Janice Wolf’s lifelong dream has been to establish a rescue which would help all kinds of animals. Around 20 years ago, she established Rocky Ridge Refuge in Arkansas. Over the years, she has rescued many dogs and also a wide variety of exotic animals. They all live together and have formed a unique animal family.
Nowadays, Janice focuses on rescuing dogs, but there are still a few non-traditional animals that arrive at her refuge for medical care, rehabilitation and recovery.
Some of her long-term residents like Cheesecake the Capybara and Crouton the African Sulcata Tortoise are often surrounded with puppies. Cheesecake often fosters many of the orphaned puppies that come to the refuge.
This article first appeared on DogHeirs and is republished with permission.
Janice shared with DogHeirs what inspired her rescue and why she chose to devote her life to caring for not only dogs, but all the animals who have come to her in need of care.
“I believe I was born for this work. My first rescue was an injured Pelican when we lived in Key West, and I was not yet 3 years old!”
“All during my childhood I would rescue and raise orphaned and injured wildlife. I was rarely allowed to have a dog, so the little critters people brought me to help were my main focus.”
“Once I was on my own, my education and work was in ‘people rescue’, social work/counseling type positions. I integrated animals into these programs as an early ‘pet therapy’ utilization.”
“Really, it didn’t take long to realize that animals were easier to help and rehab than humans! Still, for many years I had to work several jobs at a time to make it, as I have always lived alone, so time-wise I could only rescue a few at a time.”
“About 20 years ago when I moved to Arkansas from Hawaii, I finally was able to have a little land and could begin to properly have a variety of animals.”
“Rocky Ridge Refuge (RRR) was born then unofficially and one animal at a time. I had been a vet tech and so knew I wanted to help special needs critters. One at a time, I acquired critters of all types and with various needs. I took in exotics that others could not.”
“Some of my first residents here were a one-eyed Llama, an orphaned Water Buffalo, and a baby Nilgai Antelope with a horribly fractured leg. Then came Lurch, the baby African Watusi steer who grew up to be the Guinness World Record for largest horn circumference on an animal ever recorded!”
“His fame brought thousands of visitors from all over the world to see him. I had to quit my jobs just to deal with the throngs that would find their way here! Lurch brought a lot of media attention and that brought many more pleas to help needy animals. I began more focus on dogs more then since there is an endless need there and I was home full time to care for them.”
“Full-time rescue is the best work I have ever done, but also the hardest in many ways. The best part is that animals, especially dogs, are usually so grateful and will recover from their past with few grudges. They take the help and get on with life in a positive way, they don’t sit and brood and blame like so many human ‘victims’ do.”
“Whether they have lost a body part or spent years in horrid place, they make the best of new opportunity and are willing to love and be loved.”
“I have seen some true miracles happen over the years and I know I will see more. I can’t pick a favorite, there are so many!”
“Because I rescue a variety of beasts and have a relatively small place, many odd interspecies friendships have formed here in my ‘group home’.”
“In fact, when I started my RRR Facebook page 3 [now 6] years ago, the daily pics I posted of the relationships here is what I have become known for. I now make RRR calendars each year with these pics as my only fundraiser.”
“I plan to continue this work as long as possible. As I get older and less physically able to do the larger animals, I have continued to focus mainly on canines, but still have some non-traditional residents like my Zebra, Capybara, Water Buffalo and a new guy, a Meishan Pig, who is presently snuggled in his bed with my Bull Terrier, Butterbean by his side!”
To find out more about Rocky Ridge Refuge and the dogs available for adoption visit Rocky Ridge Refuge website here. You can help support Rocky Ridge Refuge by getting their latest calendar or making a donation.
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