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Welcome to Wayward Ranch Animal Sanctuary:

The Underdog's Last Hope!

Wayward Ranch Animal Sanctuary, Inc. is a 501c3, tax exempt non-profit organization and all donations to our sanctuary are tax deductible.

Our Mission:

To provide a quality life to the animals who need it the most. 

The Dream

Wayward Ranch was founded by three friends who, after working for other rescues for a long time, realized there was something missing from the average rescue model. No animal is perfect, and in the typical shelter system any behavioral concerns an animal had coming in are just exacerbated the longer they are kenneled or caged waiting for a home. 


Many local shelters have taken to shipping puppies up from the south because they are more “adoptable” than the shelter animals we have here. However, this just floods our market and takes homes and resources from our local animals who are suffering as a result. 


We are committed to a different type of rescue experience. We are a unique combination of adoption and sanctuary facility, taking the pressure of euthanasia away from animals who may not be generically adoptable. We also help our animals thrive, rather than deteriorate, as they wait for forever homes using a combination of enrichment and training techniques. 

Our Permanent Residents 

After watching dog after dog be euthanized in our area’s shelters, simply for small and manageable behavioral concerns, we became drawn to the idea of creating a better option for these dogs and other similar animals of other species. 


A huge part of our mission is to provide a permanent home to animals who may not be suitable for adoption due to medical or behavioral special needs. These animals are each evaluated and given a personalized enrichment and training protocol for our staff and volunteers to follow. Just because they are with us for life, doesn’t mean we let them sit here and do nothing! We work every single day to make their lives fun, exciting, and productive!

Our Adoptable Residents

Most of the animals that come to our rescue are just with us as a stop along their way to their true happy ending. We take in hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, ferrets, rabbits, cats, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, and horses and evaluate them each individually to determine how to best find their forever home. 


Many animals that come to us need some sort of medical and/or behavioral rehabilitation to prepare them for adoption. This may be a simple as experiencing positive interactions with humans (for the first time in their lives) to build up their socialization. It may mean they require extensive surgery prior to being physical ready for adoption. Regardless of their needs, we strive to meet them for every single animal.

Why Kerhonkson?

When we founded our rescue in 2016, we began as a foster based rescue in Westchester County, NY. We rescued mainly dogs, with a few cats thrown in on occasion. Almost every single animal taken in the first year was fostered by one of our board members, who also were our only donors. 


As time went on, and our rescue goals grew larger, we expanded to take on farm animals as foster homes allowed. We realized there were so many more good things we could do if we were not limited by the number of foster homes we had available. 


When searching for a property to call home, we needed to find a location close enough to the bigger donors of Westchester and NYC, but in a rural area where we could find staff and volunteers who believed in our mission and wanted to work with us. When we found our property in July of 2018, it seemed to be fate. The perfect location. A great community. A stunning property. What more could you ask for?

Our Future

As we are still adjusting to life running a farm based rescue, rather than a foster based rescue, we are looking excitedly towards the future! We are moving forward with presenting plans for a kennel facility to our town board and are hoping for their approval. A kennel facility will allow us to rescue more dogs, cats, and small animals without the constraints of available foster homes. 


We hope to become a large part of the community here in Ulster County, and to help local animals and families more and more as we grow!

Below are some of the dogs that inspired this dream and we will continue to provide a quality life to the animals that need it most in their honor.

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