Years ago I donated a few dollars to The Fund for Animals and they sent me a copy of a book by a guy named Cleveland Amory that told the story of how he started a place called Black Beauty Ranch. I remember that it was in Texas and put it in the back of my mind that someday I’d visit when I was in Texas. I forgot about it, even during at least a two dozen trips to the state over the past decade. Then last year a good friend of mine who lives in the Dallas area posted about volunteering at Black Beauty Ranch. It triggered my memory and I told her I wanted to join her next time. Next time came earlier in May when I drove to Dallas and then about 90 minutes east of Dallas to Murchison to spend a few hours helping out at Black Beauty Ranch.
Black Beauty Ranch has two open houses a year where the public can tour part of the 1,300 acres and see a few of the 1,200 animals. The rest of the year, you can volunteer to get a chance to see this amazing operation. I was really excited to arrive on Saturday morning and find out we were helping with a new Tiger exhibit. Truman the Tiger or otherwise, I love my tigers! Like the other 40 species who find homes here, the tigers at Black Beauty were rescued from circumstances like roadside zoos, circuses, the exotic pet trade or individuals who had no business owning a tiger (keeping it in cramped, concrete enclosures, etc.).
Thanks to donations, they are moving the tigers into an incredible new facility that offers lots of room for the cats to roam. Our task for the day was to clear some of the brush from the new enclosures, where they should be moving into any day now. After our large crew made quick progress, the director of Black Beauty Ranch took us by short bus over to say hi to the tigers in their current enclosures. Along the way, we got a great tour of the property and saw so many animals who have a great to place to live our their days if they are not adopted.
Places like this hurt my heart because they have to exist … and they make me happy that someone has stepped up to take care of animals who deserve better. You can support the efforts at Black Beauty Ranch by volunteering, donating money or needed items or helping spread the word about the work they do.
Here are some photos from the day.