A ranch near Laramie that provides a sanctuary for aging and abused farm animals is still facing an uncertain future as it looks for a new home.
Home on the Range Animal Haven is currently located on a 60-acre parcel a few miles south of town, a spot it has occupied since it opened in 2011. This spring, however, the landowner notified Deb Roberts, who runs Home on the Range, that the property would be put up for sale.
Roberts said a move-out date hasn’t been settled yet, but it’s coming. In the meantime, she’s been raising funds for a new start while also hunting for space for the haven’s occupants.
Currently, Home on the Range Animal Haven is home to about 20 horses, ponies, goats and sheep, plus an assortment of chickens, turkeys and cats.
The haven serves as retirement home and safe house for farm animals of all kinds, who live out their lives while provided food, shelter, medical care and dozens of friends, plus regular human visitors.
“All the animals that are here have been abused, abandoned or neglected,” she said. “They come out here to live out the rest of their lives as we nurse them back to health and care for them in a way many have never known.”
The haven is also a regular host to volunteers from organizations including Ark Regional Services, Cathedral Home for Children, Peak Wellness Center and Cowboy Challenge Academy.
The haven occupies its current home rent-free and relies on volunteer labor and donations to stay up and running. Fundraising on top of that to purchase land represents a big undertaking.
Roberts said Home on the Range has received about $20,000 in donations from the community. A fundraising page on the website GoFundMe currently has about $10,000 in pledges.
“People have been great to support us,” she said.
A donor has offered to help with a land purchase, but finding the right spot has proven tricky. Any parcel that’s a similar size is too expensive, while smaller parcels have covenants that restrict the number of animals.
“You’re only allowed so many hoofed animals,” Roberts said of the restrictions. “The top number has been five. A lot of times it’s just two.”
Roberts said she’s open to suggestions or leads, and even land that doesn’t seem quite right, such as a place without any barns, would be considered.
“We’re welcome to any ideas,” she said.
Meanwhile, Home on the Range is holding a Summer Fun Raffle, with prizes that include a Traeger Grill with a gift certificate from the Butcher Block, Yeti cooler with drinks from The Still Package Liquor, hammock with camp chairs and more.
Tickets are $10 each or $50 for six, with the drawing scheduled for July 4 at Ace Hardware. Tickets are available at The Still, 1602 Spring Creek; Hydro Hounds, 216 Sheridan; or by contacting Roberts.
Roberts said the ranch is still open to volunteer groups and visitors even as change is in the air.
To make a donation or for more information, go to www.laramiehomeontherange.org or find the organization on Facebook.