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Kindness Ranch

Biggest Save Yet: Wyoming’s Kindness Ranch Working To Save 4,000 Beagles

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Two years ago when John Ramer saved 30 beagles, he had no idea where it would lead. 

That number has grown exponentially in recent weeks for Ramer and his team as his national efforts to save rescued lab animals continue to grow. 

In the next two months, Ramer and his crew at Kindness Ranch will be facilitating the herculean feat of saving about 4,000 beagle pups from the beleaguered Envigo, a beagle breeding facility in Virginia that sells animals for testing. The facility was recently shut down following a lengthy investigation by animal rights groups.

Ramer is the executive director of the rescue ranch in southeast Wyoming, which is the only animal sanctuary in both the state and country to take in only rescued lab animals used in clinical trials and medical research. Beagles, which are the most used animal in lab testing, account for the bulk of Ramer’s saves.

Ramer has been quietly working behind the scenes with Envigo to provide homes for the dogs. This has entailed him buying a new transport vehicle to help with delivery of the dogs to Wyoming and to facilities across the U.S.

“I am now the ‘beagle broker,’” Ramer said. “This is a very fluid situation, and how it will transpire is evolving by the minute.”

At this point, the Kindness Ranch, which also is home to horses, pigs, llamas, rabbits, cats, goats and more, has adopted out more than 500 beagles this year alone. Despite the daunting task ahead, Ramer remained steadfast about the importance of this work and what drives him.

“Picking up a single dog from a research facility is one of the most heartwarming things I have ever been involved in,” he said. “Being able to hold and connect with that one dog creates a special bond like no other.”

The value of that bond and the payoff of giving the animals homes far outweighs any judgement against Envigo or any other medical facility he works with to save the dogs from euthanasia.

He sees his role as a neutral negotiator who is able to save the animals based on the relationships he’s built with the medical and product facilities in addition to the breeding facility in Virginia and purposefully avoids the politics surrounding animal testing and those who wish to use the animals as a means to further their cause.

“I want to be very clear about this,” he said. “If you only want to help in order to further your agenda of advocating against research or breeding and these beautiful souls are just a tool for you to use in order to do so — your request to help will be denied. These animals have been through enough, they deserve to be in homes and not be used as props.”

Right now, Ramer is looking for donations and volunteers to help transport and rehome these 4,000 beagles that have never experienced home environments.

“They will take a great deal of patience while acclimating to their new surroundings,” he said.

Time is of the essence, Ramer added, noting they only have a small window in which to get all of these puppies moved out of the Virginia facility.

“We have a very limited amount of time to make all this happen,” he said. “We need dog food, dog bowls, dog blankets, leashes and more. We also need money. It is expensive to drive across the country right now, and spays and neuters for this number of animals is not cheap.”

Anyone interested in transporting or are an organization that may be able to help can contact Those interested in donating, adopting, fostering or have questions about the process are asked to contact

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Kindness Ranch Pet Of The Week: Saturday, April 2, 2022

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The new Kindness Ranch beagle rescues from the breeding facility in Virginia will be ready for adoption by the end of April.

The Kindness Ranch is the only animal sanctuary in Wyoming and the nation who solely rescues animals from product testing and medical research facilities to be rehabilitated and adopted (or to live out their days at the sanctuary near Hartville).

Once adopted, the beagles will still need work on potty training and walking on leashes and tend to be sensitive to loud noises, so some patience will be required.

Please email – or fill out an online application at

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Kindness Ranch Gets Big Boost In National Attention After Their Story Goes Viral

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

An animal rescue operation in southeast Wyoming is generating national attention since it was featured in a story by Cowboy State Daily last month.

Kindness Ranch, a 1,000-acre animal sanctuary near Hartville, specializes in rescuing animals that have been bred for, or used in, laboratory research. 

A month ago, Cowboy State Daily sent a reporter and videographer to the sanctuary to document the arrival of 30 beagle pups. The pups were among 150 puppies that had been destined to be research animals before being rescued. 

“The breeder in Virginia had recently come under some scrutiny from the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and public opinion, and wanted to step up and do the right thing,” said John Ramer, director of Kindness Ranch. “Cowboy State Daily got us an awful lot of publicity.”

Cowboy State Daily’s story, written by Jen Kocher and captured on video by Mike McCrimmon, caught the attention of some high-level social media influencers, including @goodnews_movement, a journalist-run Instagram page that has more than 4 million followers.

“The Good News Movement shared the story that Jen did, and it’s gone quite viral, and it’s still getting us attention and followers on all of our social media platforms,” Ramel said.

