ASPCA Award for Rolling Dog Ranch and Its Work with Blind Horses and Handicapped Pets

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by Fran Jurga | 19 October 2009 | The Jurga Report at

Let's start the week with some good news.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) has announced the winner of the 2009 Henry Bergh Award, and the winner(s) are some special friends of The Jurga Report: Steve Smith and Alayne Marker of the Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Ovando, Montana, and the web site


Steve and Alayne have been running one of the world's most unusual animal sanctuaries since December 2000. The couple left their corporate jobs in Seattle and relocated to Montana fulltime to devote themselves to animal rescue. Their mission was to turn 160 acres of open grassland and cottonwoods into a sanctuary for animals with special needs -- those pets who are least likely to be adopted and most likely to be euthanized in traditional shelters. The animal sanctuary is now home to approximately 70 animals, nearly two-thirds of whom are blind.

Watch this little video to get to know them better:

Writing and researching The Jurga Report brings me into close range of some very inspiring people who are trying to help horses. Their attempts take many different forms. Often the news that this blog reports is not what we'd call "good news" but it does highlight the work of the people trying to make a difference.

While I have never been there, I am a big fan of Rolling Dog Ranch and I use them as a source of news and information, to be sure, but also as a source of inspiration. Steve is diligent about sharing news from the ranch on his blog and is one of the most effective communicators in the animal world. They deserve every award (and reward) they get.

Last week, Steve shared the dramatic story of dealing with a violently colicking blind horse, and his attempts to get her to stop compulsively rolling long enough to get his into a trailer and to the hosptial for surgery.


Click here to read the story. I think you will want to know more about the ranch and their work. Welcome to the Rolling Dog Ranch tribe!