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Sanctuary spotlight: The Devoted Barn

Have you heard of The Devoted Barn? This very special animal sanctuary may be less than five years old, but it’s already made a huge impact—saving animals’ lives, helping the community and even winning a prestigious national award.

Following are some fun facts about The Devoted Barn, which founder and director Melissa Borden started in 2013 (though she spent more than 20 years prior to that rescuing abused and neglected animals):

BASED IN: Newport, Michigan (about 30 miles south of Detroit)

SIZE OF the sanctuary: 53 acres

KINDS OF animals rescued: Abused, neglected and difficult-to-place cats, bunnies, dogs, llamas, pigs and sheep

BIG HEARTS: At-risk youth and special needs adults work and bond with the animals at The Devoted Barn (alongside an army of volunteers)—learning compassion, empathy and important life skills along the way.

Some of the animals at The Devoted Barn …

NO CHALLENGE too large: The Devoted Barn uses a successful six-step rehab program for domesticating feral dogs. The result? Dogs previously considered unadoptable (such as this 12-week-old pit bull puppy saved from death row) find their way to loving forever homes.

FUN FACT: Volunteers read books to the feral dogs so they can get used to hearing human voices.

TOP HONOR: The Devoted Barn won “2015 Shelter of the Year” at the 61st Annual Purina Pro Plan Show Dogs of the Year Awards in New York City.

SWEET READ: Last year, sanctuary founder Borden published Rocky’s Last Gift: A Love Story, the true story about a little girl’s healing journey and the unconditional love she shared with a special horse.

TRAVEL TIP: Tours are available by appointment only, so make sure to call first before stopping by!

GET SOCIAL: For adorable videos of sanctuary residents (a mama dog licking her baby puppy! Doggie playtime!), news and more, follow The Devoted Barn on Facebook.

HELPING HAND: You can support The Devoted Barn’s inspiring mission by donating here.

Gallery photos © The Devoted Barn

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