Hearts Afire Mini Ranch

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The Ranch

Hearts Afire is a working mini animal ranch and sanctuary for unwanted animals. Every animal on the ranch is considered to be a pet and becomes one of the family. We try to keep a variety of mini animal species for young people to visit and enjoy. We do, however, take in any unwanted animal or animal in need reguardless of size. A major emphasis of the ranch staff is to promote animal awareness and the importance of providing good animal care. We encourage field trips from schools, scouting groups, 4H, church groups or any other interested young people. There are no charges for any of our services.

The ranch also serves as a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation center and a sanctuary for unwanted mammals and retiles. In 2011, Hearts Afire began taking in donkeys that were abondoned by their owners due to the drought. These animals will ultimately be offered for adoption.

The History or Hearts Afire

The Kritter Gitters have always had a love for animals. In 1986, they  became concerned about the amount of cruel treatment of wild animals they were seeing in their community. After some investigation, it became apparent that the bad treatment of animals was more a lack of knowing what to do with animals in need rather than being cruel. They also figured out that many municiple animal control agencies didn't have a lot of experience in handling anything but cats and dogs. The Kritter Gitters started offering to help people with their animal problems and very quickly found that wild animal care was a very sophisticated and complicated business. The more they learned, the more they knew how little they knew. In 1990 they began volunteering for a rehab center in New Mexico where they learned how to care for many of the local species. As they developed their understanding of rehabilitating animals, they also identified a real lack of support in the area of in the field rescue of these creatures in need. To this end, in 1995, they opened Fur and Feathers Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. This company not only provided rehabilitation service, but also specialized in the actual in the field rescue activities. In 1997, the Kritter Gitters opened their Animal Rescue Academy. This school taught and certified volunteers to go into the field; rescue, stabilize, and transport injured and sick wild animals. By 2000, the company had expanded into 5 New Mexico communities and became a full time activity. By 2008, the rehabilitation facility had become overcrowded and unmanagable. Fur and Feathers began looking to relocate to a large facility. Bob had become interested in raising Australian marsupials as a hobby, and Cathy always wanted a mini horse farm. In 2008, they found a small ranch in East Texas that had everything required for wallabies, mini horses and rehab activities. Hence, the birth of Hearts Afire Mini Ranch.