“This positive reporting that’s being done has increased our exposure astronomically,” he added. “We just recently were followed by, and had a brief conversation with, Sharon Osbourne, of all people, who offered to share any of our social media posts if we wanted her to.”

Other high-profile personalities who have become fans of Kindness Ranch since the story was released last month include fashion model Ashley Smouter, as well as Amy Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s wife. 

All of this attention has brought nothing but good to Kindness Ranch, according to Ramer.

“We’ve had nearly 100 bags of dog food donated through our wish list,” he said. “And people are going to our website and our social media and seeing that we have more than just dogs – so we’ve gotten a lot of horse treats and cat food and cat treats donated, so it’s been beneficial all around for the sanctuary.” 

Kindness Ranch may be the oldest, largest and possibly only sanctuary in the country dedicated to rescuing research animals, but Ramer pointed out that his organization is not the only one dedicated to the well-being of animals as a whole. 

As Ramer was being interviewed by Cowboy State Daily for this story, he had just come off a plane from Virginia, where he and representatives from Homeward Trails in Virginia and Priceless Pets in California had just completed “part two” of last month’s beagle rescue. 150 more pups from the same breeder had been loaded up and driven away from futures as laboratory animals.

“Sue Bell from Homeward Trails has taken somewhere between 20 and 30 beagles to the Virginia area and surrounding areas around there,” he said, “and then our transport partners Priceless Pets with Charles and Lisa Price, who were also mentioned in the last article, they are transporting the remaining dogs across the country. Thirty-two are coming to Kindness Ranch and the rest are going to California.”

Ramer said Cowboy State Daily’s story and the resulting publicity helped ensure that more animals will be rescued from breeders like the one in Virginia.

“The facilities that give us animals are pleased with the fact that we don’t mention them by name, and we don’t bad mouth them or the work that they’re doing,” he said. “And that ensures that we’ll continue to get animals released to us.”

Of the 150 animals that were rescued in February, 140 of them have already been adopted by people from all around the country, Ramer said, adding that the 32 beagle puppies that are arriving at Kindness Ranch this week will be ready for adoption by April 1.

“They’ve all been through research or technical training of some sort, like hands-on practice animals for medical students and whatnot,” he explained. “They all have trust issues with people. We’re not in an extreme hurry to place all of our dogs, so if it takes a little bit longer for people to (adopt them) we’re more than willing to work with them.”

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Wyoming’s Kindness Ranch Coordinates 150 Beagle Rescue; Biggest In Its History

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily
Video shot and produced by Mike McCrimmon

The truck was less than 5 miles away Wednesday night as the handful of Kindness Ranch staff members waited in the barn in silent anticipation. 

A lot of emotion was tied up in this moment. In fewer than 15 minutes, 30 beagle pups would be arriving, part of a 150-beagle puppy rescue operation from a breeding facility in Virginia that had recently come under national scrutiny after numerous citations regarding their practices. 

“To be able to intercept dogs before they were sold to research is unheard of and an opportunity that we could not pass up,” said John Ramer, director of the Kindness Ranch.

As the small four-person team of dog trainers and behavioral specialists waited for the van to arrive, Ramer explained the complicated range of emotions felt by him and his staff. It’s a bittersweet moment of sadness and elation in what he called the “Nirvana of the rescue world.”

The hard part is seeing the terror in the animals’ eyes when they arrive to see yet more “scary  humans” waiting to greet them.

The joy, however, Ramer said, comes immediately following as the puppies begin to take their first steps out of the lab world.    

“We try to focus on the happy moment of saving all these souls,” Ramer said. “We don’t focus on the negative.” 

The facilities the beagles came from breeds the beagles specifically for use in medical and laboratory research. Were it not for this rescue mission, the pups likely would have been sold to research facilities for up to $1,500 a puppy, and probably euthanized upon the end of the studies, which can run anywhere from six months to three years.

The Kindness Ranch provides an alternative for these former lab animals. The 1,000-acre rescue sanctuary near Hartville in the southeast corner of the state is the only animal sanctuary of its kind in the country that rescues only lab animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, cows and most recently, four llamas from a college vet tech program. 

Once at the sanctuary, the animals receive round-the-clock attention from live-in caretakers who spend their days attempting to train and socialize the animals for adoption or a comfortable life at the ranch’s no-kill shelter, depending on their adoptability.

Beagle Saves

Beagles, it turns out, are highly adoptable. They also comprise the bulk of the residents at the Kindness Ranch given their popularity as a lab animal. Not only are they highly adaptable with a low pain threshold, they also have a fairly low “fight or flight” response that makes them easier to work with than the more aggressive breeds.

