By Jaime Purinton, Board Member, Volunteer Director of Development
Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary, located in Temecula Wine Country of California, is a non-profit sanctuary offering rescue and refuge to baby farm animals discarded by the food industry, specifically dairy, and hospice to senior horses and those with special medical needs. Founded by Dave and Jen Sale in 2013, SRAS has grown into a safe place that offers many animals, some who were on death’s door when they arrived at the ranch, a place to heal and receive the love and care they desperately need. SRAS believes animals are living, breathing, beautiful beings who are someone, not “something”. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and educate on their behalf while promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle. Once the animals are healed and healthy, they connect the animals and their stories to help children in the community to heal.
Jen’s love for horses started when she was a young girl and she fell in love with her first horse, Patches. Patches taught Jen commitment, loyalty, compassion, and the magic horses hold. Those values Jen learned from Patches, became the framework from which she would approach all animals in her life, then and now, and the foundation in which SRAS was built on. Jen’s experience with horses and a background in nursing gives her a unique perspective needed to properly care for the animals at SRAS.
After raising two children, Dave and Jen left the city and purchased property in Temecula’s wine country to fulfill a lifelong dream to offer refuge to animals in need. In searching for their first horse to bring to the ranch, they were shocked and saddened to learn of the overwhelming abundance of abandoned and neglected horses in their area. In addition, they also learned that many farm animals, due to the close proximity of dairy farms, were also in need of refuge. Jen and Dave’s deep love for all animals, made it impossible to ignore this need and Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary was born.
SRAS has grown from the first horse they rescued; a Mustang named Second Chances…AKA Chancie. He was an extreme case of neglect. Starving, skinny, and horribly overgrown hooves, he was living in a very small coral with manure up to his belly. Animal Control was called, so to avoid charges and seizure, his former owner unbelievably rode him over 10 miles in his poor condition down the road where he was dumped at a friend’s ranch, luckily found his way into Jen’s life, and heart. Since Chancie’s rescue, SRAS has grown to provide forever refuge for eleven more horses that all have equally heartbreaking pasts but now live a happy life full of care and love.
The ranch expanded into rescuing farm animals, in addition to horses, after Jen learned of a dozen goat babies, just days old and barely alive, were found in a trailer behind a local slaughter auction. Barely alive in a pile of other babies that were already dead. Too young, too cold, and without the much-needed colostrum from their Mom proved too much for their tiny bodies. Of those handful of babies clinging to life, only five survived, and two of them, Kid Rock and Clover, found their forever refuge at SRAS.
Both babies were very sick, and their lives hung in the balance for several weeks. After weeks of bottle feedings, diapers, sleeping inside with Jen and Dave, and a multiple vet visits, both Kid Rock and Clover beat the odds that were stacked so cruelly against them and became the catalyst for major changes in how Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary is run.
Since then, SRAS has become home to residents of all types, not just goats and horses. Since Kid Rock and Clover’s rescue, SRAS has become a refuge for goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, pot belly pigs, market pigs, and dogs, most of them were rescued from deplorable and unbelievable conditions. These animals have gone from hopeless to healed, and now in turn help heal members of the community including foster and at-risk children with SRAS’s foster child program. These children get to come out to the ranch, meet the animals in person, learn about our food industry, specifically how farm animals are treated in the industry, and decompress and feel the healing energy the residents of the ranch have to offer. It is a special offering that Jen feels is very important to share with the children that need it most.
SRAS has big plans for the future, including expansion to a nearby property so they can offer forever refuge to spent dairy cows. Spent dairy cows are cows that have spent their life in service birthing baby after baby, so they can produce milk for human consumption. The babies are taken from their Mom right at birth and if they are a male they are culled or put in a veal crate. If they are a female, they are put on a milk replacer and impregnated as soon as possible so they can provide milk. Once these cows can no longer get pregnant, and therefore cannot produce milk anymore, they are considered “spent dairy cows” and are shipped to slaughter to become cheap ground beef such as hamburger. SRAS’s dream is to save some of these cows and give them a happy forever home in return for their years of service providing milk.
Since SRAS is in a high fire zone area, they are also in the process of acquiring a full-size truck and stock trailer that can be used for evacuating local farm animals if needed in a fire emergency. In addition to the truck and trailer, several volunteers will also be certified in large animal evacuation, so they can get in the fire zone and work with local law enforcement and fire to get animals out safely.
How to Help
Rescuing farm animals, especially senior and those with special medical needs is costly. Sale Ranch Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is run entirely by donations from the public and does not receive any county, state, or federal funding. Donations go directly to help feed and care for the animals and are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law. They offer a monthly “Super-Hero” Sponsor program as outlined below:
Goat Guardian: $10 or more per month- a warm and happy heart knowing you are helping our four-legged friends.
Donkey Defender: $25 or more per month- a warm and happy heart knowing you are helping our four-legged friends and access to a public tour annually for you and a guest.
Cow Crusader: $50 or more per month- In addition to a warm and happy heart, you will have access to a public tour annually for you and a guest, plus a matted 5 x 7 print ready to frame.
Horse Hero: $100 or more per month- In addition to a happy heart, you’ll get access to a public tour annually for you plus a guest, plus a matted 5 x 7 print ready to frame and a SRAS tee shirt.
In addition to needing monetary support, SRAS runs 100% on volunteers. If you are 18+ years old and share the same vision and mission and would like to volunteer, please visit www.saleranchsanctuary.org/ to apply.
You can find Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary to donate or sign up to be a monthly sponsor online at www.saleranchsanctuary.org/.