickly. The newest puppies, Pandora’s litter, were flown to Victoria on April 8 by Pacific Coastal Air, out of William’s Lake. This company and Central Mountain Air will fly rescue animals, free of charge, when there is room.
Another partner is Spirit’s Mission. This is a Gabriola based charity that promotes health and wellness for companion animals within B.C.’s First Nations and surrounding communities.
The local chapter of Pet Safe Coalition of Canada works closely with Crooked Leg Ranch. It is run by Debbie Knabke as a non-profit organization that helps all animals during disasters. They will shelter and reunify a pet and its owner. A key part of their work is education to help pet owners prepare for worst case situations.
And there are more! This network includes the many dedicated volunteers like Christy Wheeler who is the foster home coordinator, A small but loyal group regularly sorts bottles and overseen by a transfer coordinator there are drivers who take animals to a flight or around the province to shift animals to new homes. A huge thank you goes to Chrysler for the loan of the Community Care-A-Van for some of these moves.
Now you can see why there are few adoptable animals kept at the ranch but there is hope for the ability to do more. The organization seeks to achieve charity status to be able to give tax receipts for donations and there is the dream to build a barn that will allow shelter and isolation as needed. Wouldn’t it be great if Pioneer Log Homes brought their show to Quesnel and built a barn for Crooked Leg Ranch? You never know.
Liz-Anne Eyford is a volunteer with Crooked Leg Ranch and a regular Observer contributor.