"She's taking on a whole lot and giving it 100 percent. She runs a good ship and takes good care of the dogs."
Advertisement

In December 2020, Rhonda Minardi finally achieved her longtime dream of providing a sanctuary for senior dogs.

But within six weeks of opening Living Grace Canine Ranch, a safe haven for "un-adoptable" dogs in Georgetown, Texas, she was already at capacity.

Minardi told Austin-American Statesman that she was planning to start fundraising for a new building to house more dogs when local millionaire Jack Garey stopped by for a visit in April.

Garey, 91, is famous for donating his 525-acre ranch to the city of Georgetown in 2014. He liked what he saw at the sanctuary and donated $170,000 to add a building.

"I've had dogs all my life, and I really admired Rhonda for what she's doing," Garey said in a statement. "She's taking on a whole lot and giving it 100 percent. She runs a good ship and takes good care of the dogs."

Minardi is currently caring for 29 senior dogs, none of which are available for adoption. She told Austin-American Statesman that she gets at least 30 emails a day from owners and shelters looking for a place for senior dogs they're unable to care for.

"A lot of these dogs, they're senior dogs. For whatever reason, they end up in the shelters, whether it be their owners passed away, the family's no longer able to take care of them, maybe these dogs were used, had never known love. They're deemed 'un-adoptable' or 'undesirable' because of their age," Minardi told KXAN. "If you think of an assisted living for your mom or grandma, that's what this is. This isn't a place for them to come die, this a place for them to come thrive."

With Garey's donation, Minardi will build "Garey's Big Dog Bunkhouse," which will house up to 25 large, elderly dogs who have been abandoned or whose owners can't take care of them any longer.

"While Garey's generous donation of the Bunkhouse is crucial to our mission, it's only part of the picture," Living Grace Canine Ranch said in a news release. "It costs roughly $12,000 per month to keep the ranch operating, with the bulk of that coming directly through donations."

To donate and learn more about the ranch, visit LivingGraceCanineRanch.org.