Wednesday’s intake of new beagle puppies was one of several for Ramer, who has spearheaded many such operations. 

Since taking over as director just less than three years ago, Ramer – who has spent the bulk of his career saving and rehabilitating animals including more than a decade working in a wolf sanctuary  – has become a maverick when it comes to large-scale, national rescues. 

Part of his success is his ability to navigate the thorny politics of rescuing lab animals and to form working relationships with facilities which let him take the animals as opposed to euthanizing them. He also has active partnerships with animal rescue operations throughout the country who often team up to split up the rescued animals among themselves and coordinate logistics.

Last week, Ramer was in Virginia spearheading the release of the 150 puppies that were ferried en masse to southern California by transport drivers Charles and Lisa Price of Priceless Pets in Chino Hills, California. The puppies had spent the last few days at Priceless Pets being checked over and sorted into groups to be driven to various facilities. First to be delivered were the 30 pups coming to Wyoming.  

By Wednesday evening, the husband wife team had been driving for the past 20 hours with minimal stops to feed and water the beagles as part of their “no paws on the ground” transport services. 

Waiting For Dogs

As the van backed into the open door of the barn, the staff put on their best faces to greet the new intakes. 

This recovery was much different than others, Ramer noted, because none of these animals have yet been to a research facility and are coming straight from the breeder who referred to them as cream of the crop. 

Kindness Ranch staff members Val Yuravak and 19-year-old Alaina Maiers have been through this before as they excitedly waited for the van doors to open. New hire 26-year-old Hannah Towne was not quite sure what to expect. 

All were busy thinking up names. 

As with every new batch of new dogs, the staff had picked a theme in advance to provide guidance for naming the pups. Up until that point, the animals had been identified only by the string of letters and numbers assigned by the facilities for U.S. Department of Agriculture tracking purposes. 

“This is one of the most fun parts,” companion animal manager Steven Lee said.  

The last batch of puppies to arrive was named from states and capitals while the one before was trees. This time it’s Zodiac signs and constellations. 

As simple as it might sound, given that most new owners change the names of the puppies when they are adopted anyway, Lee said it’s a special time for he and his crew. 

“It can be a really tough job,” he said. “Rewarding, but tough. This is just one of those times to have some fun and help them feel welcome.”

Lee, who is relatively new to the world of animal sanctuaries, was born in New York City and spent the bulk of his career working in the high stress world of software engineering in California. 

Where some might feel out of place in the middle of nowhere, the 55-year-old feels right at home as he gets the group of dog trainers lined out for “go time.” This will be his fifth intake, he said, explaining the chaos that would ensue the second the “kids” were unloaded.

Organized Chaos

The best way to describe the unpacking of 30 large crates full of barking one and one-half year-old beagles from the van is chaos. This is normal, Ramer said, as the staff worked through the initial shock the eardrum breaking staccato of shrill barking as they started an assembly line to unpack the dogs. 

Once a dog was pulled from the crate, it was checked for sex. Staff had no idea how many of each gender they were getting, but were told to expect a lot of girls. This turned out to be accurate as the dog runs filled with tiny, barking females. 

For this intake, a large corner of the barn had been cordoned off with two rows of fenced dog runs and several large overhead heat lamps to keep them toasty during their 5-day quarantine. 

“Girl, boy, this one is peeing,” one staff member reported as she and her colleagues ducked around one another – dogs in hand – to sort them in runs with the appropriate gender. 

As they work, the staff can’t help but be distracted by several of the beagles vying for their attention with paws and snouts through the open fencing as the puppies work through their mixed response of terror and jubilation.

Sometimes it’s a split-second reaction. When Val stopped to pet a couple female puppies who were barking in her direction, one cowered in the corner of its pen on shaking legs as Val coaxed the puppies over to her. 

One belly-crawled over to her while the other watched from the a bed in the corner, as foreign to the pups as are the friendly faces on the people waiting to pet them.

It took less than 30 seconds for the shaking puppy to collapse on its back as Val scratched its belly. Meanwhile, its companion tentatively made its way over to Val on shaking legs before immediately jumping in the air in a fit of excitement that the staff referred to the “zoomies.”

These are the moments that still – even after his more than 20 years in the animal rescue business – bring tears to Ramer’s eyes.

It gets Ramer every time, he said, no matter how often he sees it. It also fuels his passion for saving as many animals as he can.

The first batch of beagle puppies will be neutered and spayed next week and put up for adoption by early March.

The Kindness Ranch is accepting donations and volunteers to help fund this and other rescues. They are also seeking to expand their foster base. For more information, see Kindness Ranch or contact them at:

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Wyoming Kindness Ranch Pet of the Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Wyatt is a big, beautiful 11-year-old cat patiently waiting for his forever home.

Wyatt was used in nutritional studies and has no discernible health issues as a result. He’s a good boy and would make someone a fine companion.

Kindness Ranch near Hartville is an animal sanctuary housing dog, cat, pig and other animal rescues from research and medical labs. If interested in Wyatt or scheduling a visit to see any of the other animals, contact staff at or (307) 735-4177.

The ranch is open Monday – Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Kindness Ranch Pet Of The Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

This week’s pet of the week is Claus, the beagle. Though Claus is shy at first, he more than makes up for with his cuteness. He, like all the other beagles and animals at the Kindness Ranch animal sanctuary, were rescued from animal testing and research labs.

Claus is doing well and getting more confident every day. He loves attention, squeaky toys, and of course. treats!

For more information about Claus and the dozens of beagles, cats and other animals available for adoption, contact the Kindness Ranch at or call: (307) 735-4177.

Beagle adoptions cost $150. Mention you saw this on Cowboy State Daily for a $50 discount.

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Kindness Ranch: Pet of the Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Thirteen beagles will be up for adoption in January at the Kindness Ranch.

The Kindness Ranch outside of Hartville saves animals used in medical or product testing and rehabilitates and socializes the animals for adoption.

Anyone interested in adopting one of these beagles or any of the number of cats available is asked to fill out an adoption form on the sanctuary’s website.

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Kindness Ranch: Pet of the Week

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Looking for a Christmas present for your favorite person? Look no further than Raleigh, a 2-year old beagle from Houston who was used in flea and tick research.

According to John Ramer, executive director at the Kindness Ranch, Raleigh is shy, but once he warms up to you, there is no dog that would be more attached and affectionate. Raleigh would do well in a home with a secure yard and a dog door, Ramer said.

For more information about Raleigh or any of the other beagles or cats at the Kindness Ranch, call (307) 735-4177 or email:

Kindness Ranch: Pet of the Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

These cats need help!

The Kindness Ranch outside of Hartville is looking for foster homes for five cats with special needs who were used primarily for vaccine research and need special care and medical attention to fully thrive.

The sanctuary will cover the cost of all medical care and will also help with food.  

Interested in giving these sweet cats a temporary – or permanent – home?

The Kindness Ranch provides home and rehabilitation for lab test animals who would otherwise be euthanized at the end of their medical research.

For more information about these and other animals, contact John Ramer and his staff at or (307) 735 – 4177. Due to the remote nature of location, email works best.

Sugar-13 years old : Needs a special diet

Mandy-13 years old: Needs a special diet
Wyatt-11 years old: Needs a special diet
Jupiter-5 years old: Urination/marking issues
Morton-11 years old. Needs to be an only cat, may pee and poop on things

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Kindness Ranch: Pet Of The Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Cowboy State Daily is featuring a new animal every week who is up for adoption at the Kindness Ranch in Hartville, Wyoming.

The Kindness Ranch provide homes and rehabilitation for lab test animals who would otherwise be euthanized at the end of their medical research experiments or clinical trials.

Meet Clark McScrappy!

Clark came to Kindness Ranch a little over a year ago. This big beautiful 5-year-old boy was used in vaccine research and had a reputation for guarding his boundaries with gusto.

During his time at Kindness Ranch he has been calm, collected and simply wants a couch, a sun beam and an unending supply of love and affection.

If you are interested in Clark or any of our other adoptable animals, you can fill out our online application here –

Kindness Ranch provides a sanctuary and home for animals who have been used in laboratory research with the goal of rehabilitating them for adoption.

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Kindness Ranch: Pet of the Week

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Cowboy State Daily is featuring a new animal every week who is up for adoption at the Kindness Ranch in Hartville, Wyoming.

The Kindness Ranch provide homes and rehabilitation for lab test animals who would otherwise be euthanized at the end of their medical research experiments or clinical trials.

Say hello to Wyatt.

Wyatt is an 11-year-male kitty who was used in nutritional research. He is an absolute lover and a staff favorite as well as many visitors’ first favorite kitty!

Wyatt was the inspiration behind getting an exercise wheel for the Kitty Bunkhouse. Although several other cats tend to be the ones who properly utilize the exercise wheel, they only do so when Wyatt is not napping on it.

If you are interested in Wyatt or any of our other adoptable animals, you can fill out our online application here –

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