To this day, animals are still used in laboratories as test subjects for different products we use. Some of those test subjects may end up in Wyoming after being sent away for various reasons.
Even with advancements in technology animals are still used in lab tests, subjected to harmful chemicals, just to create different items to make human lives easier.
"Initially, the idea was, this would be the forever home for these animals,” state Jhakarin Leelhasuwan, Executive Director of Kindness Ranch. “I think what happened, pretty quickly, was the founders recognized that there was a massive need for a place for them to go and we can only have so many animals on site, that if we adopt them out constantly, we can rescue more."
The kindness ranch in Hartville, Wyoming, takes in animals that have lived a life of suffering creating an atmosphere of unconditional love, helping them become more socially adept.
"They get little treats, chew toys; play time is in the afternoon,” said Kayley McMurray, one of the Animal Companion Caretakers. “We do have play dates with the other dogs, and sometimes they go off property and go around the town to let people see them and pet them. Just trying to get them socializing, acting like normal dogs because they've never been outside of a lab before."
The ranch opened in 2007. The first animals to arrive were horses that survived a pregnant mare urine farm...used to extract estrogen hormones for women's menopause medication.
"Animals aren't supposed to be kept in cages. They're supposed to be free and living, and it's just fun to see the process,” added McMurray. “People don't see them in the beginning when we get them; they just see the end product where they are perfect and ready to go and be adopted and ready to be in the world. But being here for the whole process is really gratifying."
Other animals are also taken in, including cats and dogs to help them socialize; giving them a better chance at being placed in a loving, forever home.
"We have dogs here that knew no kindness before they arrived, and have received nothing but kindness,” expressed Leelhasuwan. “To be a part of that team, to be a part of the team that does such good work brings me a lot of joy."
With places like the Kindness Ranch, lab animals have a chance to understand love and happiness. Almost 100 adoptions have been completed this year alone. Staff members hope the ranch isn't the last destination for these furry friends.
For more information about the Kindness Ranch, visit their website at www.kindnessranch.org/