Six years ago, Jamie Wallace-Griner’s life was changed forever when a Great Pyrenees named Angel came into her life. Angel instantly connected with her son Jackson. Jackson had autism, and according to Jamie “Angel touched parts of his heart, that I couldn’t even reach as his mother”. Seeing the incredible connection Jamie was inspired to help create this same connection for others.
Starting a Rescue
Jamie slowly began adopting and bringing more rescue animals into her Austin Texas home. Every animal was unique and special, she chose animals who had suffered unimaginable abuse, had special health needs, or disabilities. Choosing to focus on the hard to adopt and tougher cases that other people would shy away from taking on. Expanding beyond just dogs, the Griner family soon has chickens, goats, and even a pig. After a few years, they decided to purchase a farm outside of Austin so that they could continue to expand their animal family.
Healing Children’s Hearts One Animal at a Time
Since the move in 2017, the Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch grew to over 120 animals! From the beginning Jamie’s goal has been focus on the connection between animals and children, especially those with special needs.
Healing Hearts tours, give children with special needs the ability to connect with animals that are “just like them”. Most importantly, there is never any cost associated with these visits. Jamie and her family believe that everyone deserves love whether they can afford it or not. And there is nothing like the unconditional love between a child and an animal.
Meet a Few of the Animals that Call Safe in Austin Home
Every animal at Safe in Austin have serious health needs or come from places of extreme abuse. Every animal at the ranch is given a safe forever home. The animals are never caged, and the 17 dogs who live there are given free reign inside the Griner home. The ranch provides animals with the opportunity to heal and experience love for the first time.
Francis and Pixie
Both Francis and Pixie came to the ranch with broken spines and rely on their wheelchairs to get around.
Found in a Mexico border town, Francis was living on the streets and injured after being hit by a car.
The most recent addition to the ranch family is Pixie. The a chihuahua mix has adjusted well to life on wheels and her new home. When children meet Francis, they’re excited to see that he uses a blue Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair to get around, “it’s blue just like mine!”.
Priscilla the Turkey
Priscilla the turkey was born with a deformity in her foot. She was picked on by other turkeys for having a “lucky” hand and rescued by Safe in Austin. Many of the visitors at the ranch also have lucky hands or feet and connect with her instantly.
The children’s joy of connecting to someone just like them with no judgement, only love is powerful. Although Jamie says their “life is harder, our hearts are happier”.
Great Pyrenees puppy, Halo is only five months old, but like all the animals at the ranch his life had a rough start. Halo was born to a dog breeder with missing front feet, who decided to abandon Halo inside a box. Halo has persevered through all the challenge’s life has thrown at her. Just like any puppy, she loves to play and run around. Her stumps are wrapped daily to protect her legs, but Halo needs a wheelchair to help keep her moving. Relying on donations and self-funding Jamie is waiting until she’s full grown to purchase her chair. Until Walkin’ Pets stepped in with a surprise…
Santa Paws’ Special Delivery for Halo
Inspired by Jamie and the incredibly work being done at Safe in Austin the Walkin’ Pets team decided to make sure that Halo had an extra special holiday this year. This Christmas, Halo is being gifted her first full support Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair.
Halo’s wheelchair is perfectly sized to fit her now and will adjust with her as she grows! With her new wheels, Halo will be able to run and play with all of the other animals at the rescue. And help spread joy to the children that come and visit her.