At Living Grace Canine Ranch outside Austin, old dogs will be able to live out their days surrounded by love.

By Meghan Overdeep
July 30, 2020
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This week, Rhonda Minardi’s longtime dream of providing a sanctuary for senior dogs got one step closer to fulfillment.

Now, with the foundation finally poured, what was once an empty field outside of Austin, Texas, will soon become a safe haven for “un-adoptable” dogs.

A number of experiences drive Minardi’s passion for senior pups. She told KXAN that old dogs were an afterthought prior to her mother falling six years ago. What her mother said when she found out she would be moving into assisted living changed everything.  

“She had a dog named Lucy, and the first thing my mom said to me, as tears were coming down her face, was, ‘What about Lucy?’ And I was like, ‘Uh, who’s gonna take care of Lucy?'”

Later, when Minardi rescued a severely abused and neglected senior dog named Gracie from a high-kill shelter, her mission became clear. Her heart broke for the old dog who had never known kindness. So, she set about establishing Living Grace Canine Ranch, a place where older pups like Gracie could live out their days surrounded by love.

“A lot of these dogs, they’re senior dogs. For whatever reason, they end of 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.”

Minardi plans to take in surrenders, the abused and neglected, and any animals in hoarding situations. But her dream is a work in progress. Minardi still needs help with funding and volunteers. To donate and learn more about the ranch, visit LivingGraceCanineRanch.org.

Thank you for all you do, Rhonda!