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home : features : people & places February 6, 2016

12/4/2012 11:36:00 AM
All creatures great and small:
At the Circle L Ranch, love is on the hoof - and paw
Liz Stegmeir, at right, and Becca Benoit interact with the goats at the Circle L Ranch a rescue and sanctuary home for horses, dogs, cats and other animals in Prescott Valley Friday afternoon.Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Liz Stegmeir, at right, and Becca Benoit interact with the goats at the Circle L Ranch a rescue and sanctuary home for horses, dogs, cats and other animals in Prescott Valley Friday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Stegmeir hangs with the horses.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Stegmeir hangs with the horses.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Lisa Irish
Special to the Tribune

Basil, a Nubian goat, came to Circle L Ranch Animal Rescue and Sanctuary earlier this year after teenagers prowling around his owner's property poisoned his brother.

Basil's owners, who loved him as a pet, didn't want Basil to meet the same fate.

They sent Basil to friends who had goats, but the goats were mean to him so Basil's owners called Circle L Ranch, which took him in, and now he loves following employees around the ranch and riding in the tractor.

The Circle L Ranch Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, founded by Scottsdale Dr. Deborah Wilson and operated by 501(c)3 Feathers Foundation, is home to 115 goats, 80 dogs, 30 horses, 20 sheep, 12 cattle, 5 geese, several chickens and is run by three full-time employees and several dedicated volunteers.

"We're a unique rescue in the area with large areas for animals to move freely," said Becca Benoit, a volunteer at Circle L Ranch. "We're also a sanctuary where all the livestock and several older and blind dogs can live out their rest of their lives in peace."

Right now, Circle L Ranch seeks more volunteers, donations, and sponsorships to help them continue their mission.

"Our owner Dr. Wilson has put so much of her money and heart into the ranch in the past six years, and we'd like to increase community support," said Liz Stegmeir, manager of the ranch.

With an estimated $100,00 a year spent on animal feed, donations of feed, discounts on veterinary services, and donations of fencing and other supplies are greatly appreciated and needed, Stegmeir said.

"With hay up to $20 a bale, it costs quite a bit," Stegmeir said. "We have businesses and individuals who consistently donate to the ranch and we are so very grateful for them."

A couple recently built new enclosures for the goats, and the ranch would like to improve fencing in the livestock area, Stegmeir said.

"We need more volunteers to help take care of and play with the dogs," Benoit said. "We also really need volunteers to organize fundraisers, convert our contacts to a database, create a newsletter, take dogs to adoption events, and help develop sponsorships."

Stegmeir said she encourages people and local businesses to come tour the ranch, see their unique role, and consider adopting one of their dogs, sponsoring an animal's feed, contributing to their emergency veterinarian care fund, or helping out on a ranch project.

"A sponsorship of $25 buys a 40 pound bag of dog food, $50 buys food and medicine, and $100 buys food, medicine and veterinarian care," Benoit said.

To learn more, please go to the website circlel.org, or call Stegmeir at 928-273-7005.

In the past year, Circle L has found homes for about 100 dogs, Benoit said

"Our dogs live in three homes on the ranch with people, not by themselves in 10' by 8' kennels," Stegmeir said. "Here they learn to live with people and other animals in a home and have plenty of space to run."

Most dogs at Circle L are available for adoption and have been rescued from county facilities and Humane Societies around the state, Stegmeir said.

One of the pups rescued, Scooby, was found injured in a Phoenix schoolyard after he'd been thrown over the fence, Stegmeir said.

After a teacher sent out a plea for someone to help Scooby, a woman took him in, had his leg treated, and called us to help find Scooby a good home, Stegmeir said.

"He's smart as a whip and has a lot of energy," Stegmeir said.

When another dog first arrived, she was so excited she ran around the yard for 30 minutes before settling down to meet the other dogs, Stegmeir said.

"The dogs are so grateful when they get here, you can see it on their faces," Stegmeir said. "The dogs get a lot of love and one-on-one attention here."

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