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Thursday, March 18, 2010 07:35 pm

TAKE REFUGE

Waylan is a Nubian goat — he’s sweet but shy, and likes being walked on a leash. Henri, Waylan’s best buddy, is an older sheep who’s making a comeback from years of neglect. And then there’s Stevie, a big-hearted, pot-bellied pig that once suffered from poor health, but now enjoys lots of affection and attention.

All of these barnyard friends and more are housed at Refuge Ranch, a nonprofit organization in Pawnee that pairs rescued animals with children and young adults ages 5 to 18 who suffer from social or behavioral issues. The organization not only offers these kids horseback riding lessons, but also teaches them how to work with animals and complete farm chores.

The Refuge Ranch’s rescue animals also get a second shot at life, and in March, the organization announced that animals like Waylan and Stevie would join other adoptable pets on Petfinder.com. It’s the largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet, with more than 288,000 currently listed. To see Refuge Ranch adoptees, go to www.petfinder.com/shelters/IL613.html, or search for other potential pets by species or zip code.
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