“We don’t go to the shelter ever. We don’t make our decisions based on that,” said Carrie Singer, founder and director of the Animal Guardian Network. “It’s really what the need is, what the condition is and if we feel we can meet that need and help that animal, then we take them.”
Singer is giving all types of animals a second chance at the Animal Guardian Network in Cave Creek, Arizona. A Western-type sanctuary where they can live surrounded by love.
“We started with just a few animals and we have grown to about 45 and we have really refined our focus,” Singer said. “So our focus now, we’re really kind of an assisted living for animals. We’re an actual sanctuary where they will come and live their lives out here.”
Singer created the nonprofit group back in 2009. Besides being an assisted-living facility for animals, she does some adoptions and specializes in Shiba Inus.
“It started out just as a network, an email network, and grew from there and most animals that are left behind are going to be senior, special needs animals that are injured,” Singer said. “So it was a niche that wasn’t filled and desperately needed to be.”
Dogs, horses, chickens and even a cow are just some of the animals that call Singer’s sanctuary home.
While some come to her from the shelter, others have been found on the side of the road or abandoned.
They’re usually not in the best condition and are malnourished and suffering from all kinds of medical issues.
“They’re dying already, so we’ve had some amazing miracles,” Singer said. “We will work with our veterinarians to get all medical care taken care of and they can come here for rehab.”
Singer shares the animals’ journey of survival on social media.
“I feel like we give a voice to the animals that used to be anonymous,” Singer said.
Volunteers are a big part of what makes the Animal Guardian Network so successful. They not only help Singer tend to the animals on a regular basis, stopping by for a visit can be just as rewarding.
“As they get to know the dogs, they depend on that,” Singer said. “So it’s actually disappointing for them when they cancel or don’t show up. The dogs know.”
Singer also opens the sanctuary to anyone who has lost a furry friend and wants to remember them at the pet chapel.
She even hosts tours at the facility where people can meet some of the animals like Curly the cow.
“I can’t even describe how rewarding that is to actually be able to live your purpose,” Singer said. “It’s been amazing and I feel like it’s a blessing every day.”
If interested in donating or becoming a volunteer at the Animal Guardian Network, visit www.animalguardiannetwork